One Minute Monologues 029

10/27/2015 — 12/16/2015

  1. 10/27/2015 — Receive it all with compassionate awareness—
    including our automatic reaction to it all
    (We hate it, we are terrified by it, we are panic stricken,
    we are overjoyed, enraptured, etc.).

    Receive our reaction to it along with it.
    Receive IT ALL
    With compassionate awareness:
    ”This too, this too…”

    That’s it.

    Just hold it all in compassionate awareness,
    And wait for the shift to happen.
    The shift will always happen.

    That’s the way compassionate awareness works.
    We hold it all in compassionate awareness,
    and a shift will happen.
    A perspective shift.

    We will feel it in our body.

    That’s the feeling of being put in accord with reality.
    The only healthy way to be in relation to reality
    is to be in accord with it.

    Our body knows when you are in accord with reality,
    and when we are out of accord with it.

    Our body keeps score.
    And will thank us
    when we take up the practice
    of receiving it all with compassionate awareness.

    And we will feel it.
    Every time.
  2. 10/28/2015

    It’s amazing
    the way being aware of one’s thinking/feeling
    shifts, deepens, expands, enlarges, transforms
    one’s thinking/feeling,
    and alters one’s reality—
    providing options and choices,
    and creating futures,
    that did not exist prior
    to the advent
    of compassionate awareness.

    How it works
    is beyond understanding
    or explanation,
    making it magical,
    or, if you prefer, miraculous,
    and an ever-present example
    of Sheldon Kopp’s observation:
    ”Some things can be experienced, but not understood,
    and some things can be understood, but not explained.”
  3. 10/26/2015

    Sit with yourself.
    Listen to yourself.

    Not to the narratives that you spin without pause—
    the ones about being not good enough,
    not going fast enough,
    not getting enough done,
    not being happy enough,
    or wealthy enough.

    Listen past all of that
    to what your Self is saying to you.

    Sit with your Self
    until you can separate your Self
    from the things you always hear when you are quiet.

    Listen past what you normally hear
    until you can hear your Self who has never been heard.

    Know you can be with your Self anywhere, any time.

    That is a radical realization,
    with radical implications for the rest of your life.

    Live to see what you and your Self can create together
    in the time left for living.
  4. 10/28/2015

    It has taken everywhere we have been
    to get us where we are.
    So, stop your moaning and complaining and regretting
    this place or that one.

    They were all exactly what you needed
    to be here, now.

    It would be wrong to waste all that has gone into
    getting you where you are
    by not being here, now,
    choosing instead to ruminate
    and rummage around in your griefs and sorrows,
    in your could-have-been’s
    and your except-but-only’s.

    If your could-have-been’s had been,
    if your except-but-only’s had not been,
    you still have the exact same problem you have right now:
    Being. Here. Now.

    So. Be. Here. Now.
    Listen. Look. Attend. Hear. See. Be. Here. Now.

    Receive well the moment
    And all that is in the moment with you.
    Bless the moment with your kind attention,
    with your compassion
    and your grace.

    Befriend the moment.
    It has been waiting all your life for you.
    Celebrate with joy and wonder,
    the time and place of your being,
    of your life.

    Of your being alive,
    here and now.
  5. 10/29/2015 — Lake Chicot HDR 06 — Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana, October 27, 2015

    Carl Jung was of the opinion that it is all about “individuation”—
    his term for becoming who we are,
    for being “one with our Self.”

    The Old Testament said it is about “becoming who God is,”
    or words to that effect.

    It’s what Jesus had in mind when he said, “The Father and I are one.”
    And, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”

    It’s what Paul had in mind when he said,
    “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

    Individuation is growing up into the Self we are.
    It is becoming full partners with the Self within,
    and living in ways that express, exhibit, make manifest—
    the Biblical term is “incarnate”—
    the Self within in all that we do in, and with, our life.

    It is about getting out of the way—
    with our will, our desires, our idea of what we want our life to do for us—
    and allowing our Self to live through us,
    no matter what that might mean for us
    and our idea of success,
    or our idea of “what life is all about.”

    Life is all about becoming who we are—
    living aligned, at-one, with the Self within.

    Integrity means oneness with our Self within.
    We are here to live with integrity of being with our Self,
    so that “The Father, The Self within, and I are one.”

    It is time we started figuring out how to do that,
    don’t you think?
  6. 10/29/2015 — Lake Chicot HDR 01 Panorama—Canoe Launch, East Trailhead, Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana, October 27, 2015

    There’s nothing to it.
    Really.
    Nothing. To. It.

    We do nothing.
    Okay, we sit.

    That’s doing something.
    Quietly.
    That’s doing something else.
    Enfolding all the thoughts and moods
    that come with compassionate awareness.
    When will it end!

    Here. Now.

    We sit quietly
    and meet everything that comes
    with compassionate awareness.

    Work up to twice a day for twenty minutes each time.
    You can do it walking.
    Walk quietly
    and meet everything that comes
    with compassionate awareness.

    Or, you can do it running.
    Swimming.
    Bicycle riding.
    Horseback riding.
    Eating.
    Taking a shower.

    You have no excuse for not doing nothing.
    You can do it anywhere, any time.

    There’s nothing to it.
  7. 10/30/15 —  Lake Chicot HDR 11 — Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana, October 27, 2015

    Nothing is too big to be contained in our compassionate awareness.
    Not our depression.
    Not our fear and anxiety.
    Not our anger.
    Not our hatred, jealously, envy, inferiority, insecurity…

    Not our greed, dissatisfaction,
    hunger and thirst for more of everything—
    for something, we don’t know what—
    anything to take our mind off of our reality.
    Not our reality.

    All of it fits nicely within our compassionate awareness,
    and we don’t have to do anything
    about any of it
    beyond welcoming it into our attentive presence,
    assuring it that it has a home with us,
    and is safe with us,
    and asking it to tell us all that it has to say.
    xxx
  8. 10/30/15 —  Cajun Cadillac Panorama B&W—Bayou des Glaises, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, October 29, 2015

    Seeing things as they are

    Means seeing that our interpretation of things is what we are seeing

    The things we see reflect the seer seeing

    Inviting us to see ourselves,

    And wonder why we see the way we see

    And not some other way instead.

    The way things are appears to be different

    To all those who view them—

    They appear differently to us in different moods,

    And at different times of the day.

    The way things ARE is contingent upon the 10,000 things!

    And, we see THAT when we see them as they “are.”

    And, seeing THAT enables us to make inquiries

    Regarding the why and wherefore of our seeing.

    Why see it the way we see it now?

    What is impacting our seeing?

    Where did we learn to see as we do?

    What does seeing things the way we see them

    Enable us to get by with?

    Prevent us from doing?

    How are we inhibited, limited, stuck in place

    By the way we see things?

    How else might we see things?

    How might our life work better if we saw things differently?

    We cannot hope to see anything “as it is”

    Until we can see our seeing,

    And see what holds our seeing in place,

    Keeping us from seeing anything other than the way we see things

    All our life long.
  9. 10/30/15 —  St. Augustine Catholic Church Panorama—Isle Brevelle, Louisiana, October 30, 2015

    Nobody has any business pursuing a spiritual practice until after retirement.

    We should look forward to retirement as the time for being spiritual,

    And I don’t mean as in doctrine, dogma, ideology and theology.

    I mean as in direct experience with That Which Can Be Known But Not Told or Said.

    Before retirement the stress of life—

    Job, house and car payments, bills, spouse/partner, kids, education (yours and your children’s), etc—

    Bears too heavily upon us,

    Creates too much distraction for us.

    It will be hard enough for us to walk two paths at the same time in retirement,

    Juggling those responsibilities and duties which, like goodness and mercy, shall follow us all the days of our life—

    AND maintaining and deepening our practice.

    It’s ridiculous to think that we could do a creditable job doing the Two Paths thing in our working life.

    Look at all the gurus you know.

    Do they have a full time job in addition to being a full time guru?

    The Dalai Lama takes care of his own business,

    And his people manage his affairs.

    That’s the way to do it.

    Anybody could be the Dalai Lama with someone to manage her, or his, affairs!

    So don’t be hard on yourself for not being “more spiritual.”

    Tune in as you are able,

    And look forward to retirement as the time for awakening to the Holy AAAUUUUMMMMMmmmmmm……

  10. Used in Short Talks on Good and Bad Religion — 10/31/15 —  Lake Chicot HDR 08 — Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana, October 27, 2015

    Physical reality puts us in touch with spiritual reality.

    The threshold to awareness, realization, enlightenment and perception

    Is our encounter with the limitations and restrictions of life as we live it.

    Each moment in this world is a doorway, a portal, into the other world.

    Religion doesn’t always see it that way.

    Religion as we know it spends too much time denouncing,

    Dismissing, discounting and denying the world of physical reality.

    This world, according to that religion,

    Is a “vale of tears,”

    Filled with “pain and suffering,”

    And is only something to be made up to us

    In the world to come after we die.

    That religion misses all this world has to offer

    By focusing on the glories of the other world.

    This world is all we need to clue into the other world

    And open ourselves to it,

    Bringing it into this world here and now.

    We live here, now, as extensions of that world into this world.

    We make the connection between worlds real,

    And transform this reality with infusions of that reality,

    By living here and now as though that reality is the Real Reality,

    With grace, mercy, compassion and peace

    Where greed, anger, hatred, fear, envy, revenge and vindictiveness would normally be.

    We get to the other world through this one

    By allowing physical limitations and restrictions

    Show us everything we need to know about spiritual reality

    And it’s experience and expression in the world of here and now.

    Simply sit with this world as it is,

    Receiving it with compassionate awareness,

    And that world will open itself to you.
  11. Used in Short Talks on Good and Bad Religion — 11/01/15 —  Lake Chicot HDR 12 — Cabins—Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana, October 12, 2015

    There are three statements that form the ground of all good religion world-wide across time:

    1) The Bread of Affliction is the Bread of Life.

    2) The Cup of Suffering is the Cup of Salvation.

    3) The full scope of the Spiritual Journey is the distance from The Garden of Eden to the Garden of Gethsemane.

    When we understand how these statements apply to us and our life,

    And accommodate ourselves to their truth,

    We will be the Buddha and the Christ, Abraham, Mohamed. Lao Tzu, Black Elk and all others of their ilk.
  12. 11/02/15 —  Lake Chicot HDR 10 — Cabins—Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana, October 27, 2015

    We know when we are in the flow, and when we are out of it—

    When we are in harmony with the Way of Things, and when we are out of harmony.

    Nothing gets us out of the flow, out of the Way, faster than:

    A) Trying to use it for our personal benefit, gain, advantage, profit, or,

    B) Trying to willfully, force it into being and into compliance with our desires.

    Waking up is like going to sleep.

    We cannot make it happen.

    We cannot control it, will it, force it, direct it, manage it, own it, possess it.

