Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Yes?

Yes!

Unless you are the president of the United States.

Then "no" is the operative word.

No Blacks. No Puerto Ricans. No Palestinians. No Somalis.

Only white men.

Women, some women, are ok as long as they compliment white men.

It is 2019. The president tells four women to go back to the countries they came from.

Go back to Massachusetts. Go back to Michigan. Go back to Minnesota. Go back to New York City.

He doesn't mean country. He means go back to wherever it is that people of color, that women of color should hide themselves and not interfere with their white betters; those who bet that fear of difference will motivate votes for the man in the White House; those who delude themselves that because of their white skin color they are better than others.

Something has broken right in front of our eyes.

Is broken.

Its time to sweep up the broken pieces and place them in the dustbin.

Take then to the dump.

And drive out of that place of refuse, take a left turn, and return too affirmation.

Accepting what is coming to be.

A community of people attempting to become human.

Face to face.

Attending.

Silent listening inter-presence.

Grüß Gott...

Monday, July 15, 2019

some think it is an eternal battle

Yes, racist, misogynist, and cynical, he is that.

But that's not what will bring him down. What will finally toss him on the heap of disgrace is his failure to love the people he serves, failure to love his wider family, failure to love anything but his own mirror image and narrow understanding of his self.

Not only is he not great, his idea of America is small and pinched.

While his Christian backers have abandoned their original Christ for a pusillanimous president antithetical to all Christ-taught values, we are exhausted by the cynical efforts to raise Trump to the status of untouchable sovereign embodying the opposite of love.

Some think it is an eternal battle, exemplified and being waged in our time. 

Will love prevail over hate? Will unifying good find its way through divisive evil? Will the heart of America heal and rebound from the attack it is suffering? 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

you don't say

Ordinary mind is the Buddha.

Zen is the everyday.

Is that why there are so few zen buddhists?

Saturday, July 13, 2019

and the world needs to figure out when that is

Hospice nurse says, “ I do all my peopling here. When I’m at home I need my alone time.”

She says it for me.

Two of them banter. One says to other, “You don’t need alone time, you like to be with people.”

“No,” the other says, “I get peopled out too, and I need my alone time, and the world needs to figure out when that is.”

constituted by my relations

 Interconnection.
To approach these issues, something must be said about the fourth principle, anatman, the doctrine of no-self. The recognition that there is no self is a key step on the path to enlightenment, but people are often confused about what this means. One way to clarify this is to note the implications of the notion of interconnectedness. Since everything is what it is by virtue of its relations to other things, this means that I as an individual am constituted by my relations to other people, institutions, places, actions, etc. There is no self-grounding inner core of the individual. Our lives are entirely dependent processes. 
Since my life is a function of relationships with others, the only way I can make my life better (not worrying for the moment about what counts as better) is by making everyone else’s life better. That is to say, the only motive I could have for trying to make the lives of others worse is the notion that I could thereby make my life better in some way, but pratityasamutpada makes this impossible. This notion is reflected in the game: It cannot be good to win in Go because it is not bad to lose. This is because the aim of achieving greater understanding is often more effectively facilitated by losing than by winning. 
(From, The Game of Go, Can a board game teach the principles of impermanence, interdependence, compassion, and no-self? By William S. Cobb, in Tricycle, SPRING 1999 
Who am I?

Snoozing cat on plank above kitchen. Another snoozing cat on red fire-rug in front of seasonally out-of-work wood stove.

Empty yoghurt container next to black thermos on brown bookcase.

Who are you?

Friday, July 12, 2019

slip

Silent listening inter-presence.

wooden dinghy rowing skiff

drenching rain, catspaw

this Friday morning  by barn —

dark blue bottom paint

Thursday, July 11, 2019

from the rising of the sun to its setting

Benedict

Ora et labora

Monasticism

Feastday

and there she remained

Phrases we hear: religion without churches; spirituality without religion; Christ without Christianity. There is a longing for integrity-in-itself without the caprice of political or organized surround — that which immediately compromises and trivializes the original inspiration.

