May 15, 2012

01

Magnolia Blossom 05/24/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Greensboro, North Carolina
Experience validates experience
when we are open to experience
and to The Silence,
listening/watching
for what arises,
emerges,
appears,
occurs to us
in the silence
to affirm or question
our interpretation of our experience.

We are self-correcting,
self-guided,
self-validating,
self-conscious,
self-regulating,
self-developing,
self-enhancing
self-determining
vehicles of life and being.

But, there is a catch.

We have to trust ourselves
to That Which We Do Not Know
and live in good faith
with ourselves all the way.

Joseph Campbell said,
"We know when we are on the beam
and when we are off."

We have to know what we know,
and stay on the beam!!!

We cannot do it alone!
We have to surround ourselves
with a Community of Innocence--
innocent in the sense of
having nothing to gain or lose
by its association with us,
but existing solely for the sake of
staying on the beam itself
by assisting all of its members
in their work to stay on the beam.

Another term for "staying on the beam"
is "Finding our life and living it."

We belong to our life.
Our life does not belong to us.
We are here to serve our life.
Our life is not here to serve us.

This is the lesson of the Garden of Eden
and of the Garden of Gethsemane.

We are learning what it means to say
"Thy will, not mine, be done,"
with the "Thy" understood to be "Our Life,"
moment to moment
in each situation as it arises.

Our Community of Innocence is composed
of those who help us find our life and live it.
They are our Guardians, Gurus and Guides.
Many of them are long dead,
but living in us and through us to keep life alive,
in us and those like us, 
through time.

We live to keep it going!
By going ourselves!

My Community of Innocence consists of
Joseph Campbell, whose works:
Myths of Light,
Myths to Live By,
A Joseph Campbell Companion compiled by Dian K. Osbon
and A Joseph Campbell Companion edited by Robert Walter,
The Power of Myth
Pathways to Bliss
are especially not to be missed.

Carl Jung's
Memories, Dreams and Reflections
Modern Man in Search of a Soul
The Undiscovered Self
The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Marianne Moore
MC Richards
T.S. Eliot
W.B. Yeats
Martin Palmer
Thomas Cleary
Eva Wong
And a host of others.

Who comprise yours?

–0–

02

Currituck Lighthouse 10/25/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Corolla, North Carolina
Managing our life is basically a matter of 
to the silence,
listening/looking
for what arises,
emerges,
appears,
occurs to us,
from a level deeper 
than thinking,
sparking realization,
awareness,
awakening,
illumination,
insight,
enlightenment
pertaining directly to
what is happening here and now
and what needs to be done
in response to it,
recognizing and offering
what is being called for
out of the gifts/genius/daemon (sounds like "diamond")
that are our original nature
from beyond the womb
to be expressed and exhibited
in the context and circumstances of our life
throughout our life,
moment by moment
in each situation as it arises.

Living in this fashion
is life at its best--
sincere and spontaneous,
without contrivance or exploitation--
lived in service to what needs to happen
because it needs to happen,
here and now
over the long sweep of time.

–0–

03

Zen Sunflower on Black Oil Paint Rendered
Listen to your body:
Listen to your heart (What makes your little heart sing?)
Listen to your stomach (What is your Gut Feeling?)
Listen to your bones (What do you know in your bones?)

Listen to your nighttime dreams.

Listen to your intuition.
Listen to your instincts.
Listen to what resonates with you.
Listen to that “Uh-oh feeling.”

Listen to your experience.

Listen to the silence—see what emerges.

Listen to your feeling:
    We feel our way to what.
    We think our way to how.
Notice what feels right
and what feels wrong.

“Some things can be experienced,
but not understood.
Some things can be understood,
but not explained.” (Sheldon Kopp)

Engage in internal dialogue with yourself.
Ask questions and answer them.
Ask the questions that beg to be asked by the answers.

Say the things that cry out to be said—
at least internally,
and externally when the circumstances allow it.

Notice everything.

Take up the practice of mindful awareness—
and devote yourself to it.
Watch all of the Jon Kabat-Zinn YouTube videos
(The shortest ones first).
Become proficient at attending the present moment—
without becoming emotionally engaged,
without judgment or opinion,
but with compassionate awareness
and acceptance of the fact that this is happening
and that is not happening.

Endeavor to see what you look at,
to hear what you listen to,
to know what’s what
and what needs to be done about it
in each situation as it arises.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Practice is performance.
Performance is practice.
What is our practice?
What are we practicing?
The right practice makes all the difference!

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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