Tuesday, June 27, 2017

if God spoke, would anyone listen

Are you afraid

of presence

Real presence

I am

It is so

Intimate

Wanting nothing

Other

Than

Itself

With

No-other (an-other)

Like 
Mourning doves

At 4am

Once

Just once

In perfect

Five note

Harmony

Monday, June 26, 2017

warning shot

Chaos in White House.

And ordinary citizens can't be sure if the occupant is playing with them or is merely unbalanced.

It is hard to turn one's back on such spectacle.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

are we not

Of course, 

mind 

realizes no

barriers 

But we 

are out

of our mind

are we

not

postulate

Let’s say that just to wake up is something for which to be grateful.

I woke up this morning.

For which

I am

grateful.

Friday, June 23, 2017

retrieving original intuition

The old metaphor was good and evil.

The new metaphor is clarity and confusion.

pizza water campfire

mosquitos and blackflies 

weren't sure what to do 

first fire in steel ring 

dancing smoke 

garden circle

Thursday, June 22, 2017

summer

Between one and two is three

Arriving

home here now

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

haiku, (on small planet)

High in dark sky

Airplane

Leaves sound behind

there

First light

Dove
“XXVI
True instruction is this:—to learn to wish that each thing should come to pass as it does. And how does it come to pass? As the Disposer has disposed it. Now He has disposed that there should be summer and winter, and plenty and dearth, and vice and virtue, and all such opposites, for the harmony of the whole.”
(--Excerpt From: Epictetus. “The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.” iBooks. ) 
“XXVII
Have this thought ever present with thee, when thou losest any outward thing, what thou gainest in its stead; and if this be the more precious, say not, I have suffered loss.”
(--Excerpt From: Epictetus. “The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.” iBooks. ) iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/2f5Kx.l
Mourning Dove gives

morning love to first light.

Forget the fuming and the fussing --

Return to daybreak, 

let night belong to night!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

midnight

Absurdity reemerges.

No one can figure out what it means.

cloister falls into silence

There she is

Four AM mourning dove

Intoning antiphonal solitary chant

I listen

Wondering how to address God

Without saying anything

The cloister falls into silence

God is responding

...     ...     ...


St. Francis saw the world as cloister.

And so

Do we:

OF LIVING RELIGIOUSLY IN A HERMITAGE. 
Let those who wish to live religiously in hermitages, be three brothers or four at most. Let two of them be mothers and have two sons, or at least one. Let the two former lead the life of Martha and the other two the life of Mary Magdalene. 2 
Let those who lead the life of Mary have one cloister 3 and each his own place, so that they may not live or sleep together. And let them always say Compline of the day toward sunset, 4 and let them be careful to keep silence and to say their Hours and to rise for Matins, and let them 
p. 90 
seek first "the kingdom of God and His justice." 1 And let them say Prime and Tierce at the proper time, and, after the hour of Tierce, they may break silence and may speak and, when it is pleasing to them, they may go to their mothers and may ask an alms from them for the love of the Lord God, like little poor ones. 2 And after that, let them say Sext and Nones and Vespers at the appointed time. 
And they must not allow any 3 person to enter into the cloister where they live, or let them eat there. Let those brothers who are mothers endeavor to keep apart from every person and, by the obedience of their custos, let them guard their sons from every person, so that no one may speak with them. And let these sons not speak with any person except with their mothers and with their custos, when it shall please him to visit them with the blessing of God. 4 But the sons must sometimes in turn assume the office of mothers, for a time, according as it may seem to them to dispose. Let them strive to observe all the above diligently and earnestly. 5 
(--In the ancient collections of St. Francis’ writings found in the codices at Florence (Ognissanti), Foligno, Rome (St. Isidore's MS. 1/25 and the Vatican MS. 7650), as well as in copies of the compilation which begins Fac secundum exemplar, this Instruction is found at the end of the Admonitions.). http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/wosf/wosf10.htm 
 Then, toward considering a better relationship with this world, this cloister:
“Recent developments in philosophy of science and epistemology have led many philosophers to conclude that we cannot draw a sharp line between true and false theories. This is a problem as long as we claim that reality exists in the world, and illusions exists only in our heads. If there is a continuum between true and false theories, at what point should we claim that a theory loses its grip on the world, and collapses back into the head? The pragmatist answer to that question is: all theories and experiences emerge from the relationships that constitute the brain-body-world nexus. But some theories and experiences have an erratic and unpredictable relationship with the world, and thus relate to the world in an equivocal and confused manner. Because all of our theories are imperfect, and none is completely useless, we don’t have to posit subjective entities called illusions to explain why we make errors. We just have to say that some theories have better relationships with the world than others, and science and other forms of inquiry must help us find the best theories we can.” 
(--Rockwell, W. Teed. Neither Brain nor Ghost: A Nondualist Alternative to the Mind-Brain Identity Theory. 2005. MIT Press. P. xvii-xviii.) http://www.epistemologyexpress.com/Cite_epist.htm

Monday, June 19, 2017

the simple complexity of one-an-other finally and fully seen and embodied

Discontent?

