Friday, August 23, 2019

open hearted

On porch

Conversation —

Friday evening

Summer cooling

Thursday, August 22, 2019

get rid of it

What to do with cynicism?

In others: fight it.

In myself: look more closely at my fears and resentments.

Cynicism cannot abide.

by your lonesome

Friend’s wife died a recluse thirteen years after his death. He’d had a private service. She’d had no service.

Sounds right, in a lonely sort of way.

Fact is, alone is alone, no matter how crowded you try to make it.

Somehow this matters nine years and twenty two years later.

No hermit wants company.

Everybody’s already with you when you’re by your lonesome.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

behind bamboo slats

cross in morning

sun leafy birdsong

burning through fog

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

face looked through, for Dennis

What evil doesn’t realize is good is everybody’s business.
Drega instead stood over Dennis as he had Scott Phillips. “You should’ve minded your own fucking business,” he said. Holding the rifle as if it were a pistol, he drilled, in rapid succession, four bullets into Dennis’s back. Then he changed the ammo clip on his rifle in motions that struck Susan as “very controlled, well practiced.”
(Excerpt from: "In the Evil Day: Violence Comes to One Small Town" by Richard Adams Carey. Scribd.)
Whereas evil is narrow, secluded, cowering, and very very lonely in its execution and thinking, it fears good, yet cannot be rid of it.

Twenty two years ago yesterday Scott, Les, Vickie, and Dennis were shot and killed in Colebrook NH by a man entrapped by evil.

When someone acts and believes that they alone control the fate of others, we see the face of evil in that person's face.


Be frightened with such a sight.

But when someone sees the good of others intermixed with one's own good, making no act nor holding no belief that excludes, eliminates, or deprives another nor anyone from compassion or inclusion — we look into the face of good, our face is looked through with good.


Thank you Dennis.

Good be on you!

Monday, August 19, 2019

library named for a friend closes

“Poor is the nation that has no heroes; shameful the nation, that having, forgets.” (on plaque in library dedicated to Dennis Joos) 
STEWARTSTOWN — Saying there has been “little to no use” of it in recent years, voters at Town Meeting on Tuesday agreed to close the Dennis Joos Memorial Library, which is named after a hero-victim of the 1997 mass murder in nearby Colebrook.  (New Hampshire Union Leader, 15mar19)
 The new version of library, Scribd, I'm surprised to find, has the book In the Evil Day: Violence Comes to One Small Town, By Richard Adams Carey.   (2015)

So this will be my day. Dennis, I recall, is the second schoolmate (that I know of) to be shot and killed. Bob Coles was killed in Mexico on a beach in the late 1970s trying to stop someone from stealing his backpack. Then Dennis, newspaper editor, trying to stop a man with a gun who killed two law enforcement officers, a lawyer, and him.

The morning mutes.

I read.

And remember the stories Dennis wrote in 1963-64 in the Franciscan college alongside the Delaware River.

Somewhere, in some box, piled on by other boxes, in a hallway, some pages, yellowed and creased, no doubt buried deep, 
sleeping words, a Joos story, hibernates.  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

asking now not i

When did I become a contemplative mendicant?

About the time the Staten Island ferry from Brooklyn across gave way to the 13august59 beginning of the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which was opened on 21nov64

High school wasn’t early enough. More likely, without knowing it, it was the early days of being an altar boy in Grammer School, at 6:30am mass at st a’s between 61st and 62nd street. The early mid-50’s bicycling the variegated ten blocks in the quiet of early morning, the choreographed movements at foot of altar, the words in Latin/English, the incomprehensible meaning of the ritual, the gestures, the transsubstantiated  simplicity of wafer and wine into cosmic mythological-theological integrality. A not yet teenager wandering within a philosophical metaphysic intersecting human personality and spiritual esoteric hermeneutical emptiness — while cycling my Schwinn past Denny Chin’s Hand Laundry, Stein’s Deli, PS 205, 20th Avenue BMT Sea Beach line station, John Lazarus’ and Howie Ablin’s houses. The Brooklyn Dodgers hadn’t been shanghied yet. 

