Saturday, March 23, 2019

will we come to see

When final breath is taken and released, what is it that occurs?

The particular form that we call "the body" becomes still and inanimate.

We sometimes say that the "soul" has left the body. Is that true?

Or has the body in its particular detectable form now become undetectable?

Yes, the particular form we've come to know lays still and unbreathing on the bed.

But where does the undetectable formless embodiment released from previous particular form go?

Has it become formless being?

Are our senses not capable to follow the diffused breath now exhaled and intermingled with every breath exhaled in the last 4.5 billion years of earth and the last 66 million years of man's tenancy?

Have we made the mistake of calculating the being of being and the being of particular beings as not of the same lineage?

When final exhalation of particular forms occurs, we are witnessing the continuation of wholeness in ways less and less observable.

Like the observation of silent shikantaza, we gaze at what is before us, seeing and unseeing.

By and by -- will we come to be what we see and unsee? 

Friday, March 22, 2019

ligatura naturans

We are.

Whatever distinction added afterward -- body, spirit, mind. soul. elements, matter, human, divine, reason, emotions -- merely follow.
In this article I propose a theory of the biological and embodied nature of religion. This theory rests upon two premises: (1) Human (and all animal) embodiment places a sentient organism in a meaningful environment, that is, correlates an autopoietic self with a meaningful environment; here meaning” entails both cognition and value, this latter involving some affect and an aesthetic dimension. (2) All human meanings are embodied, including cultural meanings based upon language. Thus, human beings are radically embodied. 
While these two claims stand undisputed among scholars working in em- bodied or enactive cognition,the impetus for this article is that many scholars of religion, as well many scholars in the wider academy, often ignore and often hold beliefs or assumptions that contradict the radical nature of our embodimenteven as they may engage the topic of the body.” Such contrary views ultimately rest on some version of mind-body dualism, which in turn rests upon a picture where humans can abscond from our bodies, including the language and traditions that are extensions of, indeed forms of, our embodiment, in hopes of reaching a God-like vision of reality. Sometimes this entails a narrow and discarnate focus on language. Kimerer LaMothe observes how many scholars of religion assume the primacy of the linguistic and ignore or subsume the bodily.Donovan Schaefer decries the following notion of the body influenced by the linguistic turnA body determined by languagea deanimalized bodyis a blank slate without preexisting affective dispositions.
(from, A Theory of the Embodied Nature of Religion*, David Nikkel / University of North Carolina at Pembroke 3 The Journal of Religion, 137-138)                                     
 It seems to me: To be is to be religious.

Whatever thought, belief, apprehension, or practice follows upon our being as and where we are, firstly we are.

Related and connected, we are.

Religiously.

Ligatura naturans.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

merely where I dwell

No longer thinking about god, God becomes all not thought about.

Walking up stairs, sitting in chair, sipping coffee, watching squirrel.

There is no other place to be; here is what is here.

Do I pray?

I look for nothing not here.

If someone asks for prayer, I say yes.

Do I think of Jesus? Only now does that question resonate.

At no other time does Jesus come to mind.

I glance within.

I see nothing there...

Just within itself.

Expanse beyond expanse, beyond awareness, within immense within.

Do not ask if I believe in God. I cannot answer that question.

I cannot answer because I cannot see beyond that question.

There is nothing I can say that would not sound absurd.

God is beyond belief.

God is this moment speaking. God is this moment coming to be.

I do not believe in this moment.

It is merely where I dwell.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

au printemps, turiya (तुरीय), venīte

It is possible we are becoming lost in victimhood.

Yes, those with money and power have ruled over those without money and power. And yes, the human race seems to be transmogrified into persons of personal opinion rather than persons of relatable rational thought and balanced emotional equanimity.

