Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Posts Tagged ‘creation

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.

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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?

The Sufi Way

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whirling dirvishA shepherd of men and women does not need a stick nor a lashing tongue. With his heart, he guides. He has no need to dismantle the gods of others, for he knows his place among all of creation. Superior to none, he does not dissuade those who are seen to be inferior. Blind to comparisons, he takes joy in all that is.

There is no better day, or another tomorrow; there is now. There are no loose threads, or misplaced beads; there simply is. There is no hope or regret; there is eternal acceptance. From the newest newborn to the most eldest among us, there are only wise men and women. There is no first or last and no best or worst. There is just the divine in infinite expression.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

July 15, 2011 at 4:24 am

Starting Over

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In order to learn and to progress to the next level of understanding, sometimes one must start again. Sometimes we must destroy what we’ve learned in the past, and begin anew. This does not necessarily mean forgetting or discounting what we’ve learned, but to learn to see in a new light, a different light. Only then, can we begin to truly understand what it is we have missed entirely.

Often it is the case that we build upon past lessons. We learn something, we remember it and then we save it for a later time when we might need it again. Eventually that time comes and we use that knowledge to aide us in a new pursuit or dilemma. Again, we learn something new and that too will one day help us to understand what may come our way. And so it seems that in this fashion there is a progression. One thing builds upon another, which builds upon another and so on. For some there is a belief that the lessons never end. For others there is a plateau and a belief that what a given experience has to offer is beneath them.

Who is right is beside the point for we each perceive our existence differently. Some see and express themselves as individuals. They identify themselves by their personality, outwardly and inwardly. They may also associate themselves with particular groups depending on their physical traits and or personality traits. Whether by race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, political identification, socio-economic status, occupation, nationality or age, they sort and categorize themselves. This need to label and self-identify, often does not end with themselves but causes them to categorize others as well. It causes one to choose their friends and those they associate with on personal and professional level based on these categories and bins.

There are also those who could be seen as polar opposites who not only do not identify themselves with any particular group, but see the common thread in all groups. They see themselves belonging to multiple groups that when seen from a particular view, seem mixed and homogenized. The distinctions disappear, and suddenly there is no race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and so on. Suddenly the things that were seen as dividing factors joins all of creation into a single entity. Some would say that to the individualist, identity has been lost. To those on the other side of the token, some would say that identity has not been lost. Instead it has been enhanced.

How can this be true if these groups that once brought cohesion, and sometimes disagreement and separation, were to disappear? How can the individual exist in a homogenous state? Some would argue that a true homogenous state is impossible if the individual still exists. Some would also argue that it is impossible for an individual to suppress that which makes him or her an individual in the first place. Further, even for the person who sees him or herself as connected to all things, they must also see them self as an individual otherwise they would not be able to contemplate the dilemma in the first place.

Where do the individual and the unity of all things begin and end? Is this a question one can even answer or begin to answer? To be part of that which we speak, one can only speculate and speak in conjectures or so it is said. This surely does not bring satisfaction to the most diligent among us for conjecture often leads to more conjecture.

Suddenly we are brought back to the beginning of the discussion. Must the individual be destroyed in order for progression to continue, must unity be destroyed in order for the individual to pursue progression, or is progression but an illusory state?

Progression suggests order, and order suggests a beginning and an end, again with each piece building upon the next. However if the beginning and the end become the same, or if all that is in between shrinks into nothingness, what are we left with? Are we left with causes and effects with nothing in between? Are we left with beginnings and ends, without context? Are we left with trials and tribulations without purpose? Or perhaps we are left with simply the Source? Is that sufficient an answer?

What source? What end? What purpose? We are left with more questions than answers. In a state of seemingly unending questions, we are left with nothing to quench the thirst of our pursuits. And perhaps that is the issue in and of itself. Each question of purpose or understanding leads to a desire for more explanations, and for a cause we can deem as worthwhile.

We each sit as judges against what we deem important and what should be discarded into the vortex of discontent and denial. Little do we realize, but all around us we are faced with the discarded. We are faced with the cast-offs of others, some of which we take in as our own and others that we see on its way.

Understanding becomes a personal choice. We can seek it in the refuse and in the discernment of others, or we can create it anew. If understanding is a personal choice, does that make progression a lever that we will pull that convinces us that our pursuits of it are not without cause? Could it be that we are running a race that has already been completed and so in that sense, the idea of progression keeps our focus on the race, rather than the reasons for why we’ve decided to take up that race in the first place?

Choice is a simple answer, perhaps too simple for some to accept. For in having choice, we have taken away blame on all others and have put the emphasis squarely on ourselves. For those who have been running away from their decisions all their lives, this can prove to be all too frightening. We are suddenly faced with the results of our own choices.

The Deer

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deer constellationWhen you stare at the darkness of night, what do you see? Do you see specks of light dotting the sky? Do you see your future changing before your eyes? Do you see incubators of life in the far distance? Do you see the past staring back with a glimmer? Do you see the constellations come to life?

See existence with an open heart and an open spirit, and see the stars as they were meant to be. See the life that courses through them. See them dance and sing in concert. See them shine and glow like you have seen no star before. See them come to life, in the symphony of your heart. Feel the love that courses through your being, and experience life as you have never experienced it.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

April 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Waves of Transformation

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Great Wave off of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai
Great Wave off of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai

Life is full of waves of transformation. Full of peaks and valleys, we are constantly trying to catch ourselves. But if we could just realize that we are those waves, that we are those peaks and we are those valleys, we could learn to appreciate life as it comes to us. In each moment, we are evolving and have a chance to become ourselves. Like the universe, we are constantly unfolding and expanding. We become more aware of ourselves and the happenings around us. Just when we think we have a grasp of ourselves and an understanding of how we fit into this existence, life happens and again, we are transformed. Just as the universe expands and contracts in an endless cycle of creation and destruction, we too are created and destroyed. In each moment we are reborn. In each moment, we again have the infinite opportunities of now. Where we decide to take each wave is up to us. We can choose to conform, we can choose to lay down and give up, or we can choose to live. Ride this wave, and see where it takes you. Ride this wave in an endless transformation of yourself. Ride this wave until it is no more, and then do it again.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

February 24, 2011 at 6:39 am

You, Becoming Me

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I am a Sufi.
I am a Jew.
I am a Christian.
I am a Buddhist.
I am Hindi.
I am you.

I am a man.
I am a woman.
I am you.

I am a teacher.
I am a preacher.
I am a lawyer.
I am a servant.
I am a slave.
I am you.

I am creation.
I am destruction.
I am you.

I am you, becoming me.