The origin of religious feeling is a profound connection and interconnection that skirts the commonly held belief that we are separate and alienated from one another, the earth, cosmos, and God.

I trust a return to integral religious identity as interbeing expressions of unfathomable reality-truth is upon us. What it will be called, what shape it takes, what direction it points is not yet clear.

Nevertheless, as an article in Huffpost Highline titled behold, the millennial nuns augurs, there is a deepening of the heart and mind toward something beyond name, or design, or roadmap — maybe more of an aphasiac or mystical emergence of what one thinker called “The Ever-Present Origin.”  By any other name, what we have taken to calling “God among us.”

Traditional philosophical metaphysics tries to grasp this as Being, Nature, Truth, Essence, Becoming.

I’m good with this attempt to word. I’m better with this urge to engage. I’m best when I admit I don’t know, can’t imagine, and continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Mostly, and here is where I currently land, I suspect there is no other, only a non-dual whole wherein everything is reflection of everything else, and “we” are life’s longing for itself with mysterious intimacy and profound urgency.

Tolstoy quotes the gospel saying “do not resist evil.” Perhaps this is meant to suggest we do not resist the separating impulse, the inclination to miss the point, the frustrating temptation to make things better — all of which pull us from our frantic restless searching. Rather, in our uncertainty, it might benefit us to stumble toward le point vierge.

Forthwith, as my aunt Ronnie used to say when her stories ran out of steam, “And there she remained*.”

...   ...   ...

remain rəˈmān | 
verb [no objectcontinue to exist, especially after other similar or related people or things have ceased to existcloister is all that remains of the monastery• stay in the place that one has been occupyingher husband remained at the beach condo• [with complementcontinue to possess a particular quality or fulfill a particular rolehe had remained alert the whole time• be left over after others or other parts have been completed, used, or dealt withseveral years remain in the transition period

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

imperceptibly imbibed

Tolstoy, in What I Believe, writes that it was the words "Do not resist evil" that stopped him and turned around his thinking and life.

Never return evil, but enter life eternal by returning loving and kind example.

Hard task -- and impossible, without grace.

And what is grace?

That which is --

always --

present

sam and susan's dory, 9july19, camden harbor


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

dreary such when so

Perhaps we have not understood the Incarnation. Popular rendering is that God became man.

What if the Incarnation points to the event, begun but nowhere near completion, wherein everything coheres and matures in each particular appearance. God becoming creation, God becoming human, God becoming itself -- these formulations express the movement of wholeness through individual manifestations whose interior urge turns to significant attraction, an emergence through dichotomy toward synchronous presence-appearance. In other words, that which is becomes completely that which is. 
Phenomenology should not and cannot decide a priori (i.e., prior to my relation  with the Other and with the World) how to classify phenomena -- as if it were an old librarian shelving books under the right call number. This chiasmus becomes the cross on which religion and secularism would have to sacrifice their logic. Religion law, and ethics can, in the proper circumstances, play a crucial role in pointing us toward the eschaton of the Incarnation, but they are never more than ladders that must be left behind in time. 
(--p.33, Toward a Fourth Reduction? by John Panteleimon Manoussakis, chapter in After God, Richard Kearney and the Religious Turn in Continental Philosophy, 2006)
It is not surprising that we are fairly stupid.

What is surprising is that we have not (yet) eradicated ourselves from this planet.

The obtuseness and impertinence of our egoistic preening is beyond any comprehension. That, and the financial rewards accrued to pomposity, celebrity, and outrageous memes of notoriety are breathtaking.

Emily Dickinson helps in this:
I'm Nobody! Who are you? (260)
I'm Nobody! Who are you? 
Are you—Nobody—Too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise—you know!

How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog! 
 ( Emily Dickinson - 1830-1886  )
 Just because such is so, it doesn't mean there our minds should go.

let me see

Religion without church; Spirituality without religion; Politics without the prior three. There's a pulling away from one another using each to justify.

I prefer common decency and the ethic of reciprocity (aka golden rule). This demands a new way of seeing and engaging.

