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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 31: Orientation

Day 31
Planets orbit the sun.
Forms orbit the mind.
-Deng Ming-Dao

We each have multiple personality disorder, to one degree or another. When I'm home and not working there is no makeup, no hair-play, no concern about how things are matching or look. For me it's about utilizing my clothing to keep me warm when I'm walking in the woods and to keep my shoulder-length hair from tangling in the wind. That is me with out a mask and without an agenda. However, when it comes to working, I morph into a different aspect of myself. In order to get into a corporate/office state I must place the armor on - office attire, makeup, hair just so, and organization tools. If I don't, then I won't survive the next two months of a tax season. I feel armed and ready for the societal play vs. when I'm not working it is not about society at all, but about the true essence of me which is really very basic.

"Those who follow the Tao undersand that a diverse personality is problematic only if some aspects dominate to the exclusion of others. This is unbalanced. If there is a constant alteration between all spects, then equilibrium is possible."

It is a balancing act, for I know that the office-girl for the 8 hour days I spend in an office offset aspect of the nature-girl and vice versa. I was fortunate enough to have three days off over the weekend and we had a wonderful snow storm that I walked in fresh powder the first day during the storm and the second day with a blue sky and sunshine, snow glistening. If either of these days had been spent within the confines of the office I would have been very sad, indeed. I couldn't get these days back, I can't relive them, there won't be this snow fall ever again. For some reason this reality has become very dominant in my thinking ever since I decided to work for a few months. So, I'm trying to balance the temporary inconvenience for a chance at the eternal freedom. But, the carrot at the end of the stick is not always what it seems and seeking the future means you're not living in the present.

Somehow there must be an orientation between the two places in which you live and the multiple aspects of who you are and what you believe. If someone told me that I was going to die next week, I'd most assuredly quit the job and live my days with husband, dogs and cats in the woods and in my home. Savoring each special moment. But, to my knowledge this is not so. In order to spend my future in the best way I know and plan it so, then I must orient myself to the present situation and hope for the best, making certain that office-girl doesn't manifest too strongly (she is the old-ego & is very dangerous) and nature-girl (true essence of me - good ego) needs to enjoy the days in the woods when she has them and try to be patient with the process of renewal (the carrot) in the form as a potter, writer, naturalist, traveler and emerging crone.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 30: Lovemaking

Day 30
Nocturnal downpour
Wakes the lovers,
Floods the valley.
-Deng Ming-Dao

He writes, "Making love is something mysterious, sacred, and often the most profound interaction between two people. Whether what is created is a relationship or pregnancy, the legacy of both partners will be inherent in creation. What we put into love determines what we get out of it."

There is a huge difference between creating a relationship or a pregnancy. This is the give-away that a man wrote about lovemaking. Men do not know what it is like to be pregnant and how it is not always the woman's choice - post-lovemaking.

I agree that lovemaking can be mysterious and sacred, but after the candles go out, there is the morning realization that left to be spontaneous there is ultimately the reality of  reproductive biology.  In this case, Deng Ming-Dao needs a female post-sex POV not the male post-ejaculate POV. For, in the morning light, there is the reality that lovemaking is not just lovemaking, it has a potential end result that changes everyone's life and it's not just about a legacy. Procreate for the sake of the Tao? Come on., you can't be serious.

"I have felt the say of the elephant's shoulders
and now you expect me to ride on an ass?"
-Mirabai
(as interpreted by Rober Bly)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 29: Scars

Day 29
Markings in dry clay disappear
Only when the clay is soft again.
Scars upon the self disappear
Only when one become soft within.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Scars. Physical. Mental. Emotional. Spiritual. How do you mend them all in one lifetime? It is very difficult. Just when one heals another seems to come to the surface or you're placed in a situation that creates a new one. The key is to not acquire these new scars, but to do that all aspects of your life become calculated and you hide yourself in order to not be vulnerable. To be soft is difficult, especially if your entire life has been about surviving by acquiring a hard shield against the world in order to get through your life. The idea of becoming soft is like asking an armadillo to roll over and let you rub its belly - not an easy process.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 28: Accountablility

Day 28
A father without a father
Has difficulty balancing.
A master without a master
Is dangerous.
-Deng Ming Dao

Most people don't hold themselves accountable. They think that they can say or do anything and it's okay. If it's good for them, then to hell with who they may be bringing down, just as long as it doesn't cost them anything. If you are a person who holds themselves accountable, then the weight of the world is always upon your shoulders; even the slightest comment or action you hold to be worth a great deal in the way it may or may not impact others. Those who the complete opposite are usually the ones who have lived in a safe cocoon where they and their ego sits in the center of a very tiny world. I agree with what the author states:

"That is why wise people travel constantly and test themselves again the flux of circumstance. It is only in this way that they can truly confirm their thoughts and compensate for their shortcomings."

I have travled a great deal, not only in the distance from one point to another in terms of geography, but also in my life as a person - trying new things, jobs, experiences. This gives me a great sense of how big the world is and how travel, in one way or another, generates an accountability for how you conduct yourself in varous social situations and cultures. Those who rarely venture out of themselves can never know how to be accountable and only use what they have to diminish others in the process.




Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 27: Feasting

Day 27
Feasting is the flame in mid-winter
That kindles the fire of friendship
And strengthens the community.
- Deng Ming-Dao

I fear community. It's true. I don't trust a group of people. I feel the most alone within a group of individuals that equal more than four, including myself. Feasting keeps people busy. When the feasting is over and folks have run out of good things to say or stories to tell that the the problems begin. Usually someone ends up saying or doing the wrong thing to the wrong person. 

Deng Ming-Dao admits, "Like any other human edeavor, the feast is vulnerable to manipulation and politics, the selfish maneuvering of cynical individuals. This is difficult to avoid completely, for it is impossible for a group to truly be united. The only way to mitigate this is for the collective to keep its intentions strictly on its purpose, to select its leaders wisely, and for those leaders to be an enlightened as possible."

If possible, it is best to keep your time short and sweet. Even if it seems as if all is going well, best to leave on a good note and not stay in the hopes that the fun with continue because it won't. Nor can you count on leaders of such organizations to be enlightened for most as are bad as the masses they lead. No your limits. Be true to yourself. Get out while the gettin' is good. Eat, Drink & Mingle, then GO!

