March 13, 2021


Adams Mill Pond Panorama 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
The most any guru, 
or friend 
can do for you 
is to tell you:
"Don't listen to me!
Listen to you!"
when I tell you,
'Don't listen to me.
Listen to YOU!'!"

Everything rides on you
listening to you,
and knowing what to listen to
and what to ignore.
You learn that with experience.

Experience teaches us
to ride a bicycle
and to know what to listen to
and what to ignore.

Most of us have to live a long time
to wake up.
And then we have to wake up some more,
again and again.

We can speed things up by
taking up the practice 
of sitting still,
being quiet,
and watching what arises within,
listening to what 
we are saying to ourselves.

Hidden within the jumble and disarray
are pearls of wisdom,
gems of guidance and realization.
Our body is a beacon of direction
pointing the way
and not-the-way.

We have to look to see,
listen to hear,
and inquire and probe to know.

We pursue the truth of who we are
and how it is with us,
seeking to find our life and live it

Our nighttime dreams all declare:
"This is how it is with you right now!"
"This is how your life is going!"
Asking us to put things together
and revise our relationship
with ourselves and with our life--
based on listening to what 
we are saying
and acting accordingly.



Cardinal 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Scenes from my Hammock, Indian Land, South Carolina
I am in the last month
of the first quarter
of my 77th year.
I have seen 77 March 13ths.
And I have needed every one
of them 
to be where I am.

Every day I have lived 
has gone into the matrix
that is me.

"It is all grist for the mill,"
and I am milling me.

For me, that means getting back
to where I came from.

The old Taoists would call that
back to my "original nature."
To the "me" I was born to be,
before the conditions and circumstances
of my life
interfered with my development.

You could also think of it as 
getting back to Eden.
To the innocence of my uninitiated beginning.

Those rites of initiation are something!
And they just keep coming!
I think I've learned something,
and I've learned nothing.
But I've learned that I've learned nothing!
And that's something!

"And the beat goes on"
(Sonny Bono).

That's the important thing,
that we live so as to pass on 
the eternal nature of the beat,
and the wonder of dancing with the music.

Just get in there and dance!
Be fascinated with the magic of living
your way to who you are over time!
Don't treat any of it with more seriousness
than is warranted under the circumstances.

I'm more mellow than I used to be,
more relaxed into my life,
into the way of things,
less prone to frustration
and endless striving
to force my way into being.

More, "Okay, now what?"
More doing what needs to be done
here and now
in the time and place of my living.

Less judgmental,
more compassionate
and kind.
More receptive,
less demanding.

More me,
less not-me.

That's the mark of true human-being-hood
I think,
more me,
less not-me. 

I believe the next 77 Marches will confirm that.
But, all that is to be known
about the process
of becoming who we are
has been known for at least 4,000 years,
arising, as it has,
from the simple practice
of being still and quiet
and watching what arises
in the silence,
without interfering,
or taking over,
or seeking to exploit 
our realizations
in the service of our ambition
and aspirations.

The process is built to lead us to
"Okay, now what?"
And more sitting still in the silence,
watching what arises,
seeing where it leads,
which will always be
back to who we are.

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.

One thought on “March 13, 2021

  1. Jim, this is great & great news.  Very happy that you have found the spiritual path of continual discovery & awe. I flit in & out….yet knowing we don’t know,  & waiting to see are always good starting points! Peace on you & much love💕, e$

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


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