Monday, January 26, 2015



90 yr old man from Antigonish NS sits with us at Sunday Evening Practice.

I think of meditation. It's history and origin:
early 13c., "discourse on a subject," from L. meditationem (nom. meditatio), from meditatus, pp. of meditari "to meditate, to think over, consider," frequentative form from PIE base *med- "to measure, limit, consider, advise" (cf. Gk. medesthai "think about," medon "ruler," L. modus "measure, manner," modestus "moderate," modernus "modern," mederi "to heal," medicus "physician," Skt. midiur "I judge, estimate," Welsh meddwl "mind, thinking," Goth. miton, O.E. metan "to measure"). Meaning "act of meditating, continuous calm thought upon some subject" is from late 14c.  {} 
I remember when the university was baffled when a student complained she was being proselytized when I invited meditation be practiced in our classes on Vedanta, Buddhism, Taoism, Chan, Shintoism, Wabi Sabi, dialectics, autodidacticism, autodidallocism, reflective entering into thought and contemplation about the matter of discourse presented in our deliberations. The university was afraid of lawsuit. It asked I not begin class with silence. 

The image on the screen (usually Nature), the music (Bach, Mozart, Glass) the poem, and the dyadic engagement with one another -- these were ok. But silence -- everyone (except 99.8% of students over 40 years teaching philosophy) was terrified by its use. No silence for the initial 3 minutes. It was, for her, being indoctrinated into some foreign religion. And the university... It felt frightened by silence. Maybe even by thinking. What if everybody thought?  

My disappointment with their fears (student and university) led to a more camouflaged and circuitous methodology in our gatherings. We engage in surreptitious and subversive acts of thinking and pondering, wondering and looking, listening and conversing, studying and supposing options and variations on any particular theme and content. The student's faith tradition is preserved from invasive thought. The university's administration is safeguarded from legal decision to cease and desist any ruminative watching and waiting in minuscule silence for insight. All is well.

We still meditate. We call it musing. 

Belief is protected from discourse and deliberation. The pedagogical preserve of proleptic partisan privation is unchallenged. 

It is amusing
(late 15c., from M.Fr. amuser "divert, cause to muse," from a "at, to" (but here probably a causal prefix) + muser "ponder, stare fixedly." Sense of "divert from serious business, tickle the fancy of" is recorded from 1630s, but through 18c. the primary meaning was "deceive, cheat" by first occupying the attention. Bemuse retains more of the original meaning.c.1600, "cheating;" see amuse. Sense of "interesting" is from 1712; that of "pleasantly entertaining, tickling to the fancy" is from 1826. Noted late 1920s as a vogue word. {ibid}
Va bene!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

here for you to be

Here of a Sunday Morning, with Chris Whent, plays from WBAI, NYC via the mysterious teleportation of internet radio. How do waves carry sound so faithful to composer’s work?


In summertime on Bredon
  The bells they sound so clear;
Round both the shires they ring them
  In steeples far and near,
  A happy noise to hear.
Here of a Sunday morning
  My love and I would lie,
And see the coloured counties,
  And hear the larks so high
  About us in the sky.
The bells would ring to call her
  In valleys miles away:
"Come all to church, good people;
  Good people, come and pray."
  But here my love would stay.
And I would turn and answer
  Among the springing thyme,
"Oh, peal upon our wedding,
  And we will hear the chime,
  And come to church in time."
But when the snows at Christmas
  On Bredon top were strown,
My love rose up so early
  And stole out unbeknown
  And went to church alone.
They tolled the one bell only,
  Groom there was none to see,
The mourners followed after,
  And so to church went she,
  And would not wait for me.
The bells they sound on Bredon
  And still the steeples hum.
"Come all to church, good people,"--
  Oh, noisy bells, be dumb;
  I hear you, I will come.
[1] Pronounced Breedon. 

(--Poem by A.E. Housman)

Sunday Morning Collation includes Christian liturgical readings and #64 from Dao De Jing. 

