This morning and all through the day, I will be receiving the best possible news – that this universe is not at all what I thought it was, not a material place filled with zillions of competing material entities, but rather a single, friendly, infinite force of which I am an essential part. This magnificent news announces that I am set free instantly and forever. Strange as it seems, it is true that I constantly jail myself behind barswhich I make with my own thoughts. Because I usually picture myself as a material object surrounded by other material – and threatening – objects, I am convinced, usually, that I am literally in a prison from morning to night, but now, this morning, the news comes that all of this is simply an illusion, a nightmare from which I can easily awaken. This good news literally gives back sight to the blind, for I am now able to see the astonishingly beautiful reality that I am actually part of. It’s as if I’ve been wearing a blindfold through most of my life, but didn’t realize it, and so I thought I was seeing accurately. This wondrous news of the boundless nature of reality suddenly takes off my blindfold, and I am astonished to see a whole new world in front of me. It’s amazing to realize that I, personally, have received this best of all news on this very morning of August 12, 2022, and that I will continue to receive it all day long, and throughout every day to come in the future. I have always loved getting good news, and today’s news is not just good, but the very best news of all. It tells me that I am always and forever safe and secure in a universe where each moment is made of infinite mystery and measureless poise. How did an 80-year-old boy get so lucky!
TO LOVE AND BE LIGHT
(about Bill M., 87, Blessings, CT, USA)
a lamp on a desk
did what he wanted to do -
turn on and shine -
and it showed him
how easy it is to do,
so he went outside
in the deep darkness of life
and simply let go
of all the controls,
and suddenly there was light
all around him,
and he was the light
and trees were the light
and even simple grass
was the light,
all because a lamp
let him know the good news
of how easy it is
to love and be light.
Today, like every day, I can count on the unconditional support of the present moment. Whatever I need will be all set for me, here and now, ready to provide me with unlimited wisdom and power. I will have unrestricted access to treasures like kindness, gentleness, acceptance, and patience, and everything I see – trees tossing in summer winds, my wife’s sweet smile, a cup of coffee standing ready beside my hand – will be wholehearted in its ability to literally transform my life. Each moment will be unquestioning in its ability to make life perfect for me, right there and then. I don’t mean that there won’t be challenges today, the fears and disappointments that do their crazy dance all over the earth, but I know that life will be unequivocally able to show me how to acceptwhatever happens with a respectful bow. I may experience sadness today, but I know I can do it with a gentle willingness. And it’s not little ‘me’ that’s able to be agreeable and easygoing today; it’s life itself. I just have to be open to the all-out, unconditional love that life has ready for me each moment.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
about Sharon Z., 82, Blessings, CT
(a poem based on an old saying
She knows she has friends
in high places,
like the power lines
above her street,
where sparrows sometimes smile at her,
though no one believes her
when she tells them.
The clouds are her friends, too.
She sees them sailing
and sometimes waving to her,
because they’re soft
and they understand.
that’s always unfolding in the sky
is her friend,
and also the limber tree limbs
that help her remember
to be loose with life,
to freely allow it
to lead her
with its wholeheartedness.
Perhaps the friend she’s proudest of
is the sky itself,
since its vastness
reminds her of herself.
After 80+ years, I now see, in my occasional moments of insight, that, far from being something solid, all of reality – including me – is actually loose and unbounded. The idea of solidness is just that – an idea, a belief – whereas the truth, as scientists know well, is that reality is an unshackled dance among trillions of unleashed cells and atoms. Life is no more solid than the ocean, always flowing and shifting and swapping, and I, being a part of this ocean of reality, am part of the ceaseless flow. Similar to a drop of ocean water, I am a drop of life, always swirling and shifting in the endless sea of reality. I am no more permanent than a wave in the ocean, no more solid than the surf coming ashore. In truth, I and everyone and everything is loose and limitless in a cosmos that’s everchanging and thus always fresh and first-hand, which sounds to me like a good reason for some genuine joy. 😀
Today, I hope to keep in mind that there is no outsideanywhere. All of reality today will be on the inside, because the inside is everywhere. In a universe that truly has no boundaries, everywhere is inside, and everywhere is actually at the center of the inside. I have spent so much of my life trying to cope with what I saw as ‘outside’ situations – events and circumstances that seemed to be separate from me and sometimes threatening me – but now, at the truly awe-inspiring age of 80, I see clearly that everything is on the inside, and that the inside is a boundless and harmonious wonderland. For a large part of my life, I struggled to find peace somewhere outside of me – in people and material things and situations – but now I see there is no outside anywhere, and the inside is endless and everlastingly peaceful (even though I often don’t see the peace anywhere). Today, like all days, the kingdom of serenity is inside everything, including me – and every moment, including me, is inside this quiet kingdom.
Could be a pretty sweet day!
Below, two best friends in their 80’s enjoying a lovely walk on the beach this morning …
It’s wonderful, on this beautifully dark morning, to realize that today, like all days, will be wide-open. There will be no barriers to anything, anywhere, except those I create in my thoughts. This universe – this life I have always been part of – is totally unlatched and unfenced, ready, at every moment, to be explored and enjoyed. Each moment today will be a free and spacious gift for me – and for everyone. Each experience will spread out like a welcoming wilderness, and all I have to do is let go of worries and doubts, and depart on each adventure with cheerfulness. Thunderstorms are predicted in our town for today, and storms of new thoughts and feelings will also be beautifully unfolding all day long. Each hour will be like an unbounded store that’s open for business. I hope I can love the sightseeing and searching and shopping!