"And that's all I've got to say about that."
- Forest Gump



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 26: Adoration

Day 26
Images on the alter,
Or imagined within:
We pray to the,
But do they answer?
-Deng Ming-Dao

The author writes, "When the wise say there are no gods, they mean that the key to understanding all things is within ourselves. External worship is merely a means to point within to the true source of salvation."

Gods are but myths and symbols to help man with his moral compass. Strip this aspect away from them and we are left with the reflection of Self. We have created Gods & Goddesses in our image, not the other way around. No one can save you but yourself, for you are your own damnation and salvation. Look within yourself for the understanding - it is there waiting for you to recognize it.

Don't listen to those who tell you that it can't come in a literal form, it can. However, many times it arrives as a metaphor or an "ah ha" moment, like a bolt of lightning. What comes to support you and guide you is yours and yours alone. Don't let teachers, mystics or anyone else tell you differently. You'll know when you've recognized the divinity within yourself. At first it is confusing and it may take time to sort the truth that you've recognized this within yourself. Walk forward in confidence and adoration at your personal awareness and triumph over idolatry and religion!

When I write about nature giving me peace, knowledge and acceptance it's not because I believe nature is a reflection of God, but I do believe it is a true reflection of me and my personal divinity. I touch the earth, the earth touches me: Atonement is also at-one-ment, which is also adoration and acceptance of the personal spirit you were born with in this life. Don't let anyone take that from you!

Spending almost a lifetime
seeking adoration for myself through
the acceptance of external divinity.
Today, I found it on the ground as scattered
patterns of fallen pine needles, the smell of
the salt marsh and when I felt me heart fill
with happiness for giving myself the
gift of adoration and acceptance to walk
 in such a beautiful reflection of my own divinity.
-Demori

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 25: Uselessness

Day 25
An ancient gnarled tree:
Too fibrous for a logger' saw,
Too stwisted to fit a carpenter's square
Outlasts the whole forest.
- Ding Ming-Dao

What discerns something to be useful or useless? What if you fall somewhere inbetween?

It is based upon the judgement of the observer and their personal agenda,along with social and community expectations and guidelines. For instance, a cow is viewed as a source for meat in western society. However, you wouldn't harm a hair on the same cow in Hinudu countries due their belief that cows are scared because of the religious association of Lord Krishna, the cow herder. Hindus will use the cow for milk and commodity for trade, but cannot ever consider killing it.

So, for those of us you fall inbetween the cracks of the extremes, what do we represent? According to Ding Ming-Dao, "...it is the chance to live without interference and to expres one's own individuality." 
This is true in the sense that we are not the most beautiful, handsome, richests and popular, etc. , thus we do not need to expend energy attempting to keep the status that so many must fight for each day to stay "at the top of their game."

As for me, I'd much rather being a gnarled tree, like a desert juniper, than a perfect straight up and down tree - very boring and mundane. When I see a twisted tree set on the edge of a desert landscap, I feel like the earth is reflecting my non-linear attitude to life. I think this is where our western definitions of "perfect" are askew,  for it is in the imperfections that the interesting aspects of a person are found - the flaws that can be so grand.

Uuselessness is judgement
based on linear concepts
 that have no place for those of us
 looking for the twists and gnarls of life.
-Demori

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 24: Laughter

Day 24
Hilly village lanes,
Whitwashed sunlit walls.
Cerulean sea.
The laughter of children.
- Ding Ming-Dao

Childhood is fleeting. I do not remember an age of innocence. What I do remember is an age of not understanding why people do what they do and why. When you are a child it is the only option. Dao considers childhood laughter an extension of a time without care and ample opportunity to play in a day. However, I think he relies on his own functional childhood when he writes such meditations and not of those who lived through early years in a disfunctional family life. It's not that children from these grayer layers of life don't laugh, it's just that they do it sometimes instead of letting the pain in their hearts cause the tears. It's only as the child grows and develops an understanding that the laughter turns to tears. How lovely it would be if we could all remember our childhoods in small villages with orange, yellow and bright blue hues.

The memories of  my childhood are shuffled, selected and scattered. The child that lives in me is the little girl who loved to play in the Pine Barren woodlands, swim in the cedar rivers and walk in the night without a flashlight at the YMCA Summer Camp. I can see a picture of me that was taken in Summer 1974 or 1975 when I'm 7-8 years old, arms crossed in front of me. I'm wearing a white t-shirt with a charactiture of Jimmy JJ Walker and written at the bottom is "Dynomite", denium shorts, a pair of suade maroon Adia sneakers with a white stripe down the sides and a blue and red cloth sun hat. I'm smiling while leaning my right shoulder agaist a painted totem pole that was planted in front of the Main Lodge. It reminds me that there was fun and laughter in my life, even when it's easier to remember the bad times. So, that little girl I described at summer camp is the source of the Tao for me, for without her living within me these past thirty-six years, the road to this point in my life would have been much more difficult.

Hold tight to the happy
child living somewhere
inside of you, for she
is infinitly laughing 
and smiling.
-Demori

Day 23: Renewal

Day 23

City on a hill,
Untouched land beyond.
A fallow field is
The secret of fertility.
- Deng Ming-Dao

Dao writes, "...those who follow the Tao...understand the neef for retreat into nature. In the countryside, they find the nururing quality of freedom...(They) wander without societyal impostions."

At this time, when I'm working for a corporate entity for a tax season. Oh, how I miss my daily walk in the woods with my dogs. Freedom is priceless. Each night I come home and cry because I know I've missed the magical world I love so very much. I can't get that time or the walk back, if is forever gone. Nor can I regain that peace that washes over me and the satisfaction that I feel at one with the world - that I feel myself when I'm with the trees. Tomorrow I know that I'm off and there will be a walk, for if I do not go into the wild very soon my very survival is waning. It will hopefully renew me to continue to work so that I can eat the carrot at the end of the stick that dangles before me. I want be free again!

Moments fleeting.
within prison walls.
Yearning for nature's
renewal of the soul
-Demori



Posted by Demori Kennedy at 5:32 AM 0 comments

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22: Communication

Day 22
Movement, objects, speech, an words:
We communicate throug gross symbols.
We call them "objective",
But we cannot escape our point of view.
- Deng Ming-Dao

The opposite of communication is miscommunication, which seems to happen more often than not despite our intention to communicate due to subjectivity.

The author writes, "Followers of the Tao assert that we know no absolute truth in the world, only varying degrees of ambiguity. Some call htis poetry; some call this art. The fact remains that all communication is relative. Those who follow Tao are practical They know that words are imperfect and therefore give them limited importance: The symbl is not the same as the reality."