That’s where, I suspect, it began.

ALL SAYING MUST BE BALANCED BY UNSAYING, and knowing must be humbled by unknowing. Without this balance, religion invariably becomes arrogant, exclusionary, and even violent. 
ALL LIGHT MUST BE INFORMED BY DARKNESS, and all success by suffering. St. John of the Cross called this Luminous Darkness, St. Augustine, the Paschal Mystery or the necessary Passover, and Catholics proclaim it loudly as the mystery of faith at every Eucharist. Yet it is seldom an axiom at the heart of our lives. 
  The early but learned pattern of dualistic thinking can get us only so far; so all religions at the more mature levels have discovered another “software” for processing the really big questions, like death, love, infinity, suffering, and God. Many of us call this access “contemplation.” It is a nondualistic way of seeing the moment. Originally, the word was simply “prayer.”
Excerpt from: "The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See" by Richard Rohr. Scribd. Read this book on Scribd.:
The sewer tops, the curb-side cars, the wooden steps, the silence of journeying through porous realms of reason and mythology, the corn muffins and egg creams, Daily News and Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
Harold Tribune and The Tablet, Tommy my first boss, the vacant lot with infield stones we played baseball on Saturday mornings. All of it a surreal fog of nescience and wonder spanning then til now faces and names forming what looks back looking out, birdsong and lawnmower, mountains and passing cars, han and shikentaza, coffee and psalms, this Sunday morning.

The interior life took root.

I think I asked for it. It separated me out. I looked into distances. I knew nothing.





Saturday, August 17, 2019

the real expression of itself

“I” doesn’t care for “you.”

If there is only care...

No”I” and no “you” — no duality to confirm Descartes’ speculation that mind and matter — the thinking thing and the extensive thing — can never connect or reach each other, then what are we left with?

We are left with reality as it is.

As it is? Does reality care?

There is nothing outside of reality. Even illusion is a distortion of reality from the inside.

Thus, “I” cannot care for “you.”

Rather, care resides as reality resides, as, with, through itself.

Thus, if we do not care, we are living illusory or unreal lives.

In truth, to be real is to care.

To care is to be the real expression of itself.

Of oneself. Not the self. Oneself.

What remains if subjects and objects are taken away?

What is gone? Gone? Gone beyond? Gone completely beyond?

Is there a willingness to wake up...

And see?

Friday, August 16, 2019

no object; reflective action

Ask me

If I care

I will tell you

I don’t care.

Ask me if I will help

Someone suffering

I will say, yes, I will.

Caring is not a state of being.

Caring is right now being aware of,

And serving, someone needing help.

I don’t care for you.

I am


And I am

Has no object.

Only reflective action.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

assumption (הנחה) day

Here is my assumption: one is present with, (יהוה).

We will slowly come to see when we begin to be, completely, one with one's wholeness (שלום).

Becoming, (הופך), what we are.

one is present with, יהוה


What does it mean to be assumed into heaven?

I assume, if there is some heaven beyond my comprehension, these three women are there.


Because they just might be where they were when they were walking this earth.

Where once you are when you are there, so forever are you where you are when you are there.

If heaven is where God is, and God is where one is present, then one is in heaven and in God when one is present where one is.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

off watch

Red squirrel
Comes off mountain
Wanting on bird-feeder

I cannot permit
As long as I look —
This trespass

what is looking out

Your language is silence. No wonder we do not hear you.

Morning sunlight through green leaves. An old tree beyond unwired fence post. And stillness. Everything in place. You sound yourself and there is nothing to hear but silence. You move with profound slowness and all we see is stillness. 

We, on the other hand, are noisy and bustling. It is our way. Saying so much yet hardly nearing truth. Moving so fast yet seldom arriving anywhere near peace.

You move with the breeze, shadows of leaves sweeping zendo floor raising no dust. You return to stillness and stone on rug is forever just touching surface rippling.

We think we are born and think we die but know nothing of the apparent two edges of life. In this instant there is no birth no death and we still know nothing but do not know what we know.

