March 26, 2022


Blue Ridge Fall 10/21/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
I don't know what keeps you going,
as for me, I can't wait to see what happens
and what I do about it.

The Mystery is abundant.
It unfolds in all directions every day.
Something drops out of the sky
several times a day.
I wonder what will be next!

I'm thinking new thoughts,
realizing new realizations,
wondering new wonders,
encountering new things,
all the time.

My life won't stop amazing me.
It keeps challenging me 
to meet the day
and find what needs to be done
and do it.

So far, so good.

How did Sisyphus do it?
What was new about his day, each day?
What did he look forward to?
What did he dream of?
I would like to talk to Sisyphus,
and dig around in what he thought about
and how he held things together.

What was his relationship with The Mystery?

What is yours?

We live best, I think,
when we live wide-open to The Mystery.
How would you do that? 



Beulah Land 027 Oil Paint Rendered
The British blessing,
"Mind how you go,"
is a regular reminder,
"It matters how you live!"

We need reminding.

We don't dismiss,
anything any faster than how we live.

If we lived like it mattered how we live,
we would enter through the Gateless Gate,
Turn The Light Around,
and take up the disciplines
essential to the establishment
and maintenance
of a lifestyle that sustains us
in the flow of the Tao--
of the Way,
of the Path that is not discernible as a path--
in each situation as it arises.

Spiritual practices 
are called "spiritual disciplines,"
because they require us to 
mind how we go.

(And need I say at this point 
in our relationship, yours and mine,
me with you, 
that "spiritual" has absolutely 
nothing whatsoever
to do with theology/doctrine/dogma/

There are no black footprints
to follow on the path-that-cannot-be-

All we have to go on are 
our original nature
and the virtues essential to it
that came packed inside us
from the womb.

And it takes the disciplines
of life-in-the-spirit-that-is-
to connect us with the path
that is our path back to the truth
of who we are.

Your disciplines are unique to you.
You cannot use mine to your advantage.
You are stuck with having to discover,
uncover, recover your own.

And you cannot mind how you go
without doing that!
It matters how you live!



Pelican Morning Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
There is a sameness to every day.
And a startling, upsetting,
transforming, unbearable uniqueness
about each one.

Each day asks something different from us.
We cannot meet the day
like we meet every day.

Eyes wide open are required
to pick up the nuances, 
the subtleties,
the understated shockers
tripping us up,
reminding us 
to mind how we go
hiding around every corner,
coming at us from all sides,
winking at us
and flashing down a rabbit hole,
hoping we will follow it 
to some Wonderland
Beyond The Looking Glass
into the world that awaits all
with eyes to see,
ears to hear,
and a heart to understand
what's what,
and what is called for,
and what needs to be done, 
and what needs us to do it,
right here, 
right now,
in every moment
of each situation that arises,
every day,
all our life long.

The wonder is wasted on those
who do not see what they look at.

Or ask the questions that beg to be asked.

Or say the things that cry out to be said.

Bored to death, as they are,
by the same old same old.



Mountain Morning Oil Paint Rendered
Bodhisattva's are very savvy people
who meet all of the requirements
for enlightenment and the trip to the farther shore,
but delay their advent to Nirvana 
in order to remain earthbound
for the sake of those who would be lost
without them. 

Which in to say,
they understand the meaning of the Gateless Gate
and Turning The Light Around,
and understand Nirvana, Beulah Land, Heaven,
The Elysian Fields, Paradise, etc.
to be right here, right now,
for everyone with eyes to see,
ears to hear
and a heart to understand.

This is Realized Eschatology 
brought about by flipping the script
and seeing the optical illusion for what it is,
walking two paths at the same time
and living with a foot in each world--
so that all of us become Bodhisattva's 
like that (snaps fingers)
with the realization of what's what
and how things are,
and what that means for us here and now.

It means knowing what needs to be done
and doing it
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long--
for the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it,
moment by moment,
day by day.

That is all there is to it.
Bodhisattva-hood rides on this
realization and embodiment along.

Welcome to the club,
all of those with eyes to see,
ears to hear
and a heart that understands!


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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