My motto has always been, "Say what you mean and mean what you say." However, the majority of people don't know how their words are not their truth. They say things they don't mean and in return I find most individuals to have no legitimate intention to follow through with words. Communication is a type of language - body and speech - but this are just extensions of the inner truth you carry with yourself everyday, it is called having communication skills for a reason. Actions speak louder than words. Just as there is "no absolute truth in the world", so there is no absolute truth in the attempt to depend on getting real truth from other human beings.

The only truth I have found to
any value is in nature.
It doesn't "say" one thing
and "mean" another.
A tree is a tree.
A rock is a rock.
A river is a river.
-Demori

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21: Skills

Day 21
Zither, chess, book, painting, sword.
These symbolize classical skill.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Skills are an extension of ourselves. How do extend yourself everyday? What skills do you want people to see and which do you keep private for yourself? Do you hesitate to develope new skills? Or, do you enjoy it? Creativity and criticism are two sides of the the same mind coin and need to be kept that way so that you can enjoy how you develop as an individual. Each skill has a place in your life and somehow we must cultivate them and give each time and space to develop a true sense of being and expose the inner aspects of the Self.

I have recently enrolled in a Beginners Writing course. Even though I've been writing lyrics, poetry and short stories over the years this is the first time in my life that I've committed to writing as a skill. It's important to practice any aspect of yourself, just as long as it doesn't become a job. I once taught yoga classes because I had the skill. However, teaching yoga and practicing yoga are very different. I didn't like teaching yoga because it took away the love I'd developed for the practice that was mine. Suddenly, what I'd been in love with became a job. So, there is a level of discernment that must take place when you're developing a skill - is it for you? Are you expecting anything back from it - money, acknowledgement, etc. It must be for the desire to do it and expose yourself to the reflection in the mirror that you dedicate yourself to acquiring a skill. Otherwise, you are dealing with ego and that can just be nothing but trouble. 

Extend the sword,
but not the point.
-Demori

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 20: Happiness

Day 20
Let us not follow vulgar leaders
Who exploit the fear of death,
And promise the bliss of salvation.
If we are truly happy,
They will have nothing to offer.
- Deng Ming-Dao


Happiness is harnessed by the wise individual who invites death into each day and allows life to flow towards it - the path of least resistance. To battle against either is a waste of time and energy. Free yourself from rules devised by man and his so-called gods. Live based on your own spirituality and your own truth. The only salvation is yourself. - Demori 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 19: Initiative

Day 19
Let us not be confused
With kaleidoscopic reality.
Using wisdom and courage to act,
Let not add to the confusion.
Deng Ming-Dao

In western culture it is supposedly a "compliment" to describe someone who shows intiative. It's assumed to be a postive trait and in connected with success. It doen't seem to matter how the initiative is directed, as long a you have it. However, initiative can become a negative action or reaction if an individual is not acting in the "right" way. Defining "right" and "wrong" goes back to dualistic thinking. What appears right to one person is wrong for another - life is a double-edged sword no matter what initiative is being targeted.

Deng Ming-Dao emphasises "Action must be guided by both intellect and expereince. We learn from teachers, elders and others. But we must also test what we learn in the world. It is not enough to simply meditate, adn it s not enough just to have theorectical knowledge. We need both in order to be wise."

I agree. Just as one practices meditation, one must also practice a basis for initiative - ensuring  little or no ramifications. Using a logic devised from teachings and experience to envision the possible causality of a decision, or in this case initiative. Do the positives outway the negatives? What are the possible end results? In the end will it all be worth the effort? Sometimes you just don't know how the entire situation will go down. You hope that the initiative you take is the right action for your life and for those around you. Even when moving with awarenss, you cannot possibly consider how deterministic situations can influence a direction that appears well considered and clear. Even with the best of intentions, there may be guilt and regret.

Deng Ming Daos writes, "The action must be burn clean; it cannot leave any bad ramifications or lingering traces. An act that leaves destruction, resentment, or untidiness in its wake is a poor one. Then initiative is insufficient, and Tao has not been attained."

Joseph Campbell wrote, " If you want to help this world, then you must teach how to live in it." There is no better way to do this than to take initiative in your life and live it in the best way you know how. From this you will hopefully gain wisdom and perspective about what is important in this life. If you can help others see how to live with awareness, even better.

The truth is that most people don't have 20/20 vision. They need glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, whether they be farsighted or nearsighted. We each see the world through different lenses, even the one's we are born with are not perfect throughout our life, the view alters based on age and exposure.

Intitiate  
a life path.
Response,
based
on inner truth,
will identify
 direction.
-Demori


Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 18: Spectrum

Day 18
Pure light is all colors.
Therefore, it has no hue.
Only when singleness is scattered
Does color appear.
-Deng Ming-Dao


The author writes, "That is why those who follow Tao constantly speak of returning. They unify all areas of their lives and unify all distinctions into a whole. There cannot be diversity within unity. When our consciounes rejoins the true Tao, there is only brightnesss, and all color disppears."

I have seen a double rainbow one time in my life - April 2009. The colors united and eventually they disappeared. It is the way of things. Between the beginning and the end it was a spectacular sight. In Tibetan Buddhism it is believed that such a sight means that someone, like a Rinpoche, has reached enlightenment.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 17: Cooperation

Day 17
Cooperation with others.
Perception, expereince, tenacity
Know when to lead and when to follow.
Deng Ming-Dao

Do you think Haitian Government has read this meditation? This approach apparently doesn't apply if chaos exists in the streets after a 7.0 earthquake. The Haitian Government seems to show no initiative or influence in this particular situation, let alone a resonsibility to their country. They've decided to let other countries take responsibility (ranging from the U.S. to Turkey), to support the people of Haiti. These people have been foresaken by their "God" and "Government". 

Deng Ming-Dao writes, "The best leader remains obsure..." Based on this description, the Haitian Government  is  a great example of taoists leadership (they probably practice Tai Chi in the local park every morning).  "As long as the collective has direction (Even the people of Haiti deny direction and cooperation amongst themselves - looting, killing, stealing, etc.), the leader is satisfied. Credit is not taken, it will be awarded when the people realize that it was the subtle influence of the leader that brought them success."  I think the Haitian Government is well satisfied and are willing to take credit for whatever the other countries do for them in this situation.

