Sunday, December 04, 2016

it's me

Watched Citizen Four yesterday after helping crew cover boat, then stacking cordwood for hours.

Come away impressed by Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald -- realizing what a controversial decision they made about a controversial system of information gathering practiced by US intelligence agency on US citizens and pretty much everyone else on the planet.

Information is power. Power is control. Control is invitation to abuse. Abuse is how subjugation and power marry. Their children are subterfuge and disinformation.

In prison Friday morning at Buddhist group and Meetingbrook conversation one of the men who was reading the Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukov for the 6th time (he said) spoke about the contrasting world views emananating from focus on law or focus on love. 

Law, he observed, engendered order and control. Love, chaos and compassion.

The forces focusing on security focus on order and control. Mussolini made the trains run on time. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hitler each tidied up their population based on their disembodied opinion of tidiness and uniformity.

The legacy of Jesus (called 'the Christ') , Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa, Kuan Yin, Dan and Phil Berrigan, and Martin Luther King attended the poor and disenfranchised with chaos and compassion exemplifying an embodied practice of presence and acceptance.

Law and control are general and unforgiving.

Chaos and compassion are particular and forgiving.

Perhaps we've arrived at another juncture of history wherein those with power really do disdain those who are under their power. If so, it is, again, a very dangerous time of history.

Power requires secrecy and unquestioning loyalty.

Compassion invites openness and questioning. It also requires a benevolent but skeptical eye toward the huckster, con-man, sweet-talker, or bully.

Things feel uneasy. Uneasy in the sense of anxious, troubled, and uncomfortable. 

We're unsure which way the trains are heading. Toward camps to entomb in permanent certainty? Or toward the sea to listen to the perennial splash of waves on shore signifying the arrival and departure of time and communion in an impermanent celebration of uncertainty and (what has been called) faith?

I liked Snowden and Greenwald in the documentary. They seemed like thoughtful and courageous men.

Whatever happened heretofore or happens hence, let's reconfigure consciousness to alight on an ever changing shore of allowing and forgiving, splashing us with arrivals and departures, welcoming and bidding adieu to all our family -- our holy family -- rapscallion or rhapsodic, as each enters and takes leave of this theatre piece we call earthly life.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
(Matthew 19:14, New International Version)

Ad-vent! (coming to), or, c'mon!

(i.e. "C'mon!" -- which, as all bastardized truncated French interpretations have it, actually means, "it's me!) 

Friday, December 02, 2016

want truth? drop opinions

Nothing wrong with having an opinion.

Just, don't bother having any.

Feel, sense, prefer or don't. No need to formulate into an opinion.

Stay clear.

Opinions are a cultivation too precious to afford.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

not yet human

I like Pierre Hadot's book Philosophy as a Way of Life, Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault. Reading Arnold I. Davidson's introduction, this on p.20:
For ancient philosophy, at least beginning from the sophists and Socrates, intended, in the first instance, to form people and to transform souls. That is why, in Antiquity, philosophical teaching is given above all in oral form, because only the living word, in dialogues, in conversations pursued for a long time, can accomplish such an action. The written work, considerable as it is, is therefore most of the time only an echo or a complement of this oral teaching.
(--Pierre Hadot, "Preface," in L'Enseignement oral de Platon, p.11.)
The forming aspect of philosophy suggests arriving at a shape of being human that is recognizable and responsible to surrounding environment and emerging humanity into this appearing world.

We are not yet human.

We seek form.

It is an exercise and practice of becoming and



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

what about being here

"You can't experience not being there forever," said Alan Watts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

a formula for meditation

As it was

in the beginning

is now

and will be


there’s a new precedent

It feels that nothing has preceded this

Nothing has

And this is the result

Grok this nothing

Monday, November 28, 2016

One who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so


Something’s coming.

Could be Christ child.

Could be another hysterical tetrarch -- an executive leader of one of the four seats of power who will attempt to gobble up, privatize, and cannibalize the other three -- legislative, judicial, and remnants of free press -- for his benefit and favor.

Watch out!
Reading        2 ROM 13:11-14  
Brothers and sisters:You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision of the flesh.  
(--First Advent, 2nd reading, readings of the day)
We think desires of the flesh means sex and intoxicants. Well, yes. But, more so, usurpation of  private choice, private thought, private act.

If Christ means communion (not correction), then this tetrarch means punishment (not democracy).

America has for a long time pretended not to favor tyranny and treachery. That pretense fades. Overt strongman control rolls into town. Swooning adherence to the bullying puppets and bully pulpit becomes job one for both the affirmers and deniers of such rise-up controlling interests in personal charism and cauterized closing of wounds on slashed bodies who disagree with rule by one/few master/pure know-betters/shut-your-mouth insinuators instead of the represented many and different, struggling to survive plurality who wait and wonder.

