Thursday, August 16, 2018

when nothing is what it seems

What do we remember? How much is constructed, how much recalled? And does fiction become lore and fact over time via the convenience of wish?
 In Julian Barnes’ novel The Sense of an Ending, a precocious schoolboy named Adrian Finn recites, from memory and in reply to a teacher, a definition of history:
History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.
Then, later :
With pristine irony, Barnes lightly enacts for us, for our experiential intellection, a moment of vertiginous epistemic uncertainty. We have not only a muddled and unreliable narrator, telling a story at some decades’ remove from the events which, at this point, can only be said to have “inspired” it; we have this narrator recalling words spoken by a friend to whose dark fate he may have contributed with an act he’s determined not to remember; and the words in question are, according to the friend, a quotation, that is, the friend’s recollection of the words of another; and he recalls that his friend recollects too the name of the author of the words: Lagrange. 
There are too many potential points of failure along this chain of recollections and representations to count. Taken in its full context, it is a tidy, carefully-crafted satirization of the idea of epistemic authority, and it’s neither fussy nor demanding: read literally, it supports the novel’s themes; if one ponders the fact that the quotation is remembered, it supports the novel’s themes; if one digs and digs into it, and cross-references it with the world beyond the novel, one suddenly realizes that —as one of the book’s refrains has it— one didn’t understand, didn’t get it; and this supports the novel’s themes. 
(That one clings to the authority of the definition, is attracted to its neatness, yet must accept that in its contextual totality it is self-subverting —approaching, from a distance, a sort of liar’s paradox— is delightful as well).
(—from, Mills Baker, blog, meta is murder, The Sense of Uncertainty) http://metaismurder.com/post/17039173878/the-sense-of-uncertainty
 I am no longer confident that what I think I know is knowable.

I fail to verify the slightest intimation of experience or interpretation.

The so-called things that happen morph into debatable opinion as to the data accuracy and someone says “this is so” when it isn’t, and “that never happened” when it did.

It is the time of our times when nothing is what it seems.

We are left standing staring out at landscape as if an artist is brushing mountain into existence and poet is erasing what we see with pronouns and commas that suggest wordless silence is what is both necessary and salvific.

It is a art and, perhaps, a grace to say nothing well.

poetry surrounds us everywhere

This, from louie, louie:
the silent call of the earth.   Posted: 15 Aug 2018 07:11 AM PDT 
             
                                           Shoes by Vincent Van Gogh 
The philosopher Martin Heidegger saw the painting on exhibition in Amsterdam in 1930 and later wrote about it: 
"From the dark opening of the worn insides of the shoes the toilsome tread of the worker stares forth. In the stiffly rugged heaviness of the shoes there is the accumulated tenacity of her slow trudge through the far-spreading and ever-uniform furrows of the field swept by a raw wind. On the leather lie the dampness and richness of the soil. Under the soles slides the loneliness of the field-path as evening falls. In the shoes vibrate the silent call of the earth, its quiet gift of the ripening grain and its unexplained self-refusal in the fallow desolation of the wintry field." - Martin Heidegger 
"Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it. I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream." - Vincent Van Gogh
(—from beth cioffoletti blog,  louie, louie, http://fatherlouie.blogspot.com/Exploring contemplative awareness in daily life, drawing from and with much discussion of the writings of Thomas Merton, aka "Father Louie")
 Sitting in garden, strewn apple tree fell fruit, surrounded by light raspberry cosmos’, seagull slanting, long leashed beagle sniffing hesitant four year old, his father met dozen years ago by Warren river, view of lighthouse breakwater behind moored sailboats, wood bench after reading aloud from “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, laughter at dog’s suspicion of White House conspiracy to suppress dew claw, the closing of visit, where words hide behind aphasia weeds, wave goodbye from lawn edge, left turn at corner.

I grow quiet.

There is yoghurt, ice cream, half and half to buy.

I grow even quieter.

Disappearing into diminishing light backroads to barnestown road.

Until there are no words hiding.

They’ve gone.

Only poetry.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

to the white house

No!