Universities, students and administration, seem intent on politically censuring or muffling different points of view, focusing on personal pique and social adumbration, rather than intelligent dialogue and dialectics fostering clear and response-inviting interactive conversation.
Blueprint” — and its theory about the evolutionary origins of virtue — became his balm. That’s clear in the book itself, which makes unmistakable allusions to the Yale ugliness. 
“I have seen the effects of overidentifying with one’s group and witnessed mass delusions up close,” he writes. He rues America’s intense polarization, which perhaps makes this “an odd time for me to advance the view that there is more that unites us than divides us.” But advance that view he does.  
His reasoning, oversimplified, is this: Complex societies are possible and durable only when people are emotionally invested in, and help, one another; we’d be living in smaller units and more solitary fashions if we weren’t equipped for such collaboration; and human thriving within these societies guarantees future generations suited to them.  Yes, there are hideous wars and horrid leaders. But if that were the sum of us, how to explain all the peace and progress? Christakis urges a wide angle and the long view.  
“To accept this belief that human beings are evil or violent or selfish or overly tribal is a kind of moral and intellectual laziness,” he told me. It also excuses that destructiveness. “The way to repair our torn social fabric is to say: Wait a minute, that’s not quite right.” 
He mentioned theodicy, which endeavors to vindicate God’s existence despite so much suffering. “Blueprint,” he said, is sociodicy: It tries “to vindicate society despites its failures.” 
A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On, By Frank Bruni, NYTimesMarch 19, 2019,)
It appears we are frightened. We are frightened by what we are. At core, in our 
metaphorical hearts, down to the bone.

We seem to be besieged by frightened men and women in high office who battle 
their demons on a powerful stage by projecting their fear and anger on the 
vulnerable, the unthinking, and even the dead.

It is eminently possible that the core of our individual and collective being is loving-kindness. And we might be afraid of that core.
What’s so important about loving kindness? Well, compare loving kindness with how we normally go through life:
  • Normally: We get stressed, frustrated, angry, anxious, overwhelmed, and then deal with it by running away and going to comfort foods and distractions (or other comforts). With kindness: We might still feel these difficult feelings, but then give ourselves compassion and loving kindness to help deal with it.
  • Normally: We mess up somehow, either by not sticking to a diet or a new habit we’re creating, or not being the person we want to be … and then we feel guilty, beat ourselves up about it, etc. With kindness: When we mess up, we notice the feelings of guilt or harshness and then deal with it by giving ourselves compassion and loving kindness.
  • Normally: We get upset at someone for not acting in the way we’d like, and this can result in us being harsh with them, damaging our relationship. With kindness: We see that this person is acting less-than-ideally because of some difficulty they’re having, and we might give them some compassion or loving kindness. Our relationship gets better.
As you can see, every time we act with compassion and loving kindness, things improve. When we act with harshness or by running away, we make things worse.   
(--from, The 44: The Power of Kindness)


 It is, the Chinese curse would exemplify, an interesting time.

Inter = between.

Esse = to be.

We are beings between -- and we're not fond of being between. We don't seem to like ourselves because of where we locate ourselves; we don't seem to like one another.
So we run to a far edge, and shout from there or write memos from there.

I prefer to be in the middle.

Curiously, it is eremitic there.

We can be alone together there.

I recall a photo of someone on an elevated outcropping looking out. There were words: 
When you find me here, don't think me lonely, only alone. 


Au printemps.


Turiya (तुरीय).


Venīte!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

why he eschews belief

"That's a long wait for a train don't come." (Mal, in Serenity)

Belief comes slow, late, and seldom at all.

Can we live without belief?

Can we?

of the constellation

A morning of John O'Donohue:
Despite all the darkness, human hope is based on the instinct that at the deepest level of reality some intimate kindness holds sway. This is the heart of blessing. To believe in blessing is to believe that our being here, our very presence in the world, is itself the first gift, the primal blessing. As Rilke says: Hier zu sein ist so viel — to be here is immense. Nowhere does the silence of the infinite lean so intensely as around the form of a newly born infant. Once we arrive, we enter into the inheritance of everything that has preceded us; we become heirs to the world. To be born is to be chosen. To be created and come to birth is to be blessed. Some primal kindness chose us and brought us through the forest of dreaming until we could emerge into the clearance of individuality, with a path of life opening before us through the world. 
(--from, Kindness: The First Gift--by John O'Donohue, syndicated from awakin.org, Nov 28, 2014) 
This day of my sister's remembrance of birth twenty years gone.

