As my 80 years have passed, I have slowly realized, happily, that thinking is at the very heart of life, of reality, of the universe itself. Truly, I cannot get away from the process of thinking. Every single moment is actually a thought – a brand new opening and movement of consciousness, of awareness. Everything that happens, happens in consciousness. True, there do seem to be many ‘things’ outside of me, but it’s clear to me now that they actually exist within consciousness, or awareness – and not ‘my’ awareness, but the boundless awareness of life itself, of the ceaseless and mysterious universe itself. It’s fun for me now to picture the universe itself pondering and deliberating, and me as part of that thoughtful, ongoing process, participating in a vast and beautiful and endless mental exercise called ‘life’. Life, I see now, when I’m not lost in daydreams, is an adventure in thinking. New thoughts are constantly arising and sailing along in their wondrous freshness, and when I’m carefully watching, I see that I am always sailing with them. Each moment is never ‘things’, but always thoughts, and my job – lucky for me – is to stay still and observe with appreciation this astounding mental spectacle.
WHAT HE WAS THINKING
may shelter some lost birds.
Their leaves may allow life
to be a gift again to those birds,
they could take home to their nest.Tonight,
he was thinking,
the timeless stars
might display their light
in flashes of splendor,
so that sorrowing children
might stare up and soothe themselves
with the reassurance
that life, like a soft broom,
will sweep the sorrow away.
there is simplicity
in the way my window closed
when I pushed it down,
just as there is simplicity
in the way the moon
swings out from the trees
to give its signal
that worries should now
be set on the surface of rivers
and allowed to sink,
for night and its holiness has come.
he was thinking,
some immense happiness
might be hurrying toward me
through the darkness,
even as I sit here
in this small room
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.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Today I hope to be watchful. I’d like to live each moment like I’m a bird sitting on a branch in the high mountains, quietly and carefully observing a small swirl of life far below – his life. Like a bird, I want to notice things in my life from a distance – thoughts coming and going, feelings surfacing and perhaps sometimes swerving and swaying, events rising and then dissolving. If I could see myself from a distance, I could be forever at peace today. Like a bird on a distant branch, I would know that I can always find peace by just carefully observing my life. Countless crazy and wondrous things will happen to me today – brand new thoughts and feelings, events unfolding in fresh ways – and I look forward to being an active participant, but also an observant spectator. I want to get a bird’s eye view of things, be a watchful witness of the wonders blossoming in the life of a dear friend named Hamilton.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Today I hope to remember, all day, that I am not in command of my life, but that a much greater and higher power is the true ruler of everything. I’m not talking here about the power traditionally called ‘God’ – a supposedly superhuman being who sits somewhere above us and runs the show, both the tragedies and the triumphs. No, the imperious power I’m speaking of is more like an infinite wind than a super-person. Throughout our limitless universe, this non-material, highly skillful ‘wind’ flows and drifts and controls all things, including the infinitesimal but indispensable ‘breeze’ called Hamilton Salsich. I often laugh to think of my endless efforts to control my life, to be the boss and master of everything, like a wisp of a breeze trying to supervise the limitless wind. I can imagine the big wind saying to the little breeze, “Hey, relax and let go. I am the captain. I can take you on wondrous adventures today. Just relax and let go and let me do the work.” I hope to do that today. A masterly force will be always at work, moving me through thoughts and feelings and events the way the boundless wind moves its countless gusts and drafts. A grand adventure awaits me today. I just have to release my hold on the reins and let the immeasurable spiritual ‘wind’ of the universe do its wondrous work.
ALL IT TAKES
He saw some branches shaking in a breeze,
and then he understood: the force that frees
the branches isn't in the branches, but in
the breeze itself. The trees receive the spin
and whirl of a wind, and it remakes
their lives. For patient branches, all it takes
is letting breezes do their swirling dance
with them, and soon the branches start to prance.
He saw, like in a dazzling light, that he
could do the same, could be a patient sea
that rolls or sleeps as wisdom blows across
it in the storms of life or in the gentle toss
of daily living. He saw that he is not the one
who does the work of life, but that the fun
of living comes from letting go and letting
endless spirit do the work. The art of getting
free involves allowing forces larger than
the universe itself to swirl and roll and fan
his life. Like branches in a breeze, he's in
the best of hands, and cannot help but win.