    It posses us.

    The way of alliance with the Way, the Flow, is

    ”Thy will, not mine, be done.”

    This is anathema to the culture of the world,

    Where winning, forcing, commanding, commandeering, triumphing, owning, possessing, controlling

    Are the only point and purpose of life.

    Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, chess, and NASCAR,

    And everything else

    Is grounded on willing our way to victory, wealth, and glory everlasting.

    And then comes along the Flow and the Way with their

    ”Not YOUR will, but MINE, be done,”

    And we are left in the pitch darkness of the deepest night,

    Trying to force ourselves to go to sleep.

    The Way is not the way for this time and place.

    And it is the only hope for this time and place.

    There you are.
  13. 11/02/15 —  Lake Chicot HDR 07 — Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana, October 27, 2015 — The yellow flowers along the shoreline are Nodding Beggartick.

    Jon Kabat-Zinn is fond of saying, “In all of the languages of the East, the word for ‘mind’ and the work for ‘heart’ is the same word.”

    Sometimes, he puts it this way, “All of the religions of the East have one word for ‘mind’ and ‘heart.’”

    It point is that mindfulness is not possible without compassion.

    We cannot ‘know’ without knowing with compassion—

    Without lovingly knowing.

    Seeing, hearing and understanding is possible only

    By seeing, hearing, and understanding with compassion.

    The quality of the What (we do)

    Is contingent upon the quality of the

    How (we do it)

    And the

    Why (we do it).

    Compassion shapes, forms, limits and determines

    The What, the How and the Why.

    Those who live well

    Live compassionately.

    Those who live without compassion

    Live poorly.

    If you are going to be anything,

    Be compassionate

    Without being a patsy,

    And your life will be a beautiful work of art.
  14. 11/03/15 —  Black Bayou 05 — Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana, November 02, 2015

    Let your “Yes” be yes,

    And let your “No” be know.

    Mean what you say,

    Do what you say you will do.

    Live in good faith with yourself,

    And with all others.

    No duplicity.

    No hidden agendas.

    No posturing.

    No pretending.

    Being at one with yourself,

    And transparent to yourself,

    So that you are who you are

    In each situation as it arises,

    And “what they see is what they get.”

    It doesn’t get more basic than that.

  15. 11/03/15 —  Cotton in the Field 01 Panorama—Hwy 61 through the Mississippi Delta, November 3, 2015

    Heaven is a perspective,

    Not a place.

    A point of view,

    A way of seeing—

    With grace and compassion,

    Kindness and peace,

    Generosity and good will.

    No one can expect to “get to heaven,”

    Without bringing heaven forth

    In their relationships

    With all people

    Every day.

    We create heaven

    By the way we see those

    Who share the moment with us.

    We may not be God, but.

    We are as close to God

    As some have ever been
  16. 11/04/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake HDR 01 — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeak, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    Driving 10.5 hours from South Carolina to Tennessee-almost-Kentucky to photograph Cypress Trees sounds crazy.

    It is actually therapy.

    A lot of things that are therapeutic are crazy.

    What is really crazy is trying to be totally sane,

    And never doing anything that sounds the least bit crazy.

    Find the things that are therapeutic for you,

    That help you “recover from the past and store up for the future.”

    That serve you as an oasis in the desert,

    And reconnect you with your heart and soul.

    And, do them often,

    No matter how crazy it might sound.
  17. 11/05/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 07 HDR—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    Honor the natural rhythms!

    That’s the First Law of Harmony and Accord.

    The tide comes in and the tide goes out.

    Don’t mess with the tide.

    Global warming is the result of profit making having a higher priority than the First Law of Harmony and Accord.

    When “Profit At Any Price” becomes the operating principle governing existence,

    Existence will hang by a thread.

    Our place is to recognize the rhythms at work in our life,

    And let our life fall into place around our rhythms.

    If you are a morning person,

    Don’t work the midnight to eight a.m. shift.

    If you like rocking chairs,

    Sit in rocking chairs.

    Honor the rhythms!

    Respect the consequences—

    The consequences of honoring,

    And of dishonoring,

    The rhythms.

    Paying the price of honoring the rhythms,

    Results in a greater profit

    Than paying the price of dishonoring them,

    Though it won’t likely be a monetary gain.
  18. 11/05/2015 —  Morton’s Overlook 01 HDR—Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 5, 2015

    What’s in there?

    All the old stories about seeking hidden treasure

    Are about discovering what’s in there.

    YOU are the treasure hidden in the field!

    The pearl of great price gathering dust in some pawn shop’s

    Display case of costume jewelry.

    YOU are the Philosopher’s Stone,

    Capable of turning “nothing” into “finest gold,”

    By discovering what’s in there

    And allowing it to come to life

    In you,

    And through you into the world!

    What’s in there?
  19. 11/06/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 04 HDR—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    We care about what we care about,

    Whether we ought to care about it or not.

    If we could just care about what we ought to care about,

    And not care about what we have no business caring about,

    The world would be a different world.

    Racism and white supremacy have no place in any world.

    The Confederate flag still flies in the State of Mississippi,

    Tucked safely away in the corner of the “state flag.”

    But, for too many Mississippians,

    The state flag wouldn’t be worth flying without that symbol

    Of racism and white supremacy—

    Leaving the rest of us at a loss

    About what to do when evil is seen as good,

    And good as evil.

    How do you wake people up to the discretancy

    Between what they care about

    And what they ought to care about?

    How do you wake people up to the importance

    Of caring about what they ought to care about,

    And ought not care about what they ought not care about?

    It keeps me awake,

    Pondering it.
  20. Used in Short Talks On Contradictions, etc., 11/07/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 05 HDR—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    Living at one with ourselves—

    Transparent to ourselves

    And aware of our ambivalence and contradictions—

    Is the single most important way

    Of having an impact for the good

    On the conditions and circumstances of our life.

    Changing the world—

    To the extent that it can be changed—

    Is as simple as being who we are

    In each situation as it arises,

    And letting the outcome be the outcome.
  21. 11/07/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 06 — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015 (The white dots are White Pelicans)

    We have to live firmly grounded in a defining ethic,

    With clear boundaries,

    And an unflinching, unshakable grasp

    Of what is right and what is wrong.

    We have to KNOW what is good and what is not good,

    And live in ways that serve the good and oppose the not-good.

    We have to KNOW what the rules are,

    And abide by them.

    The trick is that we impose them on ourselves.

    Second-hand rules—

    Those handed to us by external authorities—

    Are worthless when it comes to providing

    Eternal stability and foundation

    Amid the heaving waves of the wine-dark sea.

    We have to be grounded in our own sense of value,

    And live out of it—be guided by it—in all that we do.

    We are who we are

    Because we say so,

    Because WE KNOW who we are

    And who we are not.

    And you can see it in our life.
  22. 11/08/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 03 HDR—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    Joseph Campbell said “We know when we are on the beam, and when we are off it.”

    We resonate with what is right for us, and are repelled by what is wrong.

    How often do we override our sense of what is right, and ignore our sense of what is wrong!

    Adam and Eve before the Forbidden Fruit, Jesus searching for his best future in the wilderness and in Gethsemane faced the choice of what to override and what to ignore.

    So do we all, more often that we care to know.

    At the core of each of us is the rock solid truth of who we are, and who we are not—of who we are to be, and of who we are to be not.

    The foundation stone is a guide stone, a polestar, directing us to the life we are built to live, and away from the lives that drain us of life, and lead to the wasteland and the void.

    We are born with an internal guidance system that knows with firm conviction when we are on the beam and when we are off it.

    Why the lack of attention? Of consultation? Of awareness and alignment?

    Why do we not spend time throughout the day, every day, in meditative openness to what we know?

    Seeking to place ourselves in harmony with our Inner Guide?

    Listening, searching, sensing what here, what now?

    Why live not knowing? Not caring? Out of sync with the direction of our life’s true flow?
  23. 11/08/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 02 HDR—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    We have to know when to rein in our impulses and enthusiasms

    And when to give them a hearty endorsement.

    We have to know when to say Yes! and when to say No!

    There are legitimate limits that must be recognized, respected, honored and observed.

    We are not free to live any way we choose,

    Any time we like.

    We serve values and ends that are not ours to establish and remove,

    But to acknowledge and serve.

    There is a Good greater than our good—

    Greater than our idea of good—

    A Justice greater than our sense of justice

    And our quick tendency to feel betrayed, neglected and denied.

    We are part of a cause greater than we are.

    Our life is to be an experience and an expression of more than words can say—

    Of more than can be told, or said, or explained, or understood.

    At the heart of each of us

    Is the knowledge of a truth that is greater than we are.

    As Captain Jack Sparrow would say,

    “I have no say in the matter, Gibbs—It’s the pirate’s life for me. Savvy?”
  24. 11/09/2015 —  Black Bayou 01 — Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana, November 2, 2015

    We have to work to be who we are,

    Living our life the way our life needs us to live it.

    We swim against the strong currents

    Of home, church, society and culture to do that.

    Everything about our life is arrainged

    To make us be who we are not,

    And to keep us from being who we are.

    ”You do what I tell you to do—

    When I tell you to do it—

    The way I tell you to do it!”

    We hear it from the beginning,

    And it replays throughout our life

    To the very end.

    It takes conscious, mindful, awareness,

    Determination, and courage,

    To step beyond the ways we are told to do it,

    And do it the way we would do it—

    The way we say it needs to be done—

    In each situation as it arises,

    All our life long.

    Who do YOU say you are?

    How do YOU say you are to go about being you?

    Get behind the wheel of that baby,

    Take it for a spin.

    See who is the first to ask you

    Who you think you are,

    And to tell you to get back in line.
  25. 11/09/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 08 HDR—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    We look for it out there…

    The land of promise,

    The treasure hard to find,

    Meaning, purpose, value,

    Success, fortune and glory,

    The Fountain of Youth,

    The City of Gold,

    The Northwest Passage,

    The Holy Grail…

    We carry with us what we seek,

    Searching for what we have never lost but cannot find.

    ”The Tao is like a man riding his ox,

    Looking for his ox.”

    We seek “the face that was ours before we were born.”

    The Inner Other who is our Invisible Twin.

    The Self we are but a shadow of,

    And once knew, but have forgotten.

    We seek ourselves—our Self—

    Who seeks us.

    This story should have a happy ending.

    Why won’t we allow that to happen?

    What do we fear

    That keeps us from opening ourselves

    To what resides within?
  26. 11/10/2015 —  Black Bayou 02 HDR—Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana, November 2, 2015

    There is the life we dream of living,

    The life we settle for,

    And the life that is our life to live.