To be passive in a situation can lead to upheaval and chaos. However, leading is not always the best option either. Standing back to see what the situation is really about, to get a true perception of the isssue is a great way to make a determination. Joseph Campbell explores an Irish saying that goes something like, "Is your fight or can anybody join?"  It looks to me like the Haitian Government is doing just that - letting these territorial countries who want to fight over "I helped save Haiti the Most" button, to just do it. They're just standing back and letting it all unfold.

Hmmm.You know what? I think they are being taoists.  They see the situation for what it is and they are just letting it be.  Day 10: Disaster: "Disaster may well change us deeply, but they will pass...Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us."  Maybe, (this is a big maybe) the Haitian overnment is not cooperating with other countries because they are very use to death, destruction and eventually, some type of resurrection in whatever form that it takes. On the other hand,  the heroic countries with a  "Superman" mentality may be obstructing the natural course of things due to their own agendas. I'm not saying that there aren't people from these "Superman" countries (First Responders, etc.) that really want to help. But, I think there is a much larger picture here about human action and reaction than most people are seeing, such as Day 14: Positioning - "If we are not in the right place at the right time, we cannot possibly take advantage of what life has to offer to us."  In this particular case, perhaps a military advantage. Russia and Venezuela have been playing little war games, but the United States has not been invited to play.

Why does anyone cooperate?
Is it for bettering the world,
our business, or ourselves?
-Demori


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 16: Ordinary

Day 16
Umbrella, light, landscape, sky-
There is no language of the holy.
The sacred lies in the ordinary.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Once you stop personalizing your "God" and following the doctrines and dogma of religion, only then you begin your freedom toward the truth and away from the conceptualization of "God" and "Heaven". In most religions the teaching is all metaphor, anyway. It's not about what you're reading, but reading between the lines and acknowledging the symbolic aspects of the teachings.

Jesus is quoted as teaching, "Heaven is here upon the earth, but man does not see it." What he's describing is life without identifying the divinity of self and your connection to all things. Hell is here upon the earth, too and it's exactly the same thing but the opposite. Both exist in a dualilty mode whenever you want to tap into them. The difficulty is practicing being in balance with neither and both simultaneoulsy. Then you learn to flow with moments as they come. I know, it's just so difficult, but that is what spiritual practice is - some days you get the teachings and it's crystal clear, other days not so much.

Walking in the path of least resistance seems to be the best mode to attain such a space/place. It is here that one can begin to understand what William Blake was communicating when her wrote,  "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern."

Deng Ming-Doa writes, "If you constantly regard Tao as extraordinary, then it remains unknown and outside yourself - a myth, a fantasy, an unnameable quantity. But once you know it, it is yours and part of you daily life."

I find that with each passing day the meditations presented in 365 Tao are supporting my journey in seeing the ordinary as spiritual and the spiritual as ordinary. It took me a very long time to get to this simple point of spirituality and insight, considering not all that long ago (4 years ago) I was about to start the process of  100,000 prostrations for the sake of Tibetan Buddhism. Whew! That was a close one. I saw pilgrims doing this practice in Tibet with knee pads and mittens - very committed to their religion while the Chinese soilders stood with guns 10 feet away or pushed through the crowd and practically walked on them. But that's the way it is.

I know that seeking the sacred comes with stopping the search the the extraordinary and just walking in it and through it, allowing it to be and not you straining yourself to fit into a mold of some doctrine/dogma. Tibetan Buddhism - you read and you practice, you chant, you prostrate and some how you get more attached to the teachings, which you're not suppose to do, but it's very human to do so. In the end I just knew it wasnt' right for me. So, here I am at Taoism and it seems to me this has always been more of my innate sense of "spirit", afterall. As simple as a sunset.


Ordinary -
brook flows
 moss grows
wind blows.
-Demor



Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 15: Time

Day 15
The river, surging course,
Uninterruped current.
Headwater, channel, mouth.
Can they be divided?
-Deng Ming-Dao




Today's meditation is about time: past, present and future. It also concerns how each impacts the other - the only division them being the present moment.


The trinity of time flows -
past, present, future - 
one into the other.
- Demori


Deng Ming-Dao writes, "We must understand how the past affects us, we should keep the present full of rich and satisfying experiences, and we should devote some energy each day to building for the future. Just as a river can be said to have parts that cannot be clearly divided, so too shold we consider the whole of our time when deciding on how to spend our lives."


It is not always easy to see the direction we are taking while in the present moment. Joseph Campbell writes about "invisible hands" that guide you. But, most importantly he emphasises to "follow your bliss". We can't always identify our bliss, but we can be true to our spirit's call.


In retrospect we see how our lives have moved us to the very moment at which we stand in its reflection. It has been said by many that this life is not about the final destination, but the journey. The older one gets in life, this statement becomes more true. By the time you are 40 years old, there have certainly been some twists and turns in the river of your life, carving through and shaping the landscape of your being. Time has been there wandering along side of you the entire way. 




For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause...
- Shakespeare


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 14: Positoning

Day 14
Heron stands in the blue estuary,
Solitary, white, unmoving for hours.
A fish! Quick avian darting;
The prey captured.

Deng Ming-Dao states that, "Actions in life can be reduced to two factors: postioning and timing. If we are not at the right place at the right time, we canot possibly take advantage of what life has to offer us."

This is very similar to the existentialist view offered by Franz Kafka: "It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet."

If you going searching for "it", whatever "it" is - a new job or a fish, it doesn't matter. What matters is not to search for it, but to let "it" find you. How can this clever little idea be applied to a modern condition such as esculating unemployment? Having recently been involved in an Unemployment Insurance debacle, it came to my attention from two employees of this government agency that 80% of all jobs available are unadvertised. So, here you have thousands of people looking for jobs of which only 20% are made known to them via newspapers, career finder sites, etc.

So, when in doubt of your postion in life you can just practice Wu-wei: A key principle in realizing our oneness with the Tao is that of wu-wei, or "non-doing." Wu-wei refers to behavior that arises from a sense of oneself as connected to others and to one's environment. It is not motivated by a sense of separateness. It is action that is spontaneous and effortless. At the same time it is not to be considered inertia, laziness, or mere passivity. Rather, it is the experience of going with the grain or swimming with the current. Our contemporary expression, "going with the flow," is a direct expression of this fundamental Taoist principle, which in its most basic form refers to behavior occurring in response to the flow of the Tao.

Deng Ming-Dao deems another aspect of this taoist meditation necessary: "...but we must be vigilent 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. Postion is uselss without awareness. If we have both, we make no mistakes."