This is not a time of servile yes or obsequious pandering to faux-fascist demagoguery. This is the time for awakening.

The writer of Romans gives a new and uncredited point of view and course of action: "and make no provision of the flesh."

It is time to gather provisions for the long and difficult upcoming winter. 


We must enter mu and embody mu.

Works of darkness whisper 'yesss' as they strut toward Washington to be sworn. So, too, sheep are herded into delusion to be shorn and sacrificed.

Something strange this way comes.

I'd rather Christ.

Or Buddha.

Some authentic Bodhisattva:
bo·dhi·satt·vaˌbōdiˈsätvə,-ˈsət-/noun(in Mahayana Buddhism) a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings.
The suffering, so unseen in plain sight for so long, is about to burgeon and overwhelm.

Our response to the koan of this arriving anomaly will be:

no --

unsay that portentous predictive; embody awakened caring action!

Let no become now until we have won the simple yes of co-relational and common communion.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Balsekar is fine but Orwell is spot on

Sunday Evening Practice reading on volition and the totality.

Oh dear, Animal Farm's Napoleon has squealed a mistruth and his dogs are in a frenzy to ensure it is heard as truth. Gotta love fiction...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

fact friday

I tell them i know i will die

Nothing startling

Just a fact

Like coffee and toast

And kindling for morning fire

Thursday, November 24, 2016

boiling water poured on tablecloth

It takes a 

long time to

get to where 

you are;

to arrive at

who you are

beyond all


we say “thanks, giving”

Because reciprocity and non-dual awareness understand that giving is receiving.
“It is in giving that we receive.”–St. Francis
It is our unawareness that mires us in unawareness of true co-relational inter-relationality.

As giving is receiving, so is thanking being thanked.

The going out is the coming in.

It is God that receives the two dollars at exit of parking lot, it is God that extends it. And God is the exchanging currency between hands.

So too, prayer.

Prayer is the act of each thing becoming itself in its embrace of everything surrounding. 

We pray, not for anyone or anything else, but for the integrity and intimacy of our realization that the one praying and the one being prayed for is the one reality articulating itself in prayer as expression of an everyday wholeness that contains everything and acknowledges nothing-itself as the co-equal sides of loving glance seeing reality as it is in Itself.

And then we sip coffee.

Sip tea.

Spoon yogurt.

Start fire in woodstove.

And say -- thanks, giving! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

finding ground

The political landscape has changed.

So many are so unsure which direction to look.

Nor is there any certainty what they’ll see.

I take a different view --

Walking forward, we walk forward.

Feet will find ground.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

53 years ago today

I first realized the world was odd.

Odder than the mind could accept.

Jack Kennedy.

I greet you.

computer experts in Michigan say

Monday, November 21, 2016

after long phone call from a hurting place

As an old man
I cannot see well
But i do feel
The suffering
Of my sister

Sunday, November 20, 2016

as stillness expands

Shakuhachi flute after Heart Sutra at enening practice tonite.

Then bell chant.

Bowing back into zendo then out into rain.

Inclusion, Adyashanti said.

Falling into grace.

poet foresees 222 years ago america’s 2016 ideological divide

Original Text: 
William Blake. Songs of Experience. 1794.  Blake's Illuminated Books, ed. David Bindman. Princeton, NJ: William Blake Trust; London: Tate Gallery, 1991-. See Vol. 2. PR 4142 B46 1991 ROBA.

1"Love seeketh not itself to please,
2Nor for itself hath any care,
3But for another gives its ease,
4And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair."
5So sung a little Clod of Clay
6Trodden with the cattle's feet,
7But a Pebble of the brook
8Warbled out these metres meet:
9"Love seeketh only self to please,
10To bind another to its delight,
11Joys in another's loss of ease,
12And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite."

Publication Start Year: 

   RPO poem Editors: 

gazing through

One day follows another.

Dawn bows. It practices honoring arrival.

'Many arrivals make us live' -- wrote poet Theodore Roethke.

This morning, here in your absence, makes everything close and intimate.

All is infinite and eternal.

Embodiment is the grace of realizing what is gazing through the reality of what is near.

Profound bow.

I greet you!


Saturday, November 19, 2016


'At the end of the day' -- a phrase used dozens of times in conversation from many states away.

Today, at the end of the day, I recall a memorial service was held in New Haven Connecticut for an old friend.

I was in Maine.

Still, a distant closeness.

It was the nature of our friendship.

Friday, November 18, 2016

so one comic walks into a bar

"Elections have consequences." That's the phrase they like to say.

The winner gets to appoint or nominate anyone.

The current winner of the 11/9 election is picking his people.

