Prudence True

The Heart of Wisdom

through Ancient Words

A Path to Your Heart:



On the Inside


4 February 2011

Dear Souls -

        The clothes we dress in each morning are obvious to everyone we see throughout the day, but the garments which dress our soul are invisible to others. Our invisible garments may be seen by others, though in a subtle way.

         Some people are attuned to these invisible soul garments, and some have no idea they exist at all. Those who feel their way through life attuned to these subtle cues notice when the garments surrounding a soul are sloppily assembled. There is a presence people have when they live by these cues, and in some cultures an awareness of these cues is fostered. In the American culture this awareness is not a predominant factor in interpersonal interactions.

          I believe those who live surrounded by nature often develop this sensitivity. Spending time attuned to the beauty outside blankets the soul with a peaceful garment. This inner peace is difficult (not impossible) to replicate driving in afternoon traffic through a smoggy city. When someone with tight fitting garments around their soul stumbles into a room of those garbed with peaceful blankets, this difference between garments is magnified.


          Let me give you an example. On the outskirts of a Hawaiian island the people live a small life surrounded by magnificent natural beauty. It's almost impossible to live there each day without opening your eyes and seeing the glory of God's creation. It's also almost impossible to live there each day without opening your eyes and seeing your own struggles reflected back toward your heart. On a small island where everyone knows everyone and their business, you cannot hide from yourself or anyone else. Every morning you greet God's beautiful earth, and staring right back at you is your sloppily assembled soul.

         When you stumble into town there isn't any place to hide, since the familiar faces of your fellow island dwellers reflect back in their eyes your sloppily assembled soul. If you are fortunate, the busload of tourists from the mainland just arrived. In this large group are outsiders who have no idea just how obvious their sloppily assembled garments are to the residents on the island. As the tourists rush around seeing the "sights" and purchasing shave ice, the locals peer into their eyes and see the sloppy garments around their souls staring clearly back at them. Though the tourists may wear shorts and flip flops on the outside, the difference is in their souls on the inside.

          Without a mirror you cannot see the garments surrounding your soul. And if you haven't seen your soul in a mirror, then the garments on the soul of your neighbor go unnoticed.





It's Not Complicated


5 February 2011

Dear Souls -

            With a heart of Love . . .

                             It's not complicated.



Know Your Heart


14 February 2011

Dear Souls -

         Religion is not my world . . .

         But I know heart when I see it,

         or rather,

         when I feel it.

         Yesterday I attended Divine Liturgy at a tiny church in a Big City.

         The church wasn't really a church.

         The church was once a home.

         Liturgy was not in English,

         and I didn't understand a word of the homily.

         Heart flowed through the walls of this old home church . . .

         And I felt it in my bones.

         Thank you

         for sharing your Peace

         with such grace,

         it lingers in my heart





Purity and Authenticity


15 February 2011

Dear Souls -









                        Purity and Authenticity

                        Two words for my experience at this small church in the Big City. The young and old, the wise and not so. Babies crawling around, snatched by their parents before they reached the altar; and an elderly woman wiping the glass over icons to a brilliant shine. Divine Liturgy, prayer in an authentic and pure way.

                       Purity and Authenticity

                        I pray for the lasting truth found in this small old home church.





17 February 2011

Dear Souls -

         The truth is . . .  I sometimes wish my heart was encased in cement. Thick insulation around the four chambers which diligently fire their way through countless cycles of systole and diastole each day, would be a welcome relief for me. If you seek your heart . . . Beware! When you find access to this vital organ, you will see much you wish you didn't.

          In my heart, I know it is only by the grace of God I have somewhere to go . . .

Nowhere to Go




18 February 2011

Dear Souls -

         Hiding behind light polite banter is not for me. Perhaps I've offended some souls with my dialogue, and maybe I've earned the respect of others . . . but as part of God's creation we share this faith together. Big, small, Tall, short, Rich, poor, Arab, Russian, Greek, and assorted American, it doesn't matter. We must find peace together as Orthodox Christians . . . and also with those of all other faiths.

          From His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW in his book Encountering the Mystery:


          "Dialogue does not imply denial of religious faith or betrayal of religious affiliation. Instead, it signifies a shift in our mind-set and a change of attitudes, what in spiritual language we call 'repentance' - or, as we have already seen, in Greek, metanoia, which literally means seeing things through a different perspective. This is why dialogue is the start of a long and patient process of conversation, not a fundamentalist drive toward conversion or some legal exchange of ideas like a contract. It is a way of learning how to listen in order to hear, so that Muslims can feel welcome and safe in Christian countries and so that Christians can feel welcome and safe in Muslim countries; so that both Jews and Palestinians may feel welcome and safe in the Middle East; so that all minorities in all places can enjoy the same rights and privileges as their neighbors (2008, p. 216)."





19 February 2011

Dear Souls -

          When you set about dreaming . . . you may as well dream Big. The other more refined term for dreams is goals, but I prefer dream for my less practical goals.

           For several years I have dreamed of visiting Mount Athos . . . before you get upset remember the Theotokos (Mother of God) is a woman too. I understand women are forbidden from the Holy Mountain, but once a year in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation an exception should be made. I'm convinced women have visited the island for centuries disguised as men, and I suspect countless stories exist of women caught and cast off into the stormy seas. In my lifetime, I dream of visiting Mount Athos undisguised . . . and yes, I want to stay overnight!