So, you can be like a heron and stand in the water awaiting the fish, hang out in Wu-wei, or you can take a Kafka stance and allow the universe to present itself to you...it's all the same gig.

I take no postion on the position of position.
-Demori


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 13: Absorption

Day 13
Crimson light through pine shadows.
Setting sun settling in the ocean.
Night follows the setting sun,
Day follows the fleeing moon.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Deng Ming-Dao writes, "...true absorption is a total involvement in the evolution of life without hesitation or contradiction. In nature there is no alienation. Everything belongs."

If we allow life to unfold in its own way there is no hesitation or contradiction. However, if we try to control its evolution we are bound head-long into either a psychological or emotional wreck. Do we really know what does or doesn't belong in our lives? Control of our personal agenda is a complete illusion. There is a tremendous amount of perception being reflected back at us as perspective when all that's really going on is mind chatter (chitta) and ego projection.

During my walks in the woods I find that nature is beautiful in the winter - life & death co-existing next to each other - texture and color, space and mass, order and chaos. You can get absorbed in the wholistic view of the moment - trees, birds, brooks, rocks, ice, snow, etc. But, if you just stop to look at a detail, say the pattern of stones or how a leaf is folded, then you realize that it's similar to getting close enough to see the brush stroke in a painting. You're in awe - one motion created the illusion, one stoke supported the creation of a work of art. Everything belongs!

A limb broke from a holly tree during a winter storm and it fell in the middle of the trail, but that branch doesn't contradict the babbling brook flowing ten feet away. What would contradict this situation is if I placed an agenda onto it vs. non-responsiveness, just accepting the circumstance. Granted, the fallen limb is in the middle of the trail and it's in my way. I walk around it. The human factor of involvement vs. absorption means responding to a situation instead of leaving it alone, allowing it to just be. I'm not saying this is easy. The philosophy is against our programming. That broken limb I referred to was left there over a week ago, today it was gone. What makes the limb wrong and us right? By being absorbed in the fact that the limb is in the middle of the trail, did that person who moved it lose sight? Did he/she miss moving closer to hear the brook singing its little babbling song?

Ding Ming-Dao calls it absorption when we embrace nature and aloofness when it's in regard to the human agenda - "...questioning ourselves at the wrong times, or letting hatred and price cloud our perception. Our alientation is self-generated." The human agenda alienates us from our inner nature and the natural world. Is absorption without hesitation? I think absorption can involve hesitating - considering an act, waiting to even take a step forward. Hmmm, then that isn't taoism because it's too calculated, there's no flow. Is contradiction caused by acting without hesitation and disregarding causality? What about The Butterfly Effect? What effect did moving that branch from where it fell on the trail create? Maybe nothing, maybe something. I thought about moving it myself when I first approached it, but I didn't. I hesitated. I decided that it wasn't my place to change it. I walked around it. Or, should I have turned around on the trail and not concerned myself with visiting the babbling brook? In both cases did personal agenda come into play? Is there any evidence that everything was as it should be? I just have to accept that I belonged there.

Ding Ming-Dao writes, "...if we intergrate ourselves with that process (absorption of nature), we will find success. Then the sequence of things will be as evident as the coming of the sun and the moon, and everything will be as it should be." 


Nature absorbs you
like a sponge holds water -
you belong.
-Demori

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 12

Potter at the wheel.
From centering to finished pot,
Form increases as options decrease;
Softness goes to hardness.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Deng Ming-Dao writes, "When a potter begins to throw a pot, she picks up a lump of clay, shapes it into a rough sphere, and throws it onto the spinning potter's wheel."

The image of a clay in the shape of a rough sphere reminds me of a dream from a few weeks ago: I'm attending a New Age/Spiritual Conference. Each religion or spiritual branch has its own booth and a person to represent the teachings. I wander booth to booth. I go to a booth where there is a large framed Native American man in his 50's. He is sitting on the ground cross-legged. He invites me to sit opposite him. As he stares at me I notice that he has a grey-colored ball of clay that he is tossing from one hand to the other. He finally speaks to me and tells me that it is no wonder that my soul has been unhappy in this life, especially with the name I have given it, "Dop". I realize that the ball of clay that he is playing with is my soul. He tells me that I have been very careless with my soul and by tossing it back and forth in his hands he is letting me see just how I've been treating it. He then hands me a black leatherbound (8X10) book. His clay fingerprints are all over the cover. He has made this book especially for me. In return for this book I must pay him $20. I give him the money. We leave the building and begin to walk. He tells me to open the book. I untie the leather string holding it together and open it. A great light shines from the pages, making it so that I can't read any of the writing. He explains that only truth will reflect from those pages like sunlight off the water and that these are the teachings on how to live a "right life". I realize that what he has handed me is my life book. It reveals the truth and knowledge that that I have discovered and accumulated in this life despite my carelessness. I leaf through the book and find blank pages. He tells me that I must continue on this life path and those empty pages will be filled with my teachings. We have been walking for a long time and finally arrive at a river. I turn to ask him what is next, but he is gone. I awaken from the dream.

Deng Ming-Dao continues, "As we shape the situation, we must be aware of what form we want things to take. The closer something comes to completion, the harder and more definite it becomes. Our options become fewer, until the full impact of our creation is all that there is. Beauty or ugliness, utilitary or failure, comes from the process of shaping." He continues, "(the potter) cannot go on too long, for the clay will begin to "tire" and then sag. She (the potter) gives it the form she imagines, then sets it aside. The next day, the clay will be leather hard, and she can turn it over to shape the foot...Eventually, the bowl will be fired, and then the only options are the colors applied to it; its shape cannot be changed."

It is time for my soul to be thrown onto the potter's wheel for final shaping, fired and fixed - certainty of purpose and finite time before the clay becomes too tired and sags. If the dream has anything to tell me in relationship to Day 12: Shaping it is that I have been careless in my endeavor to find spiritual and life truth. I've wandered in and out of teachings and lives (booth to booth) with no regard to how it was impacting my soul (aka "Dop"). Rather, I looked upon it all as a means to an end (no matter the cost), and that it would all lead to a great teaching from a great teacher. Well, it did. Nature (symbolized by my Native American friend in the dream); and that in the process of being the student that I have become the teacher (symbolized by the black leather book).

So, I am a ball of clay that has finally found a potter with a wheel: nature. I trust it to form me into the final shape and color I'm meant to be with a design of purpose, a unique clay pot. With this understanding comes the reality that my options in life (what remains of it) must become fewer and the view narrowed; there must be concentration on the final form.