During the octave of Irish and the remembering of Joseph of the constellation of Mary with Jesus.

worth a listen

This is as good as I've heard.
Senator Warren answering "What role does faith play in your life?"

Monday, March 18, 2019

reimagine

Three words: here, now, within.

If here is presence, albeit a presence both discernible and indiscernible, might we understand Father by "here?"

If now is immediacy, albeit a now both temporal and eternal, might we understand Son by "now?"

If within is interiority, albeit an interiority in both inner and outer form and appearance, might we understand Holy Spirit by "within?"

These three words are common, everyday, pragmatic.

If our religion is to remain meaningful in an irreligious environment, we might need to reimagine traditional religious concepts into ordinary language rooted in ordinary experience.

Right here.

Right now.

Looking within.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

respect the unsaid and unsayable within

That’s what John O’Donohue said in a talk we watched at practice tonight.

Happily.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDSw5Vza6Yk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyCzIU9jPFk

data, Blondel, and the news

Data will be the new currency, said Stephen Fry, rather than petrol or the dollar.  (CSICon 2018 in Las Vegas on October 20, 2018)

I am rich these days. The reading I am able to access is borderless.
All this to say that Merwin’s conception of poetry is devotional in its service to other languages and cultures. The Mays of Ventadorn is not only a story about troubadours handing down their songs through the ages, but about how poetry itself seems to engineer twists of fate in the lives of its acolytes. Early in the book, Merwin relays the story of how Richard, Coeur de Lion, was captured and held prisoner while en route to England after the Third Crusade. His enemies “worked out a ransom for the king that was meant to cripple Richard’s kingdom before he was returned to it”—in addition to stipulating, among other things, that his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine (or Queen Aliénor, as she’s called in the book), marry Count Leopold of Austria’s son. But apparently Richard’s jongleur, Blondel, was pursuing the king’s whereabouts on foot in Austria, when out of nowhere he heard Richard 
singing one of his poems, a tenso: a poem written as an exchange of alternate voices. When pthe [sic] first stanza ended, Blondel sang the second in reply, and so they went on to the end of the poem, each certain by then of who the other was, and Blondel spread the news.
This delightful tale may seem improbable, but is it any less amazing that Richard was the son of Aliénor, the granddaughter of Guilhem IX (considered the first troubadour), who brought their language, the langue d’oc, to Poitiers, where she established a court devoted to chivalric love and song? And that Bernart de Ventadorn followed her entourage as a courtly lover? And that the Holy Roman Emperor himself, Henry of Hohenstaufen, would sit with his prisoner, Richard, and talk about poetry, agreeing to exchange verses? Out of their chat came Richard’s most famous poem, and eight hundred years later, it became the first translation Merwin ever published. It begins, in his updated version:
No prisoner ever said what he was thinking  
straight out like someone who suffers nothing  
but to ease his mind he can make a song.  
My friends are many but are poor at giving.  
It is their shame that, with no ransom coming,  
these two winters I am held. 
(--from, Whole Earth Troubadour, by Ange Mlinko, December 7, 2017 issue, New York Review of Books )
On Friday mornings in prison, in the corner room, the men, having dispensed with tedious dayroom apophatics, cross the border into open thought, and we speak together.

With, as it were, Blondel -- spreading the news. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

by truth

Invasion,

says the president.

I don't like him

saying this.

He should go away

he is evasion itself

The way to deal

with lies

is to stand by truth

an undetermined story

Religion? The new religion is technology.

It’s scripture? We’ve got something to sell you.

Our mythology? We have none. We are an interim point in an unfolding story that narrates toward an answer go the question: what will replace us?

