October 16, 2021


Great Blue Heron 01 04/20/2014 Oil Paint Rendered, Black and White — Audubon Swamp Garden, Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina
The way of integrity
is the way of being in tune
the way a harp
or a piano
is in tune,
and in character
the way Groucho Marx,
and Betty White,
were always in character.

Just being who we are,
when we are,
where we are,
how we are,
within the context
and circumstances
of our life--
being what the moment needs us to be
and remaining in tune
and staying in character
within the time and place of our living.

Without an eye on what's in it for us,
or caring about what we stand to gain
or lose,
or thinking about how to take advantage
of the situation,
or reaping benefits,
or making the most of our opportunity...

Just remaining in tune,
just staying in character,
and doing what is called for
in each moment
throughout each day.

Meeting the day
on the day's terms
in our way,
day by day.

Incredibly difficult.
Absolutely essential.
Completely dependent
upon mindful awareness
and a working relationship 
with the Ten Guides:

Emptiness and Silence,
Balance and Harmony,
Sincerity, Spontaneity and Integrity,
Spirit, Energy, and Vitality.

Get all those in place
and keep them there
through regular observation
loyalty, devotion and adjustment,
and the Tao will be your Mother
throughout your days
upon the earth.



White Egret 02/08/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Lake Martin Swamp, Beaux Bridge, Louisiana
Our balance and harmony
are the early warning signs
letting us know
that we have moved away
from living in accord 
with the Tao of life and being.

(The reality of the Tao at work
throughout the cosmos 
is easily experienced in the regularity
--and inconsistency!--
of the tides and seasons,
and in the steadiness of gravity.
It is the way things work together
for the good of the whole.
When we are minding our business
and doing what needs to be done,
things hum right along.
When we don't,
things don't.
And we need to bring ourselves back
into alignment/accord with
the Tao of life and being.)

Finding and maintaining our balance and harmony--
which is done in right relationship
with the Ten Guides--
is our responsibility,
and requires our loyalty and devotion
to regular routine maintenance practice
of awareness and adjustment
throughout our life.

We think it is about making lots of money,
socking it away
and coasting through our life
from one entertaining pastime to another
all our life long.

How's that balance and harmony?  

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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