Wuwei. Don’t try. Be the free-swimming fish. Leave the nets behind. There’s nothing to catch. Let each go their own way. With attentive, prayerful, loving watchfulness.
Mark 1:14-20
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’ 
    As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him
    Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him. (--from Universalis)

During silent sitting, the thought: Brahman is breath; Atman is breathing. Inseparability. God the Father is Being; Holy Spirit is breath; Christ is breathing act.
The bell tolls at four in the morning. I stand by the window,barefoot on the cool floor. The garden is still dark. I wait for the mountains and rivers to reclaim their shapes. 
There is no light in the deepest hours of the night. Yet, I know you are therein the depth of the night, the immeasurable world of the mind. You, the known, have been there ever since the knower has been. 
The dawn will come soon,and you will see that you and the rosy horizon are within my two eyes. It is for me that the horizon is rosy and the sky blue. 
Looking at your image in the clear stream, you answer the question by your very presence. Life is humming the song of the non-dual marvel. I suddenly find myself smiling in the presence of this immaculate night. I know because I am here that you are there, and your being has returned to show itself in the wonder of tonight’s smile.  
In the quiet stream, I swim gently. The murmur of the water lulls my heart. A wave serves as a pillow I look up and see a white cloud against the blue sky, the sound of Autumn leaves, the fragrance of hay -- each one a sign of eternity. A bright star helps me find my way back to myself. 
I know because you are there that I am here. The stretching arm of cognition in a lightning flash, joining together a million eons of distance, joining together birth and death, joining together the known and the knower. 
In the depth of the night, as in the immeasurable realm of consciousness, the garden of life and I remain each other’s objects. The flower of being is singing the song of emptiness. 
The night is still immaculate, but sounds and images from you have returned and fill the pure night. I feel their presence. By the window, with my bare feet on the cool floor, I know I am here for you to be.

This poem is from “Call Me By My True Names” The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh  [note: the prose-poem layout look is not the original layout. wfh]

My Sunday morning submission is not only to The-One-Who-Is, but also to the New York Times: 

 ama nesciri, camden, maine 
I like this Pope. He’s the Barack Obama of Vatican City. He seems real enough and good with expressing obliquely what he wants to say. Congress, the Curia, and assorted cranky professional opposers then attempt to tamp down and reframe what has been said while muttering maligning innuendo. But the Pope and the President, outsiders both, stand for something new and exciting. They are not the background nay-sayers. They are speakers of important language. Their words are heard, if not acted on. And despite what we might think, words, especially good words, matter.

Good; words matter.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

inseparable delight of each with each with all.

When the whole (“bursting forth, flowering,” Brahman) and the specific (“breathing,”Atman) realize their inseparability, a light shines through.

Nisargadatta Maharaj, (so says a zen teacher in a talk), makes the distinction between identity and inseparability.

His words to a visitor:
I may talk Non-duality to some of the people who come here. That is not for you and you should not pay any attention to what I am telling others. The book of my conversations [I Am That] should not be taken as the last word on my teachings. I had given some answers to questions of certain individuals. Those answers were intended for those people and not for all. Instruction can be on an individual basis only. The same medicine cannot be prescribed for all.Nowadays people are full of intellectual conceit. They have no faith in the ancient traditional practices leading up to Self-Knowledge. They want everything served to them on a platter. The path of Knowledge makes sense to them and because of that they may want to practice it. They will then find that it requires more concentration than they can muster and, slowly becoming humble, they will finally take up easier practices like repetition of a mantra or worship of a form. Slowly the belief in a Power greater than themselves will dawn on them and a taste for devotion will sprout in their heart. Then only will it be possible for them to attain purity of mind and concentration.[web 10] --Nisargadatta

The cup’s inside and outside are not identical; they are inseparable. It is the difference between duality and nonduality. We are not the same. We are distinct. And, still, inseparable.

The lures and hooks do not serve only to bring something in. They also serve to frame the inseparable reality of seeing through what is seeing through us.
Of the unknowable only silence talks. The mind can talk only of what it knows. If you diligently investigate the knowable, it dissolves and only the unknowable remains. But with the first flicker of imagination, interest in the unknowable is obscured and the known comes to the fore. The known, the changing, is what you live with- the unchangeable is of no use to you. Only when you are satiated with the changeable and long for the unchangeable, are you ready for the turning round and stepping into what can be described, when seen from the level of the mind, as emptiness and darkness. The mind craves content and variety, while reality is, to the mind, contentless and invariable. 
The person is merely the result of a misunderstanding. There is no such thing. Feelings, thoughts, and actions race before the watcher in endless succession, creating an illusion of continuity.
Only the sense 'I am' persisted- unchanged. Stay with the changeless among the changing until you are able to go beyond.
--Nisargadatta Maharaj
The cup in my hand is my circumstance. 