Excuse me.
I'd like to ask you a question.
What is the shape of your soul?
-Demori

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 11: Healing

Day 11
Fire cools.
Water seeks its own level.
-Deng Ming-Dao



Deng Ming-Dao writes: "No matter how extreme a situation is, it will change. It cannot continue forever. Thus, a great forest fire is always destined to burn itself out; a turbulent sea will become calmer. Natural events balance themselves out by seeking their opposites, and this process of balance is at the heart of all healing."

The opposite of Facebook is DE-FACEBOOK. Hence, the opposite of being on a social network is to join an anti-social network, which is exactly what I did the other day and that network is called ME.

I just couldn't stand the obvious fact that most people who are "friending" one another are not being genuine. How many people do you know have 130 friends that they'd like to hang out with? Some people "friend" someone, then "hide" them. I'm not so sure about doing that either. Isn't that like seeing someone at a social gathering and then acting like you haven't seen them? They've already seen you and think that you are a friend. When, in fact, you were just being polite when you said you'd be a friend; but you're really not, nor do you want the least bit to do with person. Here we have another man-made device that allows to believe that we are being a social animal and have a great deal of friends.

I'll be known as a "De-Facebook-er". The scandal! Well, I've never been much for following a crowd and I can't start now. I heard my own beat and the drummer was telling me that Facebook is just not right, it can't continue like this. You know people are posting things as mundane as taking out the garbage. You check in the hope of it being otherwise. But, alas, it's like overhearing a conversation at Starbucks and it's all about how good the coffee is at this place (as the cappucino-maker loudly groans in the background). Ugh! Enough!

I'll take the heat for being the first person that I know to pull the plug on this hoax of a social network. Those individuals who are my true friends know where to find me and vice versa. Do we really need such a thing as a social network to confirm that we are relevent in the universe? If you have one good friend in this life you are a very fortunate individual, indeed. But 130 really good friends? Please. There must be time for healing. Seriously. I've become a social network outcast.

Healing comes from within. If you're looking for confirmation from the outside world about who or what you are, then you've made no progress at all.

"Know your Demons,
they guard your inner truth.
Answer to them!
Negate your Demons,
negate yourself."
-Demori




Day 10:Disaster

Day 10
Mute black night,
Sudden fire.
Destruction.
-Deng Ming Dao

Nature has no malice.
-Demori

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 9: Optimism

Day 9
Clearing blue sky,
A promise in bare branches.
In winter, there are sunny days.
In adulthood, childhood can return.
-Deng Ming-Dao

I'm not an optimist. I one of those dreaded realists. I can conjure a child-like nature about certain things, especially nature itself.

"In adulthood, we oftern see responsibiilites as something dreadful....We see activities only as obligations, and we strain against our fate. But here is a joy in working in harmony with the proper time. When we do things at just the right occasion and those efforts bear fruit later, the gratificatin is tremendous. - Deng Ming Doa

The one thing that I don't like is to be responsible for other people & I don't like feeling obligated to others. I don't know where this thinking started. I'm not certain how that strains againsts my fate except that it does keep me from fully embracing relationships with trust and friendship.

There are days that I really wish my dogs and cats had opposable thumbs so that they could let themselves out and open their own food. I know it sounds silly, but it's very true. I love them. So, in order for them to be in my life my responsibilty is to do for them the things that they can't do for themselves.

"There was an old man who began an orchard upon his retirement. Everyone laughed at him. Why plant trees? They told him that he would never live to see a mature crop. Undaunted, he planted anyway, and he has seen them blossom and has eaten their fruit. We all need that type of optimism. That is the innocense and hope of childhood. " - Deng Ming-Dao
 
We planted a beech tree two years ago. It will take 30 years before the tree actually bears beech nuts. It is possible that I might see this tree fully mature when I'm 72 years old. I don't know. But, you don't stop living even though you know you're dying. When you plant a tree then there is a part of you goes on through the energy of that tree and for as long as it lives.

I believe in trees
more than I believe in people.
-Demori

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 8: Work

Day 8
The woodcutter
Works in all seasons,
Splitting wood is both
Action and inaction.
-Deng Ming-Dao


Action and inaction are the balance of how fate, destininy and causality work in conjunction with one another to arrive at the perfect place & space of your existance. Deng Ming-Dao also writes:"...true labor is half initiate and half knowing how to let things proceed on their own."

The fate of things. I may not like how things are done, but it's how they end up and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. I work against not working toward anything, but it doesn't mean that you can get your hopes up even when you don't think you're doing it. Then there is a matter of disappointment. Still, I believe a small amount of initiation propels life forward, but in the end you're in the backseat and destiny is driving.

"Go into the woods.
 No games - it's all real.
Either you live it or you die"
-Demori

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 7: Forbearance

Day 7
Artic breath coils the mountain,
Rattling the forests' bones.
Raindrops cling to branches:
Jewelled adornment flung to earth.
-Deng Ming-Dao

For one to have forbearance means that you must have patience and tolence no matter the circumstances in your life, enduring all that comes - good, bad, indifferent. Most importantly we must be true to ourselves and our innate truth.

Deng-Ming Dao writes, "Trees in winter lose their leaves...they stand and wait, the power of their growth apparently dormant. But inside, a burgeoning is building imperceptibly." He goes on to write, "Theirs is a forbearance of being true to their inner natures. It is with this power that they withstand both the vicissiturdes and adornment of life, for neither bad forture nor good fortune will alter what they are...No matter what, we must always be true to our inner selves."

A tree lives as a tree because it can be nothing else. People can play at trying different roles in this life. If you're being true to yourself than you can weather the storms of life and have inner growth. If you fight against what is happening, you'll be like a tree in a storm that falls to the ground and that is also a fortune you must be willing to bear. 

Patience is a virtue. I have little to spare. I'm becoming more patient as I get older because I realize there is no choice but to wait for that which is important to me. On the other hand, I can also recognize if I'm going in a previous pattern - no tolerance. As time becomes blatently shorter in my life I realize that if I do not identify old patterns that did not work in the past and/or how they do/don't work in conjuction with the truth of my innate nature, then I am wasting precious moments. 

Woman know thyself.

If you've learned a lesson about being yourself, then use it and don't waste trying again in the same old way. If you're a 20-something (even early 30-something years old), then you've got some space for trial and error. By the time you've reached 40 years old, trial and error is no longer a luxury. You must know what works and want doesn't, what is your truth and what is your lie while simultaneously remaining flexible for the potential of self-discovery and personal evolution. 

