Monday, March 19, 2018

Beher Emno Beth

Six of my favorite words.
Being,       Embodying,       Becoming
Here,         Now,                  This 
Triadic and Trinitarian.

Expanded into eighteen.

         Creativity/Delusion Destroyer/Transforming/Becoming/This

Compacted into three to contemplate:
Beher Emno Beth

Sunday, March 18, 2018

here is what is found

After researching “Beher” and learning it is the meter or pattern of sher (couplets) in Urdu poetry*. Then there is the ghazal**. A Sunday morning’s meander into the found spiritual/philosophical acronym’s beginning word of beher emno beth (from Saturday morning practice).

Here is
What is



What follows is a Ghazal: 

Maaz Bin Bilal

Not a Wish Comes to Fruition
A Ghazal by Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797–1869)
Translation by Maaz Bin Bilal
Not a wish comes to fruition.
I can see no conclusion.

The day for death is a given,
Then why can’t I sleep this season?

I could laugh at myself once,
Now no humour, just remission.

I know the rewards for faith, still,
That is not my predilection.

There is a reason I am quiet now,
Else I’m eloquent in conversation.

Why should I not shout in remembrance?
Inaudible is my voice of reason.

If the wounds of my heart are not visible,
There’s no stench either, o physician.

We are there where to us, even,
Comes no news of our condition.

We die in the hope of dying (for love),
Death waits, with its repetition.

How will you show your face at the Kaaba, Ghalib?
You know no shame, only humiliation.

Transliteration of Urdu Text

koi ummīd bar nahiñ ātī
koi sūrat nazar nahiñ ātī

maut ka ek din mu’ayyan hai
nīnd kyūñ rāt bhar nahiñ ātī

āge āti thī hāl-e-dil pe hañsīñ
ab kisi bāt par nahiñ ātī

jāntā hūn sawāb-e-tā’at-o-zohad
par tabīyat udhar nahiñ ātī

hai kuchh aisī hī bāt jo chup hūñ
warna kya bāt kar nahiñ ātī

kyūn na chīķhūn ke yād karte haiñ
meri āvāz gar nahiñ ātī

dāġ-e-dil gar nazar nahiñ āta
bū bhi ai chārahgar nahiñ ātī

hum wahañ hain jahañ say hum ko bhī
kuchh hamārāī ķhabar nahiñ ātī

martay haiñ ārzū meiñ marnay kī
maut ātī hai par nahiñ ātī

kā’ba kis muñh se jāoge ġhālib
sharm tum ko magar nahiñ ātī

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Being,       Embodying,       Becoming

Here,         Now,                  This

Beher Emno Beth

Friday, March 16, 2018

A long way beyond

It’s very big out there.
There is an edge to what we are able to see and could ever possibly seein the universe. Light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second (186,000 miles per second). That's top speed in this universe—nothing can go faster—but it's relatively slow compared to the distances to be traveled. The nearest big galaxy to our Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy, is two million light-years away. The most distant galaxies we can now see are 10 or 12 billion light-years away. We could never see a galaxy that is farther away in light travel time than the universe is old—an estimated 14 billion or so years. Thus, we are surrounded by a "horizon" that we cannot look beyond—a horizon set by the distance that light can travel over the age of the universe.  
This horizon describes the visible universe—a region some 28 billion light years in diameter. But what are the horizons of a civilization that inhabits the most distant galaxies we see? And what about galaxies at the limits of their vision? There is every reason to think that the universe extends a long way beyond the part of the universe we can see. In fact, a variety of observations suggest that our visible patch may be a small fraction—maybe an infinitely small fraction—of the whole universe. 

It’s very  deep in here.

poem No Saying
      (An Adaption from Zen Monk Ryōkan

No path leads to an awakening;
No path leads to a destination;

When we see a glimmer
And head straight for it,

It recedes and recedes.
When we seek truth with our heads,

Even if we find good ethics,
We have taken a wrong path.

