Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Where are the schoolyard monitors?

Anyone not a schoolyard bully recognizes the sneer of schoolyard bullies. It says, "My way. I win. You lose. Get over it!"

It has been asked,
“How should those who enter the
path apply their minds?”
All things are originally uncreated
And presently undying.
Just let your mind be free;
You don’t have to restrain it.
See directly and hear directly;
Come directly and go directly.
When you must go,
Then go.
When you must stay,
Then stay.
This is the true path.
A scripture says, “Conditional
existence is the site of enlightenment,
insofar as you know it as it really is.

- Niu-t’ou Hui-chung (683-769)

Stay or go? It comes to this.

Schoolyard bullies push and punch, poke and piss so everyone knows their power, possession, and pontification.

The United States has dealt with schoolyard bullies and had their own. Sometimes they go away on their own, they grow older, their sneer fades.

Anyone who has experienced a schoolyard bully knows their charm and their arrogance. If you don't suck up to them you stay away from them. Their inner circle grab and control as much as they can while they can and usually keep it even afterwards -- after they've been replaced, shamed, or merely disappear.

It is time to impeach the schoolyard bully.

His lie is in our face.

He and his lie must go.

To make way for a true path, the false path must be abandoned.

We must not allow stay what must go.

Monitors!

Friday, June 27, 2003

Losing Heart

Not

permitted to leave house, only escape is poetry, landscape
like Kurokawa’s “Waiting in the Fog” framing what

remains

of mind. Dissolving like millions of assisted
living residents whose children take time from busy lives

to watch

them disappear. It occurs like birds turning into scent of seed.
Straight lines to other places are diverted. Suddenly something

stops.

Eyes look around. There are sounds belonging to themselves.
Breeze with fragrance carries bell toll. It is not death, but

another irreverence,

ill-mannered barging in, knocking over water glass, meek smile
asking, “who are you?” I have lost my heart, “… what we call

heart –

intending by that term the organ of intelligence which takes
its meanings whole and live, not masticated into chewed abstractions.”


(So says

Archibald MacLeish in Poetry and Experience, p.21). Gone as day is gone
at dusk, just able to make out shapes behind shapes in whispering fog,

blending

shape of face you loved yesterday, (was it?), or long indefinite pronunciation ago,
when lost your gaze fell through and beyond what’s their name right there.

(wfh, 27june03)

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Holly told about retreats these few months. Buddhist settings here and abroad. Like cut made by saw or knife in hand of clear-seeing user she sliced through our curiosity with unresisting deft.

My hut isn’t quite six feet across
Surrounded by pine, bamboos, and mountains,
An old monk hardly has room for himself
Much less for a visiting cloud.

- Shih-wu (1272-1352

Harvard Pluralism Project writes asking if we are "still active".

We are still, active.

There is so little room remaining.

Even the cat can't find his way out.

At Holly's Laura Soul Friend conversation I find my epitaph:
"He was a pain in the ass,
Now he isn't."

There's room for all of us here.

If we are still.

Active.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Who will speak for us when we find silence?

The great way of the buddhas is profound, wondrous, inconceivable; how could its practice be easy? Have you not seen how the ancients gave up their bodies and lives, abandoned their countries, cities, and families, looking upon them as shards of tile? After that they passed eons living alone in the mountains and forests, bodies and minds like dead trees; only then did they unite with the way. Then they could use the mountains and rivers for words, raise the wind and rain for a tongue, and explain the great void, turning the incomparable wheel.
- Dogen (1200-1253)

Who will listen to us when we have nothing to say?

As we know Zachariah was doubtful of the angel's words and was struck speechless, literaly. Elizabeth conceived and gave birth to a son. Eight days later at his circumcision she said he was to be named John, but her relations and neighbors objected because no one had had that name in her family. So they gave a writing tablet to Zachariah who wrote,

"...His name is John... whereupon he regained his speech. All were amazed and wondered... 'What will this child turn out to be?'..."

Zachariah then prayed the well known "Benedictus" Canticle, which is used during Lauds every morning throughout the world. It is a song of blessing and thanksgiving. God has kept his promise, remembered his covenant with Abraham, and this child John is to prepare the way for the fulfillment of that promise, which is,

"...the rising Sun to visit us, to give light to those in darkness... to guide our feet into the way of peace..."

(June 24, Patronal Feast of The Monastery of Christ in the Desert, The Birth of St. John the Baptist)

Who will settle for the particular, peculiar, and partial in a wordless return to love?

Essay on the Personal

Because finally the personal
is all that matters,
we spend years describing stones,
chairs, abandoned farmhouses--
until we're ready. Always
it's a matter of precision,
what it feels like
to kiss someone or to walk
out the door. How good it was
to practice on stones
which were things we could love
without weeping over. How good
someone else abandoned the farmhouse,
bankrupt and desperate.
Now we can bring a fine edge
to our parents. We can hold hurt
up to the sun for examination.
But just when we think we have it,
the personal goes the way of
belief. What seemed so deep
begins to seem naive, something
that could be trusted
because we hadn't read Plato
or held two contradictory ideas
or women in the same day.
Love, then, becomes an old movie.
Loss seems so common
it belongs to the air,
to breath itself, anyone's.
We're left with style, a particular
way of standing and saying,
the idiosyncratic look
at the frown which means nothing
until we say it does. Years later,
long after we believed it peculiar
to ourselves, we return to love.
We return to everything
strange, inchoate, like living
with someone, like living alone,
settling for the partial, the almost
satisfactory sense of it.

(poem by Stephen Dunn)

Who will read the invisible all around us?

Circles of angels, and great clouds of darkness
By the mighty hand of man invite us to take hold.
But a question lodges deep, and we must ask again --
Who wrote the life in the ancient dust that falls to earth like invisible rain?
Who wrote the life in the ancient dust that falls to earth like invisible rain?

(from "Invisible Rain," song by Tom Albury, in Ragged Works)

Who, in deed, am I?

Who in deed, are you?

Silence says nothing and is seen in particular, peculiar, partial acts.

We are articulate silent expressions of gratefulness.

Touching.

Moving through.

What is, here.