Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, April 27, 2002

The Church, said Doug, is collapsing. "Did you ever think it would disintegrate in our very lifetime?" he asked at Chase's Daily breakfast last week.

The Boston Globe reports Cardinal Law sent faxes to his priests: "Cardinal Bernard F. Law is cracking down on efforts by lay Catholics to organize in Greater Boston, ordering priests not to cooperate with an evolving coalition of parish leaders." On the Globe website the 27April2002 headline reads, "Law seeks to curb organizing by laity."

The frown becomes scowl. The clergy, good or bad, has given itself the Church.
Laity must now, as in the beginning, give themselves to Christ.
Until they admit their absurd appropriation of what belongs to all Christians, all beings, all nature, the institution with its hierarchical arrogance should be left to flounder and fail.
When Christ is allowed back into the Church the laity will welcome back the clergy

Don’t tell me how difficult the Way.
The bird’s path, winding far,
Is right before you.
Water of the Dokei Gorge,
You return to the ocean,
I to the mountain.

- Hofuku Seikatsu (dailyzen)

Someone I worked with in New York once addressed the behavior of an opinionated school secretary in his employ saying, " She is impertinent." Irrelevant, insolent, no longer worth listening to -- this was his meaning twenty-five years ago in the child welfare agency. It was an icy dismissal, done with an unflinching belief that his characterization would carry the condemnation of opinion and its holder.

The institutional Church in the Globe's story -- and in the pedophilia scandal -- mimics the secretary and the director. Impertinence and, like Toynbee's declining slope of post-creative deterioration, a dominant minority carving stone with dictum better left unworded.

I walk to the mountain. There I find bird path, no other way.

Friday, April 26, 2002


Here is why we are in the world!

Closed out the old year
And held a dream of spring behind
My shut eyes…til now
This morning I opened them to see
It’s really come into the world.
- Saigyo (1118 – 1190)

Nature snowed through the night. As morning middles itself, sun looks at the unlikely spill, melting swiftly. Like last evening's conversation -- nature's urge is to present itself as it is for all to engage.

Separate dissatisfies. Unified releases. In the interim we measure the alleged supposed apparent and believed distance of one from the other. This activity is known in places as "sin."

The days stretch toward 40. There are 13 remaining. What will ascend?

Maria turned 74 Wednesday. We sang to her last evening. A jar of Trappist Apricot Jam curled itself in her hand. She believes in love. Thus she is, loved! Tom smiled with her out the door heading home.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Christ blames no one for the death of Jesus.

No one is converted to truth by means of blame or shame. What moves us to change our way of life is the compassionate revelation that the ignorance, mistakes, and misunderstandings we’ve cultivated can give way to a deep and lovely awakening of our true nature, true relatedness, true being.

Mind's no solid
One can touch or see --
Dew, frost.

(--Dogen)

Ephemeral and beautiful, dissolving and disappointing, impermanent and wistfully watched disappearance.

Once we learn to accept failure, love grows. We do not grow by thinking about it or by wishing for it, but only by the experience of failure. (Thomas Keating ocso, The Mystery of Christ, p120)

These 40 days of prayer, meditation, and conversation about Meetingbrook continue with us. And you too?

In every vocation, events and other people constantly reactivate our emotional programs for happiness, along with the accompanying turmoil that occurs when these programs are frustrated. Such self-knowledge is not a disaster but the necessary condition for changing them. When these have been dismantled, our ministry starts to work of itself because, once freed from the obstacles of pride and subtle forms of selfishness that hold the false-self system in place, the Spirit of God can work in us.
The seventy-two disciples, flushed with success, came to the Lord expecting to get a pat on the back, and all he said was, "Don't get excited about working miracles. Anybody with a little psychic power can do that. What really counts is that you are part of God's plan. The thing to rejoice in is that you are chosen to become divine and to join me in raising the consciousness of the world."
(Keating, p.121)

No blame, no shame -- only the new foolishness of sun and mountain, sea and sky.

Like water running brook tumbling down Ragged we smile and wave to each other with passion and passing recognition.

We'll have many things to converse about. If not today, tomorrow. If not tomorrow, it doesn't matter.

What matters is choosing to be what each truly is, choosing to dwell who we really are.

Dew, frost -- ourselves!