It is an interesting time to be in the middle of a yet undetermined story.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

stillness is called return to life

There is something I like to learn.
Attain the center of emptiness,
Preserve the utmost quiet;
As myriad things act in concert,
I thereby observe the return.
Things flourish,
Then each returns to its root.
Returning to the root
Is called stillness:
Stillness is called return to Life,
Return to Life is called the constant;
Knowing the constant is called enlightenment.
- Tao-te Ching
It has to do with returning.

get mr orwell on the phone

If you are watching, you can see that lying is the new truth.

Straight up, bald face, no shame, no kidding -- lying is the new truth.

We have a truthful set of leaders in the nation's capital.

Up is down. In is out. Believe what is told you, not what you see.

Now we have to figure out what a lie is.

So much to do!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

which nothing can add to or diminish

Now that morning light has been delayed an hour after clocks moved ahead an hour due to some wisdom of calculation beyond my understanding, a different case history arises for my reading before setting out to Lewiston with coffee in cup, muffin in hand, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation audio book in ear

Link opens in new windoby Richard Rohr

Link opens in new windowaudio book in ear
To see how different Zen really is from Taoism, consider the famous story of Zhuang Zhou and the butterfly. Here are Zhuang Zhou’s words:
Once upon a time, I, Zhuang Zhou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering here and there, enjoying myself fully and not knowing I was Zhuang Zhou. Suddenly I awoke, and came to myself, Zhuang Zhou. But now I do not know whether it was then I dreamt I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
Zhuang Zhou uses this story to illustrate that reality is always relative to our particular perspective. There’s no point asking which was real— Zhuang Zhou or the butterfly. 
When Zhuang Zhou is awake, the butterfly becomes the dreamhis dream. And from the standpoint of the butterfly, Zhuang Zhou becomes the dream, not the reality. Each of us lives in our own reality, and everything else is merely a feature of our personal dream. 
But Linji says no. None of us is the dreamer, he would insist, because all of us are dream. And for this reason, there’s no getting out. Even when we think we’re out, we’re not. 
As soon we awaken from one dream, we’ll simply find ourselves in another one. Zhuang Zhou or the butterflytake your pickboth are dreams. It’s just as Wansong says in his commentary:
Delusion and enlightenment are two sides of the same coin. . . . . It’s hopeless—the mud and sand can’t be cleared away.
At first, these words might make us feel trapped and panicky. If every reality is a kind of dream, what kind of enlightenment is possible? Wansong himself asks this very question:
When breaking earth, separating reeds, how do you discern the master?
Linji’s answer is quite specific: stop trying to awaken from the dream and start paying attention to the Dreamer. Stop looking at the spectacle before your eyes and look instead at the workings of your own mindwhich Linji often calls the solitary brightness.” It’s not solitary because, as we might think, its alone in isolation from everything else. It’s solitary because it’s the source of everything we experience, especially the self. The True Person in Zen is not a highly evolved sage, the Buddhist version of the Taoist Heavenly man. The True Person of No Rank is your own mind. Here’s Linji:
Greatly Virtuous Ones, your ancestors knew that the fundamental Person who receives and plays with light and shadow is the root source of all the Buddhas and that every place is a lodging for Wanderers in the Way to return to You yourself are the solitary brightness, which nothing can add to or diminish. It makes no distinctions because itsource of “dark” as well as “light”. . . . . 
Followers of the Way, as I look at it, we’re no different from Shakyamuni. In all our various activities each day, is there anything we lack? The wonderful light of the six senses has never for a moment ceased to shine. If you could just look at it this way, then you’d be the kind of person who has nothing to do for the rest of your life. . . . If you want to be no different from the ancestors and buddhas, then never look for something outside yourselves. A moment of pure light in your mind – that is the Dharmakaya, the Essence-body of the Buddha lodged in you.
The Buddha is “lodged in you,” Linji says. But the Buddha is not the self. It’s something deeper, something all of us have in common. This is a radical equality that far surpasses anything the Taoists imagined.
(--from, A Teisho (Dharma Talk) On Rinzai ZenBook of Serenity Case 38A version of this teisho was delivered on third day of the Cold Mountain Sangha’s 2016Winter Sesshin, Kankan Roshi, Cold Mountain Zen, Rutgers NJ)  
You gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up...in the morning! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

pesence embraces absence and brings it home.