One problem we face is the common delusion so many hold that we are separate, disconnected beings. 

Whatever leads to breaking through that delusion, whatever leads to a heart of compassion, kindness, and active service with and for one another -- I'll affirm and attend, happily.

sam, beyond the horizon, perspectives, 1930-2019

Sam passed at about 1208  
E&H are here it was peaceful 
We are Blessed to have this time with Sam 
THANK YOU all for ur support  and caring love Blessings in Gratitude 
🙏
Susan Erika And Hilary 
🦆🔨




Meetingbrook is candle-lit and rudder-ready for Sam's sail. How fortunate for all those on this dock as lines were cast off with love.
(With gratitude, b&s & rokpa)

The Waking
BY THEODORE ROETHKE 

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

(—poem by Theodore Roethke, "The Waking")

Monday, July 08, 2019

hospice end game

We wonder where we will go.

He hears the words: “Go with God,

We love you,” 

Sunday, July 07, 2019

back from walk; electricity outage

“Darkness is the mother of religion.” (—Feuerbach)

Saturday, July 06, 2019

God is existence as it ought to be

Driving back from hospice at Sussman House, I hear this from Scribd:
Nature, this world, is an existence which contradicts my wishes, my feelings. Here it is not as it ought to be; this world passes away; but God is existence as it ought to be. God fulfils my wishes; – this is only a popular personification of the position: God is the fulfiller, i.e., the reality, the fulfilment of my wishes. But heaven is the existence adequate to my wishes, my longing; thus there is no distinction between God and heaven. God is the power by which man realises his eternal happiness; God is the absolute personality in which all individual persons have the certainty of their blessedness and immortality; God is to subjectivity the highest, last certainty of its absolute truth and essentiality. 
(--Ludwig Feuerbach, Essence of Christianity: PART I, The True or Anthropological Essence of Religion, Chapter XVIII. The Christian Heaven, or Personal Immortality
The sentence, "God is existence as it ought to be." takes my attention.

Sound of fireworks in the distance.

Rainstorm over.

Home.

wait for no, one

yes

left foot in

bow to buddha

bow to cross

to mother and child

to symbol trinity

light candle

small piece of incense

bow to kneeling chair

wait for no one

sound of lauds

nothing else

nothing else

nothing else

circle rug

stone center

three bells

reverse bowing

han sounds

mountain reminder


Friday, July 05, 2019

sally gardens

Watching Emma Thompson in The Children Act is a gift.

She and her character — beauty, grace, and intelligence.

The pathos of life here.

the one that got away

I'd love to be positive and optimistic. 

(Go ahead, read that sentence again.)

I'd love             to be             positive and optimistic

at foot of mountain

Yes

The quiet of early morning.

Dishes washed from birthday party

Someone silent in still-life room

Sun comes over eastern hill

Here, at foot of mountain,

Day shows itself

As nothing other than

What is showing itself

sown and shown

Thursday, July 04, 2019

whatever you can’t not do

Two lines from same film.

One from the powers that be;
“There’s a natural order to this world , Fabricant, and the truth is  this order must be protected.” (—Cloud Atlas)
And one from the potential that longs to be:
“You have to do whatever you can’t not do.” (—Cloud Atlas)
 On days like today these two quotes vie in public square for the attention of those that can hear.

It is quiet at the hermitage.

I sip water.

Longing.
“our lives are not our own. from womb to tomb, we are bound to others past and present. and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future. i believe there is another world waiting for us, a better one. and i’ll be waiting for you there”   (— david mitchell, cloud atlas)

poetry slamming

Think of America as a poetry editorial board trying to decide between two poems. 

1. One by e.e.cummings which begins:
"Humanity i love you / because you would rather black the boots of / success than enquire whose soul dangles from his / watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both /
parties and because you / unflinchingly applaud all / songs containing the words country home and / mother when sung at the old howard"
2. And the other by Jim Harrison which ends: 
"We’ll know as children again all that we are / destined to know, that the water is cold / and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far."
It's the Fourth of July!