Below, just a few of Delycia’s enchanting flowers in her early summer garden …
I believe, without question, that today will be perfect for me. Certainly there may be disappointments and difficulties, even sadness, but in the midst of whatever is happening – the closing of a car door, the tapping of my fingers on the computer keyboard, footsteps passing by – there will always be, without fail, the boundless and flawless present moment. A moment may not seem perfect, but, as the saying goes, each moment ‘is what it is’ and can’t be anything else – so it needs to be accepted and studied and learned from. What is happening right here and now undoubtedly can’t be changed right here and now, so my best approach to whatever happens today is simple acceptance. Then, I would surely have the power of unlimited presence with me as I move toward seeing adverse situations slowly blossom into peace and commonplace perfection.
I have always tried to be a law-abiding citizen, but, in this very instructive eighty-first year of my life, I’m finally realizing that, in one sense, I have no choice in the matter. There is one law that I must obey – the most important law of all, the only eternal and shatterproof law. This is the law that says the present moment must be obeyed, because it is the only moment that exists, is without boundaries, and has all the power in the universe. In moments of clear thinking (which, I’m afraid, are still fairly rare for me), I realize that this law is indeed unbreakable. Each day, each moment, I actually have no choice but to obey this law – and why should I ever resist obeying it? This law surrounds me with comfort and fearlessness, reminding me that all is always well inside its reassuring certainty. It says that whatever is happening, be it scary or soothing, can be successfully dealt with because it is happening within the limitless present moment, where I also am ‘happening’, and therefore the situation and I can smoothly work together to unfold the wisdom it is bringing. As has always been the case in the history of human civilization, frightening events and situations – for nations and families and individuals – are occurring across the globe these days, and the only way to weather these storms is to meet them in the boundless present and roll with them through the troubles and toward wisdom and healing. It’s an unbreakable law: every present moment is large enough to contain both distress and restoration, both sorrow and understanding. I just need to recognize and appreciate this unassailable principle of reality.
Below are some of Delycia’s beautiful early summer flowers …
and here are two healthy breakfasts ready on the patio table this morning …
One dictionary defines ‘panorama’ as an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer, and my daily wish is to constantly enjoy a wonderful panorama of life. I am so often lost in the stagnant cave of my own thoughts, seeing only the mist and fogginess of fears and self-centeredness, and what I need is to get up to the high mountains of awareness and see the scenic view it affords. When seen from the peaks of true wakefulness, life is boundless and breathtaking, far too multifaceted and mysterious to be captured by my little and helpless ego-mind. Each moment and every moment, I can be witness to a view of life – the true view – that is picturesque and limitless and simply astounding, if I step up to the high peaks of awareness. They’re right here, right now, always – these beautiful bird’s eye views of reality. All I have to do is stop, stay still, and look – and be astonished.
Sometimes my good luck seems unbelievable. I’m neither wealthy nor well-known nor uncommonly gifted, but good fortune seems to follow me everywhere. I often, for instance, can’t believe the simple fact that I’m alive on an astonishing planet in an implausibly beautiful universe – that somehow this person called “Ham’ has been given hundreds of millions of minutes of this thing called life. The whole mystery of my life seems totally improbable, as if a magician somewhere in the everlasting cosmos made some swirls with her wand and, presto, here’s Hamilton Salsich. And my incredible good fortune continues to follow me in a round-the-clock way – my heart somehow holding its rhythm 100,000 times each day, my blood reliably rolling through my body hour after hour, my lungs lifting and falling in a steadfast way. All this, to me, seems so far-fetched – so deserving of awe – that it almost requires a down-on-my-knees, lost-for-words reverence.
Below, scenes from our walk this morning on the Beebe Pond trail …
Today, lucky for me, ‘being’ will be everywhere and all-powerful. Yes, ‘doing’ will also seem to be ever-present, but beneath and behind all the doing will be the simple, always accessible power of being, of aliveness. Wherever I am – at my desk, in the yard, or walking with Delycia to our weekly breakfast-out – the vital force of quiet, simple being will be ubiquitous. Even when I’m just sitting outside in the springtime shade and doing nothing but sitting, ‘being-ness’, the soul and spirit of all of reality, will be drawing empowered breath all around me. Even in total non-activity today, life will be always arising, always being. A stone sitting among other silent stones on a wall has, in this sense, as much life as a youngster racing around on the playground. The stone is being present, being around, being available, being at hand – and so am I, and always. I just hope I can always be aware of it – the peaceful and boundless power of simply being.
Here are some photos from our walk this morning in Elm Grove Cemetery on the Mystic River …
How strange, and wonderful – to realize, at the age of 80, that reality is timeless – that this ‘time’ thing that I’ve been a slave to all my life actually has no true reality! The concept of time is based on a belief that there’s a separate past and a separate present and a separate future, and that reality can be measured by comparing this past, present, and future, but the truth is that there is only the present. I can never be anywhere but the present. The present moment is ageless and always abiding – and therefore, so is everything. Nothing ends, because the present moment never ends. And nothing begins, because the present moment never begins. Time is an artificial measurement that does, for sure, help us live constructive daily lives, but it is simply a concept. It is not reality. This moment, right now, as I’m sitting at McQuade‘s café drinking excellent coffee and eating a ‘Kind’ candy bar and writing these words, is dateless and boundless and undying. And so is this moment. And this one, too. It’s all and everywhere – the timeless and astonishing present!
Below is a scene on the beach yesterday morning, at a pause on our lovely walk, with Delycia quietly contemplating the sea …