September 28, 2021

01

Moonrise Monument Valley 09/25/2007 — Monument Valley Tribal Park, Arizona
We worry about 
what is going to happen to us
and those we love.
We hope for the best,
and fear the worst,
and lose the time that is at hand
wishing and dreading.

Now is the only time there is.

Now is the time to let ourselves
out of the box.
To open the doors of the prison,
and allow ourselves to walk free.

No matter what happens,
we are going to have to meet it
as it needs to be met.

To do that, we have to be at full strength.

We have to be able to respond 
to our life
using all of the resources
provided by our relationship
with the source/core/center/ground
of who we are--
out of our close association
with our original nature,
and the gifts/daemon/shtick/character/
specialties/virtues/knacks/tricks/
assets and forte
that came with us from the womb.

We practice doing this
by intentionally coming forth
to meet the moment,
here and now,
starting right now,
by sizing things up,
seeing what's what
and what needs to be done about it,
and doing it,
spontaneously,
sincerely,
without thinking about it,
planning it,
in light of what is good for us,
or what we stand to gain--
just seeing what needs to be done
and doing it--
moment by moment.

That is the practice that will build
the inner relationships with ourselves
that will enable us to meet whatever comes,
and doing what needs to be done about it.

It will also get us out of the rut
of hoping and fearing
and missing the moment as we live it.

Living this moment well
prepares us to meet any moment well.

Shift your focus.
Meet the moment
by stepping into each situation
as it arises
and being what is needed there,
day by day,
forever.

–0–

02

Marsh Mirror Sunset 10/17/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
We live from the heart
in the moment.
What we want or don't want
doesn't have a place 
in what we do.

What we do flows directly
from what needs to be done,
regardless of what we want,
or think,
or feel.

See what's what.

Hear what is being called for
in response.

Do what needs to be done about it.

That's the process
for each situation as it arises,
and moment to moment
within the situation.

This is the Emergency Room Readiness Procedure.

It doesn't matter what you want,
what you think,
how you feel.
You meet whatever comes through 
the emergency room door
ready to deal with the situation
as it arises,
with no reaction
that fails to meet the moment head-on.

Treat everything in your life
as though it is coming through
some emergency room door.

Rise to meet every occasion
as it needs to be met
no matter how you feel about it.

Live as though you live 
in an emergency room.
Allow your action to be directed
by what needs to be done,
and not by what you want to do.

Everybody had rather be somewhere else,
doing something else.
No one is where they are
(Unless they work in an emergency room).

Break the trend.
Be. Where. You. Are.
Doing what needs to be done there.
With the resources you were born with
and your instinct and intuition
leading the way.

Responding spontaneously/sincerely
to what is called for
with the right thing
at the right time
in the right way,
moment by moment
throughout your day,
everyday.

Don't let how you feel about it
get in your way.

–0–

03

Looking Glass Falls 01 05/30/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Pisgah National Forest, Brevard, North Carolina
We respond to our life
with what is called for
in each situation as it arises
out of silence and emptiness.

The problem is
we are never silent or empty.

Being empty is being empty of everything.

No desire.
No fear.
No duty/obligation/responsibility/should/ought/must.
No opinion.
No concern.
No caring.
No preference.
No anxiety.
No motive.

Being empty even of the desire to be empty!

Understanding that we dance
with all of the contradictions,
and laugh at the idea of being empty of it all,
and be empty of the laughter
while laughing.

Emptiness and silence
are not steady states of being.

There are no steady states of being.

Emptiness and silence are stages
in the flow of life.
We move in and out of them
as part of the process of being alive.

We are not trying to be silent and empty,
we are offering ourselves 
to the experience of silence and emptiness
throughout each day,
coming and going with the flow of life,
moving with the tides of time and place.

Which will be a definite improvement
over where we are now.

Speaking of now,
look within right now.
See what is there.
Empty it out.

Keep it up until nothing is there.
See how long you can live like that.

That is the orientation 
enabling us to respond as needed
to the situation as it arises
without thinking first 
of what it means to us
and how we need to steer the outcome
to our benefit/advantage/pleasure/etc.

We need to do what needs to be done
without reference to ourselves.

In order to respond appropriately
to our life in each moment
with what is needed,
when it is needed,
the way it is needed,
because it is needed,
we have to get ourselves out of the way.

Our practice is being empty
in the silence
away from the hum of the 10,000 things.

To do that,
we have to become aware of the noise
we generate
in response to the 10,000 things.

And stop.

Which is really only a pause.
But a crucial one.

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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