I concede that anger at points of view and style of leadership different from mine is rife and rampant in the United States these days. My anger and others' anger. Anger is the winter, cold and stiff, that resides in the psyche throughout the year.

We disagree. But we have to make our way through every disagreement so as to commonly dwell with one another.
And yet people fight incessantly. Even though war is blessedly absent in most countries today, these are deeply polarized times. Words too often are delivered with contempt; philosophical differences are likened to warfare; those who simply disagree with another are deemed “enemies.” Often it is on the Internet — which was launched as a forum for unity — where people attack one another, under the cloak of anonymity. 
This state of constant conflict is a major source of stress and unhappiness for millions of people. Is there a solution? 
We believe that the answer is yes. Further, as is the case with all big problems, within this crisis lies an opportunity. Polarization contains the seeds for personal excellence and spiritual advancement. 
To begin with, the solution is not for people simply to agree with each other, or to prevent disagreements from occurring. There is nothing wrong or inherently destructive about having ideas that differ from those of others. On the contrary, disagreement is necessary in a pluralistic society to find the best solutions to problems. The ability to disagree freely is one of the great blessings of modern democracy. 
The solution — and the opportunity for each of us — lies not in disagreeing less, but in understanding the appropriate way to disagree with others, even when we are treated with hatred. A valuable clue can be found in the words of the 8th-century Indian Buddhist master Shantideva in his text “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life”: “Unruly beings are as unlimited as space / They cannot possibly all be overcome, / But if I overcome thoughts of anger alone / This will be equivalent to vanquishing all foes.”
(--from, The Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks: All of us can break the cycle of hatred,  The Washington Post, 3/11/19 
I apologize for my bellicosity and arrogance against, especially, men like Trump, McConnell, Ryan, Jordan, the majority of Republican pragmatists unwilling to bite the hand that feeds them, and the news agencies and radio commentators that feed the minds that control the hands that feed the cadre of true believers so as to attract advertisers that fund the generous salaries of the prognosticators and prevaricators.

We are becoming takers, more and more. It only counts if you "have" -- read "take". The have-nots are considered expendable.
"The takers are those who know good and evil; and the leavers are those who live in the hands of the gods." (--Daniel Quinn, Ishmael)
Quinn suggests that the world doesn't belong to us but that we belong to the world. By "world" I hear universe, earth, nature.

And by "gods" I hear the nascent interior goodness within everything urging emergence into the outer world.

We don't own that which we are part of -- we only believe we own that which is not us. I don't own my hand, my leg, my ear. It is our profound illusion that we own land, things, other people, that which we call "possessions."

We don't.

Never will.

We only share existence with everything.

Respected, and worthy.
Consider the relationship between dignity and conflict described by Donna Hicks, a Harvard conflict–resolution expert who has worked on the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians and in Northern Ireland and Colombia. Over decades in the field, Hicks saw a repeating pattern: conflicts came about when people felt they were being disrespected and treated as worthless. “We long to look good in the eyes of others, to feel good about ourselves, to be worthy of others’ care and attention,” Hicks writes. When people are treated as if we don’t matter or aren’t due respect, we become vindictive, tribalistic and vengeful. “Research suggests that we are just as programmed to sense a threat to our dignity as we are to a physical threat,” Hicks writes. “Neuroscientists have found that a psychological injury such as being excluded stimulates the same part of the brain as a physical wound.”
(--The Internet Can Make Us Feel Awful. It Doesn't Have to Be That Way,  BY ELI PARISER JANUARY 17, 2019, Time) 

Try presencing.

There is kindness. 

And there is the absence of kindness.

If we choose kindness, we are present.