Sipping tea is my morning.
I pray for inseparable delight of each with each with all.

Friday, January 23, 2015

unwish / returns on its unself

There's no place to go.

Men with guns will holdup and rob and shoot anyone whenever they want. A military sniper becomes rich after killing 160-240 human targets. The entertainment movie makers become rich after making a movie about his killing -- both his killings and his being shot by another former military man.

Police gun down people again and again. All they have to claim is "He was reaching for something." Or, "He moved." The use of guns satisfies the ultimate dualistic desire, "Make him go away!"

There's no place to go. Where, exactly, do we think the dead go, Eh? Where?

 "Dead" is what most people call energy and matter changing its form, disappearing from superficial view, and permeating our surrounding environment in unseen reconfiguring movement.

In other words, death is a transforming being surrendering its familiar form and entering temporarily a formless passage through every other transforming being in process of reforming and appearing again in different form. And so, we re-member one another. 

And we, really and ultimately, face one another once more.

Our unkindness continues to shoot and kill individuals in a mindless unrealization there is no other, there is no "death", there is no place to go.

The poet says:

'pity this busy monster, manunkind'

pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
                          A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

(Poem by E. E. Cummings)
Maybe we'll find ourselves down the road.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Errorism alert

War on Error? 

The enemy is erroneous thinking. 

Prejudicial & fundamental error: failure to see the other as yourself. 

We pay wages of error.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

RaFN -- a new errorist organization

Thank you, President Obama, for reminding us what we can do! 

The next two years of Republican and Fox News domination will be a hard endurance for a detained America. 

 One glimmer of hope emerges with the prospect that RaFN will so ridiculously and rabidly attempt to dismantle common sense democracy and equitable economic balance that 2016 will be a revolutionary cakewalk return to the tasks of fairness, cooperation, and mutual respect for ordinary people, the businesses, and the governance involved in the still incomplete experiment that will become the United States of America.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

invitation to come apart and rest awhile

Big dog is restless.

Wanders in and out of room. I go downstairs, let the two of them out, load wood, sip juice, let them in, come back up. He is still restless. His mistress is away. He is very attached. Finally I bring green mattress in from vacant front room, lay it by door, and he walks over it and tries to fit himself down elsewhere, his large body by foot of bed after banging his head on footboard, twice. The mat holds only his chewed hedgehog. He is down by chair, temporarily, there.
To become who we are as creatures made in the image and likeness of God, we have to be nothing and everything at once, since this is what God is. ... If we accept who we are, we are manifesting God and radiating Christ. The latter unfolding of the divine life within us does not need to go anywhere or do anything special."
(--Thomas Keating, Contemplative Outreach News, December 2014)
It seems there is less and less need to fuss and fret. Everything is what it is and is fine. Nothing makes much sense nor needs to.

Visiting friend growing so thin with Parkinson's I promise to hold in prayer her sons and her as she navigates her program of recovery, diet, and interior clearing of stress and worry -- even as events bring more of the two her way.

Any wording that suggests this is happening because of that, or explains in any way why things are the way they are, feels so unsatisfactory and imaginary. That things are how they are seems an easier acceptance than trying to find reason for such.

Prayer is holding others in the light of blessing, a joining with, so as to remind oneself of connection, compassion, and collative community. What good does that do? I don't know. I just do it. In a vacancy of solutions, attentive presence appears a useful activity, even presence at a distance. So, I pray.

Big dog has moved to mattress. For now. Snores.

Monday, January 19, 2015

falling in love (again) with Dr. King and the prospect of health

Martin Luther King's words will last.
Surely this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroy, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and dealt death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.
This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:
Each day the war goes on the hatred increased in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.  [Unquote]
If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. 
(MLK, 4april1967, Beyond Vietnam, New York, NY).
 The war in Vietnam was a lie. The war in Iraq was a lie that has evolved into larger and more ugly lies. The war on terror was and is a lie. The war on drugs was and is a lie. The war in Afghanistan is a lie.

"No lie can live forever." (Thomas Carlisle)

King told the truth about the terrible cold afflicting America.

As the 9th grade white girl wrote him in 1958 after he'd been stabbed in the chest, "I'm so happy you didn't sneeze." Had he sneezed, the papers said, the knife would have penetrated his aorta and he would have drowned in his blood.

The United States' nose is twitching, having been elongated by lies, and is in danger of sneezing.

