Ash & Smoke
"Threatened with danger, many go for refuge to gardens, sacred trees, mountains and forests." - Buddha
"For pride’s repulsive, more so in a beggar, like wet clothes on a cold and snowy day!" - Rumi
"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him." - Psalm (NIV)
The sole purpose of incense is to slowly turn to ash
while releasing sweet smoke.
My life feels like incense.
Yesterday’s focus turned to today’s particulate thoughts.
Do I have the audacity,
to walk steadfastly down this road with You?
Life is filled with many things:
work, rest, eating, releasing, sweat, sleep.
A foggy window to the world of the soul.
Please grant me patience and clarity
as I learn to walk with You from here.
I love You.
Mist, Dust, Wind & Wine
”[…] he is secure and called wise who is free of hate and does no harm.” - Buddha
"These griefs which are within our breasts are all the mist and dust and wind of our existence." - Rumi
"You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger." - Psalm (NIV)
The mist and dust and wind.
The things that cloud our vision.
The things that create tears.
I believe in a day when You will wipe every tear from every eye.
I believe in a day when peace and loving kindness
will be the only two laws that govern us.
I believe in a day where we will celebrate this life You’ve created
free from sorrow and fear.
Transform our misdirection and inaction and bring about that day
so that every eye can see
and every ear can hear
Your holy will upon the Earth.
The Tamed Nightingale
"With oneself thoroughly tamed, one gains a shelter rare." - Buddha
"The nightingale will sing to God its praise, ‘For food I trust in You who are attentive.’" - Rumi
"O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God." - Psalm (NIV)
The caged bird is not tamed, it is simply trapped.
The bird held lovingly in the palm is the tamed bird.
Hold me in the palm of Your hand, Merciful Father.
I will sing songs of Your grace.
Then, let me fly freely.
Let me be a delight in the space where You dwell.
Here are trees of life and knowledge.
Here is the fountain of spirit.
Here saintly wisdom dwells.
Teach me to love as You love.
Teach me to sing Your melodies.
Teach me to play Your songs.
"Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me."
I love You.
Flood And Refuge
"Lift yourself up. Be attentive. Act virtuously." - Buddha
"The wise man does not stare at gain and loss, because, like flooding waters, they both subside." - Rumi
"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." - Psalm (NIV)
Father, thank You for Your blessings within my struggles.
I know Your hand cares for and guides me.
Help me to provide for my loved ones.
Lead me to right livelihood.
Please give me the courage to face setbacks
and calmly and resolutely walk forward.
Thank You for these moments of peace and clarity.
I feel like I’ve made a complete mess of life.
Please bring order, safety and blessing to the places I live.
I love You,
The Generous Quaking Earth
"Avoid rash action. Be restrained in speech. Giving up wrong deeds, exercise right action." - Buddha
"We thought the round moon was a disc of bread, and so we held our hands up to the sky." - Rumi
"You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking." - Psalm (NIV)
Rebuild upon this quaking Earth.
Mend bridges and boundaries.
Fearlessly reconcile yourself to your life.
Be intimate with Fate and Destiny.
You gifted children, be generous with your gifts.
A heart that tightly holds its gifts
leads to the body’s slow death.
Take correct views.
Move in wisdom and peace.
Don’t be afraid.
I love you.
I will help you.
I will protect you.
Look Into Permanence
"However, whoever gives up this habit of finding fault with others’ offerings will know peace, day and night." - Buddha
"This world is void - look into permanence. Its form is empty - look into your spirit!" - Rumi
"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." - Psalm (NIV)
Focusing on spirit in the midst of visceral needs.
I know You are faithful and I will not be afraid.
Lead me to the right path.
Guide me to right actions.
I can honestly say I have no idea what I should do.
(and I’m o.k. with that.)
Father, I love You.
Please continue to provide for my needs.
Please extend Your grace and peace to my loved ones.
I don’t have much to offer, but what I have is Yours.
"Do not be concerned with what other have or have not done. Observe your own actions and inactions." - Buddha
"The barn of him who sows is emptied out, but there is goodness growing in his field." - Rumi
I should pour out my offerings of praise and thanksgiving.
I should give generously of Your provident blessings.
I should use these indwelling gifts to declare Your name.
It is easy to compare my empty storehouse
with those who gather and clasp tightly.
It is easy to be short-sighted.
God Most High,
please fulfill the vision You have created for my life.
Grow these scattered gifts into a testament to Your glory.
I love You,
"A single days life of one who puts out great effort is better than a life of a hundred years lived in idleness and sluggishness." - Buddha
"The sun on high is radiating life, each moment emptying and filling up. O sun of spirit, radiating soul, direct your newness to the worn-out world." - Rumi
"Awake, my soul! Awake harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn." - Psalm (NIV)
I know You will provide and care for me.
Lead me to right ways.
I know You have written a higher destiny.
Lead me to right actions.
I know You write the truth on men’s hearts.
Lead me to right thoughts.
Use my voice to sing the angels’ songs and fill the world with Your music.
I love You,
Lips Of Lamentation
"Victory produces hostility, for the defeated ones live in grief. Releasing both victory and defeat, the tranquil minds dwell in happiness." - Buddha
"There was a time you made sweet tones your focus - and now you kiss the lips of lamentation." - Rumi
"I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed." - Psalm (NIV)
"Awake, my Soul!"
This jubilant spring and the rain (which is God’s blessing.)
My soul is awake.
I am facing the life I have avoided.
Setbacks and triumphs like knotted reeds.
The breath of dawn but no instrument to play upon.
Untie this fate and make the cords into strings
to resonate Your glory.
I will sing and make music.
Repent Of Repentance
"Can there be joy and laughter when always the world is ablaze?" - Buddha
"O you who have remorse for past conditions, say when will you repent of repentance?" - Rumi
"For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling that I may walk before God in the light of life." - Psalm (NIV)
Your sins are washed away.
Release yourself from regret,
I forgive you.
Walk forward to the life I have planned for you.
Your lessons are learned
and you are prepared
for the struggles of the coming journey.
I would not leave you stranded
on the desert road
without the promise of help to come.
Your year of mourning has ended.
Join Me as we walk together
up this Sacred Mountain.