As for the rest of us:
The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher.     — Zen proverb

thinking about God; beyond thinking, God

It is a curious feast. A woman assumed bodily into heaven? How does that happen?
HYMN 
Ave Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tui, Jesus 
Ave Maria!
Ave Maria Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Ora, ora pro nobis
Ora ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis
In hora mortis, nostrae
In hora mortis mortis nostrae
In hora mortis, nostrae
Ave Maria!
The psalmist writes,
It is he, the Lord Most High,who gives each his place.In his register of peoples he writes:“These are her children,”and while they dance they will sing:“In you all find their home.”  (Ps.87)
A body kept free from all corruption. And taken into heaven, however we conceive of that. This is difficult to imagine, much less comprehend.
The feast day of the Assumption of Mary celebrates the Christian belief that God assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven following her death It is celebrated on or around August 15 in many countries, particularly in parts of Europe and South America. It's also called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God (in the eastern countries), or the Feast of the Assumption. https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/assumption
Here is what Dormition reads out in Wikipedia:
 The Dormition of the Mother of God (GreekΚοίμησις ΘεοτόκουKoímēsis Theotokou often anglicized as Kimisis; Slavonic: Успение Пресвятыя Богородицы, Uspenie Presvetia Bogoroditsi;Georgian: მიძინება ყოვლადწმიდისა ღვთისმშობელისა) is a Great Feast of the Eastern OrthodoxOriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of Mary the Theotokos ("Mother of God", literally translated as God-bearer), and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on 15 August (28 August N.S.for 
those following the Julian Calendar) as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Dormition not on a fixed date, but on the Sunday nearest 15 August. 
The death or Dormition of Mary is not recorded in the Christian canonical scriptures.             https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dormition_of_the_Mother_of_God
This morning is quiet.

If God is beyond thinking, then God is hard to come by.

Only mythopoetic twirling, a Sufi dance of ecstatic wordless gaze, allows any entrance into what is about God beyond thinking.

I nap on this, a dormition of Vidyā, a letting be of aphasiac indecipherability.
O Waly, Waly 
The water is wide I cannot get o'er, 
And neither have I wings to fly.
Give me a boat that will carry two,
And both shall row, my love and I. 
O, down in the meadows the other day,
A-gathering flowers both fine and gay,
A-gathering flowers both red and blue,
I little thought what love can do. 
I leaned my back up against some oak
Thinking that he was a trusty tree;
But first he bended, and then he broke;
And so did my false love to me. 
A ship there is, and she sails the sea,
She's loaded deep as deep can be,
But not so deep as the love I'm in:
I know not if I sink or swim. 
O! love is handsome and love is fine,
And love's a jewel while it is new;
But when it is old, it groweth cold, 
And fades away like morning dew.




Still, I remember Jo-Ann from Nicolet and Meriden. Janet from Camden. And things I cannot explain or comprehend from places beyond and about.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

until samara ends

This from Tibetan Dedication prayers:
Long-Life Prayer for His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama 
In the snowy mountain paradise
You’re the source of good and happiness.
Powerful Tenzin Gyatso, Chenrezig,
May you stay until samsara ends.
 http://www.gadenforthewest.org/prayers/BuddhistPrayersAndMantras2_4.pdf
 We are fond of the Dalai Lama. When a leading person exudes intelligence and grace the air is clearer for us to listen and see what is being said and done. The ground for trust seems firmer.

Samsara, further, is explicated:
In Buddhism, samsara is often defined as the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Or, you may understand it as the world of suffering and dissatisfaction (dukkha), the opposite of nirvana, which is the condition of being freed from suffering and the cycle of rebirth.  
In literal terms, the Sanskrit word samsara means "flowing on" or "passing through." It is illustrated by the Wheel of Life and explained by the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination. It might be understood as the state of being bound by greed, hate and ignorance--or as a veil of illusion that hides true reality. In traditional Buddhist philosophy, we are trapped in samsara through one life after another until such time as we find awakening through enlightenment. 
However, the best definition of samsara, and one with more modern applicability may be from the Theravada monk and teacher Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"Instead of a place, it's a process: the tendency to keep creating worlds and then moving into them." And note that this creating and moving in doesn't just happen once, at birth. We're doing it all the time."
 (—O'Brien, Barbara. "Samsara: the Condition of Suffering and Endless Rebirth in Buddhism." ThoughtCo, Jun. 22, 2018, thoughtco.com/samsara-449968)
The observation by the Theravadan teacher suggests a participating co-creating function each one of us contributes to and embodies in this existence in this world. (I cannot speak of, nor do I know, if and what nor how other dimensions or other worlds might fit into this consideration.)