Presence embraces absence and brings it home.

do I pray

Yes

To pray is to sing silence.

pass him by

A commentator used the expression tonight and wikipedia defined it: 
De minimis is a Latin expression meaning "about minimal things", normally in the locutions de minimis non curat praetor ("The praetor does not concern himself with trifles") or de minimis non curat lex ("The law does not concern itself with trifles") a legal doctrine by which a court refuses to consider trifling ...
The speaker of the house said recently that the president is not worth it, namely, the effort to impeach.

He isn’t.

He is de minimis.

A trifle.

One that will pass.

To pass over, pass by, as one would a reprehensible liar and bully with a weapon who has a self inflicted wound slowly falling to knee while screaming at the wind that he is the best, there is no better than which, not anybody anywhere at anytime in history,

If he doesn’t end history with an ignorant dense stupidity, then, history will view him merely as another ignorant and disturbed anomaly who brought indignity, consternation, and suffering to a played and traumatized people.

Maybe he will just go away long before the next election which might send him away.

(O God, wait — I’m only talking about myself, aren’t I? Aren't we always and only talking about ourselves whenever we speak?)

Still -- when I slur another, when I refuse to acknowledge any truth that interferes with my agenda for things, when I become small and mean and vengeful, when I mock and belittle any and everybody because I can -- I am a disappointment and lack grace, and should recuse myself from matters that demand fairness, equanimity, and trust. I have work ahead of me.

Monday, March 11, 2019

message -- on not going to the service

Don’t bother coming 

home to 

pick me up for Betty’s 

funeral. 

I’ll be staying here, 

lighting a candle, 

and meditating 

on who’s going to come to 

my memorial gathering -- 

which, I suspect, will take 

place in 

the cabin 

with three people, 

two cats, two dogs, 

and a box of donuts.

freeing up

Immigration is a serious concern for many in this country.

Too many trying to get in?

It's getting too crowded?

I can help.

When I die there will be an open space.

I give it to someone wishing to immigrate.

Along with my hiking sticks.

Use them well.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

neutrinos permeating

Pr
Act
Ice

Down to
The
Core

And
Be-
Low

Saturday, March 09, 2019

extra-diction

Face to face.
12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 King James Version (KJV) 
I am known. 

Friday, March 08, 2019

no I but we

In prison today, we talk about the Shema, about the binary disease of judge/victim, about selfishness/altruism, about empire and secluding/excluding, and about Andy Weir's story The Egg

In final circle the suggestion that one summary of the conversation could be:
"No I, but we."
At evening conversation, the realization that mystics merely see -- no subject, no object.

Seeing.

With nothing to be seen. 

Thursday, March 07, 2019

by which we see

Is it possible that night approaches? Not just the lee side of the 24 hour clock, but the more expansive night, when good and light are overshadowed by the not-good and pervasive dark?
What work is impossible to do in the 'night'? Jesus stated that
night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4, ESV
The immediate context is that Jesus is healing a blind person. The first clause of the sentence is:
We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day
The person who sent Jesus was God the Father. In John 6:29 it records Jesus saying:
“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (ESV)
Which suggests that believing in God is ruled out, once the 'night' comes. However, in Luke 18:8 Jesus asks if the he will find faith on the earth when he comes. Which at least leaves the possibility of belief even when it is 'night'. 
What type of work is impossible in the 'night'? Does such impossibility preclude God's own action, such as in the impossible case of reconciling a sinner (Mark 10:27).

(--from Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange)

"Sin" is not the proprietary preoccupation and possession of religions and their spokesmen. "Sin" is the dissembling and deterioration of decency and decorum with the overt or mindless intent of harm and ill upon another or others. 

Once we emphasized offense against God.

Then we began to realize who God is, where God resides, and what is part of God.

Let's concede there is darkness within each of us.

Then let's turn attention to the light which shines through darkness.

