Today At Meetingbrook

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Bursting. From encircled enclosure to expansive exclosure.

No longer separate. No longer equal. No mental distinction that juxtaposes “separate/equal.” Just, itself. Each and every thing, each and every being: itself.

Some dislike evolution. The difficulty with evolution is the extension of it. Where will it stop? Nowhere?

Nowhere! Everything that is will be itself turning and turning throughout unending length of beyond and completely beyond.

Do not try to seek the Truth
Just don’t cling to opinion
And you won’t linger in dualism.
Let go, leave things as they are
Obey the true nature of things
And you’re in harmony with the Way.

- T’sen T’sang

I write Jim after learning of his sister Paulette’s death, holding them in prayer.

Another Jim and I have coffee in hermitage kitchen this morning. We remember Karen who, before her death, traveled to Cape Breton’s Gampo Abbey several times to sit in retreat and listen to silence, the ocean, and Pema Chodron’s words. Cancer has a way of focusing. Death, a way of minuting joys.

September Twelfth, 2001

Two caught on film who hurtle
from the eighty-second floor,
choosing between a fireball
and to jump holding hands,

aren't us. I wake beside you,
stretch, scratch, taste the air,
the incredible joy of coffee
and the morning light.

Alive, we open eyelids
on our pitiful share of time,
we bubbles rising and bursting
in a boiling pot.

[Poem: "September Twelfth, 2001," by X.J. Kennedy, from The Lords of Misrule (Johns Hopkins University Press). (The Writer's Almanac)]

When I read Kennedy’s poem to Karl the other day he nodded. “For the past year every day has been September 12th for Cathy and me.” Their focus, like shaved head, grows out.

We support each other when we slowly forget the differences our minds create between us. We come to resemble what and whom we love.

Mary’s voice is heard. She visits chapel/zendo. Passes place her and Ben’s St Francis bird feeder stood for a year.

Rain rushes down, pushes September air through windows, darkening dooryard.

“Out from bread, on the one hand” -- (a very loose translation) – might be what “expansive” means, rendered from Latin (ex-pan-sive). Expansive Francis. Expansive community. Expansive death. Expansive seeing beyond what we couldn’t see beyond before.

As Catholic Christian liturgy celebrates, we are the elements of bread consecrated into the reality of Christ, extended each to all in ever widening expansive offering, in the name of love.

“…we bubbles rising and bursting…”

“…the true nature of things…”

One for the other.

One another.

No other.

Monday, September 15, 2003

How approach Being?

Morning cabin sunlight. Tibetan incense silently scents rough wood interior. Cesco stretches on floor. On cushion with lower back discomfort, stillness.

Sitting quietly alone
meditating is not hard.
What is hard is living
on a broad scale and
responding to the world at large.

- Wu Yubi (1391-1469)

Simeon knew.
Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: "This child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed -- and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword -- so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare." (Luke 2: 33-35)

Our Lady of Sorrows today. Holy Cross yesterday. Christians practice to learn how these vignettes inform their perceptions of this day.

If an end time approaches, it has all the effort of Israel, Palestine, United States and Great Britain. Arab frowning watches fawning foreign corporations cut up for themselves what Middle East once considered theirs.

Sando slows in shaggy sweetness. Mu-ge survives urinary blockage. His food is changed. He's complaining.

I don't know what it is like to have men with automatic weapons patrolling streets outside dooryard and likely to fire at any threatening movement according to their scale measurement of what is dangerous.

I lament their fate in Iraq and Middle East. I lament the fate of combatants and noncombatants. I lament the fate of the world shuffling toward destruction with simple-minded notions of ownership and justice.

Mu-ge lies on table. He swats at pen and envelope Saskia's been keeping track of tasks for day. Pen goes down. Followed by envelope. He goes to Cesco's food bowl. A spray of additional envelopes gets thrown in that direction. Meows away.

Last night at Sunday Evening Practice reading "True Forgiveness" in Sun Magazine, article from Richard Smoley's Inner Christianity. His thought-provoking last lines:
Does God have an ego to be offended by our petty failings? Obviously not. Can we really say what is in the heart of others? We know we cannot. But Christians past and present persist in accusing others of heresy, blasphemy, and other such offenses in the pathetic belief that they are defending God. Of course, we can do not such thing. What we are defending here is the ego's last resort -- itself reified into an image of God. And this is the last and perhaps most difficult lesson to learn: the surrender of one's own cherished image of God, nurtured and fostered, perhaps, by years of religious education. This sacrifice is typified by the last words of Christ on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34) The ultimate sacrifice we have to make is that of my God.
(p.16, The Sun, September 2003)

It seems radical, confusing for us, that even Jesus had to relinquish the notion of "my" God.

God is God. God is not portioned or partialed. The Itself belongs to Itself. So too, each of us belongs to each of us.

It is not that we don't owe each other anything. More that no one owes "me" anything.
Owe and own are reckless partners.

There is only I-Thou. No "I" exists without "Thou." Only in the mind -- the mind deluded and separated from the play of reality itself -- is there an "I" separate from the "Thou."

Core reality is the play of I-Thou throughout each and every being -- tumbling into, out of, and through existence -- in this mysterious creation suffused with life.

If we see this, if we hear this, we have taken up the cross and sorrow of awareness. The experience startles. This cross and sorrow transmutes into infinite extension and joyful illumination.

Where does this extension lead? What does this illumination reveal?

The only thing death teaches anyone who dies is that there is no death.

Can this really be?

"War is necrophilia." That's what Chris Hedges said in his talk on War as Addiction.

Like all addictions, like all illusions, like all idols and false gods, war loves what is not there.

Morning cabin sunlight. Stillness. A silence stretching across borders. Sanctuary suffusing itself in and through whatever passes, whatever slows, and whatever stops.

Haiku Re-sounding Air
Morning prayer -- repair!
Let go of fear; Love what is
Here. Open with care.

(wfh)

"...so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare."
"...responding to the world at large."

Really be.