One can only hope, and pray, and work for the cold to pass, for health to be gained, and for the sneeze to pass unsneezed.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


New Sunday morning practice began today at hermitage:

Sunday Morning Collation, (contemplation, conversation, & correspondence)
9:00am-10:00am, 10 mins silence, reading of scriptures from two traditions, conversation, final circle.

 (kəˈleɪt, koʊ-, kɒ-, ˈkoʊ leɪt, ˈkɒl eɪt) 
v.t. -lat•ed, -lat•ing.
1. to gather or arrange (pages) in their proper sequence. 
2. to verify the arrangement of (the gathered sheets of a book) before binding. 
3. to compare (texts, etc.) critically. 
4. to verify the number and order of the sheets of (a volume) to determine its completeness. 
5. to appoint (a cleric) to a benefice. 
[1550–60; < Latin collātus, past participle of conferre to bring together; see confer]
(--from The Free Dictionary) 

Saturday, January 17, 2015



Walking, I wonder

Will this step be the last one--

Or one before that

our original unity

In America Magazine, as Thomas Merton’s 100th birthday approaches, an article by Daniel Horan titled Merton (Still) Matters” reminds that a broader perspective encompasses greater inclusion and understanding.
In October 1968, near the end of his life, Merton concluded a talk to a group of monks in Calcutta and with these now famous lines: “My dear brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” 
There is nothing in Merton’s published works, nor in his private journals and correspondence, that would indicate interest in leaving the Catholic Church. In his 1966 book, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Merton wrote:
The more I am able to affirm others, to say “yes” to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am.... I will be a better Catholic, not if I can refute every shade of Protestantism [or other faiths], but if I can affirm the truth in it and still go further.
The Dalai Lama wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times in 2010, “While preserving faith toward one’s own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.” He went on to explain that it was none other than Thomas Merton, with whom he met personally in 1968, who offered him this insight. “Merton told me he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity, yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism. The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist learning from the world’s other great religions.” For Merton then, as for the Dalai Lama today, compassion for and personal encounter with people of other faiths does not diminish one’s own religious convictions—if anything, it strengthens them. Merton shows us as much by living out what he came to realize was his “vocation of unity,” to borrow a phrase from the Merton scholar Christine Bochen.
(--from America Magazine, Merton (Still) Matters, January 19-26, 2015 Issue, by Daniel P. HoranHow the Trappist monk and author speaks to millennials)
 The problem for Catholics is separative belief. Inclusive belief allows other beliefs to be other beliefs. “Other” need not be separate. The resolution to what the mind considers dualistic, (i.e. same and different, self and other, subject and object, right and wrong,  my faith and your faith), is to no longer consider them as dualistic (e.g. same/different, self/other, subject/object,  right/wrong, our faiths). A change in thinking would emerge and allow each and every thing to be what it is. And what each thing is involves everything else, what it is doing, used for, and what it means.

Call this zen. Zen doesn’t know. It doesn’t know same. It doesn’t know different. Zen sees. Zen listens. Zen presences.

A stopping, looking, and listening that extends itself as itself stopping, itself looking, and itself listening.

It is faulty thinking that opposes and excludes. Right thinking composes and includes.

Merton helps us see this, saying, “...we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”

We like him for this.

after inviting wood to waterford 103, Night Practice (bis jetzt -- up to now)

bis jetzt

middle Night

over squeeky snow,

footstepping to Merton Retreat

the heavens!

elevate thermostat

for morning



up to now

Mitte Nacht 
über squeeky Schnee, 
footstepping Merton Retreat 
den Himmel! 
erheben Thermostat 
für Morgen 

