Porto is a marvelous place, like a Disney Land of the mind.
I gave a beggar a coin at the Igreja Paroquel de Santo Ildefonzo. He says “Obrigado” (Thank you). Karen and I meditate inside.
In 665 in his church, Bishop Ildefonzo had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Light engulfed the church and almost everyone except for Ildefonzo and a few deacons fled. The Virgin Mary provided Ildefonzo with a special garment to be worn on particular occasions.
We walk through the Praca Liberdale, listening to a street musician.
We visit the Porto train station, famous for its wall tiles.
The lower tile image portrays the Conquest of Ceuta in 1415 by Prince Henry the Navigator. Henry became an important organizer of the Age of a Discovery, supporting explorers who claimed vast lands for Portugal.
The upper image is of D. Joao I arriving in Porto for his wedding with Philippa of Lancaster in 1387. although it was a political union, they grew fond of each other and had many talented children, one of whom was Henry, the Navigator. To the left is an image of a festival.
The far wall, not very clear, portrays the Battle of Valdevez. In 1140, the Portuguse Alfonso I defeated the Spaniards, establishing the kingdom of Portugal. There are many bodies on the ground.
I have a problem looking at the carnage of war because of my experiences as an American soldier in the Vietnam War. Warfare leaves a mark on you that never comletely heals. Are you surprised to hear this? Why do you think I walk the Inner Path?
People exposed to great trauma or other twists of fate cannot rest until they embrace the Inner Path. The Path cures their suffering.
We do not know why Lao tsu chose the Inner Way. He was interested in the relationships among humans and offered the Tao as a solution. He writes (chapter 21):
“The Master keeps her mind
always on the Tao.
That is what gives her her radiance.
The Tao is ungraspable.
How can her mind be at one with it?
Because she doesn’t cling to ideas.
The Tao is dark and unfathomable.
How can it make her radiant?
Because she lets it.
Since before time and space were,
the Tao is.
It is beyond is and is not.
How do I know this is true?
I look inside myself and see.”
I breath in and am aware of breathing in. When a memory of war comes, I let it go and return my awareness to my breath. After a while, no thoughts come and there is nothing to see.
Some people have been exposed to suffering so great that they cannot turn away. They gain relief by embracing the Inner Way.
My friends, I tell you a secret. You can be happy!