By which we see. 

calvary, white house version

forgive us
Father

we know

what he
is

doing

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

indications

snow tracks, deer on deck

chewing yew tree --

as missing cat, banging door

holds out hope

flame cools making ash

Ash does not touch forehead

Icicles hang from roof

Time for repetition, hence

No ash but in wood stove

No flame sleeps dreams

Remembrance 

vivre dans la solitude ensemble

The Benedictine Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux, for those so inclined, offers online office Gregorian chants that can be retrieved at leisure. In Latin, recorded live, tower bells, with footsteps entering and leaving, coughs and nose-blowing, bumps against wooden stalls, and a practice of markedly reverently slowing the ending Gloria Patri of each psalm.

As though there.

Throughout day and night.
Écoutez nos offices en direct  
« Il n’y a qu'un problème, un seul de par le monde : rendre aux hommes une signification spirituelle. Faire pleuvoir sur eux quelque chose qui ressemble à un chant grégorien. »  -- Saint-Exupéry.                     
For a hermitage 
at foot of Maine mountain,
a wonderful sound --
vivre dans la solitude ensemble 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

streets

Finish David Frum's Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic, (2018). It's where democracy has gone. It has turned down a shadowy alley. 

And Pete Hamill's Downtown: My Manhattan (2004). A poetic descriptive of places I've walked and watched. Hamill charms with his prose and memory. 

Reading transports.

Monday, March 04, 2019

the simplicity of the method.

If there is anything to say,
say it --

otherwise,
be silent:

When mortals are alive, they worry about death. 

When they're full, they worry about hunger. 
Theirs is the Great Uncertainty. 

But sages don't consider the past. 

And they don't worry about the future. 
Nor do they cling to the present. 
And from moment to moment they follow the Way.
--Bodhidharma



There are thousands upon thousands of students 

who have practised meditation and obtained its fruits. 
Do not doubt its possibilities because of the simplicity of the method. 
If you can not find the truth right where you are, 
where else do you expect to find it? 

--Dogen

If there is anything
at all --

what
a miracle!

Sunday, March 03, 2019

we long to become, human-kind.

As a (m.o.n.o.) = (monastic of no other) I also acknowledge my Franciscan roots.

Perhaps I could add a  (f.o.n.a.)  = (Franciscan of no affiliation) to the alphabet soup following my nominal anonymous hiding (n.a.h).

Or, maybe, after the Italian academic distinction I humbly wear, (D. NeN) (dottore nulla e niente) = doctor of nothing and nil),

I might add (MU) = mostly unhere. Further descriptives of MU are found in wikipedia::
Some English translation equivalents of  or mu 無 are:
  • "no", "not", "nothing", or "without"[2]
  • nothing, not, nothingness, un-, is not, has not, not any[3]
  • [1] Nonexistence; nonbeing; not having; a lack of, without. [2] A negative. [3] Caused to be nonexistent. [4] Impossible; lacking reason or cause. [5] Pure human awareness, prior to experience or knowledge. This meaning is used especially by the Chan school. [6] The 'original nonbeing' from which being is produced in the Daode jing.[4]
 Words are both fascinating and frivolous. Acronyms are growing like metaphors in a field of corroding jargon, withering facts, and incommunicable utterance. We are left with mere letters, like vanity license plates on passing cars, a puzzling exercise decrypting semaphore and smoke signal during a time of diminishing communication and nonsense babbling.

Word that drops from language like petals from flower -- kotoba 言葉 -- word itself.

Or, extrapolated into our Western iconography, Itself emerging through breath as word into matter becoming what we long to become, human-kind.

glimpse

Morning arrives

Waking soon light through darkness --

After skim snow covers night

Saturday, March 02, 2019

contemplative moves

Can we say that nothing is fixed or final? That what is required is we flow through what is right there surrounding us?

The problem remains within the process. It never goes away.

We move through the problem in a process of resolution that recognizes the again and again encounter necessary going forward with the presenting problem and the resolving process.