Not enlightened, I only seem to be able to function with these five senses, some intuitive speculation, and an organizing intellect that seems to work only part time during a three day workweek.

My ineffectual concern and disappointing anger seem to be on a loop of arrival and departure that would successfully mirror the schedule of the Lincolnville Beach-Islesboro ferry.

So it is the Dalai Lama should stay around until samsara ends.

He is such a delight!

Monday, August 13, 2018

smartass smartmouthed smarmy sneering

Imagine such a response to Washington Post opinion piece, This is not a hoax, and things are not okay,   by Joe Scarborough, 12aug18!
Thank you, Mr.Scarborough! 
I concede the stupidity of my fellow laddies and lassies when it comes to cold eye hard look appraisal of obvious patterns and trends. We seldom see what we are looking at; but we always see what we are looking for.  
My esteemed but myopic relatives do not see craven and debilitating men tearing through the fragile fabric of civilized stability. Rather they see in the Trump, Pence, McConnell, Ryan cadre the smartass smartmouthed smarmy sneering bullies they wish they could be, swinging wildly their submerged rage at the unfairness and hypocracies inherent in utilitarian inequality where majority or might takes batten and spoils from minority or weakness citing only “winners take all” or “losers weepers” to the madding crowd. 
A time will come, I trust, when the weeping will become so prevalent that no one will escape the God-awful truth that what has been lost has been lost irretrievably due to incredulity at the threat, lack of faith in innate goodness, and the horrendous hubris of perverted men who cared for nothing else than their own delusional celebrity. 
At the edge of my cinematic memory I recall a ragged sign fluttering in devastating emptiness, “There is still time...Brother” — and I wonder, will we ever be able to look at one another with respect again?

