Today At Meetingbrook

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


On at least two occasions over the 13 years of meetingbrook’s blog I have misquoted Elie Wiesel’s line from p.93 of “The Wandering Jew” from his book Legends of Our Time (1967).

Here is the accurate quote:
"Man defines himself by what disturbs him and not by what reassures him. When will you understand that you are living and searching in error, because God means movement and not explanation.”
My error was the word “is” instead of “means” and the comma between “movement” and “not” in final line.

Here are two of the culprits from 2003 and 2006:
As Elie Wiesel said in one of his books, "God is movement, not explanation." Seeing God is not as vital as moving through what (God) is moving through, what  ...
Aug 6, 2006 - 'God is movement, not explanation,' wrote the novelist Elie Wiesel. Let's move through reality with grace and wholeness. We are not separate ...

[ih-rah-tuh m, ih-rey-, ih-rat-uh m] Spell Syllablesnoun, plural errata 
 [ih-rah-tuh, ih-rey-, ih-rat-uh] (
 [ih-rah-tuh, ih-rey-, ih-rat-uh] (Show IPA)
an error in writing or printing.
a statement of an error and its correction inserted, usually on aseparate page or slip of paper, in a book or other publication;corrigendum. 
1. an error in writing or printing. 2.
a statement of an error and its correction inserted, usually on aseparate page or slip of paper, in a book or other publication;corrigendum. Origin1580-90; < Latin, noun use of errātum wandered, erred, strayed (neuterpast participle of errāre). See err-ate

Haiku, (in passing)

                 “...God means movement and not explanation.” (Elie Wiesel) 

Profound faith in this

mere looking, nothing in mind 

arrives then departs

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ad vitam aeternam

Faith is the trust we have that nothing 

will not be what it is

in itself.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The holy, cross

Interconnection and transformation.

No matter

What else.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dropped off mind and body

It seems simple.

If you do not fear death, you are free.

To be what you are and do what you want.

His brothers and sisters said that about Jim Laurita today.

With humor, affection, and a little bit of awe.

Friday, September 12, 2014

from Late Latin, condolere -- "to suffer together"

Condolence From: meetingbrook hermitage for James L. Laurita

          (for Dr Jim)  

here is what is known 

          you were kind here, now we know 

          september sorrow

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It was 11:11pm on 9/11 about 11 minutes ago

I remember less fear.

A good memory.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Starting when?

Here is what we know about 9/11/2001:

Many people died; buildings were destroyed; wars were begun; many people continued to die.

Whoever planned and executed the terrible event and its follow up were very successful.

And what have we learned?

Success isn't always desired.

Killing is easy.

There's something else we have to consider -- some different way of living we might wish to contemplate.

It's worth a look.

A long look.

Starting now.

Dwelling now.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

No concept, only an idea

Watched Generation War. The insanity and idiocy of that time.
     She should have died hereafter. 
There would have been a time for such a word. 
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, 
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day 
To the last syllable of recorded time, 
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools 
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! 
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player 
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage 
And then is heard no more. It is a tale 
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, 
Signifying nothing.
(--Act 5, Scene 5)
Shakespeare saw it and said it well.

The midcoast community loses a good man who cared for animals and rescued two elephants to a new life.

The footprint of mortality can be seen everywhere.

Monday, September 08, 2014

from war, to gnosticism, to anyone’s motivations

1. It’s hard to know what is true.

2. It’s hard to know. What is true?

3.     It’s hard.
To know what is?

Sunday, September 07, 2014

just this; just sitting

Hummingbird comes to bay window as eight folks at hospitality spoke of intellectual emancipation and panecastic insight.
 “ Was das Volk verdummt, ist nicht sein Mangel an Unterweisung, sondern der Glaube an die Minderwertigkeit seiner Intelligenz. ”
                                                                                          (— Jean Joseph Jacotot, 1770-1840)
Everyone has equal intelligence. Each has the God-given ability to teach themselves. And yes, even someone ignorant is capable of teaching another ignorant person what longs to be learned. (I.e. We can teach what we don't know.) Everything is in everything. These four principles from Jacotot are both interesting and useful.

Even unto today.

