A Message from God

I will never let you fall, don’t worry.

When you find that warm, fuzzy piece of me inside you, then you will know happy relationship with the outside of you. That inner light is already whole, perfect, and complete, and to commune with that is not to depend on the outside world for your happiness. Then instead of ask, “What can I get,” you ask, “What can I give?” What a joyous gift it is, my child, to be so full of me that all you want is to serve others. That is my promise to you.

I yearn for you to become one with that innermost part of you, which is me, in you; for a parent wants nothing more than to be reunited with her children.

Do not worry about where you are. You will never be left and forlorn in a desert of the Spirit. I will speak to you, always, ever beckoning you forth, “Come, take of me and never hunger, nor thirst, again.” And, do not fear about the conditions of your life, about making mistakes. Ever the warm, fuzzy ball of light inside you, that place of perfect completion within and yet deeper than you, will find a way to call you forth to Itself. This is my covenant with you, my child.


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Dancing Leaves

by Nicholas Andrea

Dancing leaves
dancing leaves on the trees
in a swift, morning, autumn breeze;

possessed like whirling sufis
moving, merrily, to the
commands of Allah, verily.

How are we
like those sufi leaves
dancing our daily lives
to the rhythm of the cosmic vibes,

a force, greater
animating all we do, now and later –

is the unseen seen
as something in the world,
we try to be?

As a consolation
to an ego with frustration
who realizes he doesn’t pull all the strings
doesn’t command all these things –

each leaf now before me
dances so uniquely
even if just one wave of wind moving through them all,
there be;

like a symphony
all move in grand harmony,
even when they can’t, that harmony, see
and without each playing its individual part
no symphony would there be.

Thou are That, deary,
thou art that symphony
as one part, played uniquely –

wilt that truth, thou, not shirk
as thou doth the twerk
today at work;

wilt those remember the breeze
as these things she sees
which may bother or elate her,
as she may please;

wilt thou forget about the self, relationally
and dance with the other leaves, around,

Dancing leaves
dancing leaves on the trees
in a swift, morning autumn breeze;

won’t thou be possessed as a whirling sufi
moving today, merrily,
to the commands of Allah, verily,

won’t thou come dance,
together with me
as the symphony?

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by Nicholas Andrea

Here I am, world
walkin’ naked through this town
unclad of intellect
and there is nothing, for, to frown;

Today is the day that I stopped knowing
and found out I could never know again
what even the next moment would bring
where these steps will carry me;

and that just makes me fall in love with everything -
that gal, that man,
this gingko tree that here doth stand;
and so long have I missed this,
that I beckon you: come here, let me just give you a kiss!

The small me has found its place
in the passenger seat of this chariot
while the deeper, larger, Christly One
has taken complete command of it;

Guided by a deeper authenticity
a raw energy running through this body
tingles through my spine, face, and hands
like electricity, electricity!

These eyes grow brighter
with a warm, fuzzy inner light
illuminating all I see
during the day and even at night;

A fool, a fool
that is all I seek to be
so please, my friend don’t make me
put these clothes back on, O please!

I don’t know what
this life is meant to be
where this next breath will carry me, I am
just fully present and listening
to a knowing deeper than knowing
guided by an embodied truth
that never lies and or stops flowing;

Love, love the streets of this world
they need to hear your name, so
I sing my song, O! I sing my song,
Love, I do proclaim!

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Just the Stone

by Nicholas Andrea

I woke up this morning
feeling sad
sitting in a dark place
looking at the cold stone of this world;

and I saw me, and the stone;

Lord, this wound, oh Lord, this wound!
it just never seems to heal,
like a God-shaped piece
missing from the puzzle of my heart
that can only be filled by One,
One, who left it there, indefinitely,
to remind one to never stop longing
for the Presence,
of One;

but, when I sank into that hole,
that whole hole,

when I sank and felt,
a boat of such meaning emerged,
like a gift from that One
beckoning one to come, come home

and I stepped onto that boat
and it carried me, the boatman,
down a river to a Grand Ocean;

and when I got there
I jumped in,
and I, I
just melted, I
just melted
into this;

and I looked up,
and no longer saw me;

just the stone.

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Life and Death

by Nicholas Andrea

Life and death
a cosmic joke,
a spirit comes and
a spirit goes,

pretends for a little while
not to know, and
finds itself in the
throes of woes.

But, if that fact we really know
how, differently, would we choose
what, and how we do, the dance of life -
or how we express the Muse?

This moment
What do we see,
is it timeless and eternal
never beginning and never ending,
or are we, by this, deceived?

A cat once died and a woman cried
a suffering for, perhaps,
believing a lie,
not that she could avoid it;
to have flesh is to see, limited.

But I, I thought about that woman
and I, too, cried
until I saw something
and went from cry to laugh,
did I -
the absurdity of the dream
for which there is so much suffering…

Why do we do it,
forget to intuit
the timeless wholeness
that we are?
Why do we walk this world,
unable and unwilling to see, afar,
asleep like a dead animal, that
long ago, fell into the pits of tar?

I cannot for sure say
anything on the matter
but for this, today:
we fell asleep and dreaming
separation from all this, real, seeming
only that one day
we may again awake
and see it’s all okay;
only that one day we may
do as, today, did I:
go from laugh, to cry.

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Already Enough

by Nick Andrea

Right here, right now,
sitting in myself -
already enough.

To look across the way
and see that tree
aflame with the emerging colors
of Autumn -
that is enough;

To sit here with a full belly
letting this nourishment as food
settle into this body -
that is enough;

To breathe, in, out
in, out
born with every inhale
dying with every exhale -
that is enough, already,
is the enlightened activity of
all the Buddhas;

This, here, now.