    We get all dour and depressed,

    Mopey and moaning,

    Because the life we settle for

    Is a far cry from the life we dream of living,

    In a “Poor me, poor me!” kind of way,

    While the life that is our life to live—

    The life that can be lived in any situation,

    In every context and circumstance,

    From penthouses to prisoner of war camps,

    Stands waiting at the gate

    For us to climb in the saddle

    And do what can yet be done with it,

    While the light still lasts,

    In a “Let’s see what we can do with this day,” kind of way.
  27. 11/10/2015 —  Bud Ogle Cabin 03 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, November 5, 2015

    In a perfect world, we each would have exactly what we need from our environment to grow into who we are best equipped and suited to be.

    We would have everything we need to be who we are.

    We come into the world expecting certain things to be in place:

    Parents, extended family, a social structure that is secure and dependable, with trustworthy and just rules to live by, nurturing, nourishing, relationships, resources and experiences for honing our skills and developing our ability to find our way in the world.

    The less of this we find when we get here, the harder time we will have in putting together a life for ourselves, and helping others put one together for themselves.

    Most of us need more help than we get.

    We accommodate ourselves to the world we live in by taking stock, compensating for what is lacking in our life where that is possible, recognizing our handicaps and limitations, and doing what can be done with what we have to work with.

    Seeing clearly how things are and accepting the fact they are how they are, and the implications that has for us and our life, squares us up with our circumstances, and gives us the best chance of finding the openings and making the most of our opportunities for growth and development.

    In every life, there is a sense in which liabilities can have advantages and advantages can have liabilities. So, are we better off to have won at birth, or to have lost? Only time will tell, but having the heart for the task at hand will make all the difference.
  28. 11/11/2015 —  Goodale 2015 01 — Goodale State Park, Camden, SC, November 11, 2015

    We give up too easily, we quit too soon.

    Instead of giving up and quitting,

    We need to simply hand it over,

    And let our heart take the lead.

    If we gave our heart the controls to our life,

    And willingly, in good faith, aligned ourselves

    With our heart’s drift and direction,

    No matter what that might mean

    For our wishes, wants, desires, aims and ideas,

    Resurrection would be instantaneous and everlasting,

    As long as we didn’t say,

    ”Oh wow! I feel better now,” and take our life back.

    Our role is to collaborate with our heart,

    And make no unilateral decisions

    About any matter, great or small.

    Take a Heart Reading several times a day!

    Checking-in with the Inner Consultant

    Keeps things in harmony and balanced,

    All along The Way.
  29. 11/12/2015 —  Goodale 2015 07 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    We have to live with our feet under us,

    Grounded on the Foundation Stone,

    Which is, of course, our “Heart of hearts.”

    I use the term, “Heart,”

    As a metaphor for that which is central to us,

    Deepest, best and truest about us,

    As in “The heart of the matter,”

    Or “Getting to the heart of things.”

    Our Heart is who we are,

    Which includes who we also are.

    Our Heart is ALL that we are,

    Where we are One and at-one with ourselves.

    When we live and act out of our Heart,

    We are “Grounded on the Foundation Stone,”

    And nothing can move us,

    Because “We know whereof we speak.”

    Finding our way to the Ground and Foundation of Our Life

    Is the essential task—

    The one to which we owe our full allegiance

    and complete devotion.

    If you think you have something more important to do,

    You are wrong.
  30. 11/12/2015 —  Chimney Tops—Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 5, 2015

    The trip to the Holy Grail, the Holy Land, the Land of Promise, Nirvana, Enlightenment, the Peace of God, Paradise, or wherever it is we think we are going works like this:

    See, Hear, Do!

    We put all the emphasis on seeing and hearing, on understanding, on getting it all figured out, on knowing what the answers are.

    We memorize the Bible, and the Book of Confessions, and the Book of Doctrine, and the Catechisms Large and Small, and constantly talk about what we know,

    Conveniently ignoring forever what we also know.

    It is what we also know that matters.

    What we also know is what we know unconsciously, just beyond the boundaries of our conscious awareness.

    That is the real Holy Land.

    If you want to live in the lap of God, open yourself to what you know but don’t know that you know.

    We have to DO what we KNOW needs doing, but we are so busy talking, talking, talking about what we do know—all the doctrines and ideology positions that we are sure are the Gospel Truth—that we ignore, discount, dismiss, deny what we also know.

    For instance, if, while reading this, you get a sense that you need to call your mother, or apologize to your child, stop reading this and call your mother, or apologize to your child.

    Forget what you are doing and DO what you KNOW needs to be done!

    This is the Law and the Gospel, and it is the only thing keeping you from the Elysian Fields and the Lap of God.
  31. 11/12/2015 —  Oconoluftee 2015 02 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, NC, November 5, 2015

    Don’t take my injunction to “DO!” as an invitation to live impulsively.

    You are your own guide here.

    You have to sense the source of your directions.

    You have to trust your own judgment.

    ”Does this need to be done?”

    ”Who am I trying to please with this action?”

    ”Who would be most pleased with me for doing this?”

    ”Who is guiding my boat on its path through the sea?

    ”Who is calling the shots?”

    ”Does this come from my deep sense of what needs doing—

    Or from some external source that I have internalized?”

    We have to live out of our own judgment.

    We have to be our own authority for what we do and leave undone.

    We have to live our own life.

    We have to take care of our own business.

    Impulsive, unreflective, living

    Is dancing to someone else’s tune.

    We have to sing our own song—

    The song of our own heart.

    Knowing where the line between Them and Us lies

    Is essential knowing.
  32. 11/13/2015 —  Goodale 2015 10 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    What is important?

    Your answer to that question,

    Through each stage of life,

    Is the Teller that tells the tale.

    We are who we are

    Because of what is important to us.

    How important is what we declare to be important

    Is the question.

    Our life is a quest for true value—

    For ideas, people, symbols, and things ert and inert

    That are truly valuable.

    We are looking for the treasure

    Worthy of our allegiance and loyalty over time,

    And settle, too often, for glass beads and silver mirrors.

    Thus, the importance of knowing what is important.

    How can we tell?

    How do we know?

    There is no substitute tool in the whole bag of tools

    For attentive, compassionate, mindfulness—

    For seeing what we look at,

    For knowing what we know.

    Eyes to see,

    Ears to hear,

    And hearts to understand,

    See, hear and understand beneath the surface

    And beyond the visible

    Into the depths

    And into the invisible.

    Make sure your Seer, Hearer, Understander

    Is operating on all levels

    By becoming mindful of what you take to be

    The whole thing.

    Mistaking the sheen for the gold

    Is a rookie mistake.

    Our life needs more from us than that.
  33. 11/13/2015 —  Black Bayou 06 — Black Bayou Lake Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana, November 2, 2015

    Just as “one book opens another,”

    So one moment lived well opens into the next moment,

    Carrying us, moment-to-moment, into all of our life.

    We don’t have to think our life out,

    We only have to open ourselves to what our life is asking of us,

    And wait for the door to open in “this” moment,

    With the Way leading to all moments flowing from this one.

    It’s all very magical,

    Leading us to think in terms of synchronicity,

    Or the Grace of God.

    All three terms—magic, synchronicity, and God’s Grace—

    Mean the same thing: Unexpected gifts and direction.

    We do not think our way into these gifts and directions.

    They visit themselves upon us,

    Unfold before us,

    And bless us with wonder at the mystery of life—

    An experience common to those

    Who step into each moment

    Looking for what needs what they have to offer,

    And allow one moment to open to the next.
  34. 11/14/2015 —  Goodale 2015 20 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    Our life—both of them—

    The one we are living,

    And the one that is ours to live within the one we are living—

    Demands a response from us.

    We respond best to each life

    From a perspective of quiet, mindful, compassion.

    Ariadne’s Thread winds through both lives,

    And we follow it—

    Not by thinking our way forward

    With reason and logic,

    Plans, schemes, strategies and tactics,

    And not by being cagey and clever—

    By being present with what is happening

    With compassion and awareness,

    And waiting for the shift to happen,

    The door to open,

    The path to appear—

    And acting when the time is right

    To claim the prize,

    Which is doing the right thing,

    In the right way,

    At the right time.

    In each situation as it arises.

    To live this way

    Is to be one with the Tao,

    And live the life that is ours to live

    Within the life we are living.

    May it be said so of us all!
  35. 11/14/2015 —  Goodale 2015 06 Panorama—Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    We are divided within.

    It’s a left bran/right brain split,

    With the left brain being the seat of conscious, willful, logic and reason—

    Ego driven and goal oriented,

    And the right brain being the home of all that is unconscious,

    Including, heart, soul, and Self.

    Ego and Self.

    Two minds, one body, one life.

    The way of the culture of the East

    Has been to disappear the Ego.

    Starve it out.

    Ignore it.

    Denounce it.

    Renounce it.

    Send it packing.

    Chase it away with the sound of AAAAAUUUUUMMMMMM…

    The culture of the West has taken a different tack:

    Repress,

    Or suppress,

    All that is unconscious—

    Give it no place to call home.

    The result with both East and West

    Has been war within throughout the eons.

    How different would things be

    If Ego and Self had been working together

    All this time

    To heal the breach,

    Honor each others strengths

    Strengthen each others weaknesses,

    And live in the wonder of each others company

    As one?

    We should live to find out,

    Starting now.
  36. 11/15/2015 —  Goodale 2015 16 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    The Quest is for wholeness,

    And for meaning.

    We cannot live on entertaining apps and gadgets.

    There has to be an underlying ground and purpose to our life,

    And sex isn’t it.

    How many times can we fall in love

    Before we wake up to the realization

    That falling in love has nothing to do with the other person,

    But everything to do with us?

    It is ourselves we are seeking in the other!

    Ourselves we see in the other!

    Our Self seeking us in the other!

    Those love letters you pen?

    Those poems you write?

    Notes from you to YOU!

    YOU are there,

    In the other!

    All those qualities that attract you to the other?

    Even the eyes—

    What is it about those eyes?

    Get to the bottom of it!

    What the eyes represent to you

    Are what you seek in YOU!

    What the other person represents to you

    Is what you seek in YOU!

    Is what YOU seek to BE in your life.

    If the other person can be of help to you in living your life,

    And if you can be of help to the other person,

    The two of you may want to enter a partnership

    For LIFE—

    For the LIFE that is trying to come forth in each one of YOU.

    That way, you both could intentionally make the other conscious

    Of the YOU trying to come forth in each of you

    Throughout your life together.

    That would be what marriage is all about.
  37. 11/16/2015 —  Goodale 2015 20 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    There are right ways to be a Mom or a Dad,

    And wrong ways to be either.

    Right ways to be their child,

    And wrong ways.

    All of the roles of our life have a right and wrong side to them.

    The idea is to stay on the right side of all of them.

    There is a problem with that, of course,

    Being right all the time.

    If you think that’s easy,

    Or could be if you just tried hard enough,

    I say, “Go ahead! Climb onto the back of that beast,

    And tell them to open the chute!”

    My bet is you won’t last the eight required seconds

    Of Rodeo Time.

