Today At Meetingbrook

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"For-you" is a new way to see life and bread


As the story is told, it is as if Jesus was asked, "What is this?" at table when he took bread and looked at them.

"This?" he responded. "This is for-you."

"For me?" one asked.

"No."

"For us?"

"No." Jesus answered. It is for-you."

They looked at him.

bread?


Yes.

Thank you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Morning snow; nothing to see here


Maine midcoast, April 16, snow.


New York Times has investigative story of alleged rape and sexual assault by Heisman Trophy winning national champion quarterback at Florida State University in Dec. 2012.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/16/sports/errors-in-inquiry-on-rape-allegations-against-fsu-jamies-winston.html?hp&_r=0


http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/16/sports/errors-in-inquiry-on-rape-allegations-against-fsu-jamies-winston.html?hp&_r=0

Neither snow nor the privilege of athletes seem to go away.
Law enforcement and university officials know their place.
Shovels bury, they don't remove anything.


It's why we have blinds. 

Limiting our looking.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Intimately


To suffer is to enter what is real.

Numb is false.

Real is life.

So, we suffer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

and I sort of felt, for lack of a better word, everything


From India, about Amma, a perspective.

Excerpt:
Darshan is the intimate process of seeing and being seen by a deity. Hindus describe darshan not as the detached, passive sight of aesthetic observance but with the active transitive verbs of taking (in Hindi, darshan lena) and giving darshan (darshan dena). In modern usage, the term darshan signifies the moment when humans view the supernatural, whether through an icon of a deity (murti), a sacred site (tīrtha), or a living embodiment of the divine (avatār). Through darshan, the deity and the devotee engage in a mutual seeing in “a moment of dramatic spiritual interaction.”7 This interactive process symbolizes the “desire for fusion— for the subject/object dissolution of the ‘double sensation.’ ”8 As Isabelle Nabokov/Clark-Decès explains, “The act of darshan . . . also becomes a form of absorbing, so that any objectification of a supernatural is always a form of assimilation as well.”9 It is in such moments of Hindu devotional ritual that the individual both recognizes divinity and is recognized as divinity.10 In Hindu practice, it is through darshan that humanity gains the opportunity to experience the divine on earth. Ideally the darshan experience dissolves the individual ego into cosmic unity with divinity. When interpreted through the advaita vedantic theological ideal of nonduality, the moment of darshan between guru and devotee provides the opportunity for the dissolution of the individuated ego, the symbolic union with divinity, and the intense physical expression of metaphysical cosmic oneness that eradicates duality. Ideally, darshan transforms the individual through these temporary suspensions of the sense of self and individuated difference that incite the recognition of the ultimate similitude between the self and divinity. 
Through darshan, devotees not only see the image of the deity but infuse themselves within it in an active process of becoming. Devotees aim to absorb the gaze of the deity and in the process be transformed. As Lawrence Babb suggests, there is a parallel between the impulse be- hind eating blessed food (prasad), wherein “you become what you eat,” and the process of darshan, in which “you somehow become what you see.”11 Thus darshan should not be explained in terms of being merely an aesthetic experience—something that one passively witnesses—but, rather, as an agentive interaction—something in which one actively engages, a transformative and participatory process. A devotee of Mother Meera understands her unique method of silent visual darshan in highly active terms of transformation. She says, “Along with the gaze from Mother Meera’s eyes comes an infusion of light, light designed to heal wounds within the psyche and give a person sufficient power to move from the perspective of the personality to a divine perspective. . . . This is not one woman staring as the other stares back. Instead, one offers the gift of her soft, penetrative gaze, and the other offers the gift of acceptance.”12 In the Radhasoami tradition the compassionate gaze of the guru during darshan is believed to assist devotees in their spiritual de- velopment: “the drishi, the ‘seeing’ or ‘glance,’ of the guru aids the devotee in achieving deliverance.”13 Devotees of Sathya Sai Baba experience darshan as “a moment of ultimate self-transformation by which they are ‘captured’ spiritually and experience a ‘complete immersion in Sai Baba’s love.’ ”14 
Amma’s devotees relate similar experiences of the dissolution of indi- vidual boundaries, immersion in divine love, and cosmic awakenings. Shanti relayed a particularly powerful experience of her darshan during one Devī Bhāva night: “As we knelt in front of Amma, she put our heads together, cheek to cheek, and looked straight into our eyes, the right eye on me and the left eye on Caleb. I remember thinking, Oh no! here we go!!! I lost all track of where I was . . . there was no sense of time, the universe was swirling to life in her eye, and then I was in the universe and I sort of felt, for lack of a better word, everything that has ever been and every thing that will ever be in one second. She pulled back and it was over. I totally lost track of where I was for a second. But as soon as she disengaged I was back with no confusion.” Devotees long for the darshan experience because of the potential for this type of transformative experience, the possibility of experiencing a glimpse into the cosmic reality of the divine, and the efficacy of darshan for catalyzing spiritual awakening. 
(--from Chapter 1, A Darshan Embrace, Experiencing Authenticity and Feeling Witnessed, in  Reflections of Amma, Devotees in a Global Embrace, Amanda J. Lucia (Author) http://www.ucpress.edu/content/chapters/12560.ch01.pdf)