I cannot say how my path is;
When I describe it,

It falls to pieces

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

afraid of the dark

From The Guardian, May 2011:Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story' (In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence)

An excerpt:
I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first," he said."I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," he added.  
Hawking's latest comments go beyond those laid out in his 2010 book, The Grand Design, in which he asserted that there is no need for a creator to explain the existence of the universe. The book provoked a backlash from some religious leaders, including the chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, who accused Hawking of committing an "elementary fallacy" of logic..
 Stephen Hawking died today.
BornJanuary 8, 1942, Oxford, United Kingdom
DiedMarch 14, 2018, Cambridge, United Kingdom 

what does in mean to be here

What does it mean to ‘be there’? (In German, Dasein, there-being)

What does in mean to be here?
And borrowed from the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) and others –Alienation: Cutting oneself off from the (ontologically) true, unified self.                       (—from, Introducing Heidegger, A Graphic Guide, by Collins and Selina) 
 The notion of racial purity, apologists for Heidegger point out, is not singular to Nazism. A similar pattern of thought, they say, can be found in Jewish history about relations with non-Jewish peoples. The effort to retain Heidegger’s contribution to philosophy travels this route:
"Philosophy is about learning to be aware of problems in your own thinking where you might not have suspected them," said the British philosopher Jonathan Rée about the black notebooks. 
"The best of what Heidegger wrote – indeed the best of philosophy in general – is not an injunction to agree with a proffered opinion, but a plea to all of us to make our thinking more thoughtful."
When notions or ideology tumble into severe political or military activity, there is much both to decide and deride. The deficient and detestable efforts to eliminate those not fitting into your ideology is unjust, cruel, and horrifying. Hitler’s attempts to cleanse Germany, like the attempts in “other” places, is terrifying.
In the past 150 years, tens of millions of men, women and children have lost their lives in genocide or mass atrocities. Millions have been tortured, raped or forced from their homes.The past genocides and mass atrocities described below represent just some of the historic examples that serve to remind us what’s at stake if we let genocide happen again. We must learn, remember and take action to end genocide once and for all.                                     (Cf.
 “Cutting oneself off from the (ontologically) true, unified self,” is the beginning of fear and hatred and killing of the other.

We have to be aware of problems in our own thinking.

We have to make our thinking more thoughtful.

We have to learn how to carefully and caringly feel.

We have, correspondingly, to be here (sei hier).

With-one-another! (miteinander).



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

through night

blizzard mutes maine

the only sound

soft white falling still

Monday, March 12, 2018

mere location

Prayer is relationality with attention to the internexus.

Awareness to what is between is the activity of prayerful intention.

We might not know how to pray, but we can find ourselves in the middle of not knowing with an open heart and open mind.

This mere location is the beginning of the practice of prayer.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

who says I am



a poem

to dwell


who knew so man(y) meanings hide in plain sight

If you think

Government is the problem

You’re probably right

Saturday, March 10, 2018


The They (das Man), Martin Heidegger writes, threatens.
Publicness (Offentlichkeit), Averageness, mediocrity (Durchschnittlichkeit):
Common talking (Gerede), Scribbling (Geschriebe), Curiosity (Neugier).
               (—in Introducing Heidegger, A Graphic Guide, by Jeff Collins and Howard Selina)
The New York Times runs a profile of a man in Ohio who has not listened to, read, or spoken about any news whatsoever since Election Day, November 2016. He knows nothing about the current administration, the Mueller investigation, the whole oddity of accusation and counter-rhetoric.

Is that Ohio man better off not knowing? Is the common square better off experiencing the carnival sideshow of unraveling ordinariness?

Is authentic nescience the not knowing of what is inauthentic knowledge?

The man in the hospice bed might no longer care about the news. One breath after the other.

Everything on cable is ‘breaking news’

We are being broken by the news.

They . . . leave us in pieces.

we are gathered here

in 3 minutes

silent sitting

for whole world

here and beyond


in one


Friday, March 09, 2018

is Christ

The issue is not very interesting anymore.

But here’s a response to the question asked — Why aren’t women priests in the Catholic Church?

Yes, Jesus was a man. Is Christ?
The eternal Logos, it is said, is the spirit & energy of God’s creative manifestation realized throughout time, materiality, & history.
An alter-Christus (another Christ) is what priests are called, not ‘another Jesus’.
Are women not Christian?

Thursday, March 08, 2018

the children

In Syria we see the failure of what used to be referred to as civilized man.

Look to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Yemen, Iraq, the US, and Afghanistan to show how civilization has stalled in prehistory when smashing heads signaled who had the power.

The children.

The children are killed.

The children are killed by men with no conscience.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


Then there are the days when everything hurts.