knowing both vidya and avidya together

I love the website’s name: Never Not Here.
Isha Upanishad - 18 Verses Explained 
The Isha Upanishad (Devanagari: ईशोपनिषद् IAST īśopaniṣad) is one of the shortest Upanishads, embedded as the final chapter (adhyāya) of the Shukla Yajurveda. It is a Mukhya (primary, principal) Upanishad, and is known in two recensions, called Kanva (VSK) and Madhyandina (VSM). The Upanishad is a brief poem, consisting of 17 or 18 verses, depending on the recension.  
ISHA UPANISHAD 
Invocation:
Invocation in Sanskrit: Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate,
Poornasya poornamaadaaya poornamevaavashishṣyate. 
Invocation - Direct Translation: Om, That is complete, This is complete, From the completeness comes the completeness.  
Explanation to Invocation: ‘The invisible (Brahman) is the Full; the visible (the world) too is the Full. From the Full (Brahman), the Full (the visible) universe has come. The Full (Brahman) remains the same, even after the Full (the visible universe) has come out of the Full (Brahman).’ 
Verse 1: ‘Whatever there is changeful in this ephemeral world, all that must be enveloped by the Lord. By this renunciation, support yourself. Do not covet the wealth of anyone.’
Verse 2: ‘In the world, one should desire to live a hundred years, but only by performing actions. Thus, and in no other way, can man be free from the taint of actions.’
Verse 3 : ‘In to the worlds of the asuras, devils, enveloped in blinding darkness, verily do they go after death who are slayers of the Atman, the Self.
Verse 4: ‘The self is one. It is unmoving: yet faster than the mind. Thus moving faster, It is beyond the reach of the senses. Ever steady, It outstrips all that run. By its mere presence, the cosmic energy is enabled to sustain the activities of living beings.
Verse 5: ‘It moves; It moves not. It is far: It is very near. It is inside all this: It is verily outside all this.’ 
Verse 6 : ‘The Wise man, who realizes all beings as not distinct from his own Self, and his own Self as the Self of all beings, does not, by virtue of that perception, hate anyone.’
Verse 7 : ‘What delusion, what sorrow can there be for that wise man who realizes the unity of all existence by perceiving all beings as his own Self?’
Verse 8 : ‘He, the self-existent One, is everywhere-the pure one, without a (subtle) body, without blemish, without muscles (a gross body), holy and without the taint of sin; the all seeing, the all knowing, the all-encompassing One is He. He has duly assigned their respective duties to the eternal Prajapatis (cosmic powers).’
Verse 9 : ‘They enter into blinding darkness who worship avidya (Ignorance); into still greater darkness, as it were, do they enter who delight in vidya (Correct Knowledge).’
Verse 10: ‘One result they say is obtained by vidya, and another result, they say, is obtained by avidya, thus have we heard from the wise ones who explained it to us.’
Verse 11 : ‘He who knows both vidya and avidya together, overcomes death through avidya and experiences immortality by means of vidya.’
Verse 12 : ‘Into deep darkness do they enter who worship the asambhuti. (the world of Becoming as detached from Being). Into still greater darkness, as it were, do they enter who delight in sambhuti. (pure Being or Brahman).’
Verse 13 : ‘One result is obtained by the path of sambhava (pure Being), and quite a different one by that of the asambhava (Becoming). Thus have we heard from the wise ones who taught it to us.’
Verse 14 : ‘He who knows sambhuti (Brahman) and vinasha (the perishable world of Becoming) both together, overcomes death through vinasha, and achieves immortality through sambhuti.’
Verse 15 : By the lid of the golden orb is the face of the Truth hidden; Please remove it, O Thou, Nourisher of the world. So that I may see Thee — I who am devoted to Truth.
 Verse 16 : O, Nourisher, O lonely Courser of the heavens, O Regulator, O Sun, thou offspring of Prajapati, Remove Thy rays, gather up thy effulgence, So that I may see that which is Thy most auspicious effulgence. The Person that is in Thee, That am I.
Verse 17 : ‘The vital forces (in me are about to merge in) the immortal Prana (the cosmic energy); then this (mortal) body shall be reduced to ashes. Om! O mind! Remember; your (good) deeds, remember.’
Verse 18 : O Agni (Fire God), lead us by the good path that we may (enjoy) the wealth (the fruits of the good deeds we have done). Thou knowest all our deeds. Lord, destroy the deceitful sin in us. We salute Thee with our words again and again
The above write-up is adopted from the online edition of "Isha Upanishad." For detailed explanation follow the link mentioned below: 
http://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/isha-upanishad
Upanishads- Timeline: 1200 - 500 BCE 
The Upanishads (Sanskrit: Upaniṣad; IPA: [ʊpən̪ɪʂəd̪]) are a collection of texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism, some of which are shared with Buddhism and Jainism. The Upanishads are considered by Hindus to contain utterances (śruti) concerning the nature of ultimate reality (brahman) and describing the character of and path to human salvation (mokṣa or mukti).
The Upanishads are commonly referred to as Vedānta, variously interpreted to mean either the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" or "the object, the highest purpose of the Veda". The concepts of Brahman (Ultimate Reality) and Ātman (Soul, Self) are central ideas in all the Upanishads, and "Know your Ātman" their thematic focus.The Upanishads are the foundation of Hindu philosophical thought and its diverse traditions. Of the Vedic corpus, they alone are widely known, and the central ideas of the Upanishads are at the spiritual core of Hindus.
It should be noted that Of all Upanishads, Isavasya Upanishad (Isha Upanishad), Kena Upanishad, Katha Upanishad, Prasna Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad, Thaithiriya Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad are considered to be the most important.   
(—from, Never Not Here)  
http://www.nevernothere.com/forum/isha-upanishad-18-verses-explained 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

