Heaven’s Expanse

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Summer’s golden dreams

In the last breath of August

The space between

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“To create a space for all our words, Drawing us to listen inward and outward. We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming our broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us. Somewhere in us a dignity presides That is more gracious than the smallness That fuels us with fear and force, A dignity that trusts the form a day takes. So at the end of this day, we give thanks For being betrothed to the unknown And for the secret work Through which the mind of the day And wisdom of the soul become one.”
― John O’Donohue

If I Am Love

dancing in the light of your soul

If I discover

underneath

it all

I Am Love

then

I shall be

reborn

Day after day

even after

I become the

dust upon

which your feet

trod

I shall linger

in the sacred

space

of breath

where you

will always

find me

If I Am

Love.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“Love gives not but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possess not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient onto love. When you love you should not say, ‘God is in my heart.’ but rather, ‘I am in the heart of God.’ And think not you can direct the course of love, for love if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love; and to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; to rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy; to return home at eventide with gratitude; and then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.”

-Kahlil Gibran

*photo taken by Jake Olson, http://www.jakeolsonstudios.com

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.” ❤

*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

Forest Flutters

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Even when chased

it pretends not to hurry—

the butterfly.

               -Garaku

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The butterfly having disappeared,

My spirit

Came back to me

                              –Wafuu

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Self Exploration

antique bottles

Want ripped a hole

Into the pocket 

Of my life

I lost a lot 

Of energy

To the nickels

And dimes

Of dramatic emotion

Now I empty

My pockets

Everyday

So that 

I can be free

To explore

My true nature

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photo found on  

https://www.etsy.com/shop/leapinggazelle?ref=unav_listing-r

The Heartbeat of All Things

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Listening

To the sacred

Within

Sighs brush by

While words

Silently wait

In the stillness

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A stillness

Pouring

Into emptiness

Existence ceases

To have meaning

Ideas fade into

The Unknown.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

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“People are very afraid of nothingness. When they hear about emptiness, people are also very afraid, but emptiness just means the extinction of ideas. Emptiness is not the opposite of existence. It is not nothingness or annihilation. The idea of existence has to be removed, and so does the idea of nonexistence…When you practice looking deeply, you see your true nature of no birth, no death; no being, no nonbeing; no coming, no going; no same, no different. When you see this, you are free from fear. You are free from craving and free from jealousy.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh

One Step After The Other

bumpy road

Sometimes 

A new beginning 

Can have

A bumpy start

Smile 

To your heart

And

Keep

Going.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photo found on  

http://threadsence.com/Blog/lets-go-on-an-adventure/

An Impermanent Breath

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Sometimes there is a winding road

That seems to lead nowhere 

And the soul whispers, “Go on…

Don’t stop now…”

Taking a deep breath

You take the next step and the next

Clinging desperately to faith 

As you venture farther out

And you slowly begin to realize

Just how infinite your spirit is

You begin to see that 

You will never reach the end

Of your essence…

You go on and on 

An impermanent breath

Of eternity.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015