Just that.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

no one else

have you

ever seen


Monday, March 05, 2018

not born, not die

personality is not self

self is not mind

mind is not soul —

no-self, no-mind


no-birth, no-death

unborn Soul 

Sunday, March 04, 2018

nobody realizes this: there is nothing to see here

Of course. It is the fourth of March.

Something I wrote fifty years ago still tries to reveal itself to me.
Find your soul, musician
And you will be
What your hands’ eyes
Playfully see 
Tiring of the dreadful pornography of political soul-killing unceasing breaking news, I take refuge in sanctuary of paradoxical cloistered openness falling into interior boundless infinity.

Lone voice chants Salve Regina:
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae:
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules, filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
In hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, Advocata nostra,
Illos tuos misericordes oculos
Ad nos converte.
Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis, post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens! O pia!
O dulcis Virgo Maria!
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, O most gracious Advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy towards us.
And after this, our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Bells ring. Tibetan clangs and tinkles suffuse sonorous drone of voice.

Cat kneads temporary resting space on legs. Dog requires body rub.

It is Sunday morning. Nothing requires its requisite stillness and quiet. World is going to end once these receptors called my human form gives up into what cannot be known.

Evagrius vistas, again.
Following Plato[14] and the later Aristotelian tradition,[15] Evagrius considers the soul to be tripartite, ruled (when all goes well) by the λογιστικόν or reasoning faculty,[16] which is chiefly responsible for developing the virtues of prudence, understanding and wisdom.[17] It rules over the παθητικόν, the portion of the soul subject to passion and the source of the ‘helpers’ of desire and indignation.[18] In this passage Evagrius depicts the energy of epithumia in its ideal state, ‘lovingly tending the sheep’. When exercised ‘according to nature’ the ἐπιθυμητικόν contributes the virtues of temperance, love, and continence.[19] Evagrius portrays thumos as protecting the sheep by driving away ‘wolf-like’ concepts: thus the θυμικόν should be the source of courage and patient endurance.[20]      Although Evagrius frequently employs the term ‘soul’ (ψυχή) as a synonym for ‘individual person’ or ‘inner self’, this term does not properly describe the deepest level of human personality. The true center and deepest level of human personality is the νοῦς or intellect, created in the image of God and capable of union with God.
Is that coffee hidden in beans in bag in kitchen waiting to unveil its scent?

Nobody realizes this!

And, for this realization, one is grateful. 

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Evagrius for Saturday morning practice

As it was, it just seemed time to read some Evagrius Ponticus (345 - 399) after zazen.
Indeed, I urge you to welcome exile. It frees you from all the entanglements of your own locality, and allows you to enjoy the blessings of stillness undistracted. Do not stay in a town, but persevere in the wilderness. ‘Lo,' says the Psalm, 'then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness' (Ps. 55:7). If possible, do not visit a town at all. For you will find there nothing of benefit, nothing useful, nothing profitable for your way of life. To quote the Psalm again, 'I have seen violence and strife in the city' (Ps. 55:9). So seek out places that are free from distraction, and solitary. Do not be afraid of the noises you may hear. Even if you should see some demonic fantasy, do not be terrified or flee from the training ground so apt for your progress. Endure fearlessly, and you will see the great things of God, His help. His care, and all the other assurances of salvation. For as the Psalm says, 'I waited for Him who delivers me from distress of spirit and the tempest' (Ps. 55:8. LXX). 
 (Excerpts from The Philokalia, Evagrios the Solitary, (345/6-399), VOLUME 1: Page 31. Outline Teaching on Asceticism and Stillness in the Solitary Life)
 Theres this:
Introduction    Evagrius Ponticus (b. 345 in Ibora; d. 399 in Egypt), a monastic theologian, was one of the most talented intellects of the fourth century. Circulating in elite ecclesiastical circles of Cappadocia and Asia Minor, he began his career under Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, serving with the latter in Constantinople through a stormy tenure that culminated in the Second Ecumenical Council (381). Known then as a brilliant heresiologist, Evagrius seemed destined for a successful ecclesiastical career. He chose a different course, and fled to Jerusalem, where he took vows in the monastic communities of Rufinus and Melania. From there he traveled to Egypt and lived in monasteries in Nitria and Kellia. In Egypt he wrote extensively in a variety of genres—letters, proverbs, brief sayings (chapters), and treatises—nearly all geared toward explaining and analyzing vice and virtue, demons and angels, psychological and psychosomatic phenomena—in sum, the life of the ascetic. His accounts are set, sometimes explicitly, oftentimes pensively, within a well-developed metaphysical system that responded to both classical philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Stoicism) and the theology of some of the most accomplished Christian intellectuals (Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nazianzus).
 Then this:
Evagrius’ understanding of the spiritual life has been succinctly summarized as ‘the mind’s long journey to the Holy Trinity’.[1] This journey can be envisioned as a helix, a geometrical form which combines both linear direction and circular movement.[2] The linear motion consists of ‘progress’ (προκοπή) or ‘ascent’ (anabasis /ἀνάβασις) towards God which is at the same time characterized by a ‘circular’ movement between the poles of praktiké (ἡ πρακτική) and theoretiké (ἡ θεωρητική): that is, between the ascetical (‘ethical’ or ‘practical’) life and the contemplative life. Fundamental to Evagrius’ model of spiritual progress is his conviction that the Christian praktikos πρακτικός or ascetic should mature into a γνωστικός, a ‘knower’ or ‘sage’ skilled in contemplation and capable of imparting spiritual knowledge. He describes sequential levels or stages of spiritual progress, but he does not thereby imply that it is possible to completely rise above the praktiké and ‘graduate’ from the quest for virtue. As the praktikos makes progress he learns to perceive the work of asceticism from an increasingly contemplative perspective.[3] And since the struggle against certain passions continues until the very moment of death,[4] even the mature gnostikos must continually advance in virtue, practicing ascetical vigilance.[5] Thus the journey towards God is not a simply a movement beyond praktiké into theoretiké: spiritual progress includes a gentle oscillation between these two poles in such a way that continuing attention to the changing demands of praktiké yields ever greater contemplative refreshment.