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's a beginning

Isha Upanishad 
Translation by Swami Nikhilananda

Om. That is full; this is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness. Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!
1) All this—whatever exists in this changing universe—should be covered by the Lord. Protect the Self by renunciation. Lust not after any man's wealth.
2) If a man wishes to live a hundred years on this earth, he should live performing action. For you, who cherish such a desire and regard yourself as a man, there is no other way by which you can keep work from clinging to you.
3) Verily, those worlds of the asuras are enveloped in blind darkness; and thereto they all repair after death who are slayers of Atman.
4) That non—dual Atman, though never stirring, is swifter than the mind. The senses cannot reach It, for It moves ever in front. Though standing still, It overtakes others who are running. Because of Atman, Vayu, the World Soul apportions the activities of all.
5) It moves and moves not; It is far and likewise near. It is inside all this and It is outside all this.
6) The wise man beholds all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings; for that reason he does not hate anyone.
7) To the seer, all things have verily become the Self: what delusion, what sorrow, can there be for him who beholds that oneness?
8) It is He who pervades all—He who is bright and bodiless, without scar or sinews, pure and by evil unpierced; who is the Seer, omniscient, transcendent and uncreated. He has duly allotted to the eternal World—Creators their respective duties.
9) Into a blind darkness they enter who are devoted to ignorance (rituals); but into a greater darkness they enter who engage in knowledge of a deity alone. 
10) One thing, they say, is obtained from knowledge; another, they say, from ignorance. Thus we have heard from the wise who have taught us this.
11) He who is aware that both knowledge and ignorance should be pursued together, overcomes death through ignorance and obtains immortality through knowledge.
12) Into a blind darkness they enter who worship only the unmanifested prakriti; but into a greater darkness they enter who worship the manifested Hiranyagarbha.
13) One thing, they say, is obtained from the worship of the manifested; another, they say, from the worship of the unmanifested. Thus we have heard from the wise who taught us this.
14) He who knows that both the unmanifested prakriti and the manifested Hiranyagarbha should be worshipped together, overcomes death by the worship of Hiranyagarbha and obtains immortality through devotion to prakriti. 
15) The door of the Truth is covered by a golden disc. Open it, O Nourisher! Remove it so that I who have been worshipping the Truth may behold It.
16) O Nourisher, lone Traveller of the sky! Controller! O Sun, Offspring of Prajapati! Gather Your rays; withdraw Your light. I would see, through Your grace, that form of Yours which is the fairest. I am indeed He, that Purusha, who dwells there.
17) Now may my breath return to the all—pervading, immortal Prana! May this body be burnt to ashes! Om. O mind, remember, remember all that I have done.
18) O Fire, lead us by the good path for the enjoyment of the fruit of our action. You know, O god, all our deeds. Destroy our sin of deceit. We offer, by words, our salutations to you.
End of Isa Upanishad 
The Peace Chant:
Om. That is full; this is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

orange ball on white snow

Susan Sontag's continuation day. I bought her book the title of her essay the year it came out.
She wrote another essay that year called "Against Interpretation" (1964), in which she argues that people should stop trying to analyze and interpret art and just enjoy the experience on a spiritual and sensual level. She wrote: "Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world - in order to set up a shadow world of meanings.”  (--from, The Writer’s Almanac,

Morning orange reaches dooryard before sun disappears behind gray clouds. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Look away.

Look away.
When enlightened Zen masters  
Set up teachings for a spiritual path,  
The only concern is to clarify  
The mind to arrive at its source.  
It is complete in everyone,  
Yet people turn away from this basic mind  
Because of their illusions.   
(- Yuanwu)
I wish I were in the land that cottoned to awakening.

deep is; calling on deep

Śhruti  (Have you heard?)

Smriti (Remember this.)

Sati  (Yes, be mindful.)

in hoc, signo


"The language of a people is its fate." (Amos Wilder)



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

rita. (lovely)

Now it begins.
Alternate titles: arta; ṛta
Rita, Sanskrit ṛta (“truth” or “order”),  in Indian religion and philosophy, the cosmic order mentioned in the Vedas, the ancient sacred scriptures of India. As Hinduism developed from the ancient Vedic religion, the concept of rita led to the doctrines of dharma (duty) and karma (accumulated effects of good and bad actions). Rita is the physical order of the universe, the order of the sacrifice, and the moral law of the world. Because of rita, the sun and moon pursue their daily journeys across the sky, and the seasons proceed in regular movement. Vedic religion features the belief that rita was guarded by Varuna, the god-sovereign, who was assisted by Mitra, the god of honour, and that the proper performance of sacrifices to the gods was necessary to guarantee its continuance. Violation (anrita) of the established order by incorrect or improper behaviour, even if unintentional, constituted sin and required careful expiation.
(--Encylopedia Brittanica)
          (Or wikipedia's:)
In the Vedic religion, Ṛta (Sanskrit ऋतं ṛtaṃ "that which is properly joined; order, rule; truth") is the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it.[1] In the hymns of the Vedas, Ṛta is described as that which is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of the natural, moral and sacrificial orders. Conceptually, it is closely allied to the injunctions and ordinances thought to uphold it, collectively referred to as Dharma, and the action of the individual in relation to those ordinances, referred to as Karma – two terms which eventually eclipsed Ṛta in importance as signifying natural, religious and moral order in later Hinduism.[2] Sanskrit scholar Maurice Bloomfield referred to Ṛta as "one of the most important religious conceptions of the Rig Veda", going on to note that, "from the point of view of the history of religious ideas we may, in fact we must, begin the history of Hindu religion at least with the history of this conception".[3] 
Ṛta is derived from the Sanskrit verb root ṛ- "to go, move, rise, tend upwards", and the derivative noun ṛtam is defined as "fixed or settled order, rule, divine law or truth".[4] As Mahony (1998) notes, however, the term can just as easily be translated literally as "that which has moved in a fitting manner", abstractly as "universal law" or "cosmic order", or simply as "truth".[5] The latter meaning dominates in the Avestan cognate to Ṛta, aša.[6]Ṛta
 I wonder when, oh when will it end