    And that isn’t even the hardest part.

    The hardest part is when the Right Side

    Of one role,

    Clashes head-on with the Right Side

    Of another.

    Once you are older, with children,

    You have the role of the Right Mom, Right Dad,

    With your children,

    And the role of the Right Child

    With your Mom and/or Dad.

    All of our roles have the tendency to clash like that.

    Makes it impossible to be on the right side of all of them.

    The nature of the game forces us

    To play some of our positions wrong.

    Something else to be aware of,

    And square up to,

    And bear the pain of,

    Consciously.

    Living mindfully,

    With compassion,

    Trumps everything else,

    When it comes to doing it right.

    Getting that down

    Will help you through a lot of tight spots.
  38. 11/16/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 10 HDR—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    It’s a mess, and I don’t have the solution.

    My best advice is,

    ”Don’t let the fact that it is a mess stop you,

    Or even slow you down.

    Get in there and do your thing—

    Live your own life,

    Aligned—to the best of your ability to intuit and implement—

    With your life’s idea for itself.

    Your role is to be YOU—

    To be true to your Self

    (The Self at the heart and center of who YOU are)—

    In every context, situation and circumstance.

    Zone into YOU

    And bring YOU forth to meet the day

    Everyday.

    Don’t worry about fixing the world.

    Bring YOU forth to meet the world.

    That’s the blessing the world needs most.”

    If you can find better advice,

    Take it.
  39. 11/17/2015 —  Goodale 2015 03 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    There is nothing to be

    Beyond being who we are.

    There is nothing to do

    Beyond doing what we are uniquely suited to do.

    All the planning, plotting, scheming, organizing, arranging, designing…

    Could be replaced with seeing, hearing, and understanding.

    But, we don’t trust the Inner Guides,

    Or even know of their existence,

    And think we are all alone with what to do about us.

    So, we devise a life for ourselves

    That doesn’t fit,

    And wonder what is wrong

    Without a clue.
  40. 11/17/2015 —  Bud Ogle Cabin 05 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 5, 2015

    Loneliness is knowing there is no one but you.

    If you get the flu, you make your own chicken soup.

    If you throw up, you clean it up.

    No one has your back.

    Everything is up to you,

    Depends on you,

    Weighs heavily upon you.

    Loneliness is the bane of the old and the young alike.

    There is no agony or anguish like loneliness borne alone.

    Alcohol and drugs numb the pain

    But do nothing to relieve the reality,

    Or change the fact

    Of aloneness.

    Yet, there is consolation.

    Our Psyche does not leave us bereft.

    There is a Gang of Invisible Friends in there—

    A two-million-year-old-Self with a stake in our life;

    Ancestors, who themselves faced loneliness, from ancient times;

    The Wise Old Man or Woman;

    The Hero, the Artist, the Creator, the Wild One, the Guide…

    Walk among them, invite them along,

    Take advantage of all they have to offer.

    Relieve The Mood the next time it strikes

    With an inner communion of those

    Who are with you always

    To comfort and to bless.
  41. 11/18/2015 —  Goodale 2015 08 Panorama—Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    When we bring ourselves forth

    To meet the moment

    The way the moment needs to be met,

    We transform the moment,

    And influence the way life is lived

    Around us

    Far more than we ever know,

    Or can imagine,

    Or believe.
  42. 11/19/2015 —  Goodale 2015 05 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    Whenever I get out of the way,

    The Voice is there, waiting to talk.

    The Voice knows exactly what I need to hear.

    I gather, that is also exactly what The Voice needs to say.

    I can only assume that something similar goes on with everyone.

    I would like to work the experiment with each of you,

    Getting you out of the way,

    And seeing what happens then.

    I’m going to have to trust you to conduct it on your own.

    Get out of the way.

    See what happens.

    How would you go about doing that?

    Getting out of the way, I mean.
  43. 11/19/2015 —  Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River 06 — Chimney’s Picnic Area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, November 5, 2015

    I’m here to help you with your life,

    But, there’s a catch.

    You actually have to HAVE a life.

    You can’t just be wishing you had a life,

    Or dreaming of having a life,

    Or trying to think up a life.

    You can’t make up just any life,

    Or pick one off the rack, and say, “This’ll do.”

    You have to have a life that has you back—

    That grabs you by the neck,

    And throws you against the way,

    And says, “I’m yours and you are mine!

    And there is no getting away from me,

    Or trying to hide!”

    Of course, that doesn’t stop us from getting away,

    And trying to hide.

    But THAT’S the life I’m talking about.

    The one that wants you but you don’t want—

    For 10,000 reasons.

    So, lets start with your discard pile.

    What lives have you thrown away?

    Dismissed, discounted, denied?

    Which one, or ones, keep coming back,

    Wondering if it’s time yet,

    If it’s finally their turn now?

    If I am going to be able to help you with your life,

    You have to believe you have a life,

    And if you aren’t gripped by one,

    You have to believe that you could be gripped by one.

    You have to be willing to give your life at least that much of a chance.

    You have to be willing to bet the rest of your life

    On a life you are not even sure you believe in.

    That’s where it starts—

    With you being willing to bet your life

    On actually having a life,

    And letting it have a chance at you.
  44. 11/19/2015 —  Ginkgos 02 Panorama—Charlotte, NC, November 18, 2015

    One of the spiritual laws discovered by Alchemy is

    ”The heart and the mind must be in harmony with the work.”

    This applies across time and space as a bedrock requirement

    For spiritual realization.

    We must be one with what we do.

    It isn’t our work if we are not one with it.

    Heart and mind have to be in harmony with each other,

    And with The Work,

    Or there is no spiritual development.

    We cannot become spiritual by talking and thinking and believing.

    Our heart has to be in what we say, think and believe,

    And it must take shape, be given form, in our work.

    Heart and mind come to life in our work.

    Who we are and what we do have to be in harmony.

    One.

    If our heart isn’t in it,

    And our mind doesn’t buy it,

    It isn’t our work,

    And we are wasting our time—kidding ourselves—doing it.
  45. 11/20/2015 —  Goodale 2015 12 Panorama—Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2025

    I’m here to help you with your life, but.

    You have to help me help you.

    You do that by being open

    To the possibilities of life

    In every situation of life,

    In every context and circumstance of life,

    And receiving everything

    With mindful, compassionate awareness

    (Without judgment, will, or opinion),

    Seeing what needs to happen there,

    And what you can do to assist its happening,

    With the gifts that are yours to give.

    That’s your role.

    My role is to remind you of your role.

    If you refuse to have anything to do with it,

    That’s your business,

    And I have no business

    Meddling in your business.
  46. 11/20/2015 —  Oktibbeha County 02 HDR Panorama—Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, November 20, 2015

    Here is a book recommendation:

    ”Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” by Greg McKeown.

    You’ve heard me say,

    ”You have to know what is important,

    And live as though it is.”

    McKeown helps us determine what is important.

    Living as though it is is still up to us.

    Our life isn’t ours

    As long as someone else is telling us what is important—

    Which, of course, would be pleasing them.

    McKeown’s book is about reclaiming our life,

    And living it.

    Which makes his book important

    In my book.

    And so, the recommendation.
  47. 11/2012015 —  Reelfoot Lake 11 HDR Panorama—Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    We are the final authority over our own life.

    What WE say goes with us.

    What’s with this looking around to see if we are approved?

    Acceptable?

    Young children—before kindergarten—are completely free to be who they are.

    Jesus said, “Unless you turn and become like children,

    You will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    He knew what he was talking about.

    Living out of our own heart and soul,

    Grounded in our own center,

    Our own core of being,

    On our own authority,

    Is the foundational requirement

    For life that is spilling over, pouring out.

    Do it the way YOU would do it,

    All your life long!
  48. 11/21/2015 —  Goodale 2015 17 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    It isn’t so difficult, finding our life and living it.

    1) Understand that to be the most important thing.

    2) Step away from the noise in your life and be quiet enough to listen to yourself think and feel yourself feel.

    3) Reflect on: What is the one thing you wish you were doing that you are not doing?

    4) Reflect on: Where do you find your deepest joy in your life?

    5) Reflect on: What skills, gifts and abilities do you enjoy using the most?

    6) What are your dreams, waking and sleeping, saying about your life as you are currently living it?

    7) What choices do you need to make that you are putting off making?

    8) What choices are you allowing someone else to make for you?

    9) In light of the above, what do you need to do?

    10) Do it!
  49. 11/23/2015 —  Cypress Trees 01 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    Anthony Stevens said, “In counting our blessings, we invariably overlook the shadow that they cast.”

    Every asset is a liability, and every liability is an asset.

    We think of blessings as nullifying negative aspects of our life.

    Blessings trump, x-out, negate, disappear, etc. all things unwanted.

    Grief, loss, sorrow, tragedy, heartbreak, devastation, agony, despair, and all things similar

    Are dismissed and erased by “counting our blessings.”

    “When I think of my son’s death, I look around and see all those people who have it so much worse than I do, and remember how blessed I truly am.”

    The blessings do not cancel out the ache of the absence of those who were life itself for us.

    Life is ONE:

    Grief AND Delight.

    Joy AND Sorrow.

    Blessings AND Afflictions.

    In living well, we have to take EVERYTHING into account,

    And live in light of conflicting, oppositional, mutually exclusive and excluding realities.

    The fact that “this” is true,

    Does not discount or deny the fact that “that” is also true.

    We live in the tension of the polarity between “this” and “that.”

    We allow all of it to be so, because it is so.

    And we live with one in light of the other,

    Allowing “the other side” to deepen, enlarge, expand and mature us,

    And enable us to live out of the wisdom created

    Through the consideration of counter-balancing realities.

    Life is the art of managing the tension between opposing poles,

    And bearing consciously the pain of their contradictory nature.

    Every time we say “Yes” to something,

    We say “No” to something else.

    And vice-versa.

    We have to see what ALL we are doing,

    And not-doing.

    And then decide what to do.
  50. 11/23/2015 —  Leaves of Fall 05 — Indian Land, South Carolina, November 18, 2015

    Carl Jung felt that we must each, in our own way, learn the art of letting things happen, in their own way.

    This is the Taoist principle of Wu-Wei, doing what needs to be done by doing nothing at all in an intentional, willful, forceful way, or “doing by not-doing.”

    Letting things happen.

    Seeing what path opens before us, and walking it to wherever it may lead.

    Jung said, “Letting go of oneself becomes the key to opening the door to the way.”

    We have to turn ourselves over to the psyche.

    The left hemisphere has to recognize the central place of the right hemisphere, and place itself in accord with it.

    The left hemisphere honors the right,

    And collaborates with it—listens to it—aligns itself with it—

    In the joint creation of a life worthy of us, a life worth living.

    Jung said, “Consciousness is forever interfering, helping, correcting, negating, and never leaving the simple growth of the psychic process in peace.”