Let's aim to be "one Nation under God," and not the divided nation threatened under indecorous and unpoetic tweets! 

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

new heart sutra translation

The Insight that Brings us to the Other Shore

Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being.
“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.
“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.
“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.
The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.
The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.
Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.
Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.
“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.
“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!”


"The Insight that Brings us to the Other Shore" is a new (2014) translation by Thich Nhat Hanh."The Insight that Brings us to the Other Shore” translation by Thich Nhat Hanh (2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

read this moment

Tolle et lege — it’s what Augustine heard.

However we remember the words attributed to Jesus, He could have said: “Take this all of you and read, this is my body

It is the Feast of Thomas.
(51) His disciples said to him, "When will the repose of the dead come about, and when will the new world come?"
He said to them, "What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it."  
(52) His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel, and all of them spoke in you."
He said to them, "You have omitted the one living in your presence and have spoken (only) of the dead."
 (91) They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you." 
He said to them, "You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment."
 (From the gospel of Thomas)
We are nearly illiterate. We seldom notice. Much less read. Hardly ever understand.

It is not so much a matter of words. It is a matter of matter. The earth is our scripture.

We read the earth or we remain ignorant.

Religious folk are said to be people of the book. We are, correspondingly, people of the earth.

The earth is a grand novel. A stirring play. An incisive poem. A long narrative.

What we call the Christ, or Jesus, is the sight necessary to read the pages of morning noon and night.

Human beings are the words on the page of everyday.

Let the art found there speak.

Listen.

Read.

Silently.

Then, when necessity presents itself, speak.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

and the rest is...

At Sunday Evening Practice we listened to one of Kurt Spellmeyer"s dharma talks from Waking Up By Breaking Down Barriers Tricycle, Sept 2018). Much to ponder about Zen and the willingness to accept contradictions.

In prison for Friday morning meetingbrook silent sitting and conversation we read and talked about "zero" (mentioned in an article we read). It occurred to us that with zero there isn't anything that isn't included. Everything is within nothing. No one, no two, no three. Whole and entire as is. And there we are. One of the men said that awakening is the unconscious perceiving what is.

That conversation carried through the weekend each recitation of the Four Vows of the Bodhisattva.

At the walking meditation after silent sitting at the prison we bow to the altar when we pass -- a practice Chris and Doris brought Friday mornings from their Augusta Sangha. These days those two dear Buddhist friends are with us at a distance in sangha-spirit. Curiously, also invisible these last months, are the statues of Buddha, Bodhisatvas, altar cloth, water offerings, incense holder, or anything else that once occupied the space. Still and yet, when passing before the table by the window, each person bows to the empty space that holds what is not there in appearance. What is seen outside window are lines of lettuce and rows of flowers tended by men in yellow vests -- a prison farming detail that breathes life and growth mirroring the morning dharma hall and the bowing practitioners therein.

Rohr's words this Tuesday morning carry forward focus on contradiction:
The dualistic mind presumes that if you criticize something, you don’t love it. Wise prophets would say the opposite. Institutions prefer loyalists and “company men” to prophets. We’re uncomfortable with people who point out our shadow or imperfections. It is no accident that prophets and priests are usually in opposition to one another (e.g., Amos 5:21-6:7, 7:10-17). Yet Paul says the prophetic gift is the second most important charism (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11). Prophets are not popular people. Note how the Gospels say it was “the priests, elders, and teachers of the law” who condemned Jesus. 
Human consciousness does not emerge at any depth except through struggling with our shadow. It is in facing our own contradictions that we grow. It is in the struggle with our shadow self, with failure, or with wounding that we break into higher levels of consciousness. People who learn to expose, name, and still thrive inside contradictions are what I would call prophets.
(Prophets : Part One, Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, From the Center for Action and Contemplation)
Yesterday, as we sat as hospice volunteers with dear friend in his shipshape room, he slept. There is a silence unraveled when in the presence of someone drifting between two worlds. The silence is memory and gratefulness, looking back, overseeing, seeing through, and reviewing what has been given and lived through, experienced and known, wondered and wandered through -- as if a dream -- to be followed by, one Tibetan writer suggests, a new dream. His wife, returning from tasks at harbor, says it is hard to see this hard-working active man this way. I say, yes, it is. We agree each breath, each opening of eyes, each word spoken is gift. I tell her he said something funny to me earlier that I will tell her some other time. She asks if I'd remember to. I will, I said.

