July 14, 2020

03

Silence 03 — Eighth Note Rest and Quarter Note Rest
"Oh, I see what your problem is."
The Buddha was talking to those gathered
to discover the secret path 
to eternal happiness.
"You care too much about what happens to you!
You will never be happy
until you care less about what happens,
and care more about doing what you can
in every situation
to make things as good as they can be
for yourselves,
one another,
and all others--
and let that be good enough!"
      --From "The Undiscovered Discourses of The Buddha" 

–0–

02

Trees Blended 11/11/2015 04 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 11, 2015
Move toward what resonates with you.
Move away from what repels you.
Simple and fundamental rules for life.

The things that resonate with you
are your guides through all that lies ahead.

Just as "One book opens another,"
so the things that resonate with you
will lead you to other things that resonate with you,
and you will discover wonders
in the most unlikely places,
and come alive in the life you are living
in ways you could have never imagined,
or created,
on your own
by thinking about it
through careful planning.

We know what we need,
but.
We do not know what all we know.
And so.
We have to develop our awareness
in order to realize what lies latent within
waiting for its chance 
to sparkle and astound
when someone--
that would be us--
asks it if it would like to dance.

–0–

01

Lake Crandal 11/16/2016 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 16, 2016
We take what the day gives us
and do what we can with it
with the gifts we have to offer
within the context and circumstances
of our life,
moment-by-moment,
and see where it goes.

We keep our religion to ourselves,
and stay out of other people's business,
honoring everyone's ability
to see what they look at,
and hear what is being called for
in the time and place of their living,
being clear about where we start
and they stop,
and only drawing lines
when it becomes apparent
that they are a danger to themselves
and to others,
and then in as kind a way
as the occasion allows,
understanding that no one is in charge
of the way they see things--
but that doesn't mean that all ways of seeing
are equally valid,
and that some ways must be challenged
when they threaten the balance and harmony
of the whole.

We carry our pain in different ways,
and what we see when we look at one another
is the outward, visible, expression
of how we have carried our inward, invisible, pain
over the course of our life.
And a little compassion means a lot.

So, even when we draw lines
it needs to be done with a compassionate stroke,
a soft voice,
and a gentle tone,
granting the benefit of the doubt to all comers,
and telling ourselves,
"These people would be doing better if they could,"
as we carry out our business
of restoring consonance
and bringing peace
to a torn and broken world.

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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