This is the summer of ours.

When a chaos of unleashed rhetoric pushes aside clarity and responsibly measured discourse about the difference of opinion, philosophy, and sensitivities we each embody.

There are among us the crude and uncompromising. They bully their way into the conversation intending to end conversation in favor of dicta and ultimata.

There are always bullies. They strut and sneer and threaten to bloody noses. They preen and posture intimidating anyone not fawning their regal personage with feint and false praise.

Thunderstorms and unbearable heat oppression is on the radar. Skies overcloud. Stifling heavy air umbrella the landscape.

Cheer up, the monk said, things are only going to get worse.

And the worse radiate passionate intensity.

This world, it used to be said, belongs to them. 

There are, the poet said, some people too gentle to live among wolves.

Guns will be omnipresent. Arrogance will seem omniscient. Bullies will loom omnipotent. These descriptives, once reserved for the notion of a benevolent God, have been bought at auction by the new class of ubiquitous and prevaricating provocateurs whose power and wealth admit no opposition to their deadeyed apodictic monotone intransigence.

As for civilization and its prospects, there is not much room for either optimism or joy.

We are likely to follow current obsession with zombies and walking dead and reruns of inane pseudo laugh track comedies.

Comedia dell'arte Punch and Judy assembly-line knockoffs pop up on television network and cable shows mimicking and parroting one another with sardinehead snippets of breaking news that jump out from the dark to steal our minds and kidnap hearts into basements of fear and absurd indictments of everything from dishonest little league umpires to duplicitous big league politicians to disgusting billionaire-league conflict of decency corporations and banks peddling mayhem and misanthropy to open changepurses eager to spill out pennies and nickels into the gutter.

Still, however, some remain undeterred.

It is all ignorance, anger, and greed -- the three poisons.

There is, I concur, a way of seeing into and under the surface distractions so strongly promulgated as (so-called) 'reality'.

I sit and gaze.

At nothing other that what longs to emerge from attentive presence.

The real.

As it is.

Without adornment.

Nor apology.

Merely what is true.

There, for our admitting. There for our fierce submission. There for our spiritual warriorship.

A kind of emergence that arrives with no-self we know, no-mind we recognize, no-heart compromise-able.

A devastating aloneness.

An unrelenting emptiness.

An irreparable brokenness.

As if...as if the Christ-mythology were suddenly to be unearthed as fact -- true and real -- and we awaken, with Buddha-heart, to the suffering all around us. 

And we see that the greatest revelation is stillness.

And the deepest realization is this, here, now.

Within and without, nothing else, only correlational intersecting interdependent interbeing -- a sharing community -- the most profound Corpus Christi, the loveliest bodhisattva, the simple complexity of one-an-other finally and fully seen and embodied.

This, this, is a prayer worth it's silence!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

this, this is my body

Hoc

est

Corpus

Meum

if

If you are police in America and you shoot a black man...

If you are a wealthy celebrity and you sexually abuse multiple women...

If you are a billionaire celebrity who becomes president of a country and you fail to follow the laws and ethical rules of the office...

If you are alive in a time of hatred and intolerance and fail to speak out against injustice and oppression...

If...

If only...

If we don't...

If there were a God and that God came to earth and that God became human and that human saw the disgrace of hatred, oppression, and abuse...

If I could see my way clearly...

If I were you...

Is truth was clear...

If I said I love you...

If love was God...

If bodies were the dwelling place of God...

If I didn't care for you...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

sitting, psalms, tea and saltines

Funny how two traditions correspond.

At Saturday Morning Practice, Christian Contemplative words, and Zen Buddhist words:
1.  
"Prove yourselves innocent and straightforward, children of God beyond reproach in the midst of a twisted and depraved generation — among whom you shine like the stars in the sky while holding fast to the word of life." (—Philippians 2:15-16)

2. 
Only Don't Know, Go Straight!
Only Go Straight, Don't Know!

    (--Seung Sahn Sumin, Zen Master)
After sitting, psalms, tea and saltines, conversing about innocence (don't know), and straightforward (go straight).