There’s a lot to sort through for spirituality to drown you in its depth. 

Friday, March 02, 2018

Thread: I’ll start. I wrote this after a Friday morning conversation with several inmates at maine state prison, and a final conversation with a co-monastic (with gratitude to them and to the student who sparked the conversation)

After a student said “there will always be evil”

Perhaps we’d have to ask “What is evil?”

Without objectifying evil into a demonic being, or relying on ancient mythological stories, what can we say about evil that describes evil in our experience?

Let’s try this:
Evil is the cold, fearful, separation of oneself from others, from the authentic reality of interrelationality, and opting for objectifying, reactive, angry, harmful, and unfeeling behavior toward the other or others.

If evil were to be countered and possibly overcome, it would be by means of compassionate, involved, relational, intersubjective, kind and caring response to each person and persons within the circumstance and surround of immediate and distant experience.

If, at root, every sentient being longs to avoid suffering and experience aware happiness (in whatever form within which it comes) then, no one consciously would seek to harm or hurt another in ways that we would call evil.

This would entail becoming conscious, deepening and expanding that consciousness, until nothing is left out of our identifying surround, that which we might call kin, family, neighbor, community, divinity, cosmos, humanity — the  circumincessional interpenetration* and the dancing interconnectivity of cosmotheandric** reality.

We are exploring here a new ethic and spirituality of being present in existence — and beyond — with one-another.

With this awareness and ongoing intelligent inquiry, we very likely could arrive at a condition of heart and mind which would be happy to help one-another to experience happiness and dwell compassionately in the midst of others, or no-others, surrounding.

What we call evil begins to disappear when any individual chooses to enter a compassionate and thoughtful interaction with any one individual within the sphere of their presence.

Thursday, March 01, 2018


Q: If you had the opportunity, would you join the current administration in the White House?

A: No!

Q: I have no further questions.

there, there


is yesterday


is here

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Χριστός-Μεσσίας is the nature of the universe.

No church, no temple, no mosque, no scripture contains this nature.

Each breath is the liturgy of the cosmos.

first thing this morning, Richard Rohr’s daily meditation

An Unfolding Future
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

To fight the concept of evolution is to fight the core meaning of biblical faith, which is a generous balancing act between knowing and not knowing. Unbelief is to insist on total knowing now—by myself! As people of faith, we believe that God is guiding this mysterious universe, although much is hidden from us, both in the past and the future. “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and the human heart has not conceived, what God has prepared for those who love God” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Judeo-Christian believers, in particular, should have been the first to understand and promote a philosophy of progress because they had an Absolute Source and Goal to ground the trajectory.

