Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Note: Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery will be closed a few days, Friday 2Jan04 through Epiphany, 6Jan04. We will re-open Wednesday, 7Jan04.

.....

Greydusk.

Not much to offer you,
Just a lotus flower floating
In a small jar of water.

- Ryokan (1758-1831)

Lectio and conversation with David, Pam, Sean, and Quinn after walking across pond following long dawn sit in cabin. Peripatetic inquiry into nature of archetypes of 'father' and 'mother.'

Ice and wet snow under drizzle and returning footsteps.

"Let's live here," says last line in Karl's favorite movie.

Holiness burrows beneath knowledge and emotion, travels beyond repetition and misalliance.

Tea finished, cup washed, wood platform for Mary candle next.

Longing commences.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Note: Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery will be closed a few days, Friday 2Jan04 through Epiphany, 6Jan04. We will re-open Wednesday, 7Jan04.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Before dawn, 4:55am.

"Open" flag creaks at corner of cabin.

No apple tree in Sally's small field.

The sun rises; the sun sets.
Watch it and see.
River and moon
Pine trees and wind,
All old poems to me.
Who needs words for the New Year!

- Tao Kai (1065-1123)

Bowing on length of rug after sitting. Solitary candle lets go flame to wisp smoke.

Apple tree arrives on Sally's land, yes, now silhouette in dawn light behind Hosmer Pond's Melvin Heights.

Nothing doing. Hear, hear. Here, here. There, there. Happy Nooo Year!

Mary's solemnity -- God has a mother.

Jesus' holy name -- Christ sacred everywhere present.

Touch what is loving -- we each are meant to be the loving touch of "What Is"!

This dream called 2004!

Marying what is, we are mothering all of creation, the inexplicable wholeness of God within which each one of us is a perspective.

Is this what is dawning?

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

It is final day of year.

While we still have half a mind we continue to climb the road.

I enjoy my lifelong path
Between misty vines and rocky cave
In the wilds there's room to spare
And time to accompany clouds
The road doesn't reach the world
Only the mindless can climb
I sit alone nights on a couch of stone
And the round moon comes up
Cold Mountain

- Han Shan

While we still have firewood we light match and consider the paper thoughts holding our plans

Like Smoke From Our Campfire

All those plans for fame and fortune, honor and glory,
where are they now?
Drifted away like smoke from our campfire, dissipated
into the thin, night air,
the fire deserted and gone down to a few ashy coals,
almost out.
And all of those who sat around the fire: gone away too
into oblivion.


While we still have feet we walk Rockport harbor.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow
we are
bones and ash,
the roots of weeds
poking through
our skulls.
Today,
simple clothes,
empty mind,
full stomach,
alive, aware,
right here,
right now.
Drunk on music,
who needs wine?
Come on,
Sweetheart,
let's go dancing
while we've
still got feet.

(Poems: "Like Smoke From Our Campfire" and "Tomorrow," by David Budbill. Writer's Almanac®with Garrison Keillor.)

While we still see before us an alternate way we continue to dream.

Then Herod called the magi secretly and
ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to
Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you
have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage."
After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star
that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped
over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the
star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their
treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And
having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for
their country by another way.
(Matthew2: 9-12)

Nothing ends, not really. And nothing begins, not so to speak. What really happens is we call to each other in a land of fog and mist listening for the sound of a familiar voice.

Sometimes we hear a voice -- faintly recognizable, barely audible, vaguely familiar. Listening closer and more carefully in this foreign land where once we dwelt in childlike openness, the voice seems to both fade further away and nestle more intimately close at same time.

All movement stops. There is only watchful gaze listening in deepening silence for what seems no longer there.

Fog thickens. Mist dampens. All sound disappears.

What is listening there, alone, and profoundly in love?

What is!
Listening there.
Alone.
And...
Profoundly in love.

Let's go!

Monday, December 29, 2003

Vespers of Thomas Becket this evening.

What annoys most is someone getting away with doing wrong, especially when it is not us.