    The left hemisphere no sooner says, “Okay. I’ll listen to my counterpart on the right side of our brain,” than it begins to edit, amend and put right, or dismiss, what comes forth.

    The left hemisphere is the consummate One Who Knows Best And Must Be Pleased.

    The right hemisphere is never more than the ragamuffin child who must always be overseen and put straight.

    We have long since identified with the left hemisphere, so that as conscious egos, the way of the left hemisphere is the way of the culture, and the way of each of us.

    It is asking a lot of us to “learn the art of letting things happen,”

    To “Step back, stand aside, and see what opens before us,”

    And, “Follow it out, wherever it leads.”

    Perhaps, it is asking too much.

    But, nothing less will do.

    Our work is cut out for us, waiting on us to take it up.

    We demur, and wait, ourselves, for something more like what we have in mind.
  51. 11/24/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 12 HDR – Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    We are responsible for our own happiness, mood, state of mind and being.

    We have to make our own peace with the way things are.

    We don’t have to like any of it to live in accord with it.

    From 1942 to 1944 Victor Frankl accommodated himself to Nazi Concentration Camps–one of which was Auschwitz.

    He said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

    And, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

    Our “why” is “what we are here for,” “what is ours to do,” “what we do that centers us, focuses us, grounds us, and makes our heart sing–even though it be breaking.”

    I’ve recommended Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk before. Here’s the link again:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE

    Find your why! It will connect you immediately with your what!

    With your why and your what in hand, you can handle any how and where!

    If we spend all our time and energy trying to arrange our where and how to our liking,

    We will be awash in despondency and lost in remorse and sorrow.

    Do not allow your where and how to disconnect you from your why and what!

    We have to find our life and live it, regardless of the context and circumstances of our life!
  52. 11/24/2015 —  Goodale 2015 09 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    Libido is only marginally concerned with sex.

    Beyond sex, there is life.

    Libido is Life Energy—the Fuel of Life.

    Our level of libido is a measure of our interest and investment in our life.

    It is an indicator of the degree to which we love the life we are living.

    If sex is the only thing about our life that turns us on—

    If sex is all we live for—

    We have no life.

    We don’t know why we are here,

    Or what do do with the time that is our on the earth.

    We are lost, aimless, without direction, meaning or purpose.

    Here we are. Now what?

    First, there must be hunger and thirst.

    Libido has to come to our rescue—

    And will, once we wake up enough to know

    We have to seek the life that is ours to live,

    With heart for the journey,

    And an unshakable resolve

    To serve the life that calls us,

    With loyalty and allegiance forever.

    This is the Knight’s quest for his adventure,

    The Lady’s quest for her heart’s true desire.

    It is our quest for our life.

    It is the Hero’s Journey.

    Libido’s true reason for being.

    The Fuel for Life.
  53. 11/25/2015 —  Black Bayou 11 HDR —  Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana, November 2, 2015

    Knowing what’s what is all we need to know.

    Knowing what’s what knows what’s what on every level at once.

    When we know what’s what, we remember to breathe.

    We remember to breathe consciously,

    Slowly,

    Deeply.

    That changes everything.

    It gives us time, clears space, provides perspective,

    Enables us to know what we know,

    Like how much of what we know is being filtered

    Through our left hemisphere,

    And how little is coming to us through our right hemisphere.

    That, alone, transforms our response to the here and now

    Of our living.

    More Right!

    Less Left!

    Applying that mantra physiologically and not politically

    Would put us in the middle of where we need to be.

    Which is in the middle of all polarities and extremes.

    The fulcrum.

    The balance point.

    The place of greatest influence.

    “The still point of the turning world.”

    Living there changes the world.

    All worlds.
  54. 11/25/2015 —  Through the Trees 01 — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 01, 2015

    Our biggest problem is knowing who we are—

    Knowing what is important to us on a level

    Beyond what we think is important.

    We think what we think is all there is to us.

    We are, we think, who we say we are.

    We have no idea who we also are.

    This is our problem.

    Knowing who we think we are is shallow water.

    We contain unfathomable depths,

    Of which we know nothing.

    We are a mystery unto ourselves,

    An adventure story waiting to be lived.

    We look forward to Star Wars,

    And ignore the world within waiting to be explored.

    Our task is to open ourselves to the inner world,

    And experience the truth of who we also are,

    Of the unlived life waiting to be lived.

    Starting is as easy as remembering tonight’s dreams,

    And understanding what they have to say.
  55. 11/25/2015 —  Goodale 2015 11 — Goodale State Park, Camden, SC, November 11, 2015

    Listen to your life!

    Your life will tell you all you need to know about living.

    Living is the lesson.

    Life is the teacher.

    The key is interpretation.

    We have to “get it.”

    Observation is not the problem.

    We can see what is happening with the best of them.

    Understanding what is happening is the problem.

    Perceiving what is happening is the problem.

    Comprehending what is happening is the problem.

    Our life swings from bad to good

    On the pivot point of Right Interpretation.

    Things are going poorly,

    And we push, push, push to make them better.

    Things are going well,

    And we push, push, push to make them better.

    Adam and Eve walked through Paradise

    And had an idea for making it better.

    Our life isn’t what we want it to be

    And we focus on rearranging our life.

    How about rearranging ourselves?

    Why do we never think of that?

    Sitting down with our idea of how our life should be,

    And changing the way we think.

    Why is it always bending our life to serve our will,

    And never bending our will to serve our life?

    What is our life asking of us?

    What does our life want from us? With us?

    We have to listen to our life to know,

    With a heart devoted to understanding what we hear.
  56. 11/27/2015 —  Ginkgos 2015 08 Panorama — Charlotte, NC, November 26, 2015

    If we don’t grow up with the confidence

    That we are grounded in loving presence,

    Knowing that we are secure, valued and wanted,

    We have to establish that for ourselves—

    Consciously, deliberately, intentionally—

    In order to provide ourselves with the foundation

    Our parents failed to furnish.

    This is not easy,

    But.

    It is essential.

    We have to know what we hunger for—

    We are driven to fit-in, belong, be loved, have a place

    That is secure, certain and guaranteed—

    And bear consciously the pain of its absence,

    While we seek it’s confirmation.

    Here’s the secret:

    We will find what we seek

    By knowing that we seek it,

    And willing ourselves to live as though we have it

    Before its reality is conferred upon us

    By those who matter most to us.

    We have to fake it ’till we make it.

    We have to act the part.

    We have to courageously pretend to be more whole than we are.

    We have to dance with our fear.

    We have to do it the way we would do it

    If we knew we were secure, valued and wanted.

    We have to become what we need.

    We have to be what we seek.

    Living transparent to ourselves,

    And bearing consciously, compassionately, the pain of our parents’ negligence (or abuse).
  57. 11/27/2015 —  Ginkgos 2015 13 B&W — Charlotte, NC, November 26, 2015

    We have to step into our fear

    And dance with our insecurity.

    Joseph Campbell said, “The treasure we seek,

    Lies in the cave we are most afraid to enter.”

    The Land of Promise

    Lies on the other side of our fear.

    We can easily talk ourselves out of doing what needs us to do it.

    We can come up with 10,000 excuses “like that,”

    For not doing the thing that waits for us.

    We do what is ours to do

    By doing it.

    It takes living with heart to find our heart.

    Courage comes,

    As the Lion in the Wizard of Oz discovered,

    From acting courageously.

    We don’t have to be courageous

    To act courageously.

    We only have to act courageously,

    As though we are in a movie about our life,

    And have to play the part that calls for courage.

    Play the part the situation calls us to play,

    As though we are in a movie

    And it’s our role.

    We act our way all the way to the Land of Promise,

    To the Journey’s End.
  58. 11/28/2015 —  Ginkgos 2015 14 B&W Panorama — Charlotte, NC, November 26, 2015

    To be loved

    Means to be listened to with understanding.

    Anything else is posturing.
  59. 11/28/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic 04 Panorama — Charlotte, NC, November 28, 2015

    If you are going to aim for anything,

    Aim to be a

    Loving presence in the lives of others—

    Dependably, reliably, consistently conveying

    A constant source

    Of stability, safety and security—

    So as to reassure, console, comfort and encourage

    All who come your way,

    Amid the heaving waves

    Of the wine-dark sea.
  60. 11/29/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 13 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 04, 2015

    It takes time to square ourselves up with how things are

    When the discrepancy is great between how they are

    And how we wish they were.

    Coming to terms with that discrepancy

    Is life’s hardest task.

    We don’t hurry through it,

    Or breeze right past it

    On our way to happier times.

    We have to bear our own grief,

    Carry our own sorrow,

    And live with the weight of our own agony and anguish,

    Through long days and nights

    Of letting go what’s going,

    And letting come what’s coming,

    And allowing things to be as they are.

    Denial is the only shortcut,

    And saves us nothing in the long run,

    Postponing the inevitable,

    And preventing the accommodation

    That puts us in right relationship with our life,

    And allows us to reconcile ourselves to the disparity

    Of contrary truths—

    The truth of how things are and of how we want things to be—

    And do what needs us to do it

    Even yet, even now, even so.
  61. 11/29/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic Panorama 01 — Charlotte, North Carolina, November 28, 2015

    What would you be willing to go to hell for?

    Knowing what you would go to hell for

    Is the best way I know of assessing what is important.

    If it is important enough to you to go to hell for it,

    It’s important.

    If you wouldn’t go to hell for anything

    Because avoiding hell is the most important thing,

    You have no foundation,

    No ground,

    No integrity.

    You have sold out.

    You have sold your soul for the price of getting to heaven

    No. Matter. What.

    You are only doing what someone else tells you to do,

    And, you have missed the point.

    The point is to live your life at one with your Self and your Life.

    You, your Self and your Life have to be One.

    Making for: Wholeness. Completion. Integrity.

    That’s the point.

    Where this kind of oneness of being exists,

    THERE is heaven!

    And only there.

    Thus, the question:

    What would be willing to go to hell for?

    We have to be willing to go to hell

    In order to get to heaven.
  62. 11/30/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 11 Panorama B — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    You cannot do what needs to be done,

    And do what is supposed to be done,

    In any situation that arises.

    Who determines what needs to be done?

    You do,

    Out of your own personal authority,

    In response to your read of the situation.

    Who determines what is supposed to be done?

    Those Who Know Best And Must Be Pleased

    Out of their knowledge of policies and procedures

    And the way it has always been done

    In similar situations,

    From the beginning of time.

    Jesus said, “Why don’t you decide for yourselves what is right?”

    But we don’t have the personal authority to determine what is right

    In each situation as it arises,

    So, we fall back on Ecclesiastical Authority,

    And do it the way it is supposed to be done.

    If Jesus had done it that way,

    He would have never been crucified,

    And we would have never heard of him.

    To do it Jesus’ way

    Is to do it OUR way.