In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) published his findings that revealed the universe was expanding. Many began to imagine that if the biggest frame of reference—the cosmos—was still unfolding, then maybe that is the pattern of everything. The latest evidence shows that this expansion is even happening at an ever-increasing rate! It seems to mirror the increasing rate of change with each new technological and scientific breakthrough. This rapid change is scary and unsettling. I can see why people are panicking and trying to find some solid ground, a fixed point to the turning world. 

Fundamentalist religion and identity politics seem to be running the show now, and I can even understand that. But God has never “circled the wagons” to regain control and stability. God only moves in every larger spheres and orbits, which is what we mean by calling God infinite, eternal, or almighty.

I have no knowledge of where the universe story might be fully or finally heading, but I can see what it has already revealed with great clarity—that knowledge builds on itself, is cumulative, and is always moving outward toward ever-greater discovery. People who cling to the past and resist change have a hard time participating in God’s and their own future. Perhaps this is an appropriate application of Jesus’ somewhat problematic words, “Anyone who has will be given more . . . but anyone who has not, will lose what little he has” (see Matthew 25:29). This is only true in the realm of spirit and wisdom which increase and evolve with use. Material reality decreases with usage, which is why our consumer worldview is unsustainable.

In the words of Thomas Keating,
There seems to be an intent or a plan in creation to bring into manifestations revelations of the Unknowable One that awaken in us the greater and greater capacity to love. . . . Evolutionary consciousness is extremely important . . . and science has vastly increased the understanding of how the immensity of the universe continues to expand and how its infinitesimal quality continues to unfold.God is more and more trying to move the human race to the next stage of consciousness beyond the rational, technological, dominating worldview . . . recognizing the truth that there is only one self ultimately and this is God manifesting in us. [1]
Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.

[1] Thomas Keating with Carl J. Arico, God Is Love: The Heart of All Creation Guidebook (Contemplative Outreach: 2016), 22,
Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Evolution Is Another Name for Growth,” “Evolutionary Thinking,” Oneing, vol. 4, no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2016), 111-112.

Monday, February 26, 2018

god skips church

The dream and fantasy

called life in this world carries on.

Things feel less and less solid.

A disappearing night.

Everything is prayer.

Earth as zafu, zabuton.

Hands poised


Sunday, February 25, 2018


The video asked whether Jesus was a Buddhist.

Where was he from age 14 to 30?

And did he go to Kashmir after the crucifixion event and subsequent recovery?

Plausible? Or mere fancy?

Last night I sat with someone’s grandmother for an hour in a hospice room. A vase of flowers and two small carafes of water and juice on table traversing bed.

She was there. I was there. Granddaughter and friend arrived and stayed a while.

From adjacent room guitar and voices played and sang.

Listening in letting inside.

Grandmother and I had our quiet listen to the brief concert. A bass voice, some harmony, then laughter, returning to silence.

Who was it once spoke about the “real realization of reality”? A new 3r’s for pedagogy.

A rooting and recollecting responsivity.

Where rest and return to restorative emptiness is the sole scripture capable of being read with no sound, no interruption, no-other awareness.

Mere mother, grandmother, there, going no-where, the unborn and undying, here.

Our unarticulated, nameless movement, through and through.

Water brothers, water sisters, wending way, together.

Asperges me, Domine,
Hyssopo, et mundabor:
Lavabis me,
Et super nivem dealbabor.

Miserere mei, Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

Cleanse me, O Lord, With hyssop, and I shall be made clean: Wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.

Have mercy on me, O God, According to Your great mercy.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

mostly, I don’t get what people mean by prayer

So, the asking: What is prayer?

Prayer is what is.
(Watching and listening.)
Seen and heard.

With feeling and thought.

Inside and inside and inside.


Friday, February 23, 2018

no, doesn’t make anyone proud to know them

Crabby people against compassion

I see that cpac is meeting again and flaunting their brand.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

salute smartly, and leave

There’s a suggested plan to arm teachers to carry guns in classrooms.

Ok, sir.




Wednesday, February 21, 2018

spirit deepens as

Body de-

eh? ayuh!

Fort Kent freezing rain —

mile zero, bridge to Canada

drenched with forgotten passport