Broken open; gathering with-us


Two names arrive at table Sunday Evening Practice: Dirk and Kali.

The word hospice accompanies.

Gathering us into prayer.

With them.

Gott mit uns; Dasein mit uns.

Univocally holy; week


No one is doing something to us or for us. 

What is being done is being done with us.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Realization


If it is trust, you know it's not ego.

It might be you

"Many arrivals make us live," wrote Theodore Roethke.

No one thinks we are who we are.
Doing nothing is essential for thinking to occur. Many of the most important thoughts are unintentional—they can be neither solicited nor cajoled but have a rhythm of their own, creeping up, arriving, and leaving when we least expect them. It is important to cultivate the lassitude of mind that clears a place for the arrival of what cannot be anticipated. Idleness allows time for the mind to wander to places never before imagined and to return transformed. 
(—Mark C. Taylor, "Idleness Waiting Grace")
We become who we are by stepping into the unknown new and next moment as it presents itself. So, too, we are itself presented in the world.

There is no place to go. No place we have to get to. 

Arrive, that's it.

Wait for the question to arise. Someone will ask the question; it might be you, yourself, asking.

"Where are you?" 

And when you hear that question, do not attempt to answer it.

Wait a while.

Arrive without answer.

Look around.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

keeping up with crazy


It might just be a creation by imagination.

Maybe a hologram projected into dark space manifesting this apparent reality.

I don’t know.
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.                                   —Sherlock Holmes
We don’t have a story. The narrative is unconvincing. The yearly rituals of death and resurrection are again staged. 
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.   —Plato 
The hands of time seem out of touch.

If you’re not dying you’re not living.

Altering our stupidity into lucrative payday is the new crack the new heroin the new
methamphetamine the new radio and right wing cable tv.

It’s hard to keep up with crazy.

1st century to 21st century.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The crime of deterring


Trust.

It is what prison takes away.

Sentencing life to missing it.

Two Cat Story

(haiku)

Middle night growling --
Don’t let mouse
come between you

Thursday, April 10, 2014

returning to earth


I picked the squirrel up by the tail. No blood. Just there in road on back. Balancing bicycle heavy with groceries, I walked to side of road, placed it on spate of earth, vigiled a brief while, then rolled bicycle up rest of hill,  
Even the smallest glimpse of freedom heightens our awareness of the pain we have created by our ego-fixation. Seeing the contrast is what inspires us to go forward on the path. In particular, each time we sit on the cushion and meditate, we relax and let go a little bit more. The notion we’ve held onto—that if we don’t keep up our ego-momentum something bad is going to happen—dissolves bit by bit. (—from Judy Lief, “Letting Go,” in Tricycle Magazine)
We are cor-respondence. We are com-munion. We are con-versation. Hence, equality is what belongs to us.
She asked us to engage in several exercises -”keep going in a straight line until you have to turn” – each an invitation to spontaneous interaction, each with a natural lifespan, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, then the energy turned formulaic or repetitive and died away.  She said that’s how it is with all energy, all relationships, that the energy comes and goes and comes and goes like the tide.  She implied that we’re happier when we recognize this pattern, stop fighting it, and just let it happen.  (--from Peter Cunningham blog; dancer Martha Myers words) http://petercunninghamphotography.com 
We’ve had it wrong. We thought it was objects. Others as objects. It’s not. 

What it is, if we can say anything at all, is coming to the clearing where significance is shared by all who find their way there. 

