With my hand on the wheel and my brain in neutral . . .

Posts tagged ‘spirituality’

BE a lake . . . Yes, a lake

This is an old, old Zen story . . .

Be a lake

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,

“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

The Rules for Being Human

Rules for Being Human happy old womanI am not the original author of this; it’s one of those things that float around the internet.   However, it’s much more valuable than yet another pic of a cute kitten . . .

The Rules for Being Human

You Will Receive a Body. Like love it, or hate it, but it will be yours for as long as you’re here. The choice is yours.

You Will Learn Lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and hence choose to ignore them; no matter: keep reading.

A Lesson is Repeated Until Learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. Each edition will cost more until it gets your attention. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

There Are No Mistakes, Only Lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that finally “works.”

Learning Lessons Does Not End. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

“There” is No Better Than “Here.” When your “there” has become “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here.”

Others Are Merely Mirrors of You. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

Your Answers Lie Only Inside You. The answers to life’s question lie only inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

You Will Forget All of This!

Summer is Here

Summer is here 400

There is a day well into the official, astronomical season when summer truly arrives.  It is no specific day of the calendar, and it is usually a different day for each of us.  It is a day well past the first few hot days, and it always takes us by a calm surprise.  It is the first day we feel the summer season and its connection to all of the summers in our past.

One day last week in the early evening I drove up to Baltimore to see a friend on his boat.  He had returned from a cruise to Mexico and Cuba (he’s a citizen of Great Britain) and had brought his skipjack-style boat back to its birthplace in hopes of finding a new owner interested in local sailing history.  He tied up to a friend’s dock in a creek I knew well but hadn’t been to in quite a while, so for me driving to it was full of reminders of good times from years ago.

Going across the high span of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, from that height, with that late-in-the-day angle of sunlight, the waters of the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay beyond appeared remarkably blue (but I knew damned well that close-up the water is much more of a dirty brown!)  The water’s color was set off by the full greens of the bordering trees and grasses, and after I crossed the bridge span a very white egret lazily flew across the road, it’s pure color a contrast, an accent to everything in sight.  Damned if this industrial side of Baltimore didn’t look and feel full of natural life.  In the words of Seals and Croft in their old song Summer Breeze, “July is dressed up and playing her tune . . . “

I pulled off the highway near the decrepit shell of the old Bethlehem Steel factory (that’s the pic above), noticing, in the foreground of the rusting steel structure, quite a variety of green lowland vegetation, all of it seeming especially verdant and lush by comparison to the decaying building.  I drove on, windows down because the AC in my Jeep Wrangler quit working a couple of summers ago.  Different smells flooded over me, washing in through the windows as I passed through patches of shade, a long dip in the road near the brackish water, behind a diesel truck, and over some fresh tar patching.  No one will ever make a perfume to mimic it, but sometimes, just sometimes, hot concrete and tar smells surprisingly good (but only because it revives memories made in hot city weather!)

The simple sights, the familiar smells, the sunshine, the heat, a slight breeze in the trees and over the water and brushing over my tanned body, the feel of my muscles as I relax after a day of physical work, kicking back with old friends . . . ya, summer is here.


2014, Mik Hetu, author of Napism.Info (for people who take their naps “religiously”)

Heroes and Heroines

Here’s another piece of powerful poetry from an author I can not name:

We are heroes and heroines,

grappling Good and Evil,

Loss and Gain,

Pleasure and Pain,

Hope and Despair,

Compassion and Apathy,

Generosity and Greed,

Perseverance and Laziness,

Love and Hatred:

the classic universal forces

which naturally oppose each other

in each of us

and in the universe as a whole.

We are all Heroes and Heroines

Like a bird on the wing

Like a bird on the wing,

or a tree in a storm,

from the very first moment,

at the moment we’re born,

till the very last day,

when the curtains are drawn,

we are children.

I don’t know who wrote this.  It’s one of those little gems that is instantly memorable and will remain in your head for decades, surfacing from time to time.  (Ask me how I know this . . . )

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