Offering Genuine Presence

Happiness&Freedom

An open heart

In the wilderness 

Of my soul

I smile

At myself

Offering the gift

Of presence.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom that you have in your heart.”

-Thich Nhat Hahn-

*photograph by Noell S. Oszvald,

 http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/noell-oszaid-fine-art-photography

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

Mindful Bubbles

Like bubbles underwater thoughts rise up from the ocean of our mind. There can be so many bubbles. One thing to realize is that deeper thoughts have something to teach us. There are lessons to be learned when they rise to the surface. We can be out of touch with unconscious thoughts and desires, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t effect our lives. Conscious thoughts may reflect how we see things in everyday life, but so do those deeper thoughts, the ones that rise up from inner depths….and it can be dark down there. That is why it is so important to be mindful when they rise to the surface. There is such a need to be aware and clear of what it is that we want and desire. They will influence the outcome of our endeavors.

Where we put our focus will highly influence the energy of the thoughts that we produce. That is why meditation can be an effective tool in how we channel that focus. Recently, I stumbled across an excellent meditation that is good for visualizing positive outcomes in a given situation. Adding a few minor touches, I would like to share it here with all you valuable readers.

Close your eyes. Focus on a thought.

Let it rise to the surface of your mind’s ocean. 

See it float lightly up to the water’s surface. Then onto a smooth, glasslike surface.

Visualize that thought moving across the water; gliding serenely, yet steadfastly towards a horizon of light.

That thought is moving across an ocean of peace. Skitting to a perfect, harmonious outcome.

Towards a wide open space. A horizon of freedom.

Cultivating focus can truly be a rewarding and enriching practice that can help on the path to self-discovery. When change comes into our lives, its so easy to get caught up in reshaping outer circumstances instead of looking at Self. Sometimes change lies in the way we experience ourselves, in the way we see ourself. Deng Ming-Dao says, “It takes great courage to keep going beyond your limits. You keep doing the same thing, like musicians who make a career of performing the same tune. But no matter what your field of endeavor, you mustn’t do that. Don’t jump out of the same hole twice. You may not be as materially successful, but you will be more successful on a larger level.” Take time to reconnect with your own strength, courage, and happiness in a spirit of kindness and self-compassion. Namaste.

*photo credit belongs to Mark Tipple, http://www.marktipple.com/portfolio#0

*meditation credit http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-symbolism-dragonfly.html

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

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

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

IMG_0018

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

An Impermanent Breath

IMG_0388

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

Mother Nature

Breathing in silence

Breathing out love and patience

Earthling gratitude

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

Heart Fires

heart fires

All the paths
I have wandered
Always lead home
Where heart fires
Warmly welcome.

My soul has been whispering to me today to look and listen more deeply to the love within myself. I have felt alone a lot in my life, but the more I come back to my essence the more fulfilled, connected and joyful I really am. In my meditation this morning, I came across the words of Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, “When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger and desire, you run away from yourself and lose yourself. Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. Life is only available in the present moment.” I paused after those words and knew clearly that this year that would be my theme. No more waiting for some magical moment to appear…life isn’t gonna be like I want it to be, but I already have enough to be happy now.

So, I wrote a list in my journal of all the things that I was happy about right in that moment: a red gerianium looking out the kitchen window, Jill, my tabby, sitting beside it like a domestic goddess, watching fluffy, white snowflakes flying by horizontally on the wind, the pines quietly standing in the their wisdom across the way, my children sleeping in their rooms, a white French country table standing in the turquoise kitchen, the pen scribbling out my heart’s contentment onto the page, the gift of sight, the knowledge I’ve been blessed with to heal myself and others, Thai’s teachings of mindfulness, mysticism, and Tao, the Yaqui heritage of my ancestors, shamanic whispers of ‘old soul’ wisdom always with me, my lungs filled with air, and the present moment. Yes, I already have enough to be happy now.

I will rise to tantalizing heights this 2015 and fly on the wings of my highest potential into the space of my own unique spirit. What about you? What makes you happy in this moment?

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*photo ‘Loneliness of the soul’ by Kondakova Tata, http://thewinterhome.blogspot.it/2012/10/magia.html