Many are waiting for him to get serious.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

you are the story; tell me a story that is not you

About the New Testament story of Judas and his thirty pieces of silver betrayal -- what resonance and narrative precedence can be found here?
But I began to dislike the sheep, and they equally detested me. I then said, ‘I am going to pasture you no longer; let those that wish to die, die; let those that wish to perish, perish; and let those that are left devour each other’s flesh!’ I then took my staff, Goodwill, and broke it in half, to break the covenant the Lord had made with all the peoples. When it was broken, that day the dealers, who were watching me, realised that this had been a word of the Lord. I then said to them, ‘If you think it right, give me my wages; if not, never mind.’ And they weighed out my wages: thirty shekels of silver. But the Lord told me, ‘Throw it into the treasury, this princely sum at which they have valued me.’ Taking the thirty shekels of silver, I threw them into the Temple of the Lord, into the treasury. I then broke my second staff, Union, in half, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.(--from First ReadingZechariah 11:4-12:8 ©. Office of Readings. Feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary) 
Perhaps most stories are stories told about other stories by storytellers who want a story believed.

We enter a curious age when what is said is neither true nor false -- only a series of words wrapped in circumstance, opportunity, ambition, persuasion, agenda, and prospects of gullibility.

We don't know what or what or who to believe.

That's probably good.


But good.

preces meae non sunt dignae*

The writer wonders if he will see his dog in heaven. The responder answers yes, he will.

I wonder -- what is each one of us looking at right now?

If you would learn more, ask the cattle,
Seek information from the birds of the air.
The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,
And the fishes of the sea will tell you all.
There is not a single creature that does not know
That everything is of God’s making. 
God holds in power the soul of every living thing,
And the breath of every human body.

—Book of Job 12:7-10 [1]

After a 24 hour rain, moonlight and star shine.

Asking for nothing but this.

. . .

(* worthless are my prayers and sighing)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Buddha and Christ were walking down 5th avenue.

Passing Trump Tower, the former said to the latter:

“Did you hear the one about the guy who walked

into a bar and said, ‘Can I have a glass of water?’”

“No,” said the latter.

“Right,” said the former.

And they walked on shaking their heads.

not yet light

Listening to dawn rain

An uneasiness hovers

Birds to seed ready

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

there, you are

Ignore them, they’ll go away.

That’s always interesting advice.

It’s true too.

Maybe before they go away they’ll cause chaos, and pain.

But they will go away.

Everything does.

It’s the great promise of existence: things don’t stay, not for long.

So, here we are. And there you go. Just like always.

No one can touch the real you.

You are safe. You are free. You are well within your true home.

And, there, you are, or will be, happy.



That election is done.

What’s next?

Let’s see:

feed cats,

walk dog,

pay car loan, and ...

learn to live in the

wilderness of the spirit.

Monday, November 14, 2016

where’s the ground

A fellow practitioner writes: 
“you know bill, as we grieve this election, one of the most relevant teachings is [ho’oponopono]… take back our projections….and own them….and apologize for projecting them…”
He’s right, of course.

Still, I respond:
"As much as I love ho'oponopono, I’m unsure right now that resisting the rise of a dangerous movement toward political, moral, or corporate fascism is a figment or projection of our individual imagination or depth psychology — or, perhaps it is exactly what we desire.  
Sometimes hateful tendencies are actually hateful tendencies, whether they arise from without or from within. 
I’m keeping a wary eye on both.  
Watching, watching.  
Even if the world is a subjective or solipsistic projection, I’m skeptical — given the fractious rupture of the so-called political, media, or any inclusive cultural sensibilities — that a technique that was said to be effective in a psychiatric setting will extend itself to 120+ million (out of 2012’s 218,959,000 +/- eligible) voters (out of a U.S.A. population of 318.9 million, in 2014), who felt that they were casting a vote for a way of life they passionately believed in. Our cross-projections are, perhaps, the new field of battle. 
(Where’s Arjuna and Krishna this November? )
Like you, I suspect I carry an unbelief that those who voted differently than I did were doing so with full intelligent, feeling, and honorable haruspication of the results they championed.  
Intentions yield variably unintended outcomes.  
Nor do all of us want to be forgiven. We want to be right. (Me? Who knows? I’ll soon be done with this polemical election residue.)  
As Mercutio uttered three times as he was dying in Romeo & Juliet, we seem, rather, to hear it said to one another from one another: “A pox on both your houses!”    
I am open to Morrnah Simeona and Hew Len’s gracious assistance as we go forward. 
ps: I hope I’m wrong about everything I write. It would be a great mistake to think otherwise. The new age belief that the individual is the cause of the universe is a burden; and the neoliberal belief that government should advance the common good is an equal burden.  
I’d rather we lay our burdens down. Our Christian friends say to give them to Jesus. The Korean zen master says don’t give them to anyone, don’t believe anything about them, just put them down.  
There they are. Where’s the ground? 
I’m going straight. I don’t know shit!”