SZ: Would you say that your father was the most important person in your life?       ED: No. (Laughs) Right now I’m talking to you, so you are. Congratulations! (--Michel Engu Dobbs interview, Sweeping Zen, Feb. 21, 2012) http://sweepingzen.com/michel-engu-dobbs-interview/
Unearthing.

Re-earthing.

Discovering one-self there.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Nothing but


Rain 
All over
And into
April

Monday, April 07, 2014

opening windows and doors


At practice last evening, which dream do we consider more real -- the one while we sleep? or, the one when awake?

Chaos and doubt? Or, order and certainty?

Peter Matthiessen’s death drew our observations. So too did the words of the Inner Chapters by Chuang Tzu.

This morning I open doors and windows of yurt, zendo, and book shed/retreat. I burn incense and light candle in memory of Cynthia in zendo at altar cabinet and Pacific coast shell in memory of her son Danny she gave to us. Gassho!


I light candle and burn incense in book shed for Jonathan’s mother on her birthday. 

L’chaim.
Moon this April 7 
is the same age today 
as she was 
the same age yesterday -- 
each a Good day 
birth! Hello                            (--wfh)
What we call “self” is not clenched double-fist solid entity. Rather, self is open-fingered falling through exchange of sensations, memories, thoughts, and awareness engaging a flowing grace and sweet dignity in communion with circumstance and surroundings.

To know yourself is to let yourself go into the unconcealing present situation with integrity and humility.
Free passion is radiation without a radiator, a fluid, pervasive warmth that flows effortlessly. It is not destructive because it is a balanced state of being and highly intelligent. Self-consciousness inhibits this intelligent, balanced state of being. By opening, by dropping our self-conscious grasping, we see not only the surface of an object, but we see the whole way through. We appreciate not in terms of sensational qualities alone, but we see in terms of whole qualities, which are pure gold.  
(—Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, “Love Story” http://www.tricycle.com/insights/love-story)

Balancing, yes.

Pure soil.

April sunshine.

Monday morning.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

odd magic


They are laughing at the fact they are old and growing infirm. Someone else’s name arises. “She’s not the center of the universe,” he says to woman reading Parkinson’s material. Climbing stairs he hopes she is still taking the amusement of their banter. 

He only means the interpretation someone gives for something is merely the interpretative opinion their mind fashions out of the patterns and habits accumulated over long stretch of time. 

He means the guess anyone has about the world they visit is as good as the 10,000 guesses they could have made.

He is speaking about anyone who seems to present themselves with the calling card that they are the center of the universe. (Which, in a different context, they actually are.)

He means he knows he’s full of baloney. He’s unsure the reading woman has the same opinion about herself. And leaves it there.
Mountains on all sides 
Rivers looped around it 
There's no trail to my hut. 
When the dragon elephant approaches 
A path opens all by itself 
In the hour of soaring talk 
Neither has to think of meeting 
The other half way 
Though all of you keep 
Wandering into yes and no.  
(-- Muso Soseki (1275-1351))
The physicist claims she has no particular interest in the cultural conditioning the vast majority of us cling to -- what to wear, what not to wear in the tidy expectations of societal norms. The universe, the multi-verse is so enormous, complicated, and diverse -- and we are so small, odd, and narrow. What, I wonder, does it matter if we wear a jacket to dinner, hat to church, shoes to business meeting, use salad fork with lasagna, believe in Jesus or tree-spirits, vote republican, stifle cuss words in mixed company, or even spend our life listening to spondee and dactyl of afternoon trees dancing with sunny breeze during casual walk?

It, the implication resounds, doesn’t matter. Still, there are realities we have to observe.
A MADMAN DREAMS OF TURING MACHINES  
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines bridges fiction and nonfiction to tell a strange if true story of coded secrets, psychotic delusions, mathematical truth, and lies. This story of greatness and weakness, of genius and hallucination, is based on the parallel lives of Kurt Gödel, the greatest logician of many centuries, and Alan Turing, the extraordinary code breaker during World War II. Taken together their work proved that truth is elusive, that knowledge has limits, that machines could think. Yet Gödel believed in transmigration of the soul and Turing concluded that we were soulless biological machines. And their suicides were complementary: Gödel, delusional and paranoid, starved himself to death fearing his food was poisoned. Turing ate a poison apple, driven to suicide after being arrested and convicted of homosexual activities. These two men were devoted to truth of the highest abstract nature, yet were unable to grasp the mundane truths of their own lives. Through it all, the narrator wonders, along with these two odd heroes, if any of us can ever really grasp the truth. 
(-- from description of her novel by Janna Levin on her website)  http://www.jannalevin.com/science.html
If we are working with “nothing” -- how is the mind to remain sane?

