June 26, 2021


Cypress Cove 11/06/2013 — Adams Mill Pond, Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
The tools at our disposal are
our awareness,
our original nature,
our innate virtues,
and timing.

Everything else falls into place around,
and flows from,
these things.

Our practice is learning to live
in ways that serve and share them,
moment to moment
in each situation as it arises.

If I left something out,
add it in!



Haystack Rock 01 — The Wasteland Collection
The Wasteland is where people are unclear
about what is important,
and do not know what needs to be done,
or where, when and how it needs to be done--
and don't care about knowing/doing these things.

In The Wasteland,
one thing is as good as another,
one time is the same as another,
and it does not matter how we live,
as long as we are happy
and doing what we want to do.

In The Wasteland,
we are happy to do what we are told to do
if it pays well
and enables us to do what we want to do
with the rest of our life.

In The Wasteland,
everything is about money,
and people will do whatever it takes
to have all the money they want,
and do whatever they want to do with it.

The polar opposite of The Wasteland
is Eden where people live to be who they are
and do what needs to be done--
what needs them to do it--
when, where and how it needs to be done,
whether they want to or not.

The Return to Eden is what the rest of our life
is to be about.

It is a simple matter of knowing what is important
and doing what needs to be done,
when, where and how it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises
throughout the time left for living.

We are never more than a slight perspective shift 
away from The Wasteland to Eden.
The trip from one to the other
is only a matter of turning the light around
and entering through the gateless gate
"to the land of gentle breezes
where the peaceful waters flow"
(Anne Murry, "Snowbird").



Pioneer Christmas 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Through the Window Collection
It matters how we live.
We have no business living
as though it does not matter
how we live.

It matters how we live.

We should be doing everything we can
to align ourselves with the life
we need to be living--
because it is the life that needs us to live it,
and because it is the life we were born to live.
And we do not know anything about it.

Which can be solely attributed to 
bad parenting and bad preaching
since the beginning of parenting
and preaching.

With good parenting and good preaching
we would be in the center of our life's will for us,
and aligned with the Tao of being,
the Tao of living,
and the Tao of here/now,
of time and place.

"Tao" is pronounced "Dow,"
and is a Chinese word meaning "The Way,"
or "The Path."

It is The Way Things Need To Be.
It is The Path To Right Living And Right Being.

The catch with The Way
is that it cannot be told, said, explained, defined.
It can only be known.
It can only be experienced.

How do we know/experience
what cannot be communicated?
The right kind of emptiness,
the right kind of stillness,
the right kind of silence.

The right kind of emptiness
is the emptiness between breaths,
where there is nothing--
no thinking, no feeling, no emotions,
no regret, no desire--not even for emptiness,
no fear... Nothing.

The right kind of stillness 
can be maintained while moving around.
We can walk with the right kind of stillness,

The right kind of silence can be loud.
We can play the drums.
We can sing.
We can talk out loud...
and be completely at one 
with the silence of here/now.

In the emptiness, stillness, silence,
we wait,
for that which arises unbidden,
from the emptiness, stillness, silence
to call us,
compel us,
urge us
to realization, 

This is The Way.
This is The Path.
This is The Tao at work in our life,
within our own being.

It will lead us to right seeing,
right hearing,
right knowing,
right doing,
right being,
right living.

And place us in the center
of a life that matters. 


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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