Monday, May 25, 2015


As I drove north from Maryland and Delaware into Pennsylvania to New Jersey on Saturday afternoon, up ahead, some distance of miles and luck of the draw, John Nash and his wife were ending their lives in an automobile crash at interchange 8a of route 95 only a matter of distance from the car I drove, and I, oblivious but for distance, was not near the accident.

What was called a beautiful mind went off into an uncharted theorem free of body and mind.

We ate Chinese food with Maria.

Maria is 87.

Nash was 86.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The true beauty of your life

Sunday stillness sitting with arisen yet invisible reality dressed in transparency.

Everything seen is unseeable. Everything unseen is yet-to-be presenced.

The elderly couple know these words.

One unseeably nearing the beyond; one presenced in lazy boy meditation on other side of sliding door.

(--from,  Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life, by Taro Gold)

Wood birdhouse swings gently in light breeze.

Anybody home?

We all are.

Meadowbrook Rd, Lower Gwynedd, PA, Sunday Morning

Sitting where
Tom sat
Maria sits
lovely two

Saturday, May 23, 2015

why look anywhere else

The search for God is God.

Friday, May 22, 2015

steady as she goes

We stay present


when absence


so much

1. Re(mind)er: No Friday evening practice; 2. No(tice): an important pedagogical clarification

1: Re(mind)er:
Meetingbrook practice this week will be taking place in Maryland environs.
If you are practicing in Camden Maine (or elsewhere) we will be joining you in heart and mind.
Our regular practice in Camden will resume on Tuesday 26may.


2: No(tice):
In addition, after repeated misappellate pronunciations sent my direction, I must clarify what some people (viz, prison inmate, then hospital patient) who have been addressing me as 'doctor' need to know when they say 'doctor.'

Here is my positive correction. If you would like to call me doctor, please understand the correct situation of context. Here is my credential: NiDN.

NiDN stands for: Nulla il Dottore Niente (or: 'Nothing the Doctor of Nothing.')

From years of studying Absolute Nihility, Emptiness, Shunysta, and No Way via Wu-Wei, I have arrived at a particular and peculiar learning degree equivalent to a PhD but without the fuss, fancy, and fantasy so associated.

As grateful decipient of this non/neo academic NiDN feather-in-cap honor in the field of Autodidallocism, I will continue to engage in self-learning through others. Which, in itself, is a legerdemainic enterprise in that -- there is no other. Hence, as the 13th century sage master Dogen Zenji put it:

"To study the Way 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 remove the barriers between one's self and others."  (source)

There now -- that's now settled!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Prayer is

acceptance of

What Is

taking place

with grace

Maryland hospital cafeteria haiku

Sitting with doctors
at lunch
Clean hands


Younger man
stands at table
Older man eats greens


Nurse in burgundy
reads thick book
Halfway through


Applause from kitchen
serving area
Everybody remembers


Woman in green
rain jacket
Unscrews thermos cup

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do your best when there's nothing better to do

Is there ever a time when mind and heart do not long to find rest in what is true and kind?

And so, we look and continue to listen. 
Despite our impatience. 
Which will pass.
As all things do.
"In the West, there are many who approach Buddhism primarily intellectually. In the East, many approach it primarily as a tradition—part of their cultural heritage. Yes, Buddhism contains immensely profound and complex intellectual information. Yes, it is an important cultural tradition in many Eastern civilizations. However, Buddhism’s true gift is that it teaches us to learn and experience the true characteristics and the nature of our mind and the world, as they are. Through meditations like those on lovingkindness, compassion, devotion, and wisdom, Buddhism trains us to improve our mind in how we think, communicate, and act with others and the external world. If our mind becomes wholesome, then our vocal and physical activities will become sources of peace and benefit for ourselves and others. This life will be happier, as will the next. Ultimately, through proper meditation, we will be liberated from the suffering of samsara."
(--from, Don't Get Stuck in Neutral Meditation is more than a respite—it's a chance to overcome our afflictions. By Tulku Thondup)
Returning back to hotel last night, phone call comes that I've got another task -- to bring food to woman in distress and pain (and hunger) in hospital I'd just left after visiting hours ended for the night.

She requests takeout from lounge downstairs. I do so. Handoff to Saskia outside emergency room. Drive the round trip. Back in room, salad and water. Chocolate cookie.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rrring! Trying to unring?

When you think you're done, you're not.

Any questions?

