I have not added something here for about a month. It seems I spend more time leading up to the winter months in introspection looking with where my endeavors might take me. I was reminded of something I wrote several years ago that we are hopefully living a life well lived and that we are to contribute what we are here to share.
To the left a picture I took while climbing Yellow Mountain in 2016.
Below is an entry from an unpublished manuscript I wrote in March 1995.
Filling in the Details
Delight in knowing that you have always been on the edge and will remain there. Finding comfort in what would otherwise be considered chaos by others who will never travel to find their true destiny. If you have found true peace of mind, how can hardship enter the picture?
What comfort can be found in everyday events seen by others as needed to have some fleeting sense of contentment? Remain as the first word to be written on the next blank page waiting to be filled with what must come forth in truth, sincerity and compassion.
Appreciating nature, both your own inner nature and that that surrounds you. Your garden being wherever you are.
Where trees grow leaves, where flowers attract bees and butterflies. Where wisps of clouds float between heaven and earth. Coming forward to know the happiness of all things nature provides and knowing where you fit in will always be present.
As all things change from instant to instant, is not remaining on the edge prepared to capture the new rays of each day’s sun, the ultimate that can ever be – now and forever. Not found to be clinging to life’s fortunes. Knowing happiness can only be followed by sadness. That everything ebbs and flows in the balance of all things.
Find a place of quiet solitude where there can be no contention present.
With everything around you at peace and harmony with its environment. As you come forward through your writing to fill the blank page with little or no concern for the time of your ultimate arrival.
Remaining free to continue on your way with Lieh Tzu and your old friends. Ready to begin anew the journey that you must begin again and again. 3/11/95
(The above entry became the thought behind the title of the book found here on my website that is entitled “My travels with Lieh Tzu”.)
A bridge in a park in Qufu where I would later go to meditate and spend time with old friends and the nature I have always known.
Someone who I had barely heard of who was an ancient Chinese philosopher… whose hometown of Qufu I would visit four years later in October 1999 and now after more than forty visits residing in Qufu in 2012 teaching at the school founded by his descendants and a member of the I Ching/Confucius Society. How could western Shandong and Qufu not be my home?
I am standing to the right next to what is known as the historical Confucius Hill in Qufu where Confucius is said to have given lectures to his followers.
I feel attached to this place as if I am dust on the street or a tree on Confucius Hill overlooking the river crossed by Confucius himself. As a teacher and scholar while in Qufu I was prepared to follow my mentors on the path I am here to pursue. This endeavor seems to be bring me to the place where I am meant to fulfill my ultimate destiny.
This idea of finding a place of quiet solitude where there can be no contention present has always been a central theme to my writing. Now back in Springfield in November 2023, I can only ask and ponder where is home as we spend our time simply… filling in the details.