The big hurt
          (--cf. TONI FISHER, "The Big Hurt", 1959, Wayne Shanklin)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

brown blanket

I go as far as barn door. Been no further for five days.

Pick last sticks from brought-in wood. It is zero just now. Will drop to -8.

But there are no ticks, mosquitoes, or black flies.

And no rowboat to tend at harbor.

Syllabus almost done.
Tending Two Shops 
Don’t run around this world
looking for a hole to hide in, 
There are wild beasts in every cave!
If you live with mice,
the cat claws will find you. 
The only real rest comes
when you’re alone with God. 
Live in the nowhere that you came from,
even though you have an address here. 
You have eyes that see from that no where,
and eyes that judge distances,
how high and how low.
You own two shops,
and you run back and forth. 
Try to close the one that’s a fearful trap
getting always smaller, checkmate,
this way, checkmate that. 
Keep open the shop
where you’re not selling fishhooks anymore.
You are the free swimming fish. 
(– by Rumi, Ancient Sufi Mystic)
No more fishhooks.

Just swimming.

Through breath.

And sight.

Monday, January 12, 2015

we did not visit enough

 “It’s not the world that hurts you, it’s your own expectation.” (--Jacque Fresco)

Obituary notice today that Alden, husband of deceased friend Sylvia, died on Christmas morning.

A kind, capable, and thoughtful man. 


A good time. All 4s.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

if I should wake before I die

Dogs are let out. Dogs are let in. They receive biscuits.

We cough up and down stairs. Take Umcka and Sinusalia, vitamin d, c, multi, green juice, aspirin, 

Whatever else baptism is, it is being open to know God, the universe, and oneself.

Sometimes we think churches own baptism. That's not true. Physicists, philosophers, poets, and paupers are equally the diviners of desire to enter and become what is real.

Cats fuss downstairs. White dog feels called to intervene. I discourage him.

We don't have to follow every desire. Sometimes to wait and snooze is enough of the sacred for now.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

surveillance spyware or assault gun -- this year we’ll all have one or the other aimed at us

To prison guards, airport security, police officers, intelligence agencies, immigration officials, military recon squads, or any school's vice principal, everyone is under suspicion. And the mistrust goes both ways.

It's a fact of life these days.
In response to recent announcements that Apple and Google have built into their new cell phones a default encryption that the companies themselves cannot decode, FBIDirector James Comey and GCHQ head Robert Hannigan have expressed concern that important information will not be available and called for public debate on terrorism and technology. It is disappointing, if not surprising, that they see a need for public debate only when new technologies may impair their ability to monitor us, and not when such technologies enhance their monitoring. A public debate is needed, but it cannot proceed without the kind of transparency that thus far the security agencies have obdurately resisted. 
Of course, transparency has costs as well as benefits, and secrecy is sometimes necessary. But secrecy has significant costs, too—not just to human rights, but to democracy itself. As US Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith warned in 2002, in a case involving secret immigration trials, “Democracy dies behind closed doors.” We won’t have a chance to arrive at defensible policies on surveillance and targeted killing if the questions are not fully and fairly debated. When the balance between individual rights and security is struck in secret one-sided determination, as has been the case with both drone killing and electronic surveillance, as well as the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program, it will inevitably be skewed. 
Increasingly, our governments seem to be insisting that our lives be transparent to them, while their policies remain hidden from us. For the sake of democracy itself, we must do all we can to resist that impulse. 
December 10, 2014 
(The New York Review of Books, Must Counterterrorism Cancel Democracy? By David ColeJANUARY 8, 2015 ISSUE )
Protection and security are vast obsessions of contemporary protectors and law enforcement. And now, with the political distribution of a particularly monied and elite ideology in place in Washington DC, it appears a new suspected class will be under greater scrutiny -- the poor, the middle class, and intelligent opposition to the unregulated use of power and money. A new set of battles will emerge, political and cultural. Most likely, militarized force will threaten to completely replace our moribund ability to converse, debate, disagree, and work out compromises.