sleepless in st.andrews

did i tell you the one 
about nothing

other

have you heard the one
about no

self

if you ask me, the one
about two

disappears

Saturday, August 11, 2018

watch over us as we sleep

on wharf float

woman in chair reads

man in red life jacket fishes

further down around bend we chant

nunc dimittis looking out at ghost ships

claire of assisi

what is it attracts

woman to poor man

intent/contént on every brother/sister

Friday, August 10, 2018

man in desert steps on mine

blues guitarist plays into high tide

hulls sway

night nearly gone mid and then

Thursday, August 09, 2018

no towel, no excuse

morning rain

seventy three years falling

nagasaki sopping

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

singing with benjamin britten

no birth, no death,

birthday deathday

thanks mom, thanks dad —

37 out of maine

37 inside

cedar chips underfoot

laughing with will rogers

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

let it go

this midnight

nothing comes to be

only midnight itself

god is no fate

give me time

oh, no

damn the luck

squeaky chair

chlorophyll before eight

rising sun flexing muscle

while on porch, 

contemplating coffee, 

watch ascending trees

and mountain 

doesn’t move as

nothing moves

Monday, August 06, 2018

transfiguration

see me

see through me

see what is to be

unaccountably erased

I will not love you

not now that you do not love me

now that love belongs only to itself;

instead, i will watch sunlight

on pine floor

chair shadow inching to slide

with hanging rope by porch door

near road where silver car stops

voice saying “well, i don’t have

a lot of money but i have a lot

of love,” then drives up hill.

I am given this fragment sounding

monday morning as nuclear bomb

explodes over hiroshima — as if

history has no time any longer, just

fact, the fact of it remaining constant

occurring over and over, the horror

sitting in empty rocking chairs

cricket pitch, bird voice, fly buzz

engines and tires between silences.

I cannot tell where anything begins

or ends anymore, the erroneous

certainties of younger thoughts

unaccountably erased by summer

green and flower fragrance, mountain

moisture, unfluttering branches leaning

with zendo stillness in observance of

invisible sangha, cousin to Grover’s

Corner, patiently observing, gently

inquiring who is it comes up hill?

Those who sit in silent stillness

have no time. It is merely place

that surrounds each quiet breath,

where others pray as we enter

and, when we remember, we pray

as eyes no longer need to see outside

outside outside faded and abandoned

going within, going within, gone

beyond what any body knows,

alone and one, that, that, I am

as God is alone, as God is one

and so it is I am, we are, dangling

rope in summer ante meridiem,

carvings of Francis and Siddhartha

prayer flags and leaning flowers

it is begun, it is finished, it is begun

Hiroshima, mon dieu

Soon the bomb will fall.

We have arrived here to stand under radioactive fallout.

We are wonderful ash.

The Madwoman of Chaillot will now perform.

Come, the show begins.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

instantia

The 96 year old man in wheel chair said he was a little pessimistic. 

I remembered Sir Kenneth Clark’s words at end of Civilization, “One may be optimistic, but one can’t exactly be joyful at the prospect before us.” 

Later, looking out at rain and courtyard garden, he said, “How beautiful!”

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Friday, August 03, 2018

it’s nice to remember

What does it mean to say — if it doesn’t hurt it’s not love?

Perhaps — love means the dismantling of what is not love within us.

And that hurts.
Deep in December, it's nice to remember, / A lthough you know the snow will follow. / Deep in December, it's nice to remember, / Without a hurt the heart is hollow.
(—from song Try to Remember, from the Fantastics) 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

within and without

Here’s Tolle’s words:
Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. — Eckhart Tolle
Here’s how I translate om mane padme hum:
Behold what is within without. (—wfh)
Here’s the thing: the inside is the outside.

If we want to see a sane and kind world, we have to be within ourselves what will be without ourselves.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

becoming originally human -- between dogen and francis

Two men. Different.

