baxter creek

Baxter Creek Bridge 02 – Big Creek Campground, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC, November 2008

We aren’t trying to get somewhere

We are trying to wake up to where we are.

Trying to wake up is a different kind of trying

Than trying to get somewhere else.

Trying to wake up

Is trying to be here, now–

Fully aware of all that is here, now–

Inside and outside–

Without interfering with any of it,

Without judgment

As condemnation or criticism

Or as commendation and admiration.

Wanting something to go

Or wanting something to stay

Keeps you from simply seeing it as it is

And interferes with your seeing what else there is

In the moment

Other than the thing despised/adored.

Waking up is seeing what you look at

And seeing all of the emotions it stirs in you

Without identifying with any of them

Without becoming any of them

Just seeing, just knowing.

Waking up is seeing, knowing, what is there.

All that is there.

In every moment.

You haven’t gone anywhere,

But you have transformed the moment–

And yourself–

Just by seeing/knowing what’s what.

If you think that’s easy, give it a spin.

It isn’t easy.

That’s why it’s called “Practice.”

We practice seeing/knowing

Because nobody just sees and knows.

Everybody interferes with the process

By wanting, not-wanting.

By liking, not-liking.

To see/know,

We have to have compassion for everything,

Just as it is.





You can’t do it without practice.

Start practicing.

Beginning now.

Baxter Creek Bridge – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Big Creek campground, NC/TN, November 2003 – There are two things here: 1) Just because nothing seems to be happening, it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. 2) When nothing seems to be happening it’s because it isn’t time for anything to be happening.

Either way, sit tight.

Two things are always true in any moment. Someone’s time has not yet come, and someone’s time is fulfilled and the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

We always take this kingdom of heaven being at hand idea to mean that it’s all over and the Prince of Peace is coming with legions of angels to destroy the dragon (And, of course, we don’t see any discrepancy at work there), and send to hell those who have earned it and to heaven those who have earned that… No! No! No! Cut! Cut! Start over from the top.

The kingdom of heaven comes piecemeal, a little here, a little there, like yeast in the dough or seeds in the earth. It comes with the individual and personal realization of who we are and what we are about. It dawns on us like a good idea. There it is, out of nowhere, our life–the life that is waiting to be lived.

The time is fulfilled and we can now step into our life and live it, after all these years of waiting, when nothing seemed to be happening, everything was clicking into place–everything that had to happen for us to be here, now. If anything had been different, we would be somewhere else, and then where would we be?

So, we’re waiting, waiting. Or rejoicing, rejoicing. Despairing or dancing. Someone is always doing one or the other. Someone’s time has not yet come, and someone’s time is finally fulfilled.

If you think nothing is happening, it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. And even if nothing IS happening, it only means it isn’t time for anything to happen.

Either way, sit tight.

Baxter Creek Bridge 01 – Big Creek Campground, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, NC/TN, November 2008

Doing right by other people works only in an environment in which other people are striving to do right by you.

Otherwise, they take advantage of your kindnesses, impose upon your generosity, and take your graciousness for granted.

They will transgress your boundaries, ignore your needs, and call you all hours of the day for meal money and taxi service.

They will force you to say “NO!”

And make you say, “I SAID NO!”

I say this from the vantage point of having done 40 years of hard labor in the ministry, dealing with the homeless–and with those with homes, jobs, families and fortunes.

You cannot live a life of your own without drawing lines and guarding your borders.

The Old Testament commandment, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor’s landmark,” is the one most frequently ignored.

Leaving it up to us to know how much to put up with

And when to say, “NO! I SAID NO!”

And mean it.

Baxter Creek Bridge 2014 01 – Big Creek Campground, Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Waterville, NC, October 30, 2014

Here’s my take on the Virgin Birth.

We are all pregnant with the future–

Our own and that of all that is.

We are all pregnant with our life–

The life that we alone can live–

The life that is ours to live–

If we will.

We are the Virgin Mary, called to deliver,

And we are The Christ, struggling to be born.

How we live in each moment

Makes that the moment of delivery,

With us bringing the invisible world forth

Within the physical world of space and time.

Or not.