If we are working with “everything” -- how are we able to accomplish anything?

If we are interested in “thinking/acting” -- is there any better way aside from stillness and silence?
A Way of Working  
Once, Chuang Tzu tells us, there was a master craftsman who made such beautiful things out of wood the the King himself demanded to know the secret of his art.  
“Your Highness,” said the carpenter, “there is no secret; but there is something.  This is how I begin.  When I am about to make a table, I first collect my energies and bring my mind to absolute quietness.  I become oblivious of any reward to be gained or any fame to be acquired.  When I am free from the influences of all such outer considerations, I can listen to the inner voice which tells me clearly what I have to do.  When my skill is thus concentrated, I take up my ax; I make sure that it is perfectly sharp, that it fits my hand and swings with my arm.  Then I enter the forest.  I look for the right tree:  the tree that is waiting to become my table.  And when I find it, I ask: ‘what have I for you, what have you for me?’  Then I cut down the tree and set to work.  I remember how my masters taught me to bring my skill and my thought into relation with the natural qualities of the wood.”  
The King said, “When the table is finished, it has a magical effect upon me.  I cannot treat it as I would any other table.  What is the nature of this magic?”  
“Your Majesty,” said the carpenter, “what you call magic comes only from what I have already told you.” 
(--from Chang Tsu: Inner Chapters – Translated by Gia-Gu Feng, Illustrated by Jane English.)

 Behind stack of books, white dog sleeps with cedar tree and Bald Mountain drenched in April sunlight -- behind him -- glare, the Buddha, crucified Christ, piece of split wood leaning against window.

The universe might be unfathomable -- but in my room and backyard -- it is there for my unfathoming eyes.

Odd magic!


Sound of bells in afternoon wind.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

uncoverable


The thing about spies is they use truth like they use people.

Both are malleable and disposable.

It does not seem to be worth the trouble tell the truth or keep in touch.

We are killed for reasons we don’t understand and are told lies for no good reason at all.

Friday, April 04, 2014

a funny sentence happened on the way to word


When young, I wanted to live a life of prayer.

Listening, says James Hillman, is akin to prayer: “Prayer has been described as an active silence in which one listens acutely for the still small voice, as if prayer were not asking and getting through to God, but becoming so composed that [God] might come through to me.” 
(Insearch, p.16) (cf. The Word’s Body: An Incarnational Aesthetic of Interpretation, by Alla Bozarth-Campbell, p.85)
Permanently  
One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An Adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence. 
Each Sentence says one thing—for example, "Although it was a dark
   rainy day when the Adjective walked by, I shall remember the pure
   and sweet expression on her face until the day I perish from the
   green, effective earth."
Or, "Will you please close the window, Andrew?"
Or, for example, "Thank you, the pink pot of flowers on the window
   sill has changed color recently to a light yellow, due to the heat from
   the boiler factory which exists nearby."
In the springtime the Sentences and the Nouns lay silently on the grass.
A lonely Conjunction here and there would call, "And! But!"
But the Adjective did not emerge. 
As the adjective is lost in the sentence,
So I am lost in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat--
You have enchanted me with a single kiss
Which can never be undone
                                                                                                     Until the destruction of language.
(Poem, Permanently,  by Kenneth Koch)
Now much older, I prefer to live a life of prayer.

Funny, eh?

The good don't die young. The word you're looking for is 'murder.'


"Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin?" -- asked the song.

I thought not.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

And thanks for looking.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Is the deed ever really done


Serial killers and mass killers disturb us. Profilers and psychologists get busy explaining things. Soon we tire. We look around wondering: What’s next?

