Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Folks from Findhorn find the shop this Friday. Married there, they return to Maine. They look for community.

A piece of mind as clear as the sky
Where clouds float freely into all.
This quiet night I do not lean toward sleep
But listen for leaves falling in my yard.

- Kuo-Yin ( c. 1111)

Robert and Su.Sane sit with Sam and Susan a while. The first two will do an art show at the library in autumn. The second two show tool sharpening skills at Rockland Apprenticeshop this afternoon.

Joanie's leg goes flex and flatten on machine in bed. Saskia's LCD computer screen goes kaput in southern Maine during a workman's comp audit. Barbara H will leave Camden in a few days after several years for New York State. Richard O' returns south to Florida after vacation.

The little boy was drawing when his mother noticed and asked, "What are you drawing, Jimmy?"
The little boy, without looking up, answered, "A picture of God."
"But Jimmy," his mother replied, "Nobody knows what God looks like."
"They will once I'm finished."

(p.55, in Doing Nothing Coming to the End of the Spiritual Search, by Steven Harrison)

God is not what we think God is. Nor are we who we think we are.

So -- What is God? And -- Who are we?

At Times I Have

At times I have happy ideas,
Ideas suddenly happy, in among ideas
And the words in which they naturally shake free ...

After writing, I read ...
What made me write that?
Where have I been to find that?
Where did that come to me from? It is better than
me ...
Shall we have been, in the world, at the most, pen
and ink
With which somebody writes properly what we here
jot?...

(18.12.1934) (--from 'Selected Poems' translated from Fernando Pessoa by J.Griffin.)

Tom and Lloyd, Saskia and I read Pessoa and Bozarth, Cummings and Basho for poetry at Friday Evening Conversation.

Friedrich Nietzsche asked the obvious question: "Which is it -- is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's blunders?" (p.56, Harrison)

I prefer poetry.

There, it is neither question nor answer that matters.

Rather, poetry moments us.

Summering leaf holds in heat and sudden shower.

No blunder.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Left alone, Cesco ate cherry Kuchen piece of cake in van while Sando and we visited Joanie in Windward Gardens.

Talent discarded
wisdom wiped away
you return to foolishness
No desire to leave traces of bungling
to a world of dust.

(-- Jakushitsu)

At Meher Baba conversation Wednesday evening Ken spoke of the silence and the veil of ignorance. Saskia's insight was that breaking the silence is lifting the veil of ignorance.

It's not a matter of words or wordlessness.

You were saying?

No trace.

Speaking Now into Being is entering Sacred Silence.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Nothing prepares us for the loss of meaning.

Petals drop from flower like words from language -- and we are bare -- ready realization of empty presence.

I watch a teacher lecture on the sutras
His eloquence flows like running water.
Expounding on the five stages
And the eight categories,
He explains them with unequaled cleverness.
They proclaim themselves masters
And others believe it.
However, question them about the essence of Zen
And they have no useful answer.

- Ryokan (1758-1831)

The essence of Zen?

He who truly attains awakening knows that deliverance is to be found right where he is. There is no need to retire to the mountain cave. If he is a fisherman he becomes a real fisherman. If he is a butcher he becomes a real butcher. The farmer becomes a real farmer and the merchant a real merchant. He lives his daily life in awakened awareness. His every act from morning to night is his religion. (Sokei-an)

We didn't open the shop yesterday. We instead worked all day and night on codes and numbers for the other work Saskia does in order to support the shop. It was nice to be away from the crowds that a busy summer weekend of craft fairs and wooden boat shows and harbor festivals that Camden, Rockland, and Belfast hosted this sunny mid-summer. We're the only shop in the area in high summer that has to close its doors in order to make some money.

At Evening Practice we read from Speaking of Silence, Christians and Buddhists on the Contemplative Way. Participants in a forum talk about monasticism and the changing dynamics East and West for new populations wishing to engage and encounter the mysteries of God and Bare Reality.

Jim says something about the need for a new organic expression of the spiritual life.

We're ready for such an organic change.

Our every act, from morning to night, is our religion.

Blessed be the presence.

The reality.

Of this.

It is our body and blood.

Christ.

Nearing, and nearly empty of any other meaning.

Now seeing us as no useful answer.

Seeing Itself?