Dogen Zenji, Zen Buddhist master.
From Genjo Koan When we see objects and hear voices with all our body and mind-and grasp them intimately-it is not a phenomenon like a mirror reflecting form or like a moon reflected on water. When we understand one side, the other side remains in darkness. To study Buddhism is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to be free from attachment to the body and mind of one's self and of others. It means wiping out even attachment to satori. Wiping out attachment to Satori, we must enter actual society. When man first recognizes the true law, he unequivocally frees himself from the border of truth. He who awakens the true law in him self immediately becomes the original man. If in riding a boat you look toward the shore, you erroneously think that the shore is moving. But upon looking carefully at the ship, you see that it is the ship that is actually moving. Similarly, seeing all things through a misconception of your body and mind gives rise to the mistake that this mind and substance are eternal. If you live truly and return to the source, it is clear that all things have no substance. Burning logs become ashes - and cannot return again to logs. There for you should not view ashes as after and logs as before. You must understand that a burning log - as a burning log - has before and after. But although it has past and future, it is cut off from past and future. Ashes as ashes have after and before. Just as ashes do not become logs again after becoming ashes, man does not live again after death. So not to say that life becomes death is a natural standpoint of Buddhism. So this is called no-life. 
(—from Genjo koan, by Dogen Zenji, 1233)   http://www.zenki.com/index.phplang=en&page=GenjoKoan
Francis of Assisi, Christian mystic:

    The Canticle of Brother Sun or The Praises of the Creatures

    Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

    Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

    Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.

    Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.

    Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

    Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

    Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

    Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.

    Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them. 
    Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility.

And in their difference, a dwelling.  

Between them, a way to live and practice that is useful, humble, precious, and pure. 

Becoming originally human.

whensday

 Only fragments capture all of it.
And You’ll miss me more as the narrowing weeks wing by: Someday duly, oneday truly, twosday newly, till whensday.(—James Joyce, Finnegans Wake)
Scourge of entertainment and entertainers replace what is more nourishing.

White dog snoozes at top of stairs.

Duly. Truly. Newly.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

circling steps

Outside park basketball, street wonders, shoot eyes out, leap too high, my my, they good!
Outside the temple,  
Already I know how fine 
The mountain must be; 
Clear cool shade detains me. 
I sit by the circling steps. 
On newly opened leaves I see 
Insect inscriptions, 
Wonder if they’re from Han-shan’s brush, 
The ink not yet dried        
         (— Feng of Pei-shan) (daily zen) 
Not every brush stroke hits paper perfectly. But image after image is just what it is — there, and no other place.

Watching documentaries on basketball legends never played in the bigs: Ryan (nyc); Mitchell (oakland). 

I remember Sammy from night rec at ps205 (brooklyn) at 5’5” a wizard of skill to my skinny dribble-off-my-foot at side basket.

The art is the practice. And practice doesn’t make perfect, practice is perfect.

Our biographies are never complete, not even after we’ve fallen out of the game.

We exist in the between. In that place in medio after release and before arriving. Like an arcing shot. A thrown pitch. A meditating breath. A pouring coffee.

I’d like to think that Ignatius of Loyola’s ad maijorum Dei gloriam, as well as meaning for the greater glory of God also suggests a kind of ‘let go and let God.’ Echos of que sera, sera — whatever will be, will be. A movement out from origin and toward where origin will be once move is made.

Whatever is becomes what will be as we respond to the original call asking us to step into love with love, freedom with freedom, kindness with kindness.

It is a step with no apparent ground. A stepping with no guarantee of solid landing.

This is called foolishness.

It once was called faith.

Monday, July 30, 2018

unmaking delusion

 If views are let go, if my held opinions are unhanded, if  I merely look upon each thing as the distinct reality they are, then — would I be looking at the truth right there before me?
How marvelous, how wonderful! / All sentient beings are perfect without flaw. / It is only due to delusive attachments / That the truth cannot be seen.  (-- Buddha; daily zen)
I don’t make the world.

But can I unmake delusion?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

sometimes I wonder

A human being can be seen as the embodied consciousness of creation.

Matter speaks through articulating awareness.

Sometimes in language.