I take some time to review and think about O.J. Simpson, the crime, the case, the characters in courtroom. Then I watch the curious Discovery documentary about a man, Glen Rogers, on death row who his brother claims killed Ms Brown-Simpson and Mr Goldman in 1994.
People who study Buddhism   
Should seek real, true  
Perception and understanding for now.  
If you attain real, true  
Perception and understanding,  
Birth and death don't affect you;  
You are free to go or stay.  
You needn't seek wonders,  
For wonders come of themselves.                                          
                - Linji (d. 867?)
I come across a piece written by someone who knew a fellow I studied with in the early sixties in Callicoon NY. It reminded me of what happened to Dennis in 1997. 
Two Troopers, Judge, Editor Killed In Spree  
Police Slay New Hampshire Suspect 
 August 20, 1997|  By The Boston Globe 
.COLEBROOK, N.H. — A man enraged over property disputes went on a killing spree Tuesday in this town near the Canadian border, killing two law officers, a part-time judge and a newspaper editor before he was slain by police after fleeing into Vermont, according to witnesses. Carl C. Drega, 67, of Columbia, N.H., shot another police officer before confronting 20 officers from four law enforcement agencies in Bloomfield, Vt.  ...  
There, police said, he shot lawyer Vickie Bunnell, 44, a part-time judge whose office was in the building, and the paper’s co-editor, Dennis Joos, 50. 
...  
Joos, who once had studied to be a priest, tackled Drega and, in the ensuing struggle, was shot in the spine, witnesses said. "He dragged Dennis for about 15 feet. I think Dennis had already been shot and was just clutching on to him," reporter Claire Knapper said. “Drega told him to mind his own (expletive) business." 
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1997-08-20/news/9708200087_1_police-cruiser-police-car-dennis-joos
Also cf. http://www.theppsc.org/Archives/DF_Articles/Files/NewHampshire/Colebrook/Drega_Shooting.htm 

The writer included an image from probably 1964 in his blog: 


Here’s what’s interesting about the yearbook entry and the newspaper article -- the oddity of coincidence. The man who shot and killed Dennis was named Drega. In Dennis’ yearbook some 33 years earlier, under ‘Aspiration’ -- the words: “To work with the dregs of Society.”

Yeats words help put this in context: 
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere 
The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 
The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity.  

Surely some revelation is at hand; 
                            (--from The Second Coming, poem by William Butler Yeats) 
Drega; dregs -- surely something is at hand here!

I liked Dennis. He had a Salinger-like quality to him. 

Words are more mysterious than soft snow in mud time.
Out of the wood two hulking tramps  
(From sleeping God knows where last night,  
But not long since in the lumber camps). 
They thought all chopping was theirs of right.  
Men of the woods and lumberjacks,  
They judged me by their appropriate tool.  
Except as a fellow handled an ax  
They had no way of knowing a fool.  

Nothing on either side was said. 
 
They knew they had but to their stay  
And all their logic would fill my head:  
As that I had no right to play  
With what was another mans work for gain.  
My right might be love but theirs was need.  
And where the two exist in twain  
Theirs was the better right--agreed.  

But yield who will to their separation, 
 
My object in living is to unite  
My avocation and my vocation  
As my two eyes make one in sight.  
Only where love and need are one,  
And the work is play for mortal stakes, 
 Is the deed ever really done  
For Heaven and the futures sakes. 
           (--from Two Tramps in Mud Time, poem by Robert Frost) 
I think of Dennis. I’m glad to remember.

Something, no doubt, about New Hampshire.

Sentiment and sediment.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Window finally open


Maine morning.



Gathering a crowd.



National peanut butter and jelly day.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

If still possible

Who's foolin'?
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution 
Take a bow for the new revolution 
Smile and grin at the change all around me 
Pick up my guitar and play 
Just like yesterday 
Then I'll get on my knees and pray 
We don't get fooled again 
Don't get fooled again 
No, no! 
(Excerpt from Wont Get Fooled Again, lyrics by Peter Townshend, The Who)
Maybe not.
CIA Misled Public About Interrogation Program: Report
Reuters

