Deeper into the Forest

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Pulling 

My sweater closer

I walk deeper 

Into the forest

Of ancestors.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“In gratitude, I bow to this land and all of the ancestors who made it available. I see that I am whole, protected, and nourished by this land and all of the living beings that have been here and made life easy and possible for me through all their efforts. I see all those known and unknown. I see all those who have made this country a refuge for people of so many origins and colors, by their talent, perseverence, and love–those who have worked hard to build schools, hospitals, bridges, and roads, to protect human rights, to develop science and technology, and to fight for freedom and social justice. I see myself touching my ancestors who have lived on this land for such a long time and known the ways to live in peace and harmony with nature, protecting the mountains, forests, animals, vegetation, and minerals of this land. I feel the energy of this land penetrating my body and soul, supporting and accepting me. I vow to cultivate and maintain this energy and transmit it to future generations. I vow to contribute my part in transforming the violence, hatred, and delusion that still lie deep in the collective consciousness of this society so that future generations will have more safety, joy, and peace. I ask this land for its protection and support.”  ~III Touching of the Earth, Thich Nhat Hanh, Plum Village

Blessings of Abundance

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A playful spirit

Finding true happiness

Ladybug dreams

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

~~~~~~

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

~Langston Hughes

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” ~Anaïs Nin

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”

~Henry David Thoreau

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

~Louisa May Alcott

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”

~Lao Tzu

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

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

The Gift of Presence

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The gift of presence 

Is the song of songs

That blossoms like the dawn

In our hearts

We sing with the earth

In gratitude

Interbeing in the pure land

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*to hear the song version visit https://soundcloud.com/user-476527928

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