You are edgeless. I am all boundary. You are the empty pause between sound. I am the chattering of squirrels when protesting their inconvenience.

In the solitude of silence and stillness...everyone is here, aren’t they?

There is nowhere to go, is there?

There’s nothing to see, is there?

There’s no one asking these questions, is there?

I don’t know if I am looking out at the green and sunlight or if what is the inside of everything is emptying itself from within to show what is looking out from the center of everything.

When I began this I was going to quote Micah. Here it is:
From the book of the prophet Micah  The nations go up to the mountain of the Lord  
Thus says the Lord: In days to come the mount of the Lord’s house Shall be established higher than the mountains; it shall rise high above the hills, And peoples shall stream to it: Many nations shall come, and say, “Come, let us climb the mount of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, that we may walk in his paths.”For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between many peoples and impose terms on strong and distant nations; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. Every man shall sit under his own vine or under his own fig tree, undisturbed; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.   
For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, But we will walk in the name of the Lord, our God, forever and ever. On that day, says the Lord, I will gather the lame, And I will assemble the outcasts, and those whom I have afflicted. I will make of the lame a remnant, and of those driven far off a strong nation; And the Lord shall be king over them on Mount Zion, from now on forever.  (Micah 4, 1)
To walk “in the name of the Lord” is to wander through no name, everywhere, where time is not.

At this, little remains to do, little has been done, little is what we are.

There is the returning to inside of everything. There is this pilgrimage to allow the passage.

As the mouth of the Lord of host speaks.

Nothing, all of this, is heard.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

today is a good day

some get told they have six months to live

some look to left as truck hits car

the rest of us never know

so, in zazen, we die daily

Monday, August 12, 2019


Where do they all come from? Where do they all go?

Zen people say there is no birth. They say there is no death.

And yet they are here. And each one will soon enough leave.



             (for “tutti quanti”)

Former tennis opposent

Another set

A different court

...   ...   ...

(On learning of a death. Last match 42 years ago)

Sunday, August 11, 2019

andirivieni, coming and going

Why not admit that there are enemies?

I have in mind those that can be called, and actually are, enemies.*

I know many of their names. I find it difficult to love them.
The language of enemies is seen as the end of a conversation—or the end of relationship. 
We assume everyone is doing their best, or failing on some things but not everything, or that people are cogs in a complex machine over which they have little control. We let systemic oppression be the problem. When we see others hurt, when we encounter people enacting terror on their neighbors, we assume they are simply misguided. 
Yet Christians follow scriptures in which enemies are named with clarity and vigor. The third chapter of Luke begins by naming the names of the tormentors of the Jews of the first century: Emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate, and Herod. Right up front we are introduced to the full swath of political actors who oppress and terrorize the common people of Judea. 
Tiberius was the emperor known for his extreme paranoia and wrath that spread like a disease across his territories. Pontius Pilate, the prefect of Judea, executed political enemies without trial and was infamous for his bribes and insults. Herod Antipas imprisoned and executed his enemies over personal slights. 
Luke sets the scene for the gospel in a tyrannical, volatile, and oppressive political climate. And he wants us to know who is in charge, who makes this repression possible. He doesn’t reduce the problem to “good people who do bad things.” He doesn’t blame systems. He names enemies.
(--from, THE FORGOTTEN CHRISTIAN DISCIPLINE OF LOVING YOUR ENEMIESIf you're going to love your enemies, you need to know who they are.  BY MELISSA FLORER-BIXLER, Sojourners, sept-oct 2019)
They don't want to have a conversation with me. My silence is uncertain it wants to break for them even if they did.

I used to sit with a man who was on Nixon's enemies list. There was a leftover pride he and his family felt even four decades later.

My enemy seems self-driven and self-absorbed. (When I think of self, the word anattā arises.)

My enemy seems fixed and stuck in an unyielding opinion about Browns and Blacks, Muslims and Democrats, Women and Humility. (When I think of unshakable opinions and unrelenting prejudice, the word anicca arises.