04/01/2014
April 1 (Reuters) - The Central Intelligence Agency misled the U.S. government and public for years about aspects of its brutal interrogation program, concealing details about harsh treatment of detainees and other issues, according to a report in the Washington Post.
U.S. officials who have seen a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA interrogation program described damning new information about a network of secret detention facilities, also called "black sites", the Washington Post said.
The Intelligence Committee is responsible for oversight of the CIA. It completed the 6,300-page draft report on the interrogation program more than a year ago but it remains classified.
At the "black sites", prisoners were sometimes subjected to harsh interrogation techniques even when analysts were sure they had no more information to give, said the report, which the Post said was based on interviews with current and former U.S. officials.
The files reviewed by committee investigators describe previously undisclosed cases of abuse, including the alleged repeated dunking of a terrorism suspect in tanks of ice water at a detention site in Afghanistan. The method bore similarities to waterboarding but never appeared on any Justice Department-approved list of techniques, the Washington Post said.
Officials also said that millions of records show that the CIA's ability to obtain the most valuable intelligence information, including tips that led to the locating and killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, had little, if anything, to do with "enhanced interrogation techniques", the newspaper said.
A spokesman for the CIA said the agency had not yet seen a final version of the report and was not able to comment, the Washington Post said.
Some current and former agency officials have privately described the study as marred by factual errors and misguided conclusions, the newspaper added.
In March, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the CIA of searching computers used by committee staffers compiling the report and she questioned whether the agency had broken the law in doing so.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Gareth Jones)

...................

Torture cares nothing for truth.

Torture shows only disdain of human beings. 

Torture cripples the torturer, his country, the people in whose name it is done.

No need to look further for cause of illness plaguing psyche and spirit of this land. 

Look, rather, for healing antidote.

If still possible.

Mu

Japan: Man Freed From Death Row Faces New Effort to Block a Retrial, By MARTIN FACKLER 
Prosecutors filed an appeal on Monday to block a court from granting a retrial to a former boxer convicted of murder whose release last week after 48 years on death row exposed problems in Japan’s justice system. Prosecutors in the central city of Shizuoka challenged the decision by a district court, which said the police might have fabricated some of the evidence used to convict the former boxer, Iwao Hakamada, now 78, of killing a family of four in 1966. While the appeal will not affect the court’s decision to release Mr. Hakamada, it is seen as a face-saving move by prosecutors to prevent further scrutiny of their reliance on forced confessions and possibly shoddy police work to obtain Mr. Hakamada’s conviction and possible others.(--NYTimes, 1Apr14, online)

Monday, March 31, 2014

see through me


At end of Sunday Evening Practice one of the practitioners leaned against kitchen sink and said that only when someone is completely intimate with suffering is there no longer suffering.

No looking at suffering; rather, looking through suffering. To see what is as what is seeing.
Questions such as: Why was I born? What is my life for? What will happen to me when I die? are based on the premise of a solid, permanent entity living in a body and moving through time from day to day and year to year. With this ‘self’ in mind we then inquire into its past, its future and its purpose. It is in relation to this premise of ‘self’ that many of us need guidance. It is imperative, if we want to understand Buddhism, to investigate this particular premise. 
When we investigate this concept of a solid self, our questions will alter from: Why was I born? etc, to: What is the ‘I’? What is the foundation of this idea of self? Is there an ‘I’ that has been born? Is there a ‘me’ that lives life? Is there a ‘me’ that will die? We begin to question right down to our very roots, as it were, with a mind that is fresh, open, and willing to look. We just want to know! 
The unborn does not come within the realm of time, so ‘forever’ is meaningless in relation to the unborn. 
(--from Karma and Rebirth A Buddhist Perspective by Diana St Ruth)
These days, contemporary culture seems overly interested in the undead.

I’m more interested in the unborn nature that precedes, pervades, and follows our born nature. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How does it feel?


Mazel Tov! 
It is Sunday. And raining. Early spring.
The word mazel literally means “a drip from above.” Mazel can have different connotations depending on its context, but they are all connected to this basic definition—something trickling down from above. 
The signs of the zodiac are called mazalot. Jewish tradition sees the constellations on high as directing the destiny of individuals and nations down below. Thus mazel is the influence dripping down from the stars. (Over the years, bad or good mazel came to mean luck more than destiny.) When the Talmud says that we are not subject to mazel, it means that we are not limited to our destiny; rather our own actions determine our fate. 
There is another meaning of the word mazel that is more relevant to the phrase Mazel TovMazel is the term used in Jewish mysticism to describe the root of the soul. The mystics say that only a ray of our soul actually inhabits our body. The main part of the soul, our mazel, remains above, shining down on us from a distance. Have you ever experienced a sense of spontaneous intuition, where out of the blue you suddenly feel at peace with yourself and the universe? Or a sudden flash of inspiration that makes you see life in a new light? 
Occasionally we may receive an extra flux of energy from our soul above. It can happen at any time, but is most common at a time of celebration—a birth, birthday, brit, bar/bat mitzvah or wedding. It is especially at these times of joy that we are able to see beyond the mundane and the petty and to sense the deeper truths of life. 
When we tell someone Mazel Tov, we are giving them a blessing: May this drip of inspiration from your soul above not dissipate, but rather have a positive and lasting effect, that from this event onwards you should live your life with higher consciousness. You should be aware of the blessings in your life and be ready to receive more and more.
(--from, What Does “Mazel Tov” mean? by Aron Moss)      http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/160965/jewish/What-Does-Mazel-Tov-Mean.htm
It feels right.