Note: concerning this week's practice

Meetingbrook practice this week will be taking place in Maryland environs.
If you are practicing in Camden Maine (or elsewhere) we will be joining you in heart and mind.
Our regular practice in Camden will resume on Tuesday 26may.

Of a long day's ride

Rain ferocity as we approached outskirts of Washington, D.C. 

No idea how tires stayed on road.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

la nuit dernier

This is the last thing
I want
To say

Leads to

God's name


"Literature is the original Internet" (MP)

Please: (defined as "cause to feel happy and satisfied.")

Prayer? Or intellectual life as spiritual survival?
MARIA POPOVA: You know, we never see the world exactly as it is. We see it as we hope it will be or we fear it might be. And we spend our lives going through a sort of modified stages of grief about that realization. And we deny it, and then we argue with it, and we despair over it. But eventually — and this is my belief — that we come to see it, not as despairing, but as vitalizing. 
We never see the world exactly as it is because we are how the world is.            
(Maria Popova, from radio show, On Being)
How delightful her work and our reading of it.

Stewarding culture and seeing soul.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

not-yet awareness

Of course.
The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be
(--opening lyrics of "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen)
 Nothing like it.


Monastic chanting fellow creatures.

Life is profound if you’re awake to see it. It’s one thing to draw from culture, it’s another thing to be drawn so deeply into the culture that your true nature disappears. Wisdom is not merely something to be gained with old age. One can be wise in every stage of one’s life. To manifest wisdom means simply to step back and see—to reflect, inquire, be aware, be disciplined, and be focused not once in a while, but all of the time, moment to moment. This life is precious and fleeting. Pay attention.
(--from, The Examined Life, An English professor and Zen monk addresses his students at the end of the semester. BySeido Ray Ronci)
(Arrives day after posting grades.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

What are poets for

We do not all live in the same world. We live in different world spaces. That's what the guy at library giving talk on postmodern philosophy said last night,

He might be right. 

Living in different worlds asks for passports of a kind unthought of yet.

We wonder -- is there life in different worlds?

If we get to different world, would we be able to find way home?

We come in peace. Bring us to your leader.

Stop carefully.

This is holy ground.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Karma is the reverberation of nonduality

What's that sound?

It's nothing.

Pay no mind.

Who shall I say you are? Tell them I am gone. An ascension haiku

Incidence invites co-incidence. Four of us in Panikkar Conversation Wohnkuche for tea yesterday afternoon. Jory will fly to France today. Sarah in DownEast Maine for light of morning lauds. And at meetingbrook a quiet reflection on who anyone is ... becoming, on this feast of ascending Christic emptiness, a silent gaze, an appearing disappearance within name unpronounced.
Antra spoke about how relationship is the ground of love and becoming, and I whooped in agreement! Yes, relationship is the Holy Between where humanity, creation and divinity meet. I shared the image of a painting that I have behind my studio computer in Northampton, one that I bought from a Tlingit artist on Vancouver Island years ago. It features a man/eagle, whose face is man on the right and eagle on the left. Behind him is a dark British Columbian forest, standing silently beneath a full moon. The four of us shared this vision, that if humans are to survive the current devastation of nature, we must morph into one another and morph into the living presence of other creatures. We are all just who we are, in particular, and as we become more and more who we are, we are becoming each other :-) 
(--Robert A. Jonas, from, Radiant Light, A CaringBridge Journal,  in "The Empty Bell", 2014,
Is this the resonance of ascension? That we are lifted out of separation (viz, death) and sounded into resplendent yet unfathomable life? Where all specificity remains specific, and attachment detaches and drifts off into resting seeing what is there as what is there?

We begin again.

Form finding oneself morphing into formless Itself.

Chickadee on cut roof wire, temporarily, hanging outside window.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

From 1st Vespers, Feast of the Ascension

GoneGone. Gone beyond.

Ant. 3 
No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven, alleluia.


Today’s violence, yesterday

The headline:

MOVE Bombing at 30: "Barbaric" 1985 Philadelphia Police Attack Killed 11 & Burned a Neighborhood

13th of month, 3 children, Portugal

What happened there?
Our Lady of Fátima
This feast commemorates the visions of Our Lady seen near Fátima in Portugal in 1917 by three shepherd children, Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The visions occurred on the 13th day of each month from May to October, and by October huge crowds were gathering at the site of the visions and reporting visions and miraculous occurrences themselves.
    Pope John Paul II was devoted to Our Lady of Fátima and attributed his survival of an assassin’s bullet on 13 May 1981 to her intervention. Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who died in the great Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919-20, were beatified on 13 May
(--from Universalis)
How do we look at what we look at now?  

