March 04, 2021


Lower Falls of Yellowstone 02 Oil Paint Rendered — Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Anything properly considered
becomes a portkey to realization
and transformation.

A horoscope, a fortune cookie
(The fortune or the cookie), 
a horseshoe nail...

The key is a meditative perspective
and a problem or a pressing question,
and the probing inquiry:
"How does this connect with that?"

Sit with the question
as a novice might wrestle
with a koan.

"What does that have to do with this?"

Carry it with you through the day,
perhaps for several days,
looking for the connection,
the contact point, 
the "Aha!" of recognition.

The magic is there
waiting for you to do the work
of preparing the way
for the magic to happen.

How significant is the problem?
How pressing is the question?
The motivation for seeking the magic
has to carry you past 
boredom and frustration
into the work of seeking 
the philosopher's stone.



Frazier River Gorge 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Mt. Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia
Between being unbalanced
and out of harmony,
and being centered and focused,
in the flow
and at one with ourselves
and our circumstances,
are we conscious
of the transition point
where one goes over into the other?

Do we know when we are moving from one
to the other?

Are we mindful enough of our state of being
to know when we are facing a choice
that has the potential
of destabilizing us
or re-stabilizing us?

If we are destabilized,
do we know what it will take
to re-stabilize us?

Everything depends upon,
flows out of,
revolves around
our balance and harmony--
our connection with our center,
core, foundation, source,
original nature.

To be in accord with this
is to be in accord with the Tao
and at one with the flow of life
through time and place.

Knowing and avoiding 
what disrupts that flow,
and finding our way back to it
when it is disturbed,
are the guiding principles
of the species,
and we would do well
to nurture and maintain
our connection with them
throughout our days.



White Egret 01 Oil Paint Rendered, Black and White–Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Growing up is waking up.
Waking up is growing up.
Both involve
transforming our relationship
with ourselves and our life.

"Nothing changes until we do"
could be a bit of Mary Poppins wisdom
on the order of,
"Anything can happen if you let it."

Even Chinese fortune cookies
can wake us up "if we let it."

We stand between ourselves
and what might yet be.

Whose side are we on?

What is not working in our life?

What do we need that we don't have?

Waking up is growing up,
is seeing what needs to be done
and doing it.

What is keeping that from happening?
What has to change for everything to change?

Think of the Tao as
"The way things need to be."

Living in accord with the Tao
is living to assist things
in being what they need to be
in each situation as it arises--
no matter what it might mean 
for us personally.

This is the fundamental message
of Jesus of Nazareth.
"Do not think about yourselves
and what is in it for you!
Pick up your cross daily,
and come along with me!"

Jesus was one with the Tao.
He was what the situation 
needed him to be
in every situation that came along.
The answer to the question,
"What would Jesus do?"
is "What needs to be done
in every situation that arises
all your life long."

What is keeping that from happening? 

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 and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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