My enemy seems unaware of the harm and consternation, fear and cynicism, disheartened apathy following in his (their) wake as they roil and rant in demeaning depredation. (When I think of this behavior, the word dukkha arises.)

There are men and women who are my enemies. You know their names.
And yet, in turn, these enemies have characteristics that don't exactly have faces, they are three poisons --greed, aversion, delusion.
The three poisons (Sanskrit: triviṣa; Tibetan: dug gsum) or the three unwholesome roots (Sanskrit: akuśala-mūla; Pāli: akusala-mūla), in Buddhism, refer to the three root kleshas of Moha (delusion, confusion), Raga (greed, sensual attachment), and Dvesha (aversion).[1][2] These three poisons are considered to be three afflictions or character flaws innate in a being, the root of Taṇhā (craving), and thus in part the cause of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and rebirths.[1][3].    (Wikipedia) 
Last night while sitting in vigil with a man just deceased I thought about how, in one final instant, all the things that were carried to that moment -- medical issues, mental concerns, emotional worries, financial depletion, spousal surprise at sudden turn, the labored agonal respiration -- just fell away, and quiet stillness, what some call peaceful resting, others call death of the body, and yet others might call the mysterious disappearance.


**The coming and going -- of, in, and through -- this life.

Can we, can I, love this?

All of it?

...   ...   ...

plural noun: enemies
  1. a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
    synonyms:foeadversaryopponentrivalnemesisantagonistcombatantchallengercompetitor, opposer, hostile party; More
    • a hostile nation or its armed forces or citizens, especially in time of war.
      noun: the enemy

      "the enemy shot down four helicopters"

    • a thing that harms or weakens something else.

      "routine is the enemy of art"

no click nor clack

havahart traps

wide open unbaited —

no one wants to travel

stumbling into a crowded page

all the bright lights

the sounds of accomplishment

not here --

red cardinal and yellow finch

Saturday, August 10, 2019

eating pretzels before dinner

I sat with him and wife for an hour

I stepped out when someone came to visit

I sat with him in silence after he died —

He came back to snow bowl to walk a while

Friday, August 09, 2019

my wish is for all of you

Friends gathered at Friday Evening Conversation

We conversed

The simple loveliness of it

seeking to experience what is hidden

He is sitting as if in dokusan as we arrive next to a fellow practitioner, across from a Theravadan visitor who has not been this way in a year.

The yogin man who welcomes we pilgrims said he is fashioning his own monastery paradigm for the next twenty six years. It includes meditation, personal study, healing groups for men, graduate studies, meaningful conversation, a mixture of solitary and communal time, the work of being human.

He sorrows that a mentor teacher is no longer available to mentor and teach in his monastery.

He welcomes itinerant visitors. Shares his work, his thinking, his life.

These are not easy times for monastics like him -- unaffiliated, ronin within enclosure, wandering sanyassin in a vast empty and thick land of human diversity.

He greets us as our paths cross.

We speak. We sit in silence. Walking meditation once around. We read together.

And end, an embrace. It is what is taken away.

In the prison parking lot, Rokie shakes, now off-leash, and looks for a stick to chase.

We take to the road again.


Our community.

Their cloistered place, yearning for stability, mendicants for donations of presence.

Disappearing down the road at border of Warren and Cushing, we turn left, then right, then left.

shizen ichimi

Minstrel friend from somewhere in her wandering sends greetings yesterday reminding that we had the words “shizen ichimi” inside our small storeroom/toilet/ back entrance to our once bookshop/bakery on the harbor in Camden.