    If we dare.
  63. 11/30/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic 06 Panorama — Charlotte, NC, November 28, 2015

    We work it out with our innate capacities and interests,

    Our enthusiasms and desires,

    Our possibilities and our limitations

    (You wouldn’t want me playing the piano at your wedding,

    And that’s just one item on a very long list).

    We take what comes with us into the world in one hand,

    And we take what we find waiting on us—

    The context and circumstances,

    Terms and conditions,

    Of life in the world—in the other hand,

    And work to get the two hands together

    Over the course of our life,

    Seeing what we can do with all of it,

    What we can make of it,

    What it can make of us.

    Our life is our art.

    We are its gift to us.

    We bring each other forth,

    Delighting in the wonder of our creation.

    May it be so said of us all!
  64. 11/30/2015 —  OktibbIteha County 02 HDR Panorama — Starkville, Mississippi, November 20, 2015

    Our role is to put ourselves in accord

    With the context and circumstances of our life,

    And align ourselves with the life

    That is trying to come to life within us,

    And through us—

    Even now, even yet—

    In a “Thy will, not mine be done,” kind of way.

    It takes the right sort of listening

    In the right sort of silence

    To know what I’m talking about,

    But, any sort of listening

    In any sort of silence,

    Is enough to know

    This isn’t it.

    The way to it

    Is through the knowing

    That comes from listening intently, intensely,

    In the silence

    For that which is on the other side of our awareness

    Intently, and intensely hoping to commune with us

    Along the pathway of instinct and intuition,

    Dreams and fantasy,

    And guide us to the life

    That waits for us to live it,

    Even now, even yet.

    Make dates with the silence,

    And listen as though your life depends on it.
  65. 12/01/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 14 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    I would like to do it all over again,

    And do it like it ought to be done.

    I got way too much in my way the first time.

    I was all about what I liked and didn’t like,

    What I wanted and didn’t want.

    As if I knew what to like and not like,

    Want and not want.

    What did I know?

    I only had the mood of the moment to guide me.

    I have better guides at this point in my life.

    I wish I had had them from the first.

    It takes a lot of living

    To know when you are getting in your own way,

    And step aside,

    Listening for the guidance of the Guides,

    Taking everything into account,

    And allowing All Things Considered

    To wake us up

    As to what needs to be said and done,

    And what needs to be left unsaid, undone.

    I would like to do it all over again,

    Taking everything into account.

    I hope I can do a better job

    With that from this point forward.

    May it be certainly so!
  66. 12/01/2015 —  Ginkgos 2015 24 — Charlotte, NC, December 1, 2015

    The life that waits for us to live it

    Is a gentler, kinder life than the one

    We are living and seek to live.

    The life we need to seek to live

    Needs far less than the life we live to live.

    The life that needs us to live it

    Seeks to bring us forth and make us known—

    To ourselves and the world.

    The life we seek to live is concerned only

    With buying, spending, amassing and consuming—

    And cares nothing

    For self-reflection, examination and expression.

    We live to not-know ourselves,

    But to hide from ourselves in the 10,000 things and ways.

    The difference between the two lives

    Is considerable,

    And worth considering.

    Even if we choose not to live it,

    At least, we would know what we were rejecting,

    And be responsible for saying, “No!”
  67. 12/01/2015  —  Leaves of Fall 08  —  Andrew Jackson State Park, November 9, 2015

    Carl Jung, from an early age,
    was aware of having
    an outer and inner personality
    which he dubbed, #1 and #2.

    #1 took care of managing the details of the day—
    his conscious ego, rational, logical, reasonable, consistent, dependable—
    choosing what clothes to wear and what to have for lunch, etc.

    #2 was the two million year old man within,
    the Deeper Self of his unconscious,
    who oversaw,
    and weaved together,
    the threads of Jung’s larger life,
    directing him toward nature,
    philosophy,
    reflection
    and inquiry.

    Jung realized that #1
    had to put himself in accord
    with #2, so that,
    rather than “kick against the goads,”
     #1 would consult #2 regarding
    the general direction
    and drift of the times,
    and find ways of organizing
    the details of life as it was being lived
    to reflect and express the larger
    meaning and purpose
    that #2 would have Jung serve.

    There may be a gift here
    for each of us to decide
    if it is something
    we would do well
    to open and explore.
  68. 12/02/2015  —  Goodale 2015 15  —  Goodale State Park, Camden, SC, November 11, 2015

    We live in the most neurotic (i.e., crazy, mixed-up, spinning its wheels going nowhere, but not irrational) culture in the entire history of cultures, like a dog chasing its tail, getting more neurotic with each generation, and each year of each present generation

    Because we will not stop, see what we are doing, bear consciously the pain of that realization, and do the work of waking up, coming to our senses, making our peace with how things are and how things also are, and doing what needs to be done—doing what is being asked of us—in each situation as it arises, with the gifts, interests, values and enthusiasms that lie latent and unacknowledged, unexpressed, within us,

    Listening to, and serving, our instinct and intuition, in conjunction with our reason and logic—trusting ourselves to that marriage of opposites as we step into and engage all the other opposites at play in our lives, to reconcile, integrate, harmonize and make whole—

    Trusting ourselves to, and allowing, this wonderful old process to bring us home to ourselves, each other and all others, in peace that passes all understanding, restores us to our soul, and all of us to our collective soul, and makes all things good.

    We make life hell for ourselves and others, while being one slight perspective shift away from the glories of heaven and life everlasting, because we won’t do the work of waking up, growing up, and living as though we are—but keep waiting for someone else to go first, to create a mass movement that goes viral and makes it easy because everyone is doing it, and it is so much fun that we would be crazy not to.

    Here’s a news flash for you: We would be crazy not to now.
  69. 12/02/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic 02 — Charlotte, NC, November 28, 2015

    There is nothing to equal

    Establishing a relationship

    With a Jungian analyst

    And getting to work.

    You can delay it,

    Deny it,

    Spend time with substitutes

    Facsimiles,

    Replacements,

    And stand-ins,

    But.

    There is nothing to equal

    Establishing a relationship

    With a Jungian analyst

    And getting to work
  70. 12/02/2015 —  Bud Ogle Cabin 04 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 5, 2015

    There is a level to our lives that is beyond the apparent, routine and ordinary—

    A level waiting to be discovered, explored, experienced, lived.

    There is a side to us—a deeper “I”—waiting to come to life in our life,

    Transforming our life—the one we are living—

    And infusing us with life, libido, vitality, amazement and wonder,

    That This could have been hiding in us all the while,

    Waiting for us to discover “the treasure hard to find,”

    And become who we have always been.

    We make the discovery by becoming conscious—

    Mindfully, compassionately, aware—

    Of all that we know of us,

    But don’t know that we know

    Until we pay attention,

    And understand that everything

    Is just what it is,

    And more than it is.

    More than we could ever imagine.

    And, it has been so all along.
  71. 12/03/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 15 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    We are at once bound and free,

    And live out our lives within that tension,

    Doing what we can to move from bondage to freedom,

    Without allowing the insurmountably of our task

    To dissuade us from its completion.

    This is “the human predicament” in short form.

    We cannot do what must be done,

    And we can’t let that stop us.

    No quitting! No giving up! No surrender! No lagging behind!

    We live to alter our genetic makeup for the better

    By being conscious of what we are up against

    And of what is ours to do, nevertheless, even so,

    And living to see what mindfulness can do

    With where we have come from

    And where we—as individuals and as a species—need to be going.

    This is our work,

    And the work needs workers.

    Are you in or not?
  72. 12/03/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic 03 Panorama — Charlotte, NC, November 28, 2015

    It is the place of consciousness

    To harmonize

    The thinking brain and the feeling brain:

    No dominance!

    Collaboration!

    We have to consciously think about what we are feeling,

    And notice how it feels to think what we are thinking.

    If we spend most of our time thinking,

    We have to consciously ask ourselves,

    Throughout the day,

    “How do you feel about this?”

    If we spend most of our time feeling,

    We have to consciously ask ourselves,

    “What do you think about this?”

    Our dominant function

    Has to consciously give way to our subordinate function,

    Inviting input, guidance and direction

    From “the other side,”

    In order to approach our life choices and decisions

    As One.
  73. 12/04/2015 —  Goodale 2015 18 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    There is one practice,

    Which applied worldwide

    Would produce immediate transformation,

    Bring on Nirvana, peace, and goodness everlasting:

    Knowing when to step back and stand aside,

    And doing it.

    When the situation calls for us

    To step back and stand aside

    We have to know it and do it.

    Too many of us are Caspar Milquetoast—

    Never knowing when to but always doing it.

    And too many of us are Bluto the Terrible,

    Never knowing when not to and never doing it.

    And that’s why we have the world we have today.
  74. 12/04/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic 05 Panorama — Charlotte, NC, November 28, 2015

    The emotional value we ascribe to the facts that shape our life

    Has everything to do with the meaning the fact has for us,

    And nothing to do with the fact.

    Some of us are stymied by facts

    That others of us brush off in our pursuit of other facts

    That others of us view with disdain.

    The same fact creates different responses across a broad sampling of us.

    We blame facts, hate facts, love facts, worship facts,

    But the facts, themselves, depend on something

    Beyond themselves to create their value in the lives of the people

    Who blame them, hate them, love them, worship them.

    Meaning is not lodged in any fact.

    Freedom is a shift in perspective.
  75. 12/05/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 16 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    We are here for the blessing.

    We are here to be blessed,

    And to be a blessing.

    The blessing is the encounter with grace—

    With the grace of mercy

    And the mercy of grace—

    Experienced as “unmerited benevolence,”

    As kindness, unexpected and undeserved.

    Lagniappe, generosity.

    The gift of time and caring presence.

    With nature,

    A sunrise counts,

    Or an hour of stillness among the cypress trees.

    It’s amazing what a calm presence

    Can do for a troubled soul.

    It is a blessing to be given,

    And received.

    Welcomed, relished, appreciated.

    Look for the blessings

    To give and receive.

    We are here for the blessing.

    Don’t leave a day unblessed.
  76. 12/05/2015 —  Oktibbeha County 03 — Starkville, Mississippi, November 20, 2015

    We are here to live our life—

    The life we are capable of living,

    The life that is ours to live,

    The life that only we can live—

    Amid the facts that define our living.

    We live in the midst of things as they are

    As those who know that things are more than they appear to be.

    We live in the midst of things as they are

    As those who know how things also are.

    This is called walking two paths at the same time.

    We can never take this world

    Of ordinary, apparent, reality,

    For the only world.

    The other world exists just beyond

    The visible facts of space and time,

    Straining to break forth into this world

    Through the lives of those

    Who are open to more than words can say—

    To more than logic and reason

    Are capable of imagining and intuiting—

    Who are “transparent to transcendence”

    (To borrow a phrase from Karlfried Durckheim)

    Incarnating the world beyond time

    Into this here and this now

    Simply by being who they are,

    And also are.

