Walking Sacredly

Fire / European Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)

I AM all life

All life AM I

Fire walking 

With each step

Homewards.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“Let us move on, and step out boldly, though it be into the night, and we can scarcely see the way.”     ~Charles B Newcomb

“Move and the way will open.”     ~Zen Proverb

*photo by Alex Hyde, Alex Hyde Photography

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Autumn Reflections

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Deep in the mountains–

                                       falling into my heart

            autumn streams

~Shinkei

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More than last year

                                            it is lonely–

the autumn dusk

~Buson

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Sweeping

and then not sweeping

the fallen leaves

~Taigi    

The Formlessness of Impermanence

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Mists of divine thought

Formless pools of heaven

Presence in each breath

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“Clouds are formless manifestations of water in gaseous form. Since clouds are water we must understand that water represents very powerful emotion able to create or to destroy, and either or, in creation and in death water remains fluid, it never becomes fixed.”

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“Clouds are the mists of heaven and earth which represent the divine thought of “God” coming forth from source with great desire to manifest the unmanifest. In this we know that when we observe the formlessness of clouds in continual shift of movement and shape, it is as if we are looking into the pools of heaven, the sky, and seeing the universal possibilities of thought, movement and form.”

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“Clouds represent divinity, pure thought and pure being, emptiness and everything. Clouds are creations of polar opposites existing as one in such a freedom of being they never become fixed in form, just like the flow of water clouds tell us to be free from everything yet as pure as divinity.”

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“Clouds are dreams that make us ponder everything we don’t understand but are designed to search out. Therefore clouds are creations way of telling us never to settle in one thing or another because in doing so we become fixed and fixed objects always resist the natural flow of universal fluidity.”

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“Be like a cloud, free and in heaven always shifting form and always moving through the skies of infinite space and timeless wisdom. To see and contemplate the clouds is to learn oneself just as it is in all of the elements of nature.”

-by the Community

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*This excerpt was taken from: http://www.answers.com/Q/What_do_clouds_symbolize

*photos by moi, except the calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hahn taken from https://thecompassionategardener.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/clouds-never-die/

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

Gracias a la Vida / Thanks to Life

Performed by Mercedes Sosa

Lyrics:

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro
Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
Y en el ancho cielo su fondo estrellado
Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me two stars, which when I open them,
Perfectly distinguish black from white
And in the tall sky its starry backdrop,
And within the multitudes the one that I love.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho
Graba noche y día, grillos y canarios,
Martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos,
Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me hearing that, in all of its reach
Records night and day crickets and canaries,
Hammers and turbines, bricks and storms,
And the tender voice of my beloved.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario;
Con el las palabras que pienso y declaro:
Madre, amigo, hermano, y luz alumbrando
La ruta del alma del que estoy amando

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me sound and the alphabet.
With them the words I think and declare:
“Mother,” “Friend,” “Brother” and light shining down on
The road of the soul of the one I’m loving.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados;
Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,
Playas y desiertos, montañas y llanos,
Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me the steps of my tired feet.
With them I have traversed cities and puddles
Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
And your house, your street and your garden.

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio el corazón que agita su marco
Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,
Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo,
Cuando miro al fondo de tus ojos claros

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me this heart that shakes its frame,
When I see the fruit of the human brain,
When I see good so far from evil,
When I look into the depth of your light eyes…

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto
Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto,
Los dos materiales que forman mi canto,
Y el canto de ustedes que es mi mismo canto,
Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto
Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto

Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me laughter and it gave me tears.
With them I distinguish happiness from pain
The two elements that make up my song,
And your song, as well, which is the same song.
And everyone’s song, which is my very song.

Song by: Joan Baez

Translation taken from http://lyricstranslate.com/en/gracias-la-vida-thanks-life.html-0#ixzz3PUeD1vrm

Be Relentless

Drops

Water cleanses,

Gathers in the earth.

Tender. Invasive. Subtle.

Emerges a shining river.

When small, it is weak.

When great, it tumbles mountains.

Rendering great cliffs

Sand.

drops

Classic wisdom says there is nothing weaker than water, yet when united, it can become a titanic force. Like a tidal wave. Or a river that cuts through gorges. This is called yielding overcoming the hard.

Let’s look at it another way. Water does not overcome because it yields. It overcomes because it is relentless. It perseveres and does not give up. It is constant. Rock can block water. Rock can even hold water in a lake for thousands of years. Why can’t the yielding overcome the hard then? Because it cannot move. It cannot work its magic of being relentless.

Just as water must be able to express its true nature in a relentless way, so too must we simultaneously and relentlessly express our true natures if we are to be successful in life. Otherwise, we will find ourselves hemmed in by the hard walls of reality, and we will never be able to break through.

But how we we acquire such perseverance? We start small. As drops.

~Deng Ming-Dao~

*photo from: http://adropofpleasure.tumblr.com/post/19445857748/there-are-no-facts-only

Silhouette

cat on a rooftop ridge

Lines of light

Falling

From the sky

Touching 

Tin chimney stacks

Stretching 

Upwards toward

A downy duvet 

Of dove grey cloud

Prowling

In luminous

Reflection

A black cat

Upon a tiled

Rooftop ridge.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*photo by Agence Schostal