What new sense

Yes. Something from Thomas Merton's poetry:

On the Contemplative Vocation

Why do you fly from the drowned shores of Galilee, 
From the sands and the lavender water? 
Why do you leave the ordinary world, Virgin of Nazareth, 
The yellow fishing boats, the farms, 
The winesmelling yards and low cellars 
Or the oilpress, and the women by the well? 
Why do you fly those markets, 
Those suburban gardens, 
The trumpets of the jealous lilies, 
Leaving them all, lovely among the lemon trees?

You have trusted no town 
With the news behind your eyes. 
You have drowned Gabriel's word in thoughts like seas 
And turned toward the stone mountain 
To the treeless places. 
Virgin of God, why are your clothes like sails?

The day Our Lady, full of Christ, 
Entered the dooryard of her relative 
Did not her steps, light steps, lay on the paving leaves 
like gold?
Did not her eyes as grey as doves 
Alight like the peace of a new world upon that house, upon 
miraculous Elizabeth?

Her salutation 
Sings in the stone valley like a Charterhouse bell: 
And the unborn saint John 
Wakes in his mother's body, 
Bounds with the echoes of discovery.

Sing in your cell, small anchorite! 
How did you see her in the eyeless dark? 
What secret syllable 
Woke your young faith to the mad truth 
That an unborn baby could be washed in the Spirit of God?
Oh burning joy!

What seas of life were planted by that voice! 
With what new sense 
Did your wise heart receive her Sacrament, 
And know her cloistered Christ?

You need no eloquence, wild bairn, 
Exulting in your hermitage. 
Your ecstasy is your apostolate, 
For whom to kick is contemplata tradere
Your joy is the vocation of Mother Church's hidden children - 
Those who by vow lie buried in the cloister or the hermitage; 
The speechless Trappist, or the grey, granite Carthusian, 
The quiet Carmelite, the barefoot Clare, Planted in the night of 
contemplation, Sealed in the dark and waiting to be born.

Night is our diocese and silence is our ministry 
Poverty our charity and helplessness our tongue-tied 
Beyond the scope of sight or sound we dwell upon the air 
Seeking the world's gain in an unthinkable experience. 
We are exiles in the far end of solitude, living as listeners 
With hearts attending to the skies we cannot understand: 
Waiting upon the first far drums of Christ the Conqueror, 
Planted like sentinels upon the world's frontier.

But in the days, rare days, when our Theotokos 
Flying the prosperous world 
Appears upon our mountain with her clothes like sails, 
Then, like the wise, wild baby, 
The unborn John who could not see a thing 
We wake and know the Virgin Presence 
Receive her Christ into our night 
With stabs of an intelligence as white as lightning.

Cooled in the flame of God's dark fire 
Washed in His gladness like a vesture of new flame 
We burn like eagles in His invincible awareness 
And bound and bounce with happiness, 
Leap in the womb, our cloud, our faith, our element, 
Our contemplation, our anticipated heaven 
Till Mother Church sings like an Evangelist.

(--Poem by Thomas Merton)

I recall Daniel Berrigan saying Merton needed a good editor. We all do. But it's the raw stuff, unpolished, that points out what is close to sense before mind.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shunryu Suzuki on Zazen

See what you might come across!
“What is true zazen? What do you mean by Zen becomes Zen and you become you? You become you is a very important point. You become you. When you become you, even though you are in bed, you may not be you most of the time. Even though you are sitting here, I wonder whether you are you in its true sense. So to be you is zazen.” 
“So it is not a matter of whether it is possible to attain Buddhahood, or if it is possible to make a tile a jewel. But just to work, just to live in this world with this understanding is the most important point, and that is our practice. That is true zazen.” 
“So I say, ‘Oh, I am sorry but soon you will see the bright sunrise every morning and beautiful sunset in the evening, every evening, but right now perhaps you…under your situation it may be impossible to see the beautiful sunset or bright sunrise, or beautiful flower in your garden, and it is impossible to take care of your garden, but soon you will see the beauty of the flowers and you will cut some flowers for your room.’ When you start to do this kind of thing you are alright. Don’t worry a bit. It means when you become you, yourself, and when you see things as they are, and when you become at one with your surrounding, in its true sense, there is true self.” 
(--found on The Daily Zen site,
Even as first Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) greets day.

