Simple Summer Pleasures

bike riding

Riding like the wind

Past vineyards and wooded paths

Inner child giggles

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

clouds

Clouds through my heart space

Patches of blue emptiness

Summer letting go 

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

tiptoeing through the daisies

Daisies laugh out loud

In fiendish summer delight

Tickling tip toes

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*1st photo by Pörrö, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pesis

2nd photo from: http://blonde-waves-long-summer-days.tumblr.com/post/73479430372

3rd photo by Kate Anderson,

https://www.flickr.com/photos/34758720@N05/6730215645/in/photostream/

In Faith

softness

“A person who does not have anything to believe in is without energy. When you have the energy of faith in you, your steps become firmer, your look becomes brighter. You are ready to love, to understand, to help, and to work.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

In the softness and tenderness of my soul, I open to the generosity of my essence. With each in breath, I pull into myself the abundance of life. With each out breath, I release my need to control…to feel safe. I trust the process that is before me and though I feel fear of uncertainty and the pain of old familiar wounds I open and let go in the faith that love will sustain me. In gratitude, I dwell in the energy of Oneness.

*photo credits go to Steve Mackay

Right on Track

essence

Sometimes we have to repeat certain words to ourselves over and over again. Over days and even weeks just to help keep our focus. To help pick us up when we have fallen over a negative thought or feeling. It’s like that story that Pema Chödrön tells about the Buddha:

“On the night on which he was to attain enlightenment, the Buddha sat under a tree. While sitting there, he was attacked by the forces of Mara. The story goes that they shot swords and arrows at him, and that their weapons turned into flowers.

What does this story mean? My understanding of it is that what we habitually regard as obstacles are not really our enemies, but rather our friends. What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. What may appear to be an arrow or a sword we can actually experience as a flower. Whether we experience what happens to us as an obstacle and enemy or as a teacher and friend depends entirely on our perception of reality. It depends on our relationship with ourselves.”

Well, that is why over the last couple of weeks I have needed to repeat some words over and over again to myself. Because I have been experiencing a lot of obstacles and unpleasant circumstances….particularly arising from within my own thoughts and emotions.

Here is what I’ve have personally had to write and say to myself over and over again to transform those arrows and swords into flowers:

“I am right on track, right on schedule. I trust that everything is unfolding perfectly. All is well. I am free to enjoy myself. I am right where I need to be, when I need to be, how I need to be. My life is enough. I am enough. Everything I say or do is enough. In chaos or order, it is enough. My life is natural and wholesome. I am natural and wholesome. I have the grace to recognize and accept that. I have the grace to be free. I go on and on past this moment, past boundaries, past time, past understanding.  I am an infinite being. I AM Infinity, itself. I AM Essence.”

*this post is dedicated to a dear Twitter friend, Ishani, @musicmoonlove “Be blessed, Soul Sister.” <3

*photo by Alisdair Miller, New Day

Godlike Qualities

handful o' magic

Worship by cultivating nine fields:

Diet. Herbs. Clothing. Recitation.

Movement. Meditation. Creativity. Teaching.

And most important: Compassion.

Worship is not a matter of making an obeisance to a god. It is a matter of achieving godlike qualities in yourself. This is done through the culitvation of nine areas:

Diet should be moderate, healthy, and of living foods. If you want to be sustained, eat things that themselves sustained life.

Learn to use herbs, for they heal and maintain health.

Be moderate in your clothing; wear natural fibers. What you wear is an expression of your state of mind.

Recitation includes prayer, song, chanting, and finally the practice of silence. What you say becomes reality.

Stretch, move, and exercise every day. The universe moves; so too should the energy within your body.

Meditate every day—once in the morning and once in the evening, if possible. Only then will you attain tranquility and triumph over your dilemmas.

Be creative. Thus we contribute, and thus we elevate our souls.

Acquire a good education. Treasure what you learn, and preserve it so that it may be passed on to others. Never be selfish with what you know.

Above all, be compassionate. This a stand against all evil, and it opens your spirit.

People ask, “How can I worship properly?” Cultivate these nine fields.

-Deng Ming-Dao

*photo found on http://laurajaworski.tumblr.com

The Art of Grace

 

IMG_0101

Grace 

Falling

into my lap

Grace 

Not Knowing

Anything

About

Anything

IMG_0060

Grace

Keeping

 Me humble

Giving

Strength

To walk

Through Fear

Of being Inadequate

Never Measuring up

Never Being Good enough

IMG_0071 

Grace

Letting

All things Be

Transcending

Emotion

and

Petty

thinking

 

Grace 

Revealing

Nothing

Is lost

Along

The way

IMG_0084

 Grace

 opening space

for

compassion

and

kindness

Grace

commanding

the extremes

of the

Universe.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

e09100f0ebb8e601310cdcecbeb9aca6

Forest Flutters

IMG_0063

Even when chased

it pretends not to hurry—

the butterfly.

               -Garaku

IMG_0067

The butterfly having disappeared,

My spirit

Came back to me

                              –Wafuu

IMG_0065

Evening Vespers

IMG_0059

The clouds gathered

Like a host of angels

At the dusk of day

Welcoming me home

While the crickets 

Held their nightly

Choir practice.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015