At Sussman (hospice house) Saturday evening the Welsh volunteer asked me where I hoped to go when I die. I told her I didn't care. Really, she asked? Really, I said. If there's anything, I guess I'll (so to speak) learn that -- but I'd be perfectly content (so to speak) if there was nothing -- lights out, zip,   gone, dark, unsensing, no one here, no one there. Won't you be sad if that's the case, she wondered? I don't think so; I won't be there -- I replied. And if there is an afterlife, she followed, what then?

I don't know what then! Same way, I suspect, I don't know what now.
As Buddhist teachings evolved over the first several generations, the distinction between samsara and nirvana increased. Various Abhidharma schools identified a strong division between the “conditioned” phenomena of our changing experience and the “unconditioned” phenomena that are “beyond this world.” 
The Madhyamika philosopher Nagarjuna deconstructed this dichotomy, arguing that when all phenomena are regarded as empty (having no intrinsic nature since they are interdependently conditioned), the polarity of the two words collapses. In fact, in expressing the view that would come to dominate later forms of Mahayana and tantric Buddhism, Nagarjuna declared that “there is no distinction whatsoever between samsara and nirvana.” With this insight, the meanings of samsara and nirvana are turned inward to refer not to outer worlds, fallen or perfect, but to inner perspectives, deluded or awakened, on the world as it actually is.
(--from What's in a Word? Samsara -- By Andrew Olendzki SUMMER 2019 Tricycle)
Someone visits from away. Sleeps in their van. I love visitors. Never am I more a hermit as when someone else is around. They give me their proximate cells -- but, mostly, I am given my cell.

Jesus said it well: Let the social socialize themselves. And you? You sequester what remains of your dubious and deficient self well off and away to the side around the back, upstairs out of sight, word-intoxicated, impertinent, and useless. (That, of course, is a rough translation of his actual Gospel saying.)

Ceteri silentium.

Monday, July 01, 2019

and there you are

When they ask

you, "What

are you

doing today?"


Tell them, "Yes

exactly that

I am

doing today."

zen contradiction

Stay

A

Way

june out

So, July, what do have in store?

Sunday, June 30, 2019

inside note

Open door,

Two birds on patio

From her bed, without fuss

Traveling elsewhere

Saturday, June 29, 2019

the realm of I don’t know

I asked if she had anything to tell me.

Silence.

I told her all would be well.

Silence.

I sat in silence.

Birds sounded through open door, air refreshing.

I said some prayers. Chanted Om Mane Padme Hum,

(Behold what is within without)

Watched her lovely face relax. It was just us.

I get up to leave as undertaker arrives.

Thank her for allowing me to sit with her.

Gassho. Bow. Grateful.

Friday, June 28, 2019

what, originary presence

Writing about Jean Gebser, Jeremy Johnson says:
This incipient integral age...is nothing short of a leap from civilization as we know it (to what, we know not yet). It is an age unfathomable to us, however necessary, one in which Gebser suggests to us that, "the divided human being is replaced by the whole human being." ...At the outset, the integral is an intensification of originary presence in the human person.
Then, further down the page:
In the rolling thunder of the immanent present, all that we are, all that we have been, and all that we could be, is radically us.
Time is whole and therefore you are whole. 
(- pp. 2-3, Seeing Through the World, Jean Gebser and Integral Consciousness, 2019) 
Outside, bamboo wind chime oscillates hanging from extended wire eighteen inches from bird feeder. Something has lander. Maybe Bluejay. Morning song alongside road tires. Woodpecker's own hollowing from distance.

If what we are and what we will be is radically us, and what I have been and what I now am is me, then -- what?

