Heaven’s Temple Stair

ImageChill morning, stone steps.

“The path to the temple is steep.

We may stumble at times,

But we must always get up again.

Spiritual cultivation is a daily activity. No matter how much we achieve one day, we must continue the next. Progress is often so subtle that we may feel the effort futile, and it is hard to get up each morning and try again with the same enthusiasm. Yet this is precisely what we must do.

If we have the benefit of guidance, talent, and the proper circumstances, then the bulk of our attention has to be paid to such simple day-to-day effort. No person ever leapt to heaven in one bound. Spirituality is achieved by steady climbing, like a difficult journey to a mountain temple. The number of steps is in the thousands; the way is steep. It takes a long time to get there, and we must content ourselves with the panoramas along the way and think that the view at the summit will be the best of all. If we fall, we must pick ourselves up and get back on the trail again.

Success in spiritual life is measured not by spectacular events but by daily devotion. This iron will, this deep sincerity maintains our ascent.”

~Deng Ming Dao~

*photo Found on 500px.com

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Anonymously, I stand in the light of my soul

Unknown to myself, unknown to you

For that matter anonymous to the world

But that isn’t what’s bothering me.

It is the forgetfulness in your eyes,

The forgetfulness of generosity

Generosity that gets lost in what

Could be labelled as familiarity

A paradox, true, it’s true

Since I spoke of anonymity,

Label me as a raving lunatic

For that I shall not deny

Charge me with crimes of egotism

And I won’t bat an eye

Because now on this journey

It doesn’t matter if I count or not

I am lost in the unknown,

I can’t complain

That it has been a blessing

A balm, a comfort to rest

In the light of my soul.

Being comfortable has never really

Been an option.

In this anonymous existence

I do not know how to function

…how to exist without identity

Identity, which was so important earlier

Now, as light dances around the shadows,

Even around the darkness

I am not scared, I don’t even mind

Yet to move I must

The light is never still.

I thought that is what my heart

Was longing for…the stillness

This journey goes through light years

And you will never notice that

I’ve been gone because I travel

To the exact second of that exact moment.

So you see a moment isn’t just a moment,

But the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega.

To be anonymous is not a crime

Nor is it a blessing,

But a marriage with the emptiness.

Emptiness that can threaten, but

Let you be….

Anonymously; I dance in the light

Of my soul, yet dancing in yours

By letting you be, I’ll be myself…I’ll

Be anonymous.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2008

* Artist Steven Daluz

http://stevendaluz.com/Artist.asp?ArtistID=1814&Akey=8MKJWHEB

Positioning in Awareness

Today my meditation was about positioning, after I share the words of Deng Ming-Dao I will add my own inner reflections.

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Heron stands in the blue estuary,

Solitary, white, unmoving for hours.

A fish! Quick avian darting;

The prey captured.

“People always ask how to follow Tao. It is easy and natural as the heron standing in the water. The bird moves when it must;it does not move when stillness is appropriate.

The secret of its serenity is a type of vigilance, a contemplative state. The heron is not in mere dumbness or sleep. It knows a lucid stillness. It stands unmoving in the flow of the water. It gazes unperturbed and is aware. When Tao brings it something that it needs, it seizes the opportunity without hesitation or deliberation. Then it goes back to its quiescence without disturbing itself or its surroundings. Unless it found the right position in the water’s flow and remained patient, it would not have succeeded.   

Actions in life can be reduced to two factors: positioning and timing. If we are not in the right place at the right time, we cannot possibly take advantage of what life has to offer us. Almost anything is appropriate if an action is in accord with the time and the place. But we must be vigilant and prepared. Even if the time and the place are right, we can still miss our chance if we do not notice the moment, if we act inadequately, or if we hamper ourselves with doubts and second thoughts. When life presents an opportunity, we must be ready to seize it without hesitation or inhibition. Position is useless without awareness. If we have both, we make no mistakes.”  ~Deng Ming-Dao~

A few things struck me about this meditation, first, understanding something about stillness in direct relation to our own personal flow. We have to cultivate stillness in such a way with our everyday lives in order to recognize when it is appropriate and when it is appropriate to take action. Many times this has to do with balance. Where are we when it comes to balance in our lives?

The next thing which impressed me was ‘being in the flow.’ It is important to identify what that means for ourselves.  No one can do that for us. We are responsible for growing that inner knowledge. What kind of flow do we allow in our lives? What kind of flow do we need or want in our lives? What kind of flow keeps us healthy and balanced? It is about fertilizing an inner knowing of how our own inner energy flows in relation to the rest of life. Recognizing what nurtures our soul and letting the rest go. What brings us joy? What brings us sadness? How open are we? How closed are we? What makes us angry? When do we feel fear? As we begin to recognize our own energy, we also begin to recognize and listen to our intuition. When that begins to happen, a natural wisdom begins to blossom so that not only are we “being in the flow” but we begin to learn how to position ourselves in the flow.

The last thing which caught my attention is that:  All this takes patience, first and foremost with ourselves. This is born out of nourishing a self-love, honoring our essence on a daily basis.

I wish you all joy in the journey.

 

Honoring Essence

“In taking good care of yourself, you take good care of your beloved one. Self-love is the foundation for your capacity to love the other person. If you don’t take good care of yourself, if you aren’t happy, if you … Continue reading