And what a generation (of politics and world tensions) we are living through!

this and that

The wood sign carved by Susan hangs on kitchen rafter and reads,
"Be Still and Know that I am God."
Curious. "That" I am, God.

And is "this" I am, me?

Not two "I am's" -- but two expressions of this and that.

yes, no

What's the difference between YHWH and YANA?

The first is the four letters of the unsayable reality of unpronounceable presence, "I shall be there, as who I am, shall I be there."

The second is the yes/no paradoxical mystery of "You are not alone."


We are not alone. 

The unsayable name of presence itself is the only reality. 

Which is alone.

We do not know, not yet, what this alone means or is.

But we are not it, not the alone. Nor are we other than it.

Presence alone is the alone.

So the question, for us, is not, "Where is God?"

The question for us is, "Where am I?

Only this.

Alone with the alone.

No I? 

No God? 

No other?

No, no no!

Yes, yes, yes!

Friday, June 16, 2017

stanzas decrease

Sheilah with an "h" -- one of our poetry group, has ended her poem, putting down her book.

I sat in her normal place today.

Our stanzas decrease.

Anne sends "Unwelcome" by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge.

Skip reads her own "Happiness."

The two of us consider "don't know" mind.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

they plan trouble and practice deception

Yes. 

The desire for justice has both sides of the ideological divide bending toward middle ground as arrogant scandal and scorching rifle fire echo the environs of Washington DC.

The prayer for justice these days evokes as much fear of being heard and responded to as the apprehension that it will be ignored. 

Prayer is a dangerous resort, even as last.

14 See how wicked people think up evil;
    they plan trouble and practice deception.
15 But in the traps they set for others,
    they themselves get caught.
16 So they are punished by their own evil
    and are hurt by their own violence.

17 I thank the Lord for his justice;
    I sing praises to the Lord, the Most High.


(--from Psalm 7, Good News Translation)


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

this is not going to change soon

Guns.

They kill us.

They kill those killing us.

This is not going to change soon.

We have to think about and hold in prayer those who shoot and those who have been shot.

We must witness.

itself without other and within no-other

 I recall Keiji Nishitani saying that fire doesn’t burn fire, water doesn't wash water.

When not-other than something, then just-as that thing.
There is absolutely nothing for the just man to fear; the whole of creation serves him. Listen to another promise that God makes him through the prophet: If you pass through fire, the flame shall not burn you, for I am the Lord your God. The just man is everywhere welcome, and everything renders him due service. 
 (--from Office of Readings, Wednesday 14june2017, Second reading, From a homily on Joshua by Origen, priest, The crossing of the Jordan)
Some will point out that fire does indeed burn anything not it.

There's the point -- become it and there is no burning. 

In the same way, just as what is not itself is consumed and devoured by the other, so too what is itself becomes itself in the presence of no-other.

What falls away is always the idea and fear of separation.

What remains is nothing that is not itself in the moment.

Is this, finally, the mystery of God? The mystery that God is that which is itself without other and within no-other?

Is this why we fear God?

That we lose something to dwell in everything?

That we become what always is and never will be other?


I must learn how to pray!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

a numbered universe yields

Another number added to someone’s age. 

Yesterday.

Poetry.

Art and flowers.


Living in a numbered universe yields these things.

Monday, June 12, 2017

items to consider

New York cheese cake

Bouncing bug at screen window

Monarch in White House. Courtiers bow.

United States slides into Southern Hemisphere.

Break up golden state warriors! 

saskia


HAIKU
       (--for mendicant/monastic on her birthday)

So many appear

helping in time of shared life --

for this,      each is,      born

       (--with gratefulness for present/presence, dance)

washi no tomodach

HAIKU
          (--for Jo-Ann, わしの友達, washi no tomodach, my friend)

child's hand reaches out

yellow daffodil offered

always,      almost,      held

          (Jo-Ann Veillette, 9sept1941-2nov2016)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

correlative

Arriving is Reality of God.
Home is Creator (father/mother)
Here is Christ (son/daughter)
Now is Holy Spirit (participatory relational interbeing)
So, Thây's chant is perfect: we are arriving, we are home, in the here, in the now.