Something changes


Somewhere, in dawn-quiet, these words:

PRENEZ, ET MANGEZ-EN TOUS:
CECI EST MON CORPS
LIVRÉ POUR VOUS.
 
De même, à la fin du repas,
il prit dans ses mains
cette coupe incomparable;
et te rendant grâce à nouveau il la bénit,
et la donna à ses disciples, en disant:
 
PRENEZ, ET BUVEZ-EN TOUS,
CAR CECI EST LA COUPE DE MON SANG,
LE SANG DE L´ALLIANCE NOUVELLE ET ÉTERNELLE,
QUI SERA VERSÉ POUR VOUS ET POUR LA MULTITUDE
EN RÉMISSION DES PÉCHÉS.
VOUS FEREZ CELA, EN MÉMOIRE DE MOI
(--from Universalis app, French, 4th Sunday of Lent, Mass) 
What happens next is anyone's guess.

It is a turning point. Mere explanation or description gives way to something else.

Two possibilities emerge:
1. Presence, or
2. Absence

And both are the odd, uncanny, beyond our ken -- Unheimlich!

In writing to woman we visit in Augusta yesterday:
Presence is presence even in absence. So it is with God. So it is with everything. "Where ARE you?" We ask. And there is silence. 
That silence, like graph-plane, is ready, always and ad infinitum, for the next arrival and posit of x or y with their concomitant reflection. 
You arrive there, where you are, and point by point falls grounding referents to accompany you in the way line reaches toward its expression.
We arrive home with little understanding of where we've been, or where we are, or where we will be.

But, home.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What shall we five speak about here?


Nishitani on Heidegger at Friday Evening Conversation.

Heim und Haus.

What is it we are missing?

Getting ahead of ourselves, circling back through facticity, being-toward-death.

Wherein, completion is death; wholeness entails disappearance into unarticulated unparticular presence.

Or so it was said.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Why else set here?


From John Milton, Paradise Lost, Fifth Book, an excerpt:

  THE ARGUMENT.—Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: they come forth to their day labours: their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render Man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise; his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise, got together by Eve; their discourse at table. Raphael performs his massage, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam’s request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the North, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel, a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.
 