"Forbearance of  a middle-aged woman: tolerate only the truth; be patient for that which is worth waiting; be honest with yourself; and death comes ever closer." - Demori

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 6: Emerging

Day 6
Thunder and rain at night.
Growth comes with a shock.
Expression and duration
Appear in the first moment.
-Deng Ming-Dao

I've never known true personal growth to be subtle. The rug must be taken out from under your feet and you fall on your ass. Alternatively, you get pushed off a cliff (only cliff divers usually make the decision to jump) by extraordinary conditions and you fall to the ocean, on your way hitting several rocks. When you get out of the water and dry off you realize that you're cut and bruised, but still alive enough to carry on from that moment. Believe me, after my father's suicide (I was twenty-six years old) you learn that healing and self-evolution can take several years. I got pushed off a cliff and lived to tell the tale.

Most recently, when I came back from Nepal & Tibet aspects of my life collapsed. I knew it was going to be a life changing trip, I just didn't know how fast it would occur. One element of change and shock was to find that after 17 years I could no longer be a massage therapist due to neck and body pain that just made doing a session unbearable. I was in pain before I left on the 4 week journey. During the time that I was away -  pain free. Within one massage session I knew it was over. I put my resignation in a week later and placed my massage table on the curb for the trash truck. Deep inside I knew there was a reason and I just had to wait to see why this door had closed and if another was opening. That was seven months ago and there are doors opening into rooms I'd never considered entering and find myself peeking inside to see what's there. I am considering my options. This blog is a room, a very small room, but a room just the same. I wasn't planning on going through this particular door and into this room. Then I found Deng Ming-Dao's book at the second-hand bookstore and I knew in that moment a door opened.

It takes time. It takes time that under normal circumstances we think we don't have to spare. Time is relative and a device. Well, it doesn't matter what any of us think, life happens when it happens. Surviving the process takes a great deal of self-reflection and a tolerance to pain your way through re-discovery. It would be easy if the answer just appeared, but it doesn't. It emerges a tiny bit every day until you start to sense a seed of your truth is inside of you; but if you don't take the time to nourish it, then it won't grow through the soil and push past the darkness into the sunlight.

We don't change overnight (adolescence, for instance) during any growth period even though it seems like one day we're exactly where were suppose to be - tada. It takes an awareness of the decisions you are making vs. the allowing of life to move you in the direction you're meant to be. I've found that a goal gets in the way of everything. You're thinking only one way, when you're suppose be going in an entirely different direction. You go to the ticket counter and request a bus ticket for anywhere, whatever ticket comes up first. You accept the ticket and get on the bus to see where it takes you. If you're suppose to be in California but you've assured yourself your suppose to be in Florida, well you've got a problem. See, the ticket guy was going to give you a ticket to California, but you asked for Florida. It's just not right and you'll know it once you get off the bus in Florida and nothing works out the way you thought it would/should.

Well, it seems off subject, but today I went to the get my hair dyed back to it's dark brown color, not the lighter color w/ highlights that I've been displaying the past few months because "they" say that when you're older you're suppose to go lighter. I thought my hair was beginning to look like Hannah Montana's wig. Plus, in a picture there was a stranger looking back at me. I know, it's so superfiscial, but it is very much a "thing" for women. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many shelves of hair coloring products - western culture & societal pressure to stay looking young. Even for those with awareness of the plot are vulnarable to wishing to still look attractive.
So, here I am back to the original dark brown and it is a bit of a shock. But, it from here that I can grow into the true woman I am - approximately 40% gray and going more gray by the day, month and year. It's going to take time, 1-2 years for it to emerge from the transitional wreckage that is sure to occur. But, I'm willing to live with it because I know it's absolutely necessary. If I don't look 44 years old in the mirror then I'm going to stay under the delusion that my time is not short, that I'm forever 35 years old - one of my best years in this life (Vision Quest in Colorado, Wild Dolphin Swimming in Bimini, Wandering in New Mexico & Arizona desert) and one of the worst (end of my first marriage & uprooting of my life). It was also the best physical fitness level I've ever been other than the day of got married to my second huband in Antigua (2003) -14% body fat. Well, that self-deception has come to an end.

Dao writes, "We may think that it came up suddenly, but in actuality, it emerged as the product of unseen and subtle cycles".

I've tried going gray before only to find my ego fighting me to the point where I gave up. Plus, I was working at a fitness center and everything is about trying to look a certain way (excuse after excuse). So, I'd convince myself that maybe I am to young to go gray since my body was still in good shape. But deep inside I knew it was a self-deception because, for all my muscle and tone, the skin of a woman in her 40's is not the same as that of a woman in her 20's & 30's. Elasticity is diminished and you have to work twice as hard to get the same results as the younger sector. You look great for your age, but when the 20-something counter boy at Rite Aid calls you "mame", you realize the only person your fooling is yourself. Plus, I hate the term "cougar". The fact that any woman in her 40's tolerates being called such a direspectful name is a silly woman, indeed. It just goes to show that if they can't call us "crones" then they must call us something and neither is flattering. But, I'd rather be a crone than a cougar! Crone is woman wisdom and puts a man in fear that she'll cut off his penis if she has a mind to do so. This male-dominated/youth-based culture and society hates to see women age! It's just crazy! It is important to remember that at the beginning of the 20th Century, a woman was usually a grandmother by the time she was forty years old and could very well be getting to the end of her lifespan.


Now, back to emerging...
Well, I believe "everybody" is on board for personal growth this year. The ego and the truth merging together, giving me the the strength to embody physical and chronological destiny. I know that this process will also allow for an emerging of spiritual and deep subconscious truths to show themselves, too - embrace of self-discovery and finally personal transformation.
Juniper Tree. 
Twisted trunk.
Desert frame.
Root exposed.
Elements sculpt. 
Beauty emerges.
-Demori



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5: Sound

Day 5
Wind in the cave:
Movement is stillness
Power in silence.
-Deng Ming-Dao

"The deepest sound is silence. This may seem paradoxical only if we regard slience as an absence of life and vibration...silence is sound unified with all of its opposites. It is both sound and soundlessness, and it is in the confluence that the power of meditation emerges." - Deng Ming-Dao

When the cold wind blows through the bare oak trees I hear them speaking to me. They make a sound as if calling my name - an audible "voice" that only trees can make on a cloudy winters day. I have also know the silence of the wind in a cave, surrounded by the alien rock formations at Joshua Tree National Park. I sat  alone in the moonless dark listening to the ancients sing a silent song. If you let sound/soundlessness into your life, it will change you. Listen.