Is originary presence the ground of Being, the stretch of origin through what we call time?

Is awareness of this 'what' the intensification of originary presence?

Everything arises in the moment and returns to the moment in what we might call a stretch of duration.

Dryer rounds.

Cats circle.

Time to dress for prison conversation.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

shikantaza

Sitting out on porch

chapel/zendo after walk —

nothing but silence

padre y hija

father and daughter,

faces hidden in Rio Grande waters --

perdónanos! perdónanos!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

7:55

She don't ride these days. Her big Harley grows weeds for two years. Same way catspaw is on its gunnels. Then again, for want of a nut, black bicycle's tire leans against workbench.

The deficiencies of a season.

Maybe it is hospice volunteer time come home -- the way bodies slowly go to longer stillness.

Or maybe it is the deterioration of the ethos of crude and rude presidency and surrounding cynical support faces smiling anger and bald-facing lies.

Or it's June. The way it lets go of spring and lets summer step over with blackflies, no-see-ums, mosquitos, and ticks. Suddenness of sun. People from away in new shorts and sneakers. Lines of cars as you watch from town stop signs.

Whatever it means these days, its probably what we used to call depression. Blahs. Who cares? Barn sill and floor undergirdings soften. Squirrels steal birdseed. Skunks plan their summer vacations to dooryard. House-cats want out. Democrats want in. Rain wants to stay.

Naps seem like the best paycheck.

Zazen calls.

As does Lauds. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

seasonality

Feels like early November

Rain distressing

Politics with no thanks given

n.s.f.

If A.I. (artificial intelligence) points out the G.A.U. (God-awful unintelligent) reality of our woebegone president and company, I'd be willing to concede there is hope for its place among us.  

Otherwise, n.s.f. --  not so fast.

I would like to think an intelligent person doesn't belittle, bully, or betray dignity.

I would like to suggest that truth has value. (Albeit a diminishing presence in our social carelessness.)

Instead, we are in a tortuous time.

And, yes, my inadequacies...

I grieve.

Monday, June 24, 2019

having no function except communication

For Meetingbrook, winter ended at Sunday Evening Practice when we'd moved zafus and zabutons from Merton Bookshed Retreat (winter zendo) over to Dogen & Francis Chapel-Zendo. It wondered where we'd been. The reverberation against pitched rafters of the wooden fish (Japanese, Mokugyo; Korean, Moktak) during chanting of The Heart Sutra gave strong resonance to welcoming us back.

In Catholic tradition, Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi had wandered the esoteric fog of our psyches and settled on cushions as equinox twirls, stops, and rewinds both the planet and our thinking.

All in silence, all in quiet practice.
Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth; a change of mind about the meaning of the world. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the world’s purpose; the acceptance of the Atonement for oneself. It is the end of dreams of misery, and the glad awareness of the Holy Spirit’s final dream. It is the recognition of the gifts of God. It is the dream in which the body functions perfectly, having no function except communication. It is the lesson in which learning ends, for it is consummated and surpassed with this. It is the invitation to God to take His final step. It is the relinquishment of all other purposes, all other interests, all other wishes and all other concerns. It is the single desire of the Son for the Father.  
The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reversed entirely. Life is now recognized as salvation, and pain and misery of any kind perceived as hell. Love is no longer feared, but gladly welcomed. Idols have disappeared, and the remembrance of God shines unimpeded across the world. Christ’s face is seen in every living thing, and nothing is held in darkness, apart from the light of forgiveness. There is no sorrow still upon the earth. The joy of Heaven has come upon it.(--from, What is The Resurrection, Manual for Teachers, ACIM)
The women-of-the-flowers dig and prod and plant in various garden spots at the hermitage. The ne'er-do-well of the books finds table reading from Norman Fisher's The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path -- love at center of conflict, impermanence, patience as empty of patience -- during soup and bread we ponder these pointers sipping cheddar-veggie spoonfuls.

