when two worlds collide
where will you set up camp
in the storefront of illusion
or in the temple of your soul?
This question figures so prominently in my life. Where do I want to focus my energy, and what I am I living into? It is easy to get swept up by all the external data that tends to pull me away from myself. I feel like there are all these messages telling me to look outside, to fixate on the external trappings and an image, but that always ends up being hollow. If there is any happiness or contentment in that, it is always fleeting, that is my experience anyway. I do my best to keep my camp in the temple of my soul, that is in my spiritual practice, in contemplation and creativity, and in relationship with those who I love and who love me.
I took this photo here in Shanghai. The Jing'an Temple is the most well known temple in Shanghai and has been in this location since about 1200, but has recently been surrounded by high rise luxury shopping as Shanghai becomes more modern and focused on material abundance. As you stand in this place of reverence and devotion, you look up and see these huge billboards looming overhead. It is startling and, to me, so telling. It begs the question above.