In fact, these days, there is nothing that is not correlative.

trinity; transcending transforming tenderly

Three

is the resolution

of two (duality)

and one (monism)

by giving

either/or

and

my-way

an escape

into

our-dance-together

. . .
Chapter 2.  The Great Unsaying (p. 25-26) 
The unspeakability of the Hebrew name for God (YHWH) has long been recognized, but we now know it goes even deeper: formally the word was not spoken at all, but breathed!  Many are convinced that its correct pronunciation is an attempt to replicate and imitate the very sound of inhalation and exhalation. – p. 25 
The one thing we do every moment is therefore to speak the name of God.  This makes it our first and our last word as we enter and leave the world. – p. 26 
There is no Islamic, Christian, or Jewish way of breathing.  There is no rich or poor way of breathing.  This divine wind “blows where it will” (John 3:8), which appears to be everywhere.  No one and no religion can control this spirit. God is as available and accessible as the very thing we all do constantly – breathe. – p. 26 
Isn’t it wonderful that breath, wind, spirit, and air are precisely nothing – and yet everything? – p. 26 
Just keep breathing consciously in this way and you will know that you are connected to humanity from cavemen to cosmonauts, to the entire animal world, and even to the trees and plants.  And we are now told that the atoms we breathe are physically the same as the stardust from the day of creation.  Oneness is no longer merely a vague mystical notion, but a scientific fact. – p. 26

(--from, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, by Richard Rohr, 2009

Saturday, June 10, 2017

refusing more

is

never

the 

less

dhāraṇī

Sun also rises Saturday morning.

As does book shed thermostat to counteract dampness from night rain open windows.

But, then, the choice is to begin the move to meditation cabin.

The light. The airiness. The new season.

There will be silent sitting.

During which

Nothing

Will

Take place.

I know this because every Saturday morning nothing takes place in formal practice. Just thirty minute sitting, chanting heart sutra, reading fragment of dharma writing, each giving circle response,  a metta blessing, and final bell chant.

Even the bell monastic fresh into sixth day of 1st regimen performs duties with grace and sympathy for small spider trampolining inside meditation bell wondering who these interlopers might be in its environment.

Gassho and bow.

Disappear.

Gone

Gone

Gone beyond

Completely beyond

Waking

As 

Joy

Friday, June 09, 2017

bewith: a universal prayer

May

God

Bewith

You

the president and his republicans

It’s hard to imagine

what,

in humans' name, 

they actually

believe in.

They seem so

alienating and

disingenuous.

(I could be

Wrong, and

Hope

I am)

rain helps

Maybe all we have is rain on a Friday afternoon.

After a night of hard navigating.

Day five of 1st round of chemo.

A Mack truck of disagreeable illness hits and runs.

Another few hours in-dripping in oversized chair.

The rain helps, finally, sleep after iv’s and more iv’s.

It falls and mutes what passes by.

There are so many rules.

Everywhere.


Thursday, June 08, 2017

splashing down

As when, sometimes, things get overwhelming and you’d rather things not be as they are.


There’s nothing to do but say it, feel it, and return to the walk, slowly and deliberately, where feet follow ground.

And dog offers constant gift of green tennis ball.

And day 4 slips into what dusk brings.


Maybe Caesar’s salad.

And, of course, glasses and glasses of water.

...as...

Yes

Choir mate Mourning Dove begins unresponded antiphonal at 4 AM in dooryard as white dog comes deeper into room and cat meows from somewhere downstairs.

Soft breeze carries chorus of mountain trees and waking birds supporting soloist Dove with wind chimes both wooden and aluminum.

Morning prayer. Listening obedience. Collation and recollection.

This is why we are alive.

To live a life of prayer,

Mere listening.

Importunate attentiveness.

The very fact of

Being

Alive and

Present

...as...

Love

Is

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

half

 Cart wheels wobble down hall.

Woman coughs in lab waiting room. A heavy cough.

Hospice training session ended 15 minutes early at Lighthouse Museum building in Rockland. On compassion fatigue. And can we have support gatherings?

Hardly anyone anyhere wants to leave behind someones they've spent meaningful time with.

And yet, it is the emptiness that shapes character and permits us to act with integrity in the moment.

(Sonnet 116)

William Shakespeare1564 - 1616 
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love ’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.
Day three. Here in Rockport.


Reading John Dear’s preface on Dan Berrigan in the latter’s book, Testimony, The Word Made Flesh (2004).

