Most of us think of meekness in a negative way. We think a meek person is somehow also a weak and timid person – someone who is easily buffeted by the forces of the material world. In fact, our world tends to venerate the opposite of meekness – qualities like physical prowess and intellectual cleverness. We tend to admire the aggressive person more than the tender and gentle one. And yet, when we look at the natural world, we see something different. In nature, it seems that the placid, laid-back, and yielding things have the greatest power. There is nothing softer than the water of the ocean, and yet it can hold ships of enormous weight, and, when it is storming, can overwhelm any material thing in its path. The waters of the ocean yield easily when we dip our hand into it, and yet their tides are strong enough to destroy whole towns. In similar fashion, wind is both one of the gentlest and one of the most formidable forces in nature. If we hold our hand up, the wind passes smoothly by it, and our hand feels only its softest touch. Yet, this same wind can topple trees and rip rooftops off houses. Today, I want to meditate on these truths, and hold in mind that true power resides in true meekness. I don’t need to be aggressive and pushy today, because I am part of the infinite power of the Universe, a power with the same kind of gentle strength as the ocean. Like the wind, I can exhibit the power of ease and peacefulness, passing among the events of the day with both unassailable power and compliant mildness.
POSSIBLE …. and Sunny
A Word Like Light: POSSIBLE
Anything and everything is possible. That’s the message I hear when my inner ear is open to the voice of the universe. Unfortunately, I often spend my time listening to the discouraging words of so-called ‘common sense’ and ‘practicality’, which closes the door to the boundless realms of possibility. There’s no end to what is feasible if I consider the limitless diversities and potentials of the universe. Every moment is an infinite mixed bag, a medley of movements and modifications that can never be measured or totally understood. We like to think we know what is possible and what is not, and yet the assortment of opportunities that are always available to us is mind-boggling in its infiniteness. Wind easily works with mountains and trees and seas to help itself swing and sway across our planet, and I could be like the wind, working with life in a loving, trustful, and free-wheeling way to travel into unbelievably beautiful realms. Moments move through my life with kindness, and I can journey through my days with the faith that everything is wonderfully generous and plausible. Sadness and sorrow will happen, for sure, but surrounding and intermixing with the sadness and sorrow will be endless kinds of simplicity and peace. This universe is filled to the brim with possibility, and so am I, which makes me shout a soft cheer from my desk where, this morning, I’m setting down all kinds of imaginable words.
Several years ago, a stray tabby cat would sometimes wander into our yard and settle in a soft place under a tree and peacefully pass the time – and even sometimes gracefully rise up into Delycia’s lap and let her stroke his fur. He and she made a happy pair as they sat in the shade enjoying each other’s presence. This went on for days and weeks and months, the stray gray kitty coming over on a regular basis for a visit, and Delycia and he forming a warm, now-and-then relationship.
Then, about a year ago, something said to both of us that we should invite this handsome, gracious kitty into our home – not ‘for good’ – of course not! – but for, well, just a pleasant and very quick visit.
Well, it was a pleasant visit … but not at all quick. This 50-year-old (in human terms) feline has since become our cherished housemate. After carefully inquiring of neighbors and making sure he was a stray, we officially adopted him, named him Sunny, had him examined and treated by a local vet, and now this sunny friend shines a very significant light on our lives. Each morning at around 5:00 a.m., he announces the new day with his resolute but affectionate meows, which somehow seem more beautiful to us than spring birdsongs. I get up and open the door to our bedroom, and directly but delicately Sunny springs up on the bed and snuggles beside Delycia. Throughout the day, he occasionally serenades us with his musical meowing, usually when Delycia is in the kitchen and he senses the coming of some special food into his dish. A real treat for all of us is when Sunny stylishly ascends into my or Delycia’s lap. (He truly does not jump. Like a performer, he ascends, and with the silkiness of a ballet dancer.) I think he loves these lap-minutes as much as we do. We stroke his fur, and he purrs along like he’s in kitty-heaven. He loves especially to have his head softly massaged. He purrs and whirrs and hums, and we thank the gift-giving universe that we have found such a dear and sunny friend.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Sunday, July 17, 2022
I am very lucky, at age 80, to be still living an ever-evolving life in an ever-evolving universe. Whether I notice it or not – and I often don’t – all of life, including me, is constantly developing itself, always unrolling in brand new directions. Life, to me, can sometimes seem timeworn, stagnant, and tedious, but that’s simply an illusion that hides the ever-progressing wonders of reality. Where I often see tediousness and sameness, only ongoing transformation is happening. All things are always moving forward. In the midst of the many sorrows in the world, I’m sure kindness is constantly making new headway, and where tragedy is, I’ll bet sympathy is continuously spreading out in new ways. I sometimes – but definitely not always – feel my life evolving in constructive directions, as if new vistas are constantly opening up for me. I believe my life, in many mysterious ways, is somehow always enlarging, although – again – I am only occasionally aware of it. I often go about my daily dealings in a fairly mindless manner, as if life is a great big and rigid bore, when I believe the truth is that it’s continually unfolding in fully fairy-tale ways. Perhaps age 81 – coming up – will be another wake-up call for this dozy old and lucky dude.