We are going, in the words of the poet, into madness, "nobility of soul at odds with circumstance."

At least, thank goodness, there are poets:

In a Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see, 
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;   
I hear my echo in the echoing wood— 
A lord of nature weeping to a tree. 
I live between the heron and the wren,   
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den. 

What’s madness but nobility of soul 
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!   
I know the purity of pure despair, 
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.   
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,   
Or winding path? The edge is what I have. 

A steady storm of correspondences! 
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,   
And in broad day the midnight come again!   
A man goes far to find out what he is— 
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,   
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light. 

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.   
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,   
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.   
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,   
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.
(--Theodore Roethke, “In a Dark Time” from Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke, c.1963)


When not well, be not well.

Like dawn light, change arises --

Nothing has I

(to say)

I have nothing

to say
י  יִמְצָאֵהוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר,  {ס}  וּבְתֹהוּ יְלֵל יְשִׁמֹן;  {ר}  יְסֹבְבֶנְהוּ, יְבוֹנְנֵהוּ--  {ס}  יִצְּרֶנְהוּ, כְּאִישׁוֹן עֵינוֹ.  {ר}
10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste, a howling wilderness; He compassed him about, He cared for him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. 
יא  כְּנֶשֶׁר יָעִיר קִנּוֹ, עַל-גּוֹזָלָיו יְרַחֵף;  {ס}  יִפְרֹשׂ כְּנָפָיו יִקָּחֵהוּ, יִשָּׂאֵהוּ עַל-אֶבְרָתוֹ.  {ר}
11 As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, hovereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her pinions-- 
יב  יְהוָה, בָּדָד יַנְחֶנּוּ;  {ס}  וְאֵין עִמּוֹ, אֵל נֵכָר.  {ר}
12 The LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with Him. 
יג  יַרְכִּבֵהוּ עַל-במותי (בָּמֳתֵי) אָרֶץ,  {ס}  וַיֹּאכַל תְּנוּבֹת שָׂדָי;  {ר}  וַיֵּנִקֵהוּ דְבַשׁ מִסֶּלַע,  {ס}  וְשֶׁמֶן מֵחַלְמִישׁ צוּר.  {ר}
13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, and he did eat the fruitage of the field; and He made him to suck honey out of the crag, and oil out of the flinty rock; 
יד  חֶמְאַת בָּקָר וַחֲלֵב צֹאן,  {ס}  עִם-חֵלֶב כָּרִים וְאֵילִים  {ר}  בְּנֵי-בָשָׁן וְעַתּוּדִים,  {ס}  עִם-חֵלֶב, כִּלְיוֹת חִטָּה;  {ר}  וְדַם-עֵנָב, תִּשְׁתֶּה-חָמֶר.  {ס}
14 Curd of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and he-goats, with the kidney-fat of wheat; and of the blood of the grape thou drankest foaming wine. 
(--from Deuteronomy 32

Friday, January 09, 2015


Today I am Hikikomori.
Hikikomori (ひきこもり or 引き籠もり Hikikomori?, literally "pulling inward, being confined", i.e., "acute social withdrawal") is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement. The term hikikomori refers to both the sociological phenomenon in general as well as to people belonging to this societal group. Hikikomori have been described as recluses, loners, or "modern-day hermits."[1].  (--Wikipedia)
All day in room. In bed. With books.

Under weather.

As Paris streets settle for night.

alors, in France, Je suis

Je suis, "I am", is the phrasing of identity, connection, non-separation. 

The Jewish, Muslim, and Christian God self-identified as "I Am." 

As difficult as many of us find it, it is likely true that poet Thich Nhat Hanh's "Please Call Me By My True Names" poem is our fate, and that he would suggest: 
  • We are those who were slain; 
  • We are those who murdered them; 
  • We are those engaged in their capture. 
It sometimes seems we delight in separative, divisive, uncompassionate exclusion. 

