June 15, 2022

01

Sunflower 04 07/08/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Indian Land, South Carolina
There are no shortcuts
to where we are going.
It's one day at a time all the way.

Of course, we can speed things up
by seeing what we look at,
hearing what we listen to,
being aware of what we are dismissing,
discounting,
ignoring,
knowing what we know,
knowing what's what,
knowing what needs to be done,
and doing it when and where and how 
it needs to be done.

Having no expectations,
no agenda,
no plans,
no opinions.

Spending the right amount of time
with the right kind of emptiness,
stillness
and silence.

Following the seven steps to what's next
in each situation as it arises:

1. See it!
2. Hear it!
3. Feel it!
4. Know it!
5. Trust it!
6. Do it!
7. Be true to your original nature
   and the innate virtues
   you are here to serve and share
   in each situation as it arises.

That's all there is to it.

–0–

02

Peggy Wood’s Ordinary 06/28/2012 Oil Paint Rendered — Peaks of Otter, Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, Virginia
We are here to bring ourselves forth
as we serve and share
what is ours to serve and share
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.

We are here to serve and share
our original nature
and the innate virtues
that come with us from the womb.

No one can tell us what they are.
We live to discover them,
serve and share them
over the full course of our life.

Noise and complexity hinder that process.
The right kind of
emptiness,
stillness
and silence assist it.

Following our interests assist it.
And looking closer at the things that catch our eye.
And knowing what resonates with us,
attracts us,
expands is,
deepens us,
enlarges us...
assists us in the process of being who we are,
doing what is ours to do,
as we live to
"Get in there and do your thing,
and don't worry about the outcome!"
(Joseph Campbell on the gist 
of the Bhagavad Gita).

–0–

03

Colt Creek 04/21/2018 Oil Paint Rendered — Pearson’s Glen, Saluda, North Carolina
When we cooperate with the process
of serving and sharing
our original nature
and the innate virtues
that are ours from birth,
we are aligned with them
and with the Tao of life and being.

We are on the beam.
In the flow.
At one with our life,
and enjoying the wonder
of "fair winds and following seas."

This is as it was with Adam and Eve
before they had eyes for the Forbidden Fruit,
and big ideas about how Paradise
could be improved.

The moral of the Garden of Eden
has nothing to do about sin
and keeping God happy forever.
The story is entirely about
being true to our original nature
and the virtues that are ours from birth
in doing what needs to be done,
when, where and how,
in each situation as it arises,
no matter what
all our life long.

When we do that,
things fall into place
and life hums right along,
until someone who is not doing it
crashes into us,
destroys our balance and harmony,
and forces us to regain
our focus and direction
and find our way back to the way,
shake it off
and start over.

By avoiding noise and complexity
and spending the right amount of time
with the right kind of emptiness,
stillness
and silence
in the work of reorienting
and redirecting our life
and ourselves with our life.

Diversion,
distraction,
deception
and denial
all work against balance and harmony,
and we have to attend what's what
and what needs to be done about it
all of the time.

Or, before we know it,
like Adam and Eve,
we find ourselves slip-sliding away,
again.

–0–

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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