I’d forgotten.   I’m grateful, schooner Susan (there were 6+ regular Susans), for your recollection.
Shizen ichimi, an old Zen saying asserts: “Poetry and Zen are one.” And in the poems of Jane Hirshfield (b. 1953), a leading American poet and longtime Zen practitioner, that adage is borne out in concrete images and recurrent themes. Such is the case in this elegant poem, which hangs on a wall in our home:  
 A Cedary Fragrance
Even now,
decades after,
I wash my face with cold water – 
Not for discipline,
nor memory,
nor the icy, awakening slap,
but to practice
to make the unwanted wanted.

by Jane Hirshfield, from Given Sugar, Given Salt, 2001
In these lines Hirshfield examines a daily ritual: splashing cold water on her face in the early-morning hours. In so doing, she also articulates several core principles of Zen practice.  
(—199. Making the unwanted wanted, 22 March 2018 by Ben Howard)
They are,

You know —


aujourd'hui encore

It's not almost


It is



It's today

all over


Thursday, August 08, 2019

in pace, secundum verbum tuum

To my mother and father,
and their parents,
and hundreds of ancestors

before them —
my gratitude for this
appearance of three

quarters of a century
on a rainy morning
in Maine

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

over the distance

A Boston Globe opinion writer asked Does Trump have even one redeeming quality?

One response:
No, he might not.
A time will come, somewhere down the road, when we will feel sorry for this president. His name will be mentioned and heads will slowly shake, as if trying to retrieve some quality that will redeem his memory. Eyes will look out over the distance and see only moral rubble and broken reputations where Republicans once stood.
I suspect it's no big deal having flaws. What is a big deal is denial and doubling down with defensive arrogance that demeans everyone perceived as responsible for your miserable character.
We'll feel a twinge of sorrow for him.
Sip coffee.
Then we'll go and do our chores.
There is the confessional, the therapist's office, and the barstool.

For the melancholy among us, there is Mizuta Masahide (1657-1723):
Since my house burned down 
I now own a better view 
of the rising moon 
What will we see when we look out over the distance?

Tuesday, August 06, 2019


It's the way nature presents itself.

Without explanation. Without words.
Alone in mountain fastness,
Dozing by the window.
No mere talk uncovers Truth:
The fragrance of those garden plums!
- Bankei (1622–1693) (Dailyzen)
Emerging, warmth of afternoon, between worlds

Truth goes its own way disappearing into green...


how see through transfigured existence

The very odd synchronous falling together of the Feast of The Transfiguration  and the first of two nuclear weapons used on civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict. (Wikipedia)
Seventy four years ago.

The terror of it!

Then, in the story of a man being transfigured to show through his visage the infinite resemblances of each creature, each being, each reality as if through a spiritual holographic collage wherein the viewer experiences a hierophany of all that is real and true and full of compassionate light.
So similar to the Bhagavad-Gita where Krishna transfigures before Arjuna. No doubt a terrifying experience.

Warfare pragmatism, or, spiritual awakening? Two ways of showing through.
Transfiguration by Peter Paul Rubens, (Public Domain)
Would that transfiguration would overcome nuclear murder and devastation as our preference and goal.

I row this morning. There was fog. There was quiet. It has been a while since I rowed Rockport Harbor.

It was my morning prayer for a day of ambivalent moral and religious choices placed before us -- divisive hatred versus fierce compassion.

Terror exists.

Peace exists.

Let us choose well how to see this through! 

How to see through this.

Monday, August 05, 2019

livid chagrin

How is it that no official persons in the United States government have the authority or power to initiate and carry out the removal of Donald Trump from the office of president.

There is no doubt his rhetoric, belief, and antipathy to people of color and the majority of Americans point out his inadequacy and dangerous ideology that threatens the very continuation of our democratic republic.

I am chagrined, angry, and livid.

This must end.

Very soon.


as the continuous coming-to-end

Here's how we ended a proposal from meetingbrook:
Finally, so it is, and such as it is, we will continue — until such time as the continuous coming-to-end comes to us

here are some words

From Barack Obama on twitter:
View image on Twitter


I wish I could read James Comey’s words without hearing the blasting stereo sounds in my ears of his press conferences undermining Hilary Clinton’s final weeks before 2016 election.

His earnestness is welcome but his untimely poor judgment blocks the door. Like an ash and sackcloth supplicant at door of confessional his whispered mea culpas mute the necessary loud urgency of his insights into the man he put into the presidency. 