Chien meets Chien, or, George Washington looks into mirror

When is a zen koan not a zen koan?
When 9/11 gazes at 11/9.
Andrew Sullivan writes:
I will leave you with these words about what has now happened to America. Someone saw it coming a long time ago: 
   The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of       revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. 
That was George Washington’s Farewell Address. 
A country designed to resist tyranny has now embraced it. A constitution designed to prevent democracy taking over everything has now succumbed to it. A country once defined by self-government has openly, clearly, enthusiastically delivered its fate into the hands of one man to do as he sees fit. After 240 years, an idea that once inspired the world has finally repealed itself. We the people did it. 
--(from, The Republic Repeals Itself, by Andrew Sullivan, in New York Magazine 11/9/16)
At the season finale of Real Time with Bill Maher, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called the election a moral 9/11.
At practice Sunday evening, reading from Upside-Down Zen by Susan Murphy, in the koan, Chien met Chien, ending the split and restoring wholeness from a serrated six years, an Eros of reality rejoining.
How long will we be sleeping through the repeal?
Time to awaken a new practice.
Time for our own koan study. 
(Cf. WHO IS THE TRUE CHIEN? And Other Ghost Stories About Our Lives, by James Ishmael Ford, 3 January 2010, in Patheos,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

worth and worthless

I've been thinking about the election.

Not much.

Not not much thinking.

But there's not thinking much about it.

As when punched in stomach one does not decide not to feel but to think about the matter.

No, the body blow takes thought out of consideration.

There's only "oompfh" and "aargh" and  "Oh shit"!

Then we pick ourselves up, dust ourself off, and start all over again.

No justification of anyone's vote or non-vote holds any currency.

We are bankrupt.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

you want to be flawless?

The mistake is politics, thinking you can manipulate things into your image.

For the imageless there is no manipulation, there is no politics.

Dogen said life is one continuous mistake.

Only the dead are flawless.

Friday, November 11, 2016

post-other; the ground of caring

Some men and women joined the military and served for a while. Some fought in combat. Some were hurt. Some died. Those that lived are honored today. It is a sober day.

At conversation tonight talk about the election, the hurt, the combat, the dishonorable comportment, and the surrogate intimidation and snarling dismissive mess that preceded and followed.

Love is attention to what is presenting itself.

Like the visit to Dana Farber I accompanied Thursday.

The attentive care from person to person.

One after the other there.

When community recognizes itself.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leonard (d. 10nov2016)

He tried

In his own way

To be free

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

nothing has changed

And so, it is Wednesday.

And things, remarkably, have changed. Or has it?
Tonight I have walked with you 
along the deaf lanes of sleep, 
and now that it is morning 
nothing has changed, 
other than that the two who during the night 
were completely together 
have left me once again this morning 
and continued together further on their way. 
(Poem by Gerrit Achterberg)

Brought back from Saskia's trip to the Netherlands, an inscription on a house.

On house in Oud Naarden, Netherlands
[You’ll have to get a precise translation for yourself.]
Dymphy translated it for Saskia something like, “ When in the midst of sorrow or difficulty, and you don’t know where to begin, be embraced by poetry.” (Willem Jan Otten)
De klok regeert de kamer, 
monotone wetten 
murmelen in den avond,
niemand kan zijn regelen verzetten, 
niemand wordt hier doorgelaten. 

Vandaag ben ik beschuldigd, 
vanavond lig ik voor't gericht. 
Stilte in de zalen, 
alleen het ademhalen 
van de kast, een moeder die mij ziet. 

Wind en regen buiten  
pleiten en verdedigen,  
wind en regen buiten 
pleiten en omsluiten 
den rechter met hun redenen. 

Rinkelend verschrikken  
minuten, minuten;  
uren hijgen voort 
en vier muren klagen 
om een enkel woord 
van vergeven vóór den morgen,  
om een antwoord van vergeven,  
om een antwoord vóór den morgen.

Gerrit Achterberg

Dream Judgement

The clock rules the chamber,
monotonous laws
drone on through the evening
no one can set his rulings aside,
no one escapes this room.

Today I am accused,
tonight I lie before the court.
Silence in the halls,
only the breathing
of the cupboard, a mother who sees me.

Outside, the wind and the rain
appeal and defend,
outside the wind and the rain
appeal and enclose
the judge with their reasoning.

Jerking forward with fear
the minutes, the minutes,
the hours gasp ahead
and the four walls cry
for one single word
of forgiveness before morning, 
an answer of forgiveness, 
an answer before morning.
Translated from the Dutch by Barry Goldensohn