Not unlike shikantaza.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Now, just this

And if I die before I wake

Just one more thing to contemplate

Friday, September 05, 2014

Endless One-Another

Rabbi Kushner: I think the best way to understand it, Krista, is to teach, remind you of two Hebrew words that are in kabbalistic language much more important than their normal definitions. The first word is yaish. And it's sort of untranslated. If you held my feet to the fire I'd say it translated as is-ness. Being-ness. And yaish refers to virtually everything in creation. Anything that has a beginning or an end, that has the spatial coordinates, that has a definition, that is bordered by other things, and it's not just material reality. I mean, love has a beginning, it has an end. Beauty can have a definition. And, it's not bad. It's not something to be renounced. I mean, anybody who has tried to live in the world knows that it is the world of yaish. You and I are yaish. Our microphones are yaish. The room, the city of San Francisco is yaish. Everything is yaish. Yaish is not bad. It's only bad if you think that's all there is.
Turns out there is only one thing that's not yaish. It has no beginning, it has no ends, it's not bordered by anything, it has no definition, it has no spatial coordinates. You probably can't say as much about it as I'm about to try to say, it is the opposite of yaish. It is called Ein Sof — without end. Literally it means nothing. But with a capital N. Because if I said it was something, you know, you've got to stay with the logic here. If I said something, then you will say well it's next to another thing. And the Kabbalists being serious about logic also, they are very logical, no, the only way we can talk about this non-yaish thing is to call it no-thing or nothing, and that becomes Ein Sof, and that has something to do with God, the source of everything of yaish.
Everything in the world is made of Ein Sof. Everything in the world is the wave of which the Ein Sof, or God, is the ocean. And our knowledge our knowledge of the ocean is largely based on the way it manifests itself in the waves. That is the yaish. So my closest I can come to learning about Ein Sof and God is by talking to you, or looking at a tree, or planting one.
(--from On Being, Transcript for Lawrence Kushner — Kabbalah and the Inner Life of God, May 15, 2014)

Thursday, September 04, 2014

used parts

“Would A Human Head Transplant Be Ethical?” We talked about this article in Popular Science in class tonight.
Curiously timely meditation,
Where do I begin?
Where end?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

As simple as remembered

Because he could not simplify his life.

Who said that? Richard would quote it.

Then there's this:
I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
(-- Thoreau, Walden, 323- 324)

nose on toes

“Myself I cannot see the persistence of the artist type. I see no need for the individual man of genius in such an order. I see no need for martyrs. I see no need for vicarious atonement. I see no need for the fierce preservation of beauty on the part of a few. Beauty and Truth do not need defenders, nor even expounders. No one will ever have a lien on Beauty and Truth; they are creations in which all participate. They need only to be apprehended; they exist externally. Certainly, when we think of the conflicts and schisms which occur in the realm of art, we know that they do not proceed out of love of Beauty or Truth. Ego worship is the one and only cause of dissension, in art as in other realms. The artist is never defending art, but simply his own petty conception of art. Art is as deep and high and wide as the universe. There is nothing but art, if you look at it properly. It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis.” 
― Henry Miller, originally in “Of Art and the Future,” a wide-ranging essay on war, art, technology, the role of women in society, and mankind’s future, eventually published in Sunday After the War (public library) in 1944. From "Brain Pickings"


The square gray-faced Bulova kitchen clock in Bensonhurst needed batteries.

Time had stopped.

It was in the dream.

There was no Wednesday Evening Conversation to get to the shop for. Nor was there a shop any longer.

Slowly waking, cat on window ledge looking out, the bare sense of being not alone.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

curriculum vital (née vitae): toward a course of learning together

Here we are!

Let's become interested.

Let's become conversant.

Let's become knowledgeable.

Let's become thoughtful.

Let's become acquainted with wisdom.

     think about,



     call into question, and


what we are looking at and studying.


   let's converse with one another,

      write about what we are finding out, and

         learn how doing all of the above moves our behavior

             and thinking along

                 a journey of beneficial  

                     engagement with all involved

                         in the process of dwelling together
   in this existing place wherein we are.

Let's begin now.

At origin.

Monday, September 01, 2014

What do you mean, "Just as I thought?"

I have no opinion.

Some day I'll be able to say: "I have no opinion."

What's your opinion of that hypothetical?


 as I ...


Sunday, August 31, 2014

kazoolessly wished a good celebration

Aug 31, New Year's Eve .

In the morning, September.

In Vermont, a 42nd birthday.

A voice in good spirits!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Greek ἰδέα (idéa)

Plato said, “See!”

What an idea!
{From Latin idea (“a (Platonic) idea; archetype”), from Ancient Greek ἰδέα (idéa, “notion, pattern”), from εἴδω (eídō, “I see”), related to French idée }

Friday, August 29, 2014

as I was

There were fireworks over the harbor tonight. I heard them. It was after sitting shikantaza. It was after listening to compline. In the muted second floor of bookshed. In the quiet.