Tragic sincerity unhappily ushers cynical cruelty into places of prominent power. 

His insights are good. It’s just hard to thank the man who handed a loaded microphone to a trigger tongued serial liar orating intolerance and hate.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

abrazo la compasión.

Huegla! (Strike!)

Bastante! (Enough!)

Nada más! (No more!)

Stop the words, stop the work. What if we all said "We will not go to our jobs until this country pragmatically and humanely makes necessary decisions about assault weapons, baiting hate speech, and arrogant uncaring leaders in government who exacerbate division and intolerance."

Something real and radical has to be begun and done to communicate and convince that we Americans are, finally, finished with the patronizing apathy of those who can and must effectuate legislation and moral leadership to counter the excruciating sorrow and impotence of ordinary people to live safely and fearlessly.

Let's make our prayers actions. Let's make our thoughts an abrazo la compasión.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

this is what is

I wondered after practice this morning about the words by Elie Wiesel. (The content after sitting, and chanting, was about contemplation and The Cloud of Unknowing.) Wiesel's words came to me, "Man defines himself by what disturbs him. and not by what reassures him." And then, "God means movement and not explanation."(--from, Legends of Our Time, The Wandering Jew)

Leaving the chapel/zendo I wondered whether if we did not become disturbed we would not be defined. It felt clearer then, and not encumbered by the possible interpretation that not being disturbed suggested not caring about that which was disturbing.

If not disturbed, is an infinity stretched out as our very being? Or, are we meant to be disturbed (I certainly am) by things and actions that arise contrary and threatening to what we consider the proper or right or humane? Thus, disturbed, we become local, finite, defined.

If heaven is the infinite, down to earth is the definite.

I listened later to someone beginning to talk about his near-death experience:
"I assure you, the only thing you've ever really known is your own consciousness."
"Consciousness is primary and fundamental in the existence of this universe."
(--Eben Alexander III MD, A Neurosurgeon's Journey Through the Afterlife)
 As a Buddhist/Christian, ("You can't say that," said a Catholic priest zen master. "Yes, I can," I responded -- to his smile) -- I hold there is only awareness, or consciousness, or mind. The material world is a manifestation of mind, and, yes, real -- but not the fundamental reality. Which makes this existence dreamlike.
Will you take part in
My life, my love
That is my dream

Life is but a dream
It's what you make it
Always try to give
Don't ever take it
Life has it's music
Life has it's songs of love
(--The Harptones,  1955)
My grandmother used to tell me to mind my mother and father. 

To mind something, now, suggests I enter respectfully and attentively to the reality presenting itself. To go into it. To see it for what it is, as it is, where and when it is.

What, then, is "no-mind"?

When we chant The Heart Sutra we meditate on emptiness. 
Mushin, translated as “no-mind” or “empty mind”, is a state where the mind is not preoccupied by any thought or emotion. It is empty in the sense that it is unbiased, free and adaptable. Mushin is the essence of Zen; and a core princlple of Japanese martial arts. 
In Japan, there is an expression that goes: “mizu no kokoro” or “mind like water”. Mushin is like that, it is like the moon reflected on still water without any ripples and on it’s surface a perfect replica of the moon is reflected, like in a mirror. However, when there are other factors like wind that creates ripples, the image of the moon becomes distorted too. In other words, Mushin is the state when what you observe and what you are become one. The watcher and the watched become the same. When you have thoughts in your mind and your heart, everything is distorted. So you can understand everything and sense everything the way it really is, you have to be completely empty. 
Mushin cannot be grasped with the intellect; it must be experienced.
(--from, Mushin: The Mind Without Mind
So, too, this morning, William Menninger ocso told that only God knows our heart. Out intellect might be known by several entities, but our heart, our secret heart, is known only by God. And God is unknowable but by heart.

So, I ask, what disturbs me? That another gunman is shooting in an El Paso mall? That the government is losing interest in the people? That money is the only moral force is business and power?

I am, indeed, disturbed.

I choose the Ganz Allein. The wholly one. The completely alone. The entirely with. That which is through and through loving itself.