Twenty billion habitable worlds in the universe, suggests astronomer Chris Impey (author of "Beyond")

atop Mt Battie
two days gone
as is fog
by now

Monday, May 11, 2015

wary trust

All the slings forces of long pressing snow
Could not dissuade these tulips from spring's annual show

Like warriors hidden as oppressive weight fell
Emerging from tunnel their hibernating tale tell

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Seven bells.

The day with morning practice and evening practice bookending turkey dinner meetingbrook-style with harmonica and flute following, was summer hot ending with Longmire episodes at end.

I sat in pickup topping Mt Battie reading final essays from course as fog slid over surface water on Penobscot Bay between Camden and Lincolnville.

We read from Mother Prajnaparamita at table.

Phoebes build nest over chapel/zendo window above wooden walkway,

Saturday, May 09, 2015

whether reports; weather reticently

You might say pay no attention to the grunting mind foraging for descriptives to vent frustration over fomenting failures of the world to fit into our conceptions of what it is actually about.
Our hearts and minds change from moment to moment, just as the clouds shift in the evening sky as the sun goes down. Who are we to think we have grasped the true nature of our souls? The Buddha-mind within us will not be constrained by the limits of language.
-- Abbess Fushimi, "Shedding Light" (Tricycle)
 If there is only Mind, and if my mind is merely the specific local expression of this Whole Mind, then Buddha-mind is awakened specificity of sparse articulation of seamless elocution barely faintly sounding as simple serene stillness.

So little need be said. The gift seems to be unsaying before speech what my mind threatens with breath to satisfy some primal reactive impulse aimed at cutting away or eliminating the perceived trespass against "my" self and its huffy projection.





De-word that breath! Let it free without vibration of sound or squiggle of ink.

Look into this.

Look again.

This is looking into itself.




Now, when there's nothing left to say or write, say it, write it.

What lovely clouds!

Friday, May 08, 2015

About that red clown nose

Let's say there's no one here. And that so much of our interaction is silliness. 

Especially pretending importance of being here.

It's what we do.

The silliness.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

One and one are not two

The history of war is the story of dualistic thinking.

We near the end of war.

Comes, quietly, nondualism.

Mind this arrival.

Of true thinking.

Doris sends this; opening poem final class

Variation On A Theme By Rilke 
                               (The Book of Hours, Book I, Poem 1, Stanza 1)

A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me -- a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day's blow
rang out, metallic -- or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.

(Poem by Denise Levertov
From, Breathing the Water)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Herewith ends East Asian Philosophy class with Kabir

I won’t come
       BY KABIR

I won’t come
I won’t go
I won’t live
I won’t die

I’ll keep uttering
The name
And lose myself
In it

I’m bowl
And I’m platter
I’m man
And I’m woman

I’m grapefruit
And I’m sweet lime
I’m Hindu
And I’m Muslim

I’m fish
And I’m net
I’m fisherman
And I’m time

I’m nothing
Says Kabir
I’m not among the living
Or the dead

(--Source: Poetry, March 2011).

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

5:05AM, 5/05/15


Five words

A world itself

Monday, May 04, 2015

simplicity, boundless

Oh, the full moon
Rising as we 
During practice
Last night
With Mother 
Seen by Lex

Was the resurrection
Awareness of 
From death from birth
As one 
Moving through
without limit?

Sunday, May 03, 2015

know this, unknow everything else

Wisdom attend!
Second reading
1 John 3:18-24

My children,
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active;
only by this can we be certain
that we are children of the truth
and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
(-- from Readings at Mass, 3May15 
Violence doesn't work. It might effect harm. But it doesn't work. It punishes. But it doesn't work.

"God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything." God knows what we do not know. And what is that? God knows that we don't know, and yet, still, the ground of love is underfoot and spread wide around us.

So, "if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence" -- suggests non-dual absence of other. Our conscience clear, presence of God. Conscience not clear, we are not there where God is.

"We know that he lives in us." God the unknown is the knowing that unknowing is essential to life as knowing is useful to building and repairing the structures necessary to permit life to continue to express itself.

"We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us."

Spirit sees.

And seeing, forgives what is allowed by humans in the world of knowing obduracy.

Du mußt dein Leben ändern! (Rilke)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Friday, May 01, 2015

maximum security

The scar from throat to ear told a story hard to hear. 

But he lived to walk that story into the room.

It's not an easy place to live.

The realm of mere fact.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

War is a currency that buys lies and liars


The defeated United States final run away from Vietnam.

The lies of war.


umwelt, shunyata

where we are, is who we are.