Every time and place has its own mood, its own character, its own sense of being in, or out of, the flow-- the Tao-- of life and being Some places are so dead redemption and resurrection are out of the question. I have to get myself walked out of those places. I expect you do, too. There are people-- lots of people-- who have no hope of being awake in their lifetime. They walk like the dead they are through all of the aforementioned places. You can see it in their eyes and in their slack expression. It has been decades since they were last alive. These people and those places constitute a large portion of the world we live in. They dumbfound everyone who comes their way. Jesus left shaking his head, muttering to himself. As did the Buddha before him and Gandhi after him. How do you teach a stone to talk? If you take the time to cultivate a relationship with the stone, seeing through the stone to all that it is that does not meet the eye, it will speak to you of itself and of you in ways that startle and amaze. The dead people and places in our life have the same potential. But. It will be a potential realized in pathos and anguish in recognition of all that might have been and never had a chance of being because there were none to listen as we are listening, and none to see as we are seeing, and none to care as we are caring, and now they are long past redemption and resurrection, though we are listening, and seeing, and caring with a heart breaking for all that is, and was not.
What helps you find your way? What restores your soul? Makes your little heart sing? Your little footsies dance? What harmonizes your life, puts you back on track, centers and grounds you, is a reliable source of balance and stability? Joseph Campbell would suggest that you create your own sacred space around those things. He said: "You don't have a sacred space, a rescue land, until you find somewhere to be that is not a wasteland, some field of action where there is a spring of ambrosia-- a joy that comes from inside, not something external that puts joy in you-- a place that lets you experience your own will, and your own intention, and your own wish (and delight) so that, in a small way, the Kingdom is there. I think everybody, whether they know it or not, is in need of such a place." He continues: "A sacred space is hermetically sealed off from the temporal world. When you are in such a space, there is no penetration into the enclosure. You are in an eternal zone that is protected from the impact and intrusion of the stimuli of the day and of the hour. That is what you do in meditation: you seal yourself off. The world is sealed off, and you become a self-contained entity. You must have such a sealing-off program/place for yourself whenever you require it: once a week, or once a day, or once an hour. It is an absolute necessity if you are going to have an inner life. What it provides is an interval in which the eternal within you is disengaged from the field of time in the hermetically sealed sacred space within yourself. The further you can get into that, the more at peace you will be with whatever happens."
Jim’s Favorite Rice Pudding
Bring 2 Cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of uncooked rice of your choice. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. The water will evaporate/be absorbed by the rice as the rice cooks. This will take about 20 min. for white rice and about 35 minutes for brown rice. While the rice is cooking, in a separate pot, place 3 cups of milk (Your choice of variety), 1/3 cup of sugar, or 3TBS of Stevia 1/3 cup or more to taste of raisins or dried cranberries 1 TBS Unsalted Butter 1-3 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp vanilla Heat over medium heat while stirring occasionally. When the rice has cooked, add it to the milk mixture and stir it over medium heat until the mixture thickens and the rice absorbs most of the milk--10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to "set up" for 10 minutes. Serve or store in the refrigerator until needed. All of the old monks ate their rice. It was the foundation of their foundation.
We have been looking for the Power source for as long as we have been alive. As a species. All this time, we have been like a man sitting on his ox looking for his ox. Like a woman holding her car keys, looking for her car keys. We have been looking Out There, when all this time, it has been--and continues to be-- In Here. We have looked everywhere Out There. In the Moon, in the Sun, in the Stars, in the Mountains, in this recipe, in this belief system, in that one, and that one... The gods and goddesses have been legion. We have tried them all, looking for a leg up, for the advantage, for the angle, for the leverage, for the formula for beating the odds and securing our future and having it made. Money seems to be the one that has made it to the top. If we only have enough money, we will surely have it made. And we live our life in the service of Mammon, seeking more, always more, and never having enough to be sure that we have it made. And through all of this we are never more than one slight perspective shift from having what we seek. All we have to do is change our mind about what it means to have it made.
If you are living from your center, you can live through anything. You can live with anything. Your center is centered upon your Source, and your Source, and your center, are equipped to assist you in the work of fulfilling your destiny within all possible situations, contexts and circumstances. Look at where we have been! All of this started in the jungles and in the caves-- on the plains and the barren steppes! We came from there to here in 30 million or so years! And we came through everything to be here, now! We come from good stock! Stock that made it through impossible-seeming conditions using nothing but its original gifts, its original nature, living aligned with its center, its Source. That is the strategy for living with-- for dealing with-- whatever comes up. Seek the silence, seek the center, seek the source, find the still point, and wait for the Way to arise and lead you through the Wasteland to the Promised Land-- the Promised Land being within, not without! The Promised Land being anywhere you are One with the Center and the Source of the Mystery of Life and Being! Live from there and we have it made no matter what!