In prison yesterday a phase emerged from a reading: "We are afraid of being alone." And, yes, it strikes me that is what God is -- Being Alone.

It is the Shema. The Lord Alone. The Lord is One.

This is what God is!


Friday, August 02, 2019

fifty years later

 Old friends

need know nothing --

ganz allein

Thursday, August 01, 2019

rejoice the heart

What does God want?

If God is a transcendent and supreme being beyond imagination, what is wanted?

If "God" is the originary energetic impulse inherent in all manner of matter, is there some destination or goal wanted?
“If we would completely rejoice the heart of God, let us strive in all things to conform ourselves to his divine will. Let us not only strive to conform ourselves, but also to unite ourselves to whatever disposition God makes of us.”  (--Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Uniformity with God’s Will, 5)
  What disposition?
1.  a person's inherent qualities of mind and character.
2. the way in which something is placed or arranged, especially in relation to other things.
What is there within us? Inherent?

Or, what is somewhere else? Beyond?
Gazing up at 
The cherry blossoms in spring 
My mind is refreshed 
I can even forget  
The ups and downs of life. 
- Rengetsu (1791-1875). (Dailyzen) 
Either way, it comes down to what is.

It is August.

Time to thank all originators and perpetuators.

Pray to have the heart for it!

a near mortally wounded government

In fifteen months we'll be down to one Democrat candidate for president. 

Between now and then the current occupant of the white house will have exhausted the patience and decency of the greater population. He will either have withdrawn or been deemed utterly unreelectable. 

The Republican Party, damaged beyond recognition after having backed and made excuses for the aberrancy of their prior four years will be splintered into revisionist apologists or reeducated extremists. 

A Democrat will be elected. Who will that Democrat be? It doesn't matter. Whoever it is will be a triage president caring for a near mortally wounded government. 

I think there are hard years ahead.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

unitary reality

Listening is the sacrament of silence and forgiveness.
But I remembered once meeting the great humanistic psychotherapist Carl Rogers, who was the grandfather of a good friend. Later, I studied films of him working with patients. I noticed that he rarely spoke, but that his listening was so devout it drew out the truth from his clients like a healing salve. Something he had written had always stayed with me:

Before every session, I take a moment to remember my humanity. There is no experience that this man has that I cannot share with him, no fear that I cannot understand, no suffering that I cannot care about, because I too am human. No matter how deep his wound, he does not need to be ashamed in front of me. I too am vulnerable. And because of this, I am enough. Whatever his story, he no longer needs to be alone with it. This is what will allow his healing to begin.

Sharing our stories helps us to heal. Intuitively, I sensed that the greatest gift I could offer Travis in that moment was my undivided attention. Listening without judgment is probably the simplest, most profound way to connect. It is an act of love.

Excerpt from: "The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully" by Frank Ostaseski. Scribd.
Each of us is participatory in another’s actions.

Suggesting a deeper prospect of unitary reality.

creation spirituality


Hands and feet

Touch and travel




no love, no god

Does saving our soul mean preserving the life of God within and thus without?
Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.”
(—Ignatius of Loyola)
Is this what I have been missing?

Is God before and beyond us as that which is praised, reverenced, and served?

Saying it differently, is that which is praised, reverenced, and served — God?

Do I love God?

And not loving, there is no God?

No love, no God?

For me?

Is God that which is in the very act of praising, referencing, and serving?

Without which nothing else is?

Today is Ignatius’ feast day.

I greet this reality.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

vive la différence*

There is a nomadic quality to monads. Wandering away from home into a solitude that longs for home.

We created a motto for our hermitage:
Embodying the dwelling place of the Alone;
Stepping aside to make room for Another.
While looking toward intimacy with all things, all beings -- there is a non-attachment that is called for which some mistake for detachment.

They're not the same thing.

...   ...   ...

* (responding to David Brook's op ed piece, 29july2019)

reversing the blade at each turn

      For Sam Manning (d. 9july19)

sculling through narrow

dockage, Sam stood for passage

to smiling kindness