When I first saw the words: “You’re beautiful, it’s society that’s f….. up.” painted onto a column I pass most days coming home, I had to smile. It was as if the cosmos had sent that message just for my eyes to see. Nothing else was written or painted onto it at the time. Now all kinds of things are written all over it. Perhaps it is an easy path to take, blaming society for giving us distorted judgements about ourselves, and no doubt we are somewhat conditioned by our external surroundings. But what about our internal space? I used to believe that no one had the right to pass judgement on another. It was taking the high road that made me feel justified in my thinking. However, I never really applied that thinking to myself. I feared judgement, but the irony was my worst critic turned out to be me, myself, and I. Society has dualistic peculiarities. There are factual elements, and concepts like virtue and mercy. It becomes a process of estimation. Which perception will merge with agreement or disagreement in the end?  Since I’m not a hermit or living in a cloister somewhere, I’ve had to learn to accept the reality that duality is a part of my external existence. And, unless I want to spend a large amount of time and energy being a rebel, society isn’t going to change anytime soon. Where does that all lead? Back to judging myself. Back to that internal space.

The street sign might read, “Proceed with caution!” This is when core essence, the soul guardian, should spring into action. When weighing if something is right or wrong, there is a need to be clear and wisely apply distinctions. This is where looking at the context of the situation becomes a scale for balance. Many experiences can distort the inner senses so that it feels like living in a waking dream. We forget who we are and where we are in our inner space.  Whatever decision is made in the end must be lived with and carried out as the truth. Otherwise, we must prepare to rebel against ourselves. Fighting the inner dualities, ambiguity, and the mind itself. Looking at a life situation requires looking at on-going circumstances. That is taking the step to be responsible for being human.

Walking down a spiritual path may raise our consciousness to a higher level, but it doesn’t necessarily exempt us from having to make judgements or decisions in our day to day lives. It becomes a sort of roleplay. We become both the supreme justice and accused. Perhaps taking this perspective, might help us to be more patient, gentle, and compassionate with ourselves so that in turn we can extend that same spirit towards others.Image


Bird chirp, vanguard for coming rain,

Dog bark skitters through twilight village.

Smoke raises a column through pine,

Contented families dine in golden windows.

Life’s pulse is gauged in the hollows, the intervals between events. If you want to see the divine, you must discern these spaces. This requires leisure, the chance to sit and contemplate, and the opportunity to respond to inner urgings.

-Deng Ming-Dao-Image