I heard them.

It might have been bombs in Syria or Iraq. It might have been exploding tear gas canisters in Furguson MO. It might have been gunfire in Chicago IL.

But it was Camden ME. They were celebrating windjammers. Waves and wind, hulls and sails.

As I was.

Celebrating solitude.

peeing under stars

                (haiku with dogs)

early reminder --

shaking winds brush tops of trees

Han on trunk says fall

Thursday, August 28, 2014


                 (a haiku at 4:44am)

crickets pronouncing 

late august cusp dawn -- monk time;

nothing but god is

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Acoustics and appreciatives

New mahogany Han from harbor boatbuilding scrap hangs on tree outside meditation cabin.

Shema on right side of doorway into cabin.

Birchat Habayit Mezuzah on jamb of Panikkar wohnkuche. ("Baruch ata bevoecha u'varuch ata betzeitechah" which means "Blessed are you upon your arrival and blessed are you upon your departure.")

The sound and touch of these beings!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here is your teacher

There is nothing

To learn

Not here

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Dearth of God/Man: Learning together -- teaching God, teaching Man

Jesus' death as a dearth of awareness -- a scarcity and shortage -- suggests a deficiency we should look into.

Were both God and Man complicit in this dearth?

Was our awareness unready?

Will a return require fuller depth and wider inclusion to occasion?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Qui tacit consentire? Juvenal, Thales, & Buddha

Silence has a mind of its own. It has a body that is our own.

mens sana in corpore sano

English translation:
You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Ask for a stout heart that has no fear of death,
and deems length of days the least of Nature's gifts
that can endure any kind of toil,
that knows neither wrath nor desire and thinks
the woes and hard labors of Hercules better than
the loves and banquets and downy cushions of Sardanapalus.
What I commend to you, you can give to yourself;
For assuredly, the only road to a life of peace is virtue.
In original Latin:
orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.
fortem posce animum mortis terrore carentem,
qui spatium vitae extremum inter munera ponat
naturae, qui ferre queat quoscumque labores,
nesciat irasci, cupiat nihil et potiores
Herculis aerumnas credat saevosque labores
et venere et cenis et pluma Sardanapalli.
monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare; semita certe
tranquillae per virtutem patet unica vitae.
—Roman poet Juvenal (10.356-64) 
Which is in which? Is mind in body? Or, is body in mind?
I rather think they are two words, eight letters, that turn and dance and show various sides of themselves, forming transient and temporary expressions of their soundless manifestations twirling through evening patina of cloud-sun haze on greeny hills in Maine.
τίς εὐδαίμων, "ὁ τὸ μὲν σῶμα ὑγιής, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν εὔπορος, τὴν δὲ φύσιν εὐπαίδευτος 
"What man is happy? "He who has a healthy body, a resourceful mind and a docile nature."[1]
  1. As quoted by Diogenes Laërtius, (R. D. Hicks, ed.), Lives of Eminent Philosophers I:37  (--Wikipedia)
Let's return to silence. It is the language of god. 

Silence, the face of god. 

Friday, waiting curbside for Saskia after her Jin Shin Jitsu she arrives saying, “I knew you were here, but I couldn’t see you.” If we are able to face this about god, we might be able to hear what is not said.
“I don’t envision a single thing that, when
     undeveloped, leads to such great harm as the
     mind. The mind, when undeveloped, leads to
     great harm.”
“I don’t envision a single thing that, when developed,
     leads to such great benefit as the mind. The
     mind, when developed, leads to great benefit.”
“I don’t envision a single thing that, when
     undeveloped and uncultivated, brings about such
     suffering and stress as the mind. The mind, when
     undeveloped and uncultivated, brings about
     suffering and stress.”
“I don’t envision a single thing that, when developed
     and cultivated, brings about such happiness as
     the mind. The mind, when developed and
     cultivated, brings about happiness.”
(-- The Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya 1.23–24, 1.29–30. Trans. Thanissaro Bhikkhu.)
It is not mine to envision, it is mine to turn and twirl within the appearance itself.

How can I see what I am in the happiness of what is being itself?

What-is, being-itself: this, this, this is the appearance of  -- b o d y m i n d / m i n d b o d y  -- in and through and with the One Sustaining Gaze that is life in this place we call existence.

Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

sit with this

Silence, the face of God, is what we gaze on without knowing.

If so, perhaps faith is the willingness to look.

The truly faithful see this.