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Fall is My Favorite Season

by Nicholas Andrea

Walking in a forest
still aflush with an ocean of green
a cool autumn wind breathes on through
making the leaves sing.

“Shhhhh, shhhhhh,” goes their tune
it is a mighty fine little diddy
sung by oak, pine, and rhododendron, alike
who are all so very pretty…

“Munch, munch, munch,”
I now hear just behind me
something is knawing at the deadwood trunk
of this, here, cut down tree.

What could it be
a termite, a chigger, or a forest gnome,
eating a late breakfast
or, perhaps, building a home?

Well, whatever it is
it is surely doing its job
its holy, designated purpose
to sustain the life of this forest.

“Shhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh,” again, sing the trees
announcing the presence, once more, of that breeze
that breeze that moves through the leaves and me
that breeze that moves through all things.

Fall, oh Fall, how you are my favorite season
and, do I really need a reason?
But, if reason it is that I must give, then
it’s that you lead me back to right here, right now, where I must live.

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The Bell of Salvation Rings

by Nick Andrea

A cool autumn breeze,
dancing through the leaves
on the trees;

the air’s perfect temperature portending
one not remembering
where he is ending
and the world, beginning;

one step after one step,
deeper and deeper into peace,
the energy of Mother Earth rising
up through soles, these;

sounds of crickets chirping, sweetly,
framing the space from here to there, silently -
the music of an awakened intelligence
moving through all these things, discreetly;

a tingle at the base of the spine
between the two sides of this behind,
tickled naughtily by she,
a world, so fine;

melting, melting now into the Ocean of Bliss,
with every exhale
making passionate love to Creation, this;

Namaste, the one in me sees the one in the tree
not-two, not even three
but non-duality;

Good evening, God, good evening,
how do you do?
separate one has been empty,
bound in a spell of delu-
sion, crafted by an, “I, my, me,” for which
even ‘spirituality’
was no solution.

But now, connected to all things
a liberating truth is seen,
letting down the fire of ambition
do you hear it, now?
The bell of salvation rings.


Wonder is:
putting the finishing touches on this piece, tonight, when my friend asks me if I would read it to her. “Sure,” I say and start from the top. As I approach the end, I read, “…and letting down the fire of ambition, do you hear it now?” and pause. The next moment, “Ding!” goes my phone, as somebody messages me. I speak the last line, “The bell of salvation rings.”

You just can’t make this stuff up…

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by Nick Andrea

There’s a faultline in my heart,
where the two halves of me struggle to come together
sometimes quake, violently,
creating upheaval for both.

The inner world, like the outer, is one of
broken, shifting continents
that make up one, big whole,
moving, shifting, evolving,
sometimes, at the cost of growing pains.

But, in the spirit of not continuing to juice of longing, indefinitely,
but honoring the hope that has struck me, time and time again,
I must recall those great words spoken two millenia ago by the same One that lives within us all:
“This is my body broken for you.”

There’s got to be something in that,
to be broken is the way, the truth, the life of eternal peace.

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Three Characteristics of an Ideal Spiritual Community

by Nick Andrea

What are the characteristics of an ideal spiritual or religious community? I’ve been chewing on this question as the Unitarian Universalist congregation I serve visions for its next iteration in the world. I’ve identified three important characteristics. I’m sure there are more, but these were the first I thought of (I will use the terms “spiritual” and “religious” interchangeably in this article):

Strong Relationships
Strong relationships lie at the heart (no pun intended) of any successful organization because it is those relationships that allow the organization to be stronger as a collective than it could be as a set of individuals. It is also those relationships that most draw its members to continue returning, year after year. We are a social species. Those institutions that purport to serve the highest truth should place this quality at the center of what it offers.

When strong relationships exist within a community it finds prominence in the social lives of its participants. Spiritual community was once a fact of life for most people in America. That fact has dwindled drastically in the last 150+ years. For all that, however, religious communities remain the last standing bastions for several important communal functions in our culture. First, they are a place where people can commune with the truth of life and death, together. The search for truth and meaning is daunting. Enlightenment is on the far shore and the river is very wide to cross. It is best if we do not ride this boat, alone. In fact, I’m not entirely sure the truth can be found entirely on one’s own since it is transpersonal in nature.

Second, the relationships within spiritual communities tend to be of a unconditionally giving nature. People offer one another jobs. They babysit each other’s children. They serve soup to the homeless, build houses for the Appalachian poor, and cater big events, together. This level of unconditional giving is rare in the business and even the secular non-profit communities, where relationships are characteristically more transactional than transformational.

Service to the Community
Unconditional service to the community is another of the primary roles still filled, almost exclusively, by churches and other spiritual organizations in our society. Our communities exist to make the world a better place, inspired by our spiritual outlook – in other words, the truth that transcends the petty, worldly concerns that drive the secular branches of society. Because we believe there is something of value beyond the material world we perceive with our five senses, we give freely of our time, money, and energy without asking anything in return.

Moreover, the fruit of spirituality should always be service. The more we grow in connection to all that is, the more we will naturally want to give, as we increasingly see ourselves in the eyes of others.

Genuine Spiritual Practice
An ideal spiritual community should share a genuine spiritual practice together. My view is that a practice can be said to be spiritual because it elicits powerful devotion in its adherents. It purifies their perception of the world to where they see indescribable beauty and oneness everywhere they look. And, not merely as a thought, but as a lived experience that imbibes us with so much love for the creation that we want to cry. Those tears of devotion are the engine that drives religious people to powerfully transform the world, to transcend the barriers that have, hitherto, kept it sick.

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