12/06/2015 —  Goodale 2015 19 — Goodale State Park, Camden, SC, November 11, 2015

The right mix of vulnerability and courage

Sends us on our way,

Aware of our possibilities and chances

Enough to neither be foolhardy nor cowardly

And able to do what needs to be done

In each situation as it arises

All along the way.

The right mix of all of our opposites and contraries

Is crucial for the journey.

Live from the center,

Visit the extremes only to offset the extremes,

And come back to the center:

“The still point of the turning world,”

And the fulcrum of the universe,

Levering all things into their proper relationship with each other

In the dynamic flow of time and place,

The dance of life.

  • 12/06/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic 07 — Charlotte, NC, November 28, 2015

    The world can be too much for us to manage

    From time to time.

    The Holidays are anything but happy for a lot of us.

    All the old griefs and sorrows come calling,

    Sadness wells up, spills over, pours out.

    We lose our way

    And wander through the days in a daze,

    At the mercy of forces quite beyond us.

    Whenever, however, the world is too much for us to manage,

    We have to find the center, the ground of our being,

    And remind ourselves of who we are,

    Where we live,

    When we were born,

    What year it is,

    What odors are on the air we are breathing,

    And what sounds surround us,

    Connecting us to this here, this now.

    Past all the sadness of the past,

    We are here, now, breathing, hearing.

    The center has need of us,

    The ground of our being is calling our name.

    There is a life beyond the life we have lived,

    And are living—

    A life that would make its home with us,

    And call forth the gifts that are still ours to give.

    We are being called through the sadness

    To life beyond sadness

    In this here, this now.

    Why would I lie?
  • 12/07/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 20 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    There is that which struggles for expression,

    Strives to be known,

    Endeavors to be incarnated

    In the physical world

    Of normal, apparent, reality.

    Human beings stand on the threshold

    Between worlds,

    Alive to both worlds,

    Citizens of each

    Capable of communing with visible and invisible alike,

    It is our unique and irreplaceable place

    To bridge the worlds,

    Bringing that world forth in this world

    To the everlasting benefit of both.

    We begin by recognizing the truth of our position,

    And listening for what is trying to get our attention,

    And enter this world through us

    To make this world more like that one

    By serving the old values like

    Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness,

    Generosity, beauty, mercy…

    And tending whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,

    Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,

    Whatever is excellent, whatever is worthy of praise…

    And bringing these things forth

    In the life that is ours to live

    Within the life we are living,

    Using the gifts that are ours to give

    For the true good of all.

    This is not too difficult for any of us,

    And it is essential for all of us,

    To wake up and be who we are.
  • 12/07/2015 —  Leaves of Fall 10 — Indian Land, South Carolina, December 4, 2015

    It starts with our family

    (Because we know where we stand with them,

    And we have to know where we stand

    With those we would help,

    I mean really help,

    And not just offer a hand-out,

    Or a bowl of soup in some soup kitchen)

    When it comes to helping someone avoid desperation.

    Desperation is the worst thing.

    When you’re desperate,

    You have lost all options,

    Your back is to the wall,

    Or the brink,

    And you will do anything—

    ANYTHING—

    For something to eat,

    Or a place to spend the night,

    This night—

    You’ll worry about tomorrow night tomorrow.

    So, we help our family first,

    If they can be helped.

    That’s the thing.

    People have to help us help them.

    They have to be able,

    And willing,

    To help themselves.

    They can’t just “really mean it this time”

    When they say they will.

    If your brother

    Is an indolent drunk,

    Or terminally into crack,

    You have to be steadfast with the triage,

    And look for someone else to help,

    Someone who can help you help them.
  • Used in Short Talks On Contradiction, etc., 12/08/2015 —  Goodale 2015 05 Panorama 02 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    The longer our list

    Of deal-breakers and non-negotiables—

    The things we must have or won’t do—

    The more our life has to go Our Way—

    The less able we will be

    To reconcile opposites,

    Make peace with contradictions,

    Integrate polarities,

    Live in harmony with dichotomy and discord,

    Stay married with kids,

    And go home for the holidays.

    And the more miserable will be our life,

    And the lives of those who have to deal with us.

    The shorter our list,

    The more centered and grounded

    Will be our life,

    And the better it will be for everyone,

    Worldwide.
  • 12/08/2015 —  Ginkgo Magic 01 Panorama Detail — Charlotte, NC, November 28, 2015

    In order to live out of our own authority

    We have to be grounded in what is central to us.

    When we are centered in what is important to us,

    We live out of the center of what is central to us—

    Of central importance to us.

    No one can give us that,

    Or tell us what that is to be.

    Only we know what is of central importance to us.

    That is the foundation stone,

    “The still point of the turning world,”

    The point around which our life revolves,

    The source of our life and being,

    And no one can take that from us.

    Centered on what is of central importance to us,

    We are stable, secure, and immovable.

    We are at one with who we are,

    And live our life as one who is in charge of what we are doing,

    Tending our business as one who knows what our business is,

    Living out of our own authority.

    Integrity is living in ways that are integral

    With the center and ground of our being.
  • 12/09/2015 —  Reelfoot 17 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    Mindfulness leads the way

    To the center of ourselves,

    To what is of central importance to us,

    Through all of the conflicts and contradictions,

    Opposition, polarities and incompatibilities

    That create the raging storms

    Within and without,

    Producing the heaving waves

    Of the wine dark sea

    We must traverse

    On our way to “the still point of the turning world,”

    Find “the face that was ours before we were born,”

    Know the full truth of who we are and also are

    (Which is who we ARE)

    And become who we have always been.

    Mindfulness leads the way

    To recognizing and harmonizing

    The strengths and influences

    Of the two hemispheres of our brain

    And becoming whole at last.
  • 12/09/2015 —  Bud Ogle Cabin 01 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 5, 2015

    Our life is the art of “letting it happen.”

    To do that, we have to be mindful—

    That word again—

    Of what is happening,

    Of what is working,

    Of what is vibrant and vital

    About us and what we are doing,

    And consciously cultivate it,

    Nurture it,

    Nourish it,

    Believe in it,

    Trust it,

    Follow where it leads,

    And see where it goes.

    We must (MUST) notice

    When we are posed to dismiss something

    That has life about it,

    Something we are doing,

    Because it doesn’t measure up to external standards

    Of good and worthy.

    It has life about it!

    That is all it needs to infuse us with life,

    Purpose, direction, meaning, wonder, spirit, zeal

    And all of the rest of the spiritual pantheon

    Of qualities, characteristics, gifts and experiences

    That constitute the full scope of the spiritual journey.

    To dismiss it would be like rejecting the services of our guide.

    You wouldn’t want to do that,

    Would you?
  • 12/09/2015 —  Ginkgos 2015 11 — Charlotte, NC, November 24, 2015

    The spiritual journey is an inner path

    To the Self at the center of us all.

    We progress through interior encounters

    With opposites, contradictions, incompatible differences,

    Conflicts of interest and of values, polarities,

    And mutually exclusive beliefs, viewpoints, positions, perspectives and outlooks.

    We are what we hate.

    The spiritual journey requires us

    To come to terms with all this,

    Make our peace with it,

    And work it out—

    Reconciling, integrating, honoring, recognizing, listening, seeing, understanding, accepting, forgiving, cooperating, collaborating, welcoming, befriending,

    And growing up.

    Mindfulness (that term again) leads the way.

    Compassionate, non-judgmental awareness

    Of all that is going on within us

    Transforms how we respond

    To all that is going on in the world external to us

    And we live there as agents of

    Grace, compassion and peace,

    Exhibiting outwardly what is true inwardly,

    And blessing all who come our way

    With a sense of divine presence

    As the Self in them recognizes the Self in us,

    And all is well.
  • 12/10/2015 —  Goodale 2015 32 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 4, 2015

    Carl Jung formulated his Shadow hypothesis as a way of interpreting his observation of a “counter,” or “contrary,” unconscious personality at work within each of us.

    Our Shadow is the polar opposite of our Persona, or our “public face”—who we think we are and show ourselves to be, the “ideal” us.

    My Ideal Me is Lao Tzu—Mr. Laid Back, let things take their course, let things happen according to their own rhythm and timing, no pushing, no forcing, live from the center, mind your own business, and all will be well.

    That makes my Shadow any member of the Tea Party, particularly Donald Trump and the Republican candidates running for President, trashing boundaries, sending anyone who is not like they are to internment camps or deserted islands so that they won’t have to deal with them. The consummate hustlers, con-artists, evangelical-convert-the-world-to-their-ideology-NOW-disciples-of-their-ideal-of-Christ…

    And the meaning for me is that I have to become my Shadow in dealing with my Shadow. I have to be rude, nasty, ugly and mean—drawing hard lines and saying “NO! ISAIDNO!” I cannot allow my Shadow to “take its course”! I have to block its path!

    And, therein, lies the goodness and the power of our Shadow.

    It brings forth the Also-I, rounds out our personality, and makes us whole.

    There are times and places where drawing hard lines and shouting “NO!” are quite appropriate and called for—times when Mr. Laid Back Lao Tzu has to stand aside in favor of telling the Tea Party, and Donald Trump, Et al., where to stop, turn around, and hie out to their deserted island of choice for as long as time shall last starting NOW!
  • 12/10/2015 —  Hay in the Field 01 Panorama— Rapides Parish, Louisiana, October 29, 2010

    We find our life and live it

    By living consciously—

    By being mindfully (that word again) aware

    Of what is happening on all levels of our experience,

    To the full extent that we can be aware of what is happening.

    That’s it.

    The more aware we are,

    The more we know of what we know,

    Of what can be known.

    The more we know,

    The better we can evaluate our options, choices and decisions,

    And the more likely our choices and decisions

    Will direct us toward ends that are legitimately ours to serve,

    And less toward ends that are none of our business.

    Living well is a matter of knowing what’s what,

    And doing what needs to be done about it.

    If we aren’t living mindfully,

    We aren’t living as well as we could be living,

    And may be just going through the motions of life,

    Pretending to be alive.
  • 12/11/2015 —  Goodale 2015 30 Panorama B&W — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    Sit with your life spread out before you, around you.

    Where lie your inhibitions?

    Your compulsions?

    Your obsessions?

    Your Dark Matter—

    Things that would be obvious to others,

    But are invisible to you?

    How would you know a Dark Matter

    When you see one?

    By the effects it generates,

    The strange disturbances it creates.

    Where do things become strange in your life?

    Where do you spend your time and energy (and money)?

    What do you think about most often?

    What do you do most frequently?

    What does thinking about the things you think about

    Keep you from thinking about?

    What does doing the things you do

    Keep you from doing?

    What are the social things—and the job related things—

    That other people do with ease,

    That you cannot do at all?

    What is being asked of you

    That you cannot do?

