Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, June 01, 2002

Upstairs in Harbor Room Dana and Saskia set up new register for use. Schooner-bum Susan comes in with the mastered cd from her afternoon recording session. We play it. She can sing.

It's a hot afternoon. My heart is in a pine glade.

Alone in mountain fastness,
Dozing by the window.
No mere talk uncovers Truth:
The fragrance of those garden plums!

- Bankei (1622 – 1693)(dailyzen)

Or brown needles grounding shade through sanctuary walking path.

Friday, May 31, 2002

Just because a body is in prison, no need for mind to stay shut up.

Joe asked if we would cease to be human once we arrive at cosmotheandric awareness. Once we awaken a spirituality and consciousness that Raimon Panikkar names and toward which, he suggests, we are evolving.

We returned to Maine State Prison this morning after 5 months. That time was closed to volunteers due to the prison's move from Thomaston to Warren. Everyone had to be reorientated -- retraining prisoners, guards, and staff -- as well as lastly, volunteers.

For two hours 15 of us sat and read, conversed, laughed, spoke for heart and head, recited poetry -- and released the expression that cannot remain unfree.

No thinking, no reflecting-
Perfect emptiness:
Yet therein something moves,
Following its own course.

- Shinkage-ryu sword school (dailyzen)

Dick thought the human was chaos and mistake. Hyun felt that view didn't take into account the oscillating spirituality we'd wrestled with after the Capra/Bateson dialogue. Panikkar's 9 ways not to speak about God suggested alternate thinking about what discourse might fly.

Andre's insight that divinity will not be tainted by one who sees all things in simplicity -- and Kevin's experience that nature "just picks up" when attended to -- sparked thought about the relationship between complexity and consciousness.

Chris said that the ability to make a decision is where chaos begins. Deprived of that choice we remain infantilized. With choice and decision we court mistake and error.

Barbara Rhodes' Zen talk on the illusion and suffering of separation brought attention to the molecular exchange taking place in the midst of our gathering together, and however unaware we might be, there is profound interconnection.

Thor -- ("the image of you / you can't undo"), ("to know death / is to know the wind / that whispers through the trees") -- and Andre ("I wondered if I'm under a spell / you have to wonder") -- recited poems and lines from their poems.

It was a wonderful return. We'll have Meetingbrook Conversations in prison every other Friday morning. We'll put our bodies behind locked doors and barbed wire in exchange for the wonder and wind sweeping through our common exploration.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Water is scarce, says Skip Day -- town Manager at Lincolnville -- when we run by him our plans for Meetingbrook Farm. He thinks we'd be fine with what we wish to do. Of course we are like scarce water trying to seep deeper into ground.

However deep your
Knowledge of the scriptures,
It is no more than a strand of hair
In the vastness of space;
However important seeming
Your worldly experience,
It is but a drop of water in a deep ravine.
-
Tokusan (dailyzen)


Walking boundaries, house inspection, water tests, mortgage inquiry, questions and questions by those who come into the shop. E-mails of advice and wariness. Exclamations of hope and expectation! Always the unknown – where will money come from to support the purchase of farm and initiate the volunteer programs at Laura Common?


But we take one step at a time. Last night reading Plotinus by Hixon -- the ending paragraphs of the love and compassion the One processes forth with what one is -- a slinky extension rounding into itself, twisting to the shape of our dna and awareness.


One day we will see. That day there will be nothing special to note -- only birdsong, cloud cover, flowering bushes on roadway, and fragrance of something baking in the kitchen.


We are fortunate to even write these words.







Sunday, May 26, 2002

Source. Expression. Integration
This sacred three. Holy Trinity. Sei, in German, Be! Source of what is. Expression of what is. Integration of what is.

This cold night bamboos stir,
Their sound- now harsh, now soft—
Sweeps through the lattice window.
Though ear’s no match for mind,
What need, by lamplight,
Of a single Scripture leaf?

- Kido (dailyzen)


At the shop today good music. Coming Home from Dvorak's New World Symphony. Sam, Hugh, Virginia, and Saskia play, visitor sings words. Outside I tell Virginia to play that at my memorial service. Woman playing piano, Idona -- first time in since husband died. Man from Florida, Charles' brother Edson, first time in since wife died. Woman from Rockport -- first time in -- a respite from weariness showing in her eyes. Just that -- with coffee, soup, and rhubarb kuchen, strawberry kuchen, and fire in the fireplace. Just that, a fact of being.


We breathe, laugh, sing. We talk, greet, say goodbye. These trinitarian acts infused with source, expression, & integration -- this is a practice worth practicing. Thomas Berry (p.136) in Buddhism tells of the moment Dante in the Divine Comedy wrote -- after his vision of Divine Reality that he had seen therein -- "All the scattered leaves of the universe bound by love in one volume" (Par.xxxiii, p.85). Is this the Godhead, the Sacred Trinity celebrated today even by those of us who see only through another's words?


Moonlight on kitchen roof is not blown off by stiff winds.