Here’s why we both liked and disliked -- and a little intimidated by Dan Berrigan:
Advent Credo” by Daniel Berrigan, SJ 
It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss—
This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life; 
It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction—
This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly. 
It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word, and that war and destruction rule forever—
This is true: Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, his name shall be called wonderful councilor, mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of peace. 
It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world—
This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth, and lo I am with you, even until the end of the world. 
It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church before we can be peacemakers.
This is true: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall have dreams. 
It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind, of justice, of human dignity of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history—
This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that the true worshipers shall worship God in spirit and in truth. 
So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of love and peace and justice. Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ—the life of the world.
– – –
From “Testimony: The Word Made Fresh,” by Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ Orbis Books, 2004. 
A half day.

And half again tomorrow.

What’s true and not true sit together in six chairs in the infusion room.

first light

Dove calls


Branches glance east.

Dog sleeps.

Cat leaps from shelf.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

seeds and probiotic

Day two

Nuts and raisins and yogurt.

A sort of grainy prayer.


And from chemo room down angled hallways this text:
"I'm love stench my to t nnhanh while last one drips"
The fog of being poisoned and the attempt to make sense!

I think she's listening to Thầy,

That's the title of teacher or master in Vietnamese. 

She's probably listening to a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh.

It's the end of her day.

And she's probably loopy.

It happens to monastics.

Monday, June 05, 2017

sitting

Then there’s the poisoning of someone’s body so as to extend life.

Hospital chapel/quiet room.

First day, first regimen.

Monday afternoon.

5June17


Sunday, June 04, 2017

real gift

Sunday morning. Pentecost. Coffee brewing. Divine Office playing from speaker. Cat looking out at seed feeder.

They say the Spirit of the Lord enters creation in new way. They say it created the known and unknown universe with its billions of galaxies billions of stars billions of human beings.
Mass movements, writes Hannah Arendt in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, are one of the core elements of totalitarianism. Arendt does not say that all mass movements are totalitarian; to take seriously President Trump’s claim to be the mouthpiece of a movement is not to claim that he is a totalitarian leader or that he is leading a totalitarian movement. He has not mobilized terror, concentration camps, arbitrary arrests, a secret police, and a party apparatus that rises above the state — all of which were essential parts of Arendt’s description of totalitarianism in power. Mass deportation of undocumented immigrants — disgusting as it is — is not the same thing as de-naturalization, imprisonment, and deportation of citizens. Common sense insists that we not abandon reality and imagine that the United States is experiencing totalitarianism. 
It is equally irresponsible, however, to ignore the important similarities that the president’s self-professed movement shares with totalitarianism. President Trump has repeatedly asserted he leads “a movement like the world has never seen before.” He has shown a willingness to assert his personal control over reality. And he has positioned himself as a Janus-faced figure who can present one version of reality to his followers and another version to the outside world. These are all characteristics Arendt attributes to leaders of totalitarian movements. 
There is always a temptation to rationalize what is happening in politics, to say: this has all happened before. There is a voice in each one of us, wheedling us with common sense, telling us that Trump is simply another instantiation of American populism. That voice is likely correct. But we should be wary of such voices, Arendt warns, for “the road to totalitarian domination leads through many intermediate stages for which we can find numerous analogies and precedents.”  (Why Arendt Matters: Revisiting “The Origins of Totalitarianism” Roger Berkowitz,   P LARB,)
Someone to speak for us. To speak within us. With us. Through us.

Someone who knows that reality has no opposite nor love any partiality.

The real gift of the Spirit is a listening heart.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

each one, and each none

This heartbeat

This heartbeat

skip

This heartbeat 

skip

This heartbeat

skip

skip

Comes Holy Spirit 

seeing through God

There’s no path to follow

No way to embrace

Only this:

There’s no seeing God

only seeing through God

as air between us is seen through

as breath coming and going is breathing us

Walt

The 97 yr old man read a poem to the group about growing lovely growing old.

Then he said it was the last time he’d be coming to the Poetry, Tea, & Thee group after 7 years.

The ordeal to get there was too much for him.

He thanked us and said he loved us.

He cried. 

Everyone did.

Let Me Grow Lovely  
Let me grow lovely, growing old-- 
So many fine things do: 
Laces, and ivory, and gold, 
And silks need not be new; 
And there is healing in old trees, 
Old streets a glamour hold; 
Why may not I, as well as these,
 Grow lovely, growing old?  
                               (--Poem by Karle Wilson Baker)

Thursday, June 01, 2017

how get rid of fools

Time

sunlight on new green

It is June.

Things
are

Still.