A BELIEVER (Harrison P., 61, Blessings CT) He’s a believer in living with devotion. Every day, he revels in all the living moments as they evolve and revolve through the infinite levels of his life. He constantly feels revived just by swerving into the next second in the uneven but devout way the universe – and he – live.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Thursday, December 30, 2021
I was sometimes called a ‘radical’ during the wild 1960’s, but now, at the young-old age of 80, I’m gaining a fresh sense of radicalism. I’m seeing, more and more, how truly radical all of life is – how absolutely revolutionary each and every moment is. The word ‘radical’ derives from the Latin word ‘radix’, meaning ‘root’, and it is a wonderful fact that every present moment springs out of the one and only – and infinite – root of all of reality. Using another meaning of ‘radical’, each moment today will, because of its absolute newness, be thorough and comprehensive, a totally ‘radical’ expression of life. Though I may not always realize it, each and very thought that arises in me will be fresh and far-reaching, a ‘radical’ way of seeing life, and all the various events that happen will be exhaustive and wide-ranging. Like all days, this seemingly ordinary December 30 will actually be a profound revolution – an extensive and drastic revision of everything. This ostensibly commonplace winter day will actually be a zealot, an extremist carrying the flag of revolution and renewal – and I know an 80-year-old radical who will be helping to carry it!
IN INNATE In Innate, New Hampshire, a simple sort of happiness seems to be an inherited quality. Contentment comes naturally to people here, and a gentle joy appears to be congenital in everyone. People here take pride in a very natural feeling of fulfillment and in a deep-seated delight in life. Serenity seems almost instinctive, as if it’s the only sensible way to live. Sure, there’s sometimes disappointment and sorrow here, but folks are usually at ease with it, as if they know it’s an essential part of life and can show them fresh horizons. In this little town, love is elemental, and having fun is just part of the family.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Sunday, October 24, 2021
FINITE AND INFINITE
It’s so easy for me to fall back into the belief that life, and everything in it, is completely finite. I spend many hours each day lost in the dream of limitation. I usually see myself as a small, isolated, easily definable ‘object’ in a universe packed with countless similar, separate ‘things’, all bumping against each other with warnings to stay clear. Obviously, it’s an unsettling way to live, and yet I must honestly say that’s it’s been my mode of thinking on most days for most of the years of my life. Fortunately, though, in the last 30+ years I’ve been able to catch marvelous glimpses (though short-lived) of another view of life, one that sets aside all boundaries and presents a life that’s unreservedly boundless, and therefor unreservedly free. In this view, I can see, with joy and relief, the absolute togetherness of everything – no separations whatsoever, just simple and everlasting inseparableness and companionship. I see then that I am a breeze in the fathomless wind of the universe, a ripple in the measureless ocean called ‘life’. When I have this wonderful view – when it comes to me, I should say, as it has this afternoon – all fears and concerns somehow settle down into immeasurable spaciousness, and life lifts me up as easily as winds lift the limbs of trees.
IN INFINITE, FL In Infinite, Florida, residents say their minds seem boundless, as if inside them a limitless range of secret skies continuously spreads out. Their lives feel like panoramas of uncountable possibilities, and they know their futures are as unfathomable as bottomless oceans. One man said life left him innumerable gifts each day, so great that he often held his arms up in astonishment. A woman said her satisfaction was enormous, as inestimable as the sunset, and then she shouted and pointed to a sunset that she said was as huge as her happy life.
Here we are on a walk yesterday morning on Napatree Beach in Watch Hill, RI …
And here’s a slide show of some scenes from our walk this morning in Elm Grove Cemetery …
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Thursday, September 30, 2021
I find it strangely comforting. even uplifting, to realize that I will never fully understand the cause of anything. With each passing year, it has become more clear to me that the universe is a place of unlimited and unfathomable mystery, a puzzle far too complicated for me – or anyone – to solve. The origin of each thought, each action, each event is lost in infinite obscurity. I often ask myself: Where did this thought come from? Why is this occurrence happening right here and now? Where did this feeling come from? None of these questions will ever have answers, and that realization – surprisingly – brings me comfort and inspiration. I breathe a sigh of relief to know that all searching is done. I no longer have to constantly root around in life looking for reasons and causes, because I understand now that reality – life – is a shoreless, bottomless sea, where there are no beginnings or endings, where everything is a cause of everything else, and where, therefore, everything flows together in harmony. Of course, I often don’t see much harmony in this terribly troubled world of ours, but today I rest in the assurance that it is always there – underneath and within whatever is happening. I take comfort in that understanding, the way I would take comfort in swimming in an endless, compassionate ocean. Of course, I must always work hard to unveil the hidden harmony in life, and to help others see it, but it is definitely there. I will never know the cause of anything, but in this vast and marvelous ocean called life, I don’t need to. I just need to keep swimming and watching for the harmony that’s always arising.
CAUSES AND EFFECTS (In Spark SD,USA) In Spark, South Dakota, dawn seems to always call forth friendliness, and mid-morning makes it easy to be sincere. Even coffee is an occasion for kindness, and the simplest words can spark off the flames of affection. HIgh winds work the magic of amazement among the citizens, but also engender the gentleness that’s needed in times of storms. Big sorrow always brings on big neighborliness, the kind the citizens see all around them - among breezes, and butterflies, and snowflakes in December, everything in Spark somehow producing more peacefulness, more harmony, even inside sickness, where harmony sways and whirls and helps the sickness feel fulfilled and ready to fade away.