            My second impractical goal (dream) is to have dinner with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW. I imagine he does not often dine with an ordinary American Orthodox Christian woman, so it would be interesting for us both. After reading his book, Encountering the Mystery (Doubleday, 2008), I'm convinced he has the wisdom and vision of a saint. He reflects Orthodox Christian thought in a contemporary context rarely witnessed today. His humble words ring with Truth, Love, Peace, and a call for Unity. Of course, prior to dinner in Istanbul I need a briefing on Ecumenical Patriarchate etiquette. If, by chance, you can find out his availability (anytime), will you please let me know?

                               Link here: Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW

               Today I stumbled across this incredible footage of Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW returning the relics of St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian back to Constantinople after their removal to Rome in 1204  . . .
                                                                            Link below:

Return of Relics of St. John Chrysostom (1 of 3)

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3


                                                          Big Z


22 February 2011

Dear Souls -

         Please forgive me for the awkward sequence . . . I write as an idea strikes, even if it fits poorly with the one above.

         This morning I awoke thinking of a scene from a favorite movie of mine, Surf's Up. In the surfing culture elders, Surf Legends (or Legends), have a clear role in mentoring younger surfers. In the lineup (where surfers sit and wait for waves) showing a lack of respect for a Legend, earns you a nasty glare and a miserable surf session. Local breaks are ruled by the Legends who surf there . . . I've seen surfers leave a break (surf spot) saying, "There are too many Legends in the water today." These Legends command respect with their intuitive knowledge of all things Surf. In the lineup they manage to see waves before a visible line appears on the horizon, and magically they're positioned on the peak of all perfect waves. When a Legend is in the lineup . . . I catch their leftovers (if I'm lucky).

          The Groms (young surfers) gather around the Legends thirsting for their surfing wisdom. In the lineup when a Legend speaks, everyone listens . . . except the Kooks. (A Kook is someone who shows no regard for the established etiquette of a surf break.) Through years of surfing in all conditions and gathering knowledge of all things Surf (waves, tides, reefs, boards, ding repair, etc.), Legends earn the respect of everyone at the local break and beyond. In the surf culture, respect for a Legend spreads beyond their local spot and across the ocean to distant breaks. Some Legends leave a lasting mark on the surf industry through surfboard shaping or big wave riding. Other times they leave their mark by the generation of younger surfers they influence who rise through the ranks of the surf world. But the traditions of surfing do not pass from generation to generation without the Legends.

           Some breaks exist where Legends do not dominate . . . and these are ruled by Punks. No one surfs these breaks unless they're prepared to deal with punks. At breaks without Legends there is not a prevailing surf etiquette and when you enter the water, you enter a scary dangerous zone. If you exit the water without bumps, bruises, or lacerations you're grateful. Surfers at these breaks take off in front of each other, paddle around each other, and show no respect for anyone. The lineup is chaos and an exercise in ego strength; surfing these spots is unpleasant and leaves you without the sense of peace you entered the water seeking. Without Legends a surf break lacks the full traditions of surfing.

                                                       Link here: Big Z



                      P.S.  Link Here:  Humility and Taking on Tank
The Cutest Groms
                                                        Thine I's


24 February 2011

Dear Souls -

         As I see it, we have two different I's . . . we have our eyes and our I's. With open eyes we see everything around us clearly, and it isn't always pretty. At a glance with our eyes the Truth is transparent, though what you see isn't always pleasant. The Truth may reveal what you would rather not see. You see, your eyes have vision, the I's don't have.

         The I's see all things I.

         "I want . . ."

         "I need . . ."

         "I know . . ."

         "I" "I" "I"

         With your I's it is impossible to see with your eyes, and something seen with eyes is impossible to explain to someone with I's. The I's are mostly right about what they see, though it's muddled because their eyes are closed. Try telling an I something you see with your eyes . . . and you wish you saw more with your I's.

         Most people I know see with their I's, but I know a few people who see with their eyes. Some  have their eyes opened through years of hard work, and some are born with their eyes wide open. Children have their eyes open, but then learn to see with their I's. And many years later as adults they may seek their eyes, but won't let go of their I's. Some people dabble in between with both their eyes and their I's. I believe a transition time exists for someone acquiring vision with their eyes, because it's a shocking change from seeing with your I's.

         The world would be different if everyone saw with their eyes, instead of their I's. A transparency would prevail, and the Truth would be evident for all to see unconcealed by their I's. 

          Look around and see for yourself with your eyes,

          and not your I's.


                                                         I sight


26 February 2011

Dear Souls -

         Yesterday it struck me . . . we have either I sight or eye sight.  Our I sight is myopic vision, while eye sight allows for visual acuity both near and far. Need I write anything more?

          I sight is the prevalent vision of today, here, and now. We are proud and confident of all we see clearly with our I sight. As we move out of this line of vision . . . our acuity vanishes. If it's not clear to our I's it's not there. God falls into this category for those with perfect I sight. Perhaps this is why He is often reduced to a paper God . . . the God of pages in books. This is the God seen and known best with I sight, our contemporary Christ. With I sight it's impossible to see the image of Christ in those around you. And it's impossible to see an accurate reflection of yourself in the mirror of your heart. Most of Christianity today is built with accurate I sight. 

         Eye sight is the vision we see in the New Testament. It's the visual acuity of the Apostles and the foundation of the Gospel. The word evangelize was not meant for those without eye sight. God exists for those with clear eye sight far beyond the pages in books; with eye sight the image of Christ is clearly visible in others. Most of Christianity today is not built with eye sight . . . and without eye sight Christianity is reduced to the words on pages in books.

         A simple test for visual acuity will determine whether you have I sight or eye sight: Do you see the image of Christ in everyone else?