"I love listening to silence.
It is a  friend for those who know how to embrace it."
-Demori



Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 4: Reflection

Day 4
Moon above water.
Sit in Solitude.
-Deng Ming-Dao

Stillness in a world so kinetic is difficult.

You must find a place where it is safe to be reflective - music, reading, nature, meditation, etc. This will calm the waters of your mind and allow the moon of yourself to be reflected in the what is placid. If this is not done on a regular basis, then there will be static electricity and the knowledge that you hold within that comes through inspiration (or Tao) will be blocked. You can't try to find this point of reflection. It is in the process of letting go of finding anything that allows it comes into your life the way it is meant to manifest -  the moment is found - no in a preconceived notion.

For me it is easy in nature to find this place, or during moments of practicing yoga postures. Mostly in the woods - trees and brooks, rivers and sky. Today on our walk the river was frozen, yet even in that stillness there were areas where the river flowed as if nothing had changed. So, even in our stillness there is movement. In the clear blue sky overhead I saw a Red Tailed Hawk fly. I heard him before I saw him. You know when you've heard something grand in the silence, different from the wind and small birds chirping about. You feel the energy! You look up and there it is, soaring above your head and you stand still in that moment and in complete awe. That is a refelctive moment. That is the reflection of the moon on calm water - you've forgotten yourself. Nothing else matters at that time except watching it fly as long as your eyes can see it, a tremendous bird of prey that makes you feel small. I've seen Eagles out there, too. Both send a chill through me. I hear their calls over the trees, echoing around me.I wish that this sense of stillness and reflection that I have in the woods during my walks followed me into my home and life. It is not always so.

The self-deception is that I'mm this calm seeker wandering around in the woods. The truth is that I must admit to taking Xanex 2-3 times per day so that I don't errupt when I'm home. It is very true. It is the responsibility of things here with dogs, cats, husband, cleaning that which becomes unclean...it gets overwelming to me sometimes. It is like chopping wood. If you want to stay warm you can't stop chopping wood, but it's not always the thing that brings you enlightenment. There is a saying, "Before enlightenment, chop wood & carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood & carry water." But, there are days when I am happy to do household life things, simple and necessary.

Actually, the frustration and anxiety began about a year after my mother died. Since then, I've been on edge many times with a feeling of such utter frustration that I could "pop". The only place that I don't feel this is when I'm in nature, or if all of my chores are done in the house and I sit to read or write. Both bring a similar sense of calm reflection. This will eventually bring self-discovery and evolution to a point of not needing Xanex to find the moon reflected in calm water, even at home.

So, I am reflective all the time, it is not always as calm as I would like and I cannot always see the moon in the water. As an evolving existentialist, it can be said that I find it easier to accept things that occur if I believe it is toward a reasoning, a fate of sorts. How does Taoism fit into that way of thinking? Taoism is about accepting things as they are and not wishing to change them, but embracing them in the reality of what they truely are vs. what you wish they were instead or letting your imagination create that which is not true. When I'm irritateded at home it's because I don't want to be responsible for anything, but I am. This is different than walking in the woods because there I feel free.

"Let go of that which binds you and does not fill your soul!
Find spendor and freedom in your life  -
that which brings you timelessness and freedom. 
Even if it only last for one moment.
It is better to have one instance of reflective clarity,
to see the moon in the water for one second,
than to never to glance upon the true nature you were born with."
-Demori




Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 3: Devotion

Day 3
Make the crooked straight,
Make the straight flow.
Gather water, fire and light.
Bring the world to single point.

Decide on your purpose and walk your path and this will be your devotion - a single point.

My spiritual path is behind me, in the sense of searching out "God". I am not searching for the divine outside of me, it is now the inner quest of getting to know the divinity within me. However, I believe that it is absolutely necessary to be an experientialist. You can read all you want to about this and that, that and this. It is easy to be a sage sitting alone at the top of the mountain or in the solitude of the desert; but, down here in the trenches one can have moments of instability about what is divine, if there is any divinity at all.

I take daily walks in the woods with my dogs that usually last for about 2 hours. I can find a still point in the silence, a place of devotion in earth-based roots. Nature is a spirituality that is raw and simple, chaotic and orderly - it exposes every element of life to you if you look and listen - like a dead tree that has fallen perfectly in place and the roar of the winter wind  that gives you a sense of peace.

"When was the last time you took a walk in the woods, my friend? It is of great comfort and wisdom to do so for it brings to light that which has fallen into darkness. You will no longer be lost and alone because you have the friends of the earth beside you. Become timeless on dirt paths and connect to what really matters: not the world of men, but to Self. Do what you must in this life not for mankind, but for your own calling. Refusal of the call places a man in complete despair and confusion, he will lose his soul to the emptiness, the void of his own creation." - Demori

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2: Ablution

Day 2
Washing at dawn:
Rinse away dreams.
Protect the gods within,
And clarify the inner spirit

Purify the body, clear away the illusion of waking moments- the delusion, protect the god/goddess within the Self (36,000 in the body according to Taoism) and reach the ultimate knowledge. It is not greater in divinity than the Self, but it is the Self that must be embraced and accepted as divinity.

I've claimed to be a truth seeker, the most difficult has been seeking my own truth and living by it. I searched for god on tops of mountains and in the sands of deserts and found only myself staring back at me. But today I look at a picture of myself and I see a false god - ME. Using hair color to disguise the truth of being a woman moving into her 44th year. These are the pollutants of the body, mind and spirit. Believing the lies is easy, deprogramming yourself from them takes work and courage.

Wisdom comes with age. If we do not show age then how can we show any wisdom? One cannot be without the other. There are those who do grow old in body but never gain the wisdom of the soul, only having lived a life. I want more than that for myself. So, I must wash away the dirt that is false and allow the truth to cleanse me and to ultimately allow me to move forward in my life, to be the elder I desire to be -  like a great grandmother oak tree! The outside must reflect the inside and vice versa, otherwise my life has been a lie and all the seeking in the world won't change this realization on my death bed.

"If you have one moment of inspiration of what this life may be for, then you are blessed.
Most men wander the earth in complete ignorance of any truth in connection with the soul - careless with the treasure that they carry beneath the cloak of human form."
- Demori