December 03, 2021


Beech Woods 01 11/21/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Emptiness is the origin
of all that is.

The simplicity of emptiness
is the primal step before
what needs to happen.

To neglect that step
is to act within
the noisy complexity
of time and place,
and to create out of
having to have--
ignoring the matter of 
what needs to be,
which flows from 
what is called for here and now.

Emptiness is the source of
realization, alignment,
seeing and being at one 
with the moment between now
and what's next--
and the key to moving in accord
with the flow of synchronicity
throughout our life.

The emptiest space
is the place
between breaths.

Inhale by consciously extending
your stomach
pulling air to the bottom 
of your lungs.

Exhale by drawing your stomach
inward and upward
expelling air out through your nose,
and pause for a count of five.

Repeat the process for three to five breaths,
experiencing the emptiness
in the space between breaths.

Practicing this enables the emptiness
from which spontaneous responses to 
the situation at hand arise unbidden
and lead the way beyond willing/desiring/
forcing/compelling/having to have
with creativity,
and surprise.



Scrapping Fall 02 11/17/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Carolina Thread Trail, 12-mile Creek Segment, Waxhaw, North Carolina
All our life
we have been upheld
and kept safe
by forces we cannot name
or understand.

Direction comes from beyond us.
We are led along by what,
we do not know.

Our life unfolds around us
more by accident 
than by our own design.

Why not endeavor to live
in harmony with that which
is living within us
and through us
by living in/with "the sacred,"
beyond thought and words?

A shift in consciousness
is all it takes.

By moving toward what is meaningful
to us,
living in light of what we love,
doing what needs us to do it,
and seeing where it goes.



Sourwood 01 11/11/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Think of "The Sacred"
as the unknown-yet-knowable reality
the unfolding of our life and being
through all of the conditions and circumstances
of our life.

The Mystery of our own becoming
experienced as
more than words can say
in the background 
and the ground
of each here and now,
as a resonance
or a wonder,
imagined or real?
We cannot be certain
beyond the conviction
that something is real,
but what,
who knows?

The Sacred Ground of Existence--
The Holy Background of Normal, Apparent, Reality--
pilots our boat 
on its path through the sea.

How did we get here, now,
from where we started?

It is a mystery shrouded in darkness,
and the gateway to what,
we do not know.

Acknowledge The Mystery,
The Holy,
The Sacred,
and live to be aligned with it,
aware of it,
immersed in it,
upheld by it,
through the allegiance of the known
to the unknown,
of the called to the caller,
of the moved to the mover,
in all times and places,
and see where it goes. 



Ginkgos 04 11/28/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Ballentyne Ginkgo Park, Charlotte, North Carolina
Acknowledge the presence of The Sacred
forever with us in all times and places,
just out of reach,
yet well within our grasp,
just out of sight,
yet well within our apprehension,
as "a very present help
in time of trouble,"
and all other times as well.

"The Sacred" is all that can be said.

To think of "The Sacred"
as The Sacred Self within--
within ourselves
and within all selves,
(in a Namaste-kind-of-way),
and within all that is,
is to recognize
that there is more to everyone
and everything
than meets the eye,
and to know what has been known
through the ages, 
that the visible world
is grounded upon the invisible world,
and our life is floating
upon "invisible means of support,"
whether we know it or not.

And, what we do with that
is to be aware of it,
and to honor it
with acknowledgement
and attentiveness
through all that comes our way,
alert to what moves us
and responsive to what calls our name.

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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