Contemplation asks for courageous looking at the reality that is obvious and the reality that hides within and around us.

not to me but for me

Worthwhile to hear again the final remarks of Elijah Cummings at end of televised hearing featuring  Michael Cohen in front of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Wednesday 27Feb19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72gy-LZ4UN0

I think we'll be listening to Rep. Cummings replayed for many years as we look back over the disastrous time and person at center as focus of this investigation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

parsing

there
is

no-
w-
here

truth
can go

where can truth go

It is not easy
remembering
oneself a fool

Just like cramming
for a test you’ve
failed in school

We’re never that far
from where we’ve been
and who we were while there

Such facts are facts
never to change —
always there at 4AM

I confess these things
to silent ears, aware —
that wrong is wrong

Breathing in, I will not lie
I’ve no defense, no excuse —
I sip from cold green juice

It’s minus 5° with bitter wind
this top of maine deep snow —
There’s nowhere truth can go

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

dyadic and introverted

Just before sleep:
What Florensky calls ‘‘a substantial relationship,’’ we call the prosopon. To understand the prosopon as only the person (and, thus, the other human being) is a misunderstanding. Prosopon defines a tropos (a way, a ‘‘how’’) as well as a topos (a place, a ‘‘who’’). Person indeed becomes prosopon’s primary meaning, insofar as a person fulfills the description that prosopon signifies (‘‘towards-the-face-of-the-Other’’). A prosopon, therefore, is to be understood as a dyad of topos and tropos—these two meanings stand in a dialectical relationship with one another as ‘‘obverse’’ and ‘‘reverse.’’ ‘‘All being is, by its very nature as being, dyadic, with an ‘introverted,’ or in-itself dimension, as substance, and an ‘extroverted,’ or toward-others dimension, as relational though action.’’6
 (—from, After God, Richard Kearney and the Religious Turn in Continental Philosophy, Edited by JOHN PANTELEIMON MANOUSSAKIS, p.26)
Enough to induce sleep

from ‘none’ afternoon prayer

Psalm 127 (128)

Peaceful life in the Lord

O blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord
  and walk in his ways.
The food you have worked for, you will eat:
  God’s blessing will bring you good things.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
  on the side of your house.
Your children will be like olive shoots,
  seated round your table.
See, this is how the man is blessed
  who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion:
  may you see the wealth of Jerusalem
  all the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children.
  Peace be on Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord.

CONCLUSION

Short Reading
Proverbs 22:22-23 ©
Because a man is poor, do not therefore cheat him, nor, at the city gate, oppress anybody in affliction; for the Lord takes up their cause, and extorts the life of their extortioners.

℣. The Lord will save the needy, who are helpless.
℟. He will save the lives of the poor.

Let us pray.
Almighty God,
  we recall how you sent your angel to the centurion Cornelius
  to show him the way of salvation.
Open our hearts to work more zealously for the salvation of the world,
  so that your Church may bring us and all men into your presence.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

...   ...   ...

(—from Universalis)

the unknown mystery of it

Black suspenders on door handle reflected in wall mirror
white dog adjusting himself on tan rug

the county, across from Canada, winds 40-50 mph wind chill 
minus 15 to minus 20, coffee and donuts after yoghurt; 

remembering Saturday

night, note about hospice visit:  "Spent whole time with
little tyke -- walking hall, feeding bottle, playing with 

monkey doll, holding in rocking chair, watching 
his brief nap, playing lullabies on phone. Contemplating

the unknown mystery of it. 
Kissing him as I left him in nurse's arms." 

Monday, February 25, 2019

monday night

driving through blizzard
conditions arriving
at Fort Kent
flake by
flake

Sunday, February 24, 2019

an athlete

Watching Chris Paul of Houston Rockets play against Golden State Warriors is a treat. His team wins. The astounding skill!

mantra prayer

If ‘here’ is the name and reality of God —

And ‘this’ is the fact and truth of existence—

Then, the only place worth being, and only sound worth hearing, is what is here as this, breath by breath, second by second, appearance by appearance.

Perhaps our practice is to come to realize and live the immensity of the mantra prayer:
 I am here doing this; 
 I am this being here!

simple sentence

Here is why this is important.