What is creation saying now?

no audience, no one to perform for; taking no notice of itself

Some words about Christopher Thomas Knight, the man called ‘the north pond hermit.’
Solitude bestows an increase in something valuable,” he mused. “I can’t dismiss that idea. Solitude increased my perception. But here’s the tricky thing: when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. There was no audience, no one to perform for. There was no need to define myself. I became irrelevant.”  
“My desires dropped away. I didn’t long for anything. I didn’t even have a name. To put it romantically, I was completely free.”  
No longer was he Christopher Thomas Knight. He was earth. He was boulder. He was lake. He was sky. He was his shadow and a shadow of his former self.                                    
     (—from Direct Expose, the outside world) http://www.directexpose.com/remarkable-tale-christopher-knight/50/
Twenty seven years in solitude in the woods.

George Berkeley 1685-1753, was Bishop of Coyne, and a philosopher.
… I am content to put the whole upon this issue; if you can but conceive it possible for one extended moveable substance, or in general, for any one idea or any thing like an idea, to exist otherwise than in a mind perceiving it, I shall readily give up the cause…. But say you, surely there is nothing easier than to imagine trees, for instance, in a park, or books existing in a closet, and no body by to perceive them. I answer, you may so, there is no difficulty in it: but what is all this, I beseech you, more than framing in your mind certain ideas which you call books and trees, and at the same time omitting to frame the idea of any one that may perceive them? But do not you your self perceive or think of them all the while? This therefore is nothing to the purpose: it only shows you have the power of imagining or forming ideas in your mind; but it doth not shew that you can conceive it possible, the objects of your thought may exist without the mind: to make out this, it is necessary that you conceive them existing unconceived or unthought of, which is a manifest repugnancy. When we do our utmost to conceive the existence of external bodies, we are all the while only contemplating our own ideas. But the mind taking no notice of itself, is deluded to think it can and doth conceive bodies existing unthought of or without the mind; though at the same time they are apprehended by or exist in it self.  
(PHK 22–23)  Of the Principles of Human Knowledge: Part1  https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/berkeley/
Taking no notice of itself.

Indeed!

our long breath

 It is a dizzying project trying to glean who we’ve been or who we’ll be throughout history.
Our lives are not our own.
We are bound to others,
past and present,
and by each crime
and every kindness,
we birth our future.
    —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
This much is known: nothing.

And this nothing is what we lean upon to base the story we tell about what we understand about our long breath of appearance and disappearance.

Keep your balance as best you can.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

what is here

Nothing —

this is

what is

here.

Friday, July 27, 2018

word the origin

The open is the origin.

The more we emerge out into the open, the closer we approach the origin with original experience.

Thought is the way we word the origin.

Silence is how the open manifests itself.

There is a need for original thinkers

of a sunday evening

We sit
We walk
We chant
We set table
We read and listen
We take soup, bread, water in silence
We speak after bell from heart
We have final circle words
We wish all well, hear bell
We extinguish candles
We, too, fade, and go
We’ve practiced
Welcome

Thursday, July 26, 2018

count on the new yorker magazine to say something worthwhile

Yes, and it's good writing:
Crucially, when it comes to Trump, Merkel has an unmatched knack for exposing the true meaning of his words. “I have experienced, in my own life, a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union,” she said in Brussels. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, when she was thirty-five, Merkel was a quantum chemist in East Germany. The contrast is not only between her life experience and Trump’s—or, to put it another way, between her toughness and his bluster—but between her awareness of the shadows of the past and his dangerous ahistoricism. She added, “I am very happy that today we, the Federal Republic of Germany, are united in freedom. Because of that, we can say that we can form our policies independently and make decisions independently.” This time, it was Merkel who, in invoking Russia, seemed to be really talking about something else: about America, a country now captive to Donald Trump. And the truth, in the end, is Trump’s real target. 
(--from, Talk of the Town, The New Yorker, by , in print edition of the July 23, 2018, issue, with the headline “Bad Trips.” )

so as to see, inaudible speech

Just people.