 
NOW Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime
Advancing, sowed the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam waked, so customed; for his sleep
Was aerie light, from pure digestion bred,
And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound
        5
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora’s fan,
Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on every bough. So much the more
His wonder was to find unwakened Eve,
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek,
        10
As through unquiet rest. He, on his side
Leaning half raised, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamoured, and beheld
Beauty which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then, with voice
        15
Mild as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whispered thus:—“Awake,
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heaven’s last, best gift, my ever-new delight!
Awake! the morning shines, and the fresh field
        20
Calls us; we lose the prime to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How Nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.”
        25
  Such whispering waked her, but with startled eye
On Adam; whom imbracing, thus she spake:—
  “O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection! glad I see
Thy face, and morn returned; for I this night
        30
(Such night till this I never passed) have dreamed,
If dreamed, not, as I oft am wont, of thee,
Works of day past, or morrow’s next design;
But of offence and trouble, which my mind
Knew never till this irksome night. Methought
        35
Close at mine ear one called me forth to walk
With gentle voice; I thought it thine. It said,
‘Why sleep’st thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
        40
Tunes sweetest his love-laboured song; now reigns
Full-orbed the moon, and, with more pleasing light,
Shadowy sets off the face of things—in vain,
If none regard. Heaven wakes with all his eyes;
Whom to behold but thee, Nature’s desire,
        45
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze?
I rose as at thy call, but found thee not:
To find thee I directed then my walk;
And on, methought, alone I passed through ways
        50
That brought me on a sudden to the Tree
Of interdicted Knowledge. Fair it seemed,
Much fairer to my fancy than by day;
And, as I wondering looked, beside it stood
One shaped and winged like one of those from Heaven
        55
By us oft seen: his dewy locks distilled
Ambrosia. On that Tree he also gazed;
And, ‘O fair plant,’ said he, ‘with fruit surcharged,
Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet,
Nor God nor Man? Is knowledge so despised?
        60
Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste?
Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
Longer thy offered good, why else set here?
This said, he paused not, but with ventrous arm
He plucked, he tasted. Me damp horror chilled
        65
At such bold words vouched with a deed so bold;
But he thus, overjoyed: ‘O fruit divine,
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,
Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit
For gods, yet able to make gods of men!
        70
And why not gods of men, since good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows,
The author not impaired, but honoured more?
Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve!
Partake thou also: happy though thou art,
        75
Happier thou may’st be, worthier canst not be.
Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods
Thyself a goddess; not to Earth confined,
But sometimes in the Air; as we; sometimes
Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see
        80
What life the gods live there, and such live thou.’
So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had plucked: the pleasant savoury smell
So quickened appetite that I, methought,
        85
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I flew, and underneath beheld
The Earth outstretched immense, a prospect wide
And various. Wondering at my flight and change
To this high exaltation, suddenly
        90
My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down,
And fell asleep; but, O, how glad I waked
To find this but a dream!” Thus Eve her night
Related, and thus Adam answered sad:—
  “Best image of myself, and dearer half,
        95
The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep
Affects me equally; nor can I like
This uncouth dream—of evil sprung, I fear;
Yet evil whence? In thee can harbour none,
Created pure. But know that in the soul
        100
Are many lesser faculties, that serve
Reason as chief. Among these Fancy next
Her office holds; of all external things,
Which the five watchful senses represent,
She forms imaginations, aerie shapes,
        105
Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames
All what we affirm or what deny, and call
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
Into her private cell when Nature rests.
Oft, in her absence, mimic Fancy wakes
        110
To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes,
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams,
Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find

Some such resemblances, methinks, I find
Of our last evening’s talk in this thy dream,
        115
But with addition strange. Yet be not sad:
Evil into the mind of God or Man
May come and go, so unapproved, and leave
No spot or blame behind; which gives me hope
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream
        120
Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
Be not disheartened, then, nor cloud those looks,
That wont to be more cheerful and serene
Than when fair Morning first smiles on the world;
And let us to our fresh imployments rise
        125
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers,
That open now their choicest bosomed smells,
Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store.”
  So cheered he his fair spouse; and she was cheered,
But silently a gentle tear let fall
        130
From either eye, and wiped them with her hair:
Two other precious drops that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he, ere they fell,
Kissed as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
And pious awe, that feared to have offended.
        135
  So all was cleared, and to the field they haste.
But first, from under shady arborous roof
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of day-spring, and the Sun—who, scarce uprisen,
With wheels yet hovering o’er the ocean-brim,
        140
Shot parallel to the Earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide lantskip all the east
Of Paradise and Eden’s happy plains—
Lowly they bowed, adoring, and began
Their orisons, each morning duly paid
        145
In various style; for neither various style
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced, or sung
Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence
Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,
        150
More tuneable than needed lute or harp
To add more sweetness. And they thus began:—
  “These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair: Thyself how wondrous then!
        155
Unspeakable! who sitt’st above these heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye Sons of Light,
        160
Angels—for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing—ye in Heaven;
On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
 
(Excerpt --from, Paradise Lost, The Fifth Book, by John Milton, 1608-1674,
 http://www.bartleby.com/4/405.html
(As if, by sheer momentum, causes my sentence to follow):

I do not think what man has here God has here forbade the tasting of which
the desolate aftertaste perdures can be any longer contained within this telling --O ancient myth-- but rather looks for a more contemporary utterance, one that takes nothing unbidden nor unhidden as contumely yet raises sound of sight -- pure and mere gaze -- the stillness of which no leaf has shuddered, where eye falls gently and aware on nothing else but fact itself, on itself as unfolding fact, and makes no move of thought to place what is seen in sleeve or folder to file away for some tainted or terrible prosecution; no move of thought at all, but comes resting movement to a single tear -- a hospitable face for falling feeling, an afternoon's reception of everything in its place and love there
-- caring -- revealing what cannot be, imagined, thus in this image, spoken, and in this utterance, made present, without exception, unexcluded, one being, undivided liberation of all in all for all.