Which is why, I suspect, we choose political stance over spiritual surrender.

unknowing (that which appears) remains

Sometimes koans...

Would dying be here? 
Never go anywhere you        
         can't live. 
                     (--Robert Creeley, in his book of poems,"Pieces")

just show up.

As these did...

Things come and go--
then let them. 

in 1969

as did (an unknowing) I

read them.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

weather warning

Minus nine (-9) degrees in dooryard. Wind-chill as low as twenty nine below (-29).

Like new parent, get up every two hours to feed wood stove.

Furnace doesn't know off.

Between weather and men shooting what they refuse, acting to eliminate what threatens their opinions, it is a very cold, dark, and apprehensive night we find around us.

"Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire." 
               (--Theodore Roethke, from poem, in a Dark Time.) 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

monos, (Gk. alone)

I am shot dead in France.

I am shot dead in America.

I am shot dead in Yemen.

... ( silence ) ...

and, maybe, the chocolate donut

In dialogue someone is suggesting Jesus might not have existed. It is a curious choice for Tuesday Evening Practice, an advaita gnostic epiphany piece on an abandoned 6th in a secular age when no one knows what to do with fact or fiction. 

We sit through it. We do our teisho circle. Time out of joint. Still, it is ours to consider.

I think: the question of Jesus is the question of you and me. Who, without laughing, would say "I do not exist!" We are. No doubt jesus was. As with each of us it is a matter of death and resurrection, coming to end, continuing by saying "I am ended, my saying so indicates I am continuing in my overview of my declarative ending."

I am not interested in speculative death or resurrection. I am not interested in speculative me,or Jesus. It is the real and present I find interesting. Like the man in Tarkovsky's ending of 1972 Solaris, arriving at frozen pond, running dog, looking through window to room dripping wet on books on another man (father?) water dripping on shoulder in kitchen -- there is an embracing gratitude pointed to yet isolated by narrative as camera withdraws perspective up and away suggesting it is a dream sequence emanating from consciousness itself surrounding the enactment of what we call our lives.

And if Jesus did not exist? Would that change my desire to see through this dream sequence into a continuation wherein I tell of my dream as epilogue to enfolding narrative?

We are Jesus. In the dream we are each character, and each situation scene by scene. We are cameraman and we are director. We are also audience popcorning it's way through the dramatic unfolding.

Did Jesus exist? Do I exist? Go ahead, make my day, give answer!

This, the psalmist says, is the day the lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it!

If this is a dream, it is my dream. Let me be ironic and act through it! 

Perhaps "the real" is beyond fathoming. There is enough to do stepping into and through what presents itself each moment of our manifestation.

We show up. In dream and in middle of night, we show up. We pee, stock wood stove, sip green juice, climb stairs, re-enter bed and wonder about one and two, two and one, two and two, one and one.

"In dialogue..." We begin to write. All the time knowing, like lungs sounding their own moan with each breath, there is a conversation taking place that has no beginning no end. In this conversation sounds come to fore then return to rest.

We ask, "what is this?"

We look around, continuing to ask,"what is this?"

All is, as God is, good.

There, just there, is where I am, we are, Jesus and Tom Reardon (who died, his beloved Maria calls to inform us, at 4:39 pm Sunday the 4th, Three King's Day) is, the frozen pond at another Tom's birthday will be in a few hours.

There's a chocolate donut, I think, on counter in brown waxed bag.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

ina rusu

No being away from home. Japanese, ina = no; rusu = absent, being away from home.

No absence.

It is the traditional date for the celebration of Epiphany.
Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God."       (--Wikipedia)
We celebrate not being away from home, ina rusu, no absence. Why is this wording chosen? 

It matters where we think we are. It matters whether we feel separate. It matters if we think God is somewhere else inattentive or violently judgmental.

What does it say when we say ina rusu? It says God is no absence. God is not being away from home.
(I can see in future ages theologians arguing over that last sentence. Some will read it "not-being, away from home" to argue God is not, we are desolate and abandoned, away from any home we imagine ourselves to have)

Rather, as bastardized poet nicking foreign words, I submit intention to have it read "not being away from home." There. Here. Whoever. Whenever. Wherever.

Today is that feast.

Epiphany is the celebration of non-duality. It is holistic integrality wherein all is included in one reality, distinct and diverse, shining through our thinking, feeling, imagination.

We imagine this so.

It matters to do so.

Moreso, it matters to be so.

Hai...  (Yes!)