    What excuses do you make for not doing

    The things you cannot do?

    How do you dismiss, discount, deny, ignore

    The things you need to do

    That you cannot do?

    Sit with those things.

    Become curious about them.

    Explore them.

    Get to the bottom of them.

    Notice when, were, resistance becomes overwhelming.

    What are you resisting?

    What is the source of the resistance,

    The reluctance,

    To see what is there?

    In what ways do you hide

    From what is to overpowering to consider?

    Our life is the source of Life

    To those with eyes to see,

    And the courage and the will to keep looking,

    And of Death,

    To those who do not.
  • 12/11/2015 —  Ginkgos 2015 17 Panorama — Charlotte, NC, December 1, 2015

    It comes down to, depends upon, revolves around, flows from,

    Six things:

    1) Seeing

    2) Seeing things as they are AND as they also are, which is how they ARE

    3) Seeing what things mean

    4) Seeing the implications that has for us

    5) Seeing what needs to be done about it in light of all things considered

    6) Doing it

    Get those six things down, and you have it made.

    As much as you can have it made.

    I’m still working on the first one.
  • 12/12/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 18 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    Our capabilities far exceed our expressions.

    And, therein, lies the problem.

    Our potential is always frustrated

    By our degree of satisfaction

    With our actualization.

    We think we are grown up enough

    When we can drive

    And buy beer.
  • 12/12/2015 —  Hay Under Cover 02 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Dairy Barn Access, Fort Mill, SC, December 11, 2015

    It can seem too hard.

    “You mean I have to show up for work on time every day?”

    It’s too much for some of us.

    Being responsible for ourselves, for our life, for our care and feeding,

    Is too much.

    We pass.

    Being conscious—mindfully aware (that term again)—

    Of what we are doing

    Is often too much for those of us

    Who are making a game effort

    At the showing up for work and being responsible part.

    We pass.

    On our life.

    And settle for going through the motions.

    Aimlessly, listlessly, meaninglessly.

    What’s it going to take?

    We have to throw ourselves into it wholeheartedly.

    We have to give our entire being to the work of living our life—

    Of being responsible and mindfully aware,

    And making the adjustments necessary

    To put ourselves in accord with our life,

    With the life that needs us to live it,

    Responsibly and consciously,

    Every day for the rest of the time left for living.

    Everything depends on it.

    Everything.

    If you are going to believe anything,

    Believe that,

    And act as though you do.
  • 12/13/2015 —  Goodale 2015 20 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    The key to letting things happen

    Is being cool with paradox and contradiction.

    Is being cool.

    Rigidity and inflexibility are antithetical to life.

    Suppleness and resiliency are essential to life.

    There will be a time when suppleness

    Has to give way to rigidity,

    And resiliency must become inflexible.

    We dance with our life

    As the music changes

    And the beat goes on.
  • 12/13/2015 —  December Orchard 03 Panorama — Springs Farms Peach Orchard, Fort Mill, SC, December 11, 2013

    Nothing can matter more than

    Being who we are at the center,

    At the vital core,

    Of our Self—

    The Tao,

    The Christ,

    The Buddha,

    The God,

    Within.

    The Heart of Value,

    Meaning,

    and Life

    Is ours to realize,

    Serve,

    And bring forth

    In our life—

    In the life we live

    In the time left for living.

    We cannot think it is about making money,

    And living out our time

    Enjoying the splendors of wealth and privilege.
  • 12/13/2015 —  Country Sunrise 01 — Indian Land, South Carolina, December 13, 2015

    Greg McKeown, in his book, “Essentialsm: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” uses the acronym WIN as the short form of “What’s Important Now?”

    Shortstops can be so consumed with their error on the last play that they continue the trend on the coming play.

    What’s Important Now focuses us on the only time we have to work with: N.O.W.

    Now is the focal point.

    The fulcrum.

    The pivot point.

    Levering ourselves into position

    To live our life as only we can—

    By deciding What’s Important NOW?

    And giving it our full, here comes that word again,

    Mindful, compassionate, attention.

    No matter what has gone on before,

    Or what we are afraid will happen in the future,

    HERE we are NOW!

    NOW what?

    What’s important NOW?

    Answering the question

    The way it begs to be answered

    Is the key to all that follows.
  • 12/14/2015 —  Reelfoot Lake 19 HDR — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Hornbeck, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    The bedrock rule governing all knowledge is:

    You Have To Know What I Mean

    Before You Can Understand What I’m Saying.

    It’s corollary is:

    Truth Has To Be Experienced—

    It Cannot Be Explained.

    All knowledge hinges

    On our willingness,

    And our ability,

    To reflect on our experience

    In order to form new realizations.

    A five-year-old child

    Is only capable of knowing so much—

    No matter how much we explain things.

    When they are inhibited

    From reflecting on their experience,

    They never know more than what they are told.

    They grow up to be members of the Tea Party,

    And fundamentalist religion.

    The more powerful they become,

    The more their numbers grow

    Through the simple practice

    Of banning reflection on experience.
  • 12/14/2015 —  Bethany Church Cemetery 07 B&W — Bethany ARPC, Clover, South Carolina, December 13, 2015

    When our life stops working

    (And we know when it is working

    And when it is not working.
    .
    Putting your jeans on before your shoes works.

    Putting your shoes on before your jeans does not work)

    The solution is not to try harder,

    Forcing, pushing, shoving, kicking, screaming, yelling…

    The solution is to listen deeply,

    Look closely at what we are doing that isn’t working.

    The problem will suggest its own remedy.

    We have to step back

    And reflect on what is happening

    To see what needs to happen.

    Then, it’s a matter

    Of having the courage to do it.

    And, courage comes

    From acting courageously—

    Whether you feel courageous or not.

    The AA slogan applies:

    “Fake it until you make it.”

    That’s something that works every time.
  • 12/15/2015 —  Goodale 2015 23 Panorama — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015

    We all have a story to tell with the way we live our life.

    Tevya had his story to tell,

    Hester Prynne had her story to tell,

    Zorba the Greek had has story…

    You have yours, I have mine.

    The worst thing is to die with our story untold.

    We live to tell our story.

    We live in the service of our story.

    Or we live in the service of someone’s idea of our story,

    Maybe our own.

    Maybe we have our own idea for our story,

    Which we like better than the story that is ours to tell.

    Maybe we live to tell OUR story the way WE think it ought to go.

    All of the tragedies, fictional and real, are about co-opting our story,

    And forcing it down paths that are not our path to walk.

    Thinking that we know what we are doing,

    Or thinking it doesn’t matter what we do,

    Sidetracks us into some story other than the one that is ours to tell.

    Staying on track—

    Staying on the beam—

    Is staying true to our story—

    True to ourselves,

    Authentically aligned with the truth of our own being,

    Grounded in the center of what is central to us,

    Being who we are

    Regardless of the nature and circumstances of our life.

    And letting our story be told the way it needs to be told

    By living our life the way it needs us to live it,

    No matter what.
  • 12/15/2015 —  Ginkgos 2015 20 Panorama — Charlotte, NC, December 1, 2015

    We have to come to terms with our life

    Over the full course of our life.

    We don’t ever get it down.

    The work is on-going, unending.

    We get the first grade down

    And think we’re something.

    It’s like that the entire way.

    When we wake up to the eternal nature of The Deal.

    We’re bummed out for decades.

    “Why try, if we are never going to get it figured out?”

    “What’s the point if it keeps getting harder?”

    It isn’t that we have to come to terms with our life,

    But that we have to come to terms with the process

    Of coming to terms with our life again and again forever.

    The idea saps us.

    It wears us down.

    The perennial dripping of one more damn thing.

    We have to keep growing up

    Whether we like it or not.

    This is really what we need religion

    And something like the church

    (But completely unlike the church of our experience!)

    For:

    Growing up.

    We need the right kind of help with that

    All our life long.
  • 12/16/2015 —  Silhouettes 01 Panorama — Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg, South Carolina, December 14, 2015

    I know a woman who cannot say “No.”

    That isn’t quite right.

    She says “No” twice a month

    To prove she isn’t addicted to “Yes.”

    You can imagine what a mess her life is in.

    Actually, it isn’t.

    She gets up early and works hard all day,

    And takes little pink pills to keep going,

    To keep it all going,

    To keep it from becoming a mess.

    The strain is undeniable.

    How many holes can you plug in the dike

    Before the flood comes?

    The pre-flood strain

    Is her life’s way of begging her

    To say “No” in all of the important places,

    So that she might say “Yes” to her Soul/Self

    And nurture her relationship with the core of life and being,

    And nourish her life in the source of life—

    The ground of silence and solitude—

    Relax, and breathe again,

    In the presence of what is essential,

    And too easily lost

    Amid the clamor of all that claims to matter.
  • 12/16/2015 —  Lake Crawford 01 HDR — Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg, South Carolina, December 14, 2015

    It takes an inordinate amount of courage

    To say “No,” initially.

    It becomes easier with practice and time,

    And, it helps to remember how many times

    We say “No,” in a day.

    It also helps to rehearse different ways to say “No.”

    “If I had more time and fewer children,

    I would be happy to help you, but I’ll have to decline your offer.”

    “If I were more like I ought to be than I am…”

    “If I were a better person…”

    “If I were more like the person my mother wants (wanted)

    Me to be…”

    “If it weren’t Monday (Or whatever day it is)…”

    (And when the other person says, “What does it being Monday

    Have to do with it?

    Say, “Nothing. The important thing

    Is that I can’t help you with that, but I wish you well.”)

    In time, you will look forward to opportunities

    To try out new ways of saying “No.”
  • 12/16/2015 —  Bethany Church Cemetery 01 B&W — Bethany ARPC, Clover, South Carolina, December 13, 2015

    You have to believe in Grace

    As the foundational operating principle in your life,

    And in the universe.

    Nothing has to be the way it is.

    Everything is here by Grace.

    This photograph is evidence of Grace at work in my life.

    I’m there with a camera with the light and gravestones.

    No way I could have planned that.

    No way we can think up a life worth living.

    Yet, one remains a possibility for us—

    If we open ourselves to it

    And wait, watching, for it to open itself to us.

    There is a catch, of course.

    We have to bear consciously the pain of our life as we live it.

    The pain of our life not being what we need it to be.

    The pain of being unable to arrange what we need our life to be

    Because the way it is won’t allow us to do what we need to do

    To have what we need our life to be.

    We have to bear consciously, with compassion,

    The pain of the way our life is—

    Bearing in our body the cross

    Of not having what we need,

    With compassion for it all.

    And wait for something to stir to life,

    For Grace to appear

    In some form, from some place, we can’t begin to imagine.

    Bear the pain consciously

    With compassion,

    And wait for Grace to come bearing possibilities

    You never could have thought up or created on your own.

    Bear the pain consciously,

    With compassion,

    And believe in Grace

    To grace you in ways you won’t believe.

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Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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