Practicing things that are immeasurable.
Four Immeasurables 
May all beings have happiness and its causes,                                          (Love)
May all beings be freed from suffering and its causes;                             (Compassion)
May all beings constantly dwell in joy transcending sorrow;                   (Joy)
May all beings dwell in equal love for those both close and distant.        (Equanimity)
http://www.gadenforthewest.org/prayers/BuddhistPrayersAndMantras2_4.pdf
Some things are not easy to see.

As man yesterday said at hospice conversation group, that when sitting with an unresponsive patient he practices “inaudible speech” — an inner reaching conversation with someone whose journey to the irretrievably-within has already traveled far and deep. This “inaudible speech” sounds like definition of prayer.

Both close and distant, we look carefully so as to see; listen intently so as to pray.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

going, going, gone — when the practice insinuates itself within us.

On 22july18, in each one of us I wrote:
          “As each one of us leaves, there is no leaving, we are simply gone.”

Gone is a good word. It means ‘no longer existing.’

To exist, etymologically, means:
 Latin ex(s)istere to exist, appear, emerge, equivalent to ex- (ex-1) + sistere to stand, (1. ex, prefix meaning “out of,” “from,” and hence “utterly,” “thoroughly,” and sometimes meaning “not” or “without”...).  dictionary.com
To be gone, here, suggests to no longer be ‘standing out from’ — as in, distinct, separate, objectifiable.

This ‘gone’ suggests a return, if you will, to invisible, non-objective, participative, and, perhaps, fully reintegrative immersion with — (how shall we say it?): Being? What is? Reality-in-itself? Matter? Spirit? God? Nondifferentiated wholeness?

Could we say that: we go into things, or we go into nothing — as our way of saying what, traditionally, we might call heaven?

Is going into things, or, going into nothing, resembled, in existence, as mulling, delving, pondering, contemplating, praying, investigating, meditating, or pure listening, pure seeing?

And is our fear of death also a fear of practicing these ‘going into things, going into nothing’?

To die before we die is to be engaged in such practice.

We’re not used to it.

Except as we near death — when the practice insinuates itself within us.

And that, too, can be love.

Khalil Gibran suggests: “And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”

And there we are. Just about all the time. Whether aware of it, or not.

this

If I may:
It is not easy to be imageless or themeless. As a zen christian at prayer, one might gaze at cat in window, breeze through leaves, hear birdsong out of sight. These are the surround wherein I sit and walk. These are intimations of the God I cannot imagine — but for resonances and stilllife revealing and manifesting Itself as present reality.  
My prayer, if that is what it is, is to look, listen, and learn to respond to this reality with lovingkindness, compassion, engaged humility. If there is any trust or hope it is that a reflective, attentive presence would emerge through contemplative and active service to be what is called for at that moment and the next.
(—in response to How do you picture God in prayer? by James Martin sj, America Magazine. online, 23july18)
 https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/07/23/how-do-you-picture-god-prayer

sicut dixit

dawn

raises

tree

from

night

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

return your honor

We can’t forget.

There are people trying to convince us that what is there is not there.

Hold them in their potential for Baal teshuvah, and their perversion of truth in contempt.

Monday, July 23, 2018

lowing and mowing

The people are right. Government is obnoxious. Politicians are playthings of graft-mongers and bribe-merchants.

And the antidote called Trump is patently absurd.

Where does that leave us?
Chapter Forty-seven 
Tao exists in one’s own true self.
It cannot be found outside of one’s true nature.
Hence, there is no need to leave the house to take journey in order to know the world. There is no need to look outside of the window to see the nature of Tao.
The further one departs from Tao, the less one will be able to know.
Therefore a saint is wise to know without seeking for It.
He is wise to understand without seeing It.
She is wise to accomplish according to the Natural Way
                                 http://www.with.org/tao_te_ching_en.pdf

But we are not saints. We are other than saints.

Times are tough.

All things end. Things like freedom, conscience, consciousness.

I’m not pleased with the current belief and perception that everything non-Trump is false and fake, and everything Trump is real and true.

It wears on you. The lies. The deceptions. The cocky ascendency of right wing predominance, neo-fascism, and plutocracy.

Maybe that’s what a wrenched back occasions.

Someone’s lawn is being mowed.