This morning, Gregorian chant from French monastery, day-old coffee, sunlight and road-noise along bamboo wind chime and mewing cat, I hear Kingsley say: 
"Theres nothing more dynamic than lying down." (--Peter. Kingsley, on sacred incubation, dying before you die)
These days I practice regularly this napping meditation alongside upright shikantaza. Sleeping and wakeful states intertwine like interrelated vines on climbing trellis. I'm offable in an instant, dreams are my alternate breaths, dissolving alertness into who-knows-where, drifting.

I see a man on hospice several times a week. The brooding incubation toward new hatching!

The little tyke at Hospice House in Rockport was leaving as I arrived on Saturday. His recent surgery and new shunt visible at top of head. He is called little angel, miracle, sweetheart by those attending his visits these eight months.

Joy Harjo is Poet Laureate. Three people read her poems at Friday's Poetry, Tea, and Thee at the Nursing/Retirement Quarry Hill. I find this beginning of her poem "Becoming Seventy" (for Marilyn Kallet):
We

arrived

when the days

grew legs of night.

Chocolates were offered.

We ate latkes for hours

to celebrate light and friends.

We will keep going despite dark
 
or a madman in a white house dream. 
Let’s talk about something else said the dog

who begs faithfully at the door of goodwill:

a biscuit will do, a voice of reason, meat sticks — 

I dreamed all of this I told her, you, me, and Paris — 

it was impossible to make it through the tragedy

without poetry. What are we without winds becoming words?

Becoming old children born to children born to sing us into

love.
(--from, Becoming Seventy, by Joy Harjo)  
The men inside who drop into Friday morning meetingbrook conversations at Maine State Prison continue their bodhisattva persistence to awaken us into a useful practical knowledge and wisdom about what it means to be lovingly attentive to one another, to listen, and to laugh face to face. Last Friday we read from Richard Rohr's new book The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe. "The Christification of matter" resonated in our cinder-blocked room, through our fond hearts. Everything is the manifestation of body in God, with and as.
 
Saskia will be posting a GoFundMe page for her project Meetingbrook Healing Respite Sails. (What do people our age have any business doing something like this?) Same, I suppose, as the 98yr old planting a tree on a hill overlooking a wide and irrepressible vista. Something seen cannot be unseen.

A practitioner at sitting practice asks if we will foster-care the Han he had made in Japan. Will it reside awhile on the porch of the zendo, he wondered? I'd seen it once. It is beautiful, and sharp-loud. If it comes, we will announce with it the completing of each sitting and the sending out both blessing and the admonition to wake up, stay awake, life is short, benefit all beings!
  
Looking back over this piece, it occurs that if I had a dharma name it would probably be ne'er-do-well. It would serve as good reminder that here is no originating person, nothing special, nothing to see, no being of any merit -- but only that which is given and received, with humility and gratefulness.

And so -- Itadakimasu -- everything is received from on high! A soul-friend taught me that -- for which I am profoundly grateful.

Gassho!
Trusting in your well-being --
Saskia, Rokpa, Panta, Chitta, Bill &
all who grace Meetingbrook Hermitage
24June2019

Sunday, June 23, 2019

on end

Earth is earth. It belongs to itself. So too galaxies; they belong to themselves. And you; you belong to yourself.
Isn't it a pity?
Now, isn't it a shame
How we break each others hearts
And cause each other pain?
How we take each others love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity?
(--George Harrison)
To use another metaphor: Christ is Christ. It belongs to itself. Creation is creation; it belongs to itself. All matter and all energy are not other than Christ.

Today is Corpus Christi.

It is the feast of the Body of Christ.

It is creation's birthday.

Energy and matter -- seen and unseen -- the body of creation itself.

But we don't see it, do we?

Isn’t it a pity?

Not seeing one-self?

The ding an sich:
The thing-in-itself (German: Ding an sich) is a concept introduced by Immanuel Kant. Things-in-themselves would be objects as they are, independent of observation.              (-Wikipedia)
Keep on going.

On end.

It's today.

Consider the metaphor.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

cheers, sir

Fathers die

We remember

As best

We can