Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Archive for the ‘God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Divine, Great Spirit, Creator, Universe, He who has no name’ Category

Indefensible or Away from the People

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RiskGuarding your heart is a lot like defending a capital, or a strategic city in a game of Civilization or Risk.

In those two games, there are typically two approaches. One involves choosing your boundaries such that there are large walls and as few neighbors as possible such that one can minimize the number of enemies or threats that are on their immediate border. Another strategy in similar games is again to minimize your boundaries, build moats and live high atop in towers or on platforms so as to minimize others’ abilities to reach you.

Although these strategies might fare well for games, it’s not always well suited for life. Isolation often breeds contempt. It prevents us from being able to understand others. We see life as we wish to see it, but we must also allow others that same opportunity. Yes, it might seem easier to live in isolation, without having to worry about other’s choices, but then what would life be? We can live for ourselves. We can live for God or some higher power, but does that not mean living for all of creation, even if we don’t always understand it?

The beauty of conflict is that it shows us who we are when things get rough. It shows us what we are willing to put up with or hide away. It’s a catalyst for getting us on the right path, whatever path that may be for each individual.

So yes, guard your heart, but allow it to be open enough that when love or kindness comes your way, you are able to accept it without question. Allow yourself to be blessed.

Simply Me

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I am not Hindu. I am not Buddhist. I am not Christian. I am not Jewish. I am not Muslim.

That is not to say I do not believe in God, or whatever name you shall attach to that which has no name but is called by many names.

I claim no flag as my own. I live under no one roof. I am beholden to no one’s truth, but that which sits firmly in my own heart. That is not to say that I am separate, but that I go from day to day depending on my struggles and that I only know what I feel. And what I feel may change daily depending on my struggles.

That is not to say that I do not believe in anything, but that my faith is challenged every day. Some days I know myself as though 1000 years have passed, and other days I know myself as I know a stranger.

I do not always know why I am. I only know that I am here. And as I write this there seems not to be a purpose but simply to be me.

No Closer

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Jacob's LadderA priest is no closer to God than a child with little knowledge of the world about him. A person who goes to church every day of every week is no closer to heaven than a person who seeks solace in the dwelling of their own heart. A person who has committed prayers to memory is no closer to having their prayers fulfilled than one who speaks candidly and without fanfare.

Kind words do not a person make. Great deeds and connections in high places do not a person make. We are on equal footing. No man or woman, whatever creed or stature, comes before the next. The line to the gates of heaven are made no closer by the volume of our prayers, or by our perceived connection to Creation. We are as One regardless of our understanding of it and any desire to exclude others from it. For in chastising others, or in celebrating our perceived standing, we have done nothing but separated ourselves. We have become divided amongst ourselves and within ourselves.

Bring peace to the world by seeing the peace within. Bring joy to the world by seeing the joy within. Bring understanding to the world by understanding yourself. Bring love to the world by loving yourself. One drop at a time, one soul at a time, we are united and we are One.

Planting a Seed

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green light

This is dedicated to my mom who inspired this thought.

Several years ago while meditating I decided to ask God to show me Himself. I asked Him to show me what God is, and to remove any of my preconceived thoughts of God and of existence itself. I asked that any internal and external biases be removed so that I may come to understand.

As I asked this through my heart, I attempted to quiet my mind. What I experienced and what I saw I could not expect. With my eyes opened, I became blind. I could not see anything. Slowly my vision went, and everything became black. There was not even a hint of light. With my ears straining to hear any voice or sound, I could hear nothing. The buzzing of the street lights disappeared and the distant traffic became non-existent to my ears. I had become deaf. Next my racing mind seemed to pause. All thoughts sank away. Not even an image or random thought had crossed my mind. It was quiet, yet at the same time I was all too aware that it was quiet. It was not overwhelming. I was peace.

Not a worry had occupied me. As I became aware of this emptiness, this lack of sensation, I began to see a tunnel in my mind’s eye. At the end or perhaps it was the beginning, I saw what appeared to be a green light, beckoning, almost like a cocoon. With that, I began to hear again and I began to see again. The image had disappeared and thoughts came flooding back.

At the time this occurred, I thought I had understood what happened. I thought I knew what God or perhaps my inner self was trying to tell me. I found solace in this quietness, this communion of sorts. And yet today I found myself seeing more understanding in this experience. I found God to be everything, and at the same time I found God to be nothing. I found God to be peace, inner peace, a choice seemingly made by me, but not entirely by me. Perhaps like a seed in our heart, God is there waiting to be nurtured, waiting to show us our true selves, our true potential.

What or who is God to you?

In the Service of God

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caring handsBy the will of God/Allah all things are done. Without divine will, our actions, our words and our prayers fall on deaf ears. To call oneself a guide is to lose sight of God, and all that is possible through unconditional love. When we begin to assert ourselves as masters of the universe, or sages in a sea of misplaced prophets, then we’ve done nothing but fool ourselves.

To please God, should one be in the service of others or should one simply be, because that is who they are? What if being in the service of others also required instruction and direction by those who would claim themselves as authorities over that which is freely known? Can we be so bold as to say what pleases God? Can we be so bold to preach unity, acceptance and unconditional love and in the same breath of action, live under a hierarchy created by those who would see themselves as closer to the Divine? Do we seek to please God, or do we seek to please those in the gallery? Everyone is watching, but can we choose to be ourselves?

Perhaps to guide is to be, not because we are told, but because in being ourselves, we praise that which God created. In allowing others to be and in guiding others and ourselves towards self-acceptance and acceptance of others, we praise divine creation.

20 Questions

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You haven’t known me until you’ve asked the right question…

What’s your name?
How old are you?
Are you married?
Do you have any children?
How old are they?
What do you do for a living?
What do you do for fun?
Where do you live?
Where do you work?
Where did you grow up?
Do you have any siblings?
What month were you born?
What’s your sign?
What kind of music do you like?
What kind of books do you enjoy?
Do you believe in God?
Do any of these questions matter?
Who are you?
Who am I?
Who are We?

Out of the Mouths of Babes

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child: “What does it mean, God?”

parent: “I don’t know honey. What does ‘God’ mean to you?”

child: “God means to love yourself.”

Earlier this afternoon, I used the word “God” in front of my son, and the preceding conversation ensued. Initially when my son asked me the meaning of God, I hesitated to give him an answer because I wanted him to form his own belief. I wanted him to come to his own understanding without being spoon fed my beliefs or the beliefs of my wife and our families. Little did I know that he would teach me. At four years old, he was very matter of fact, as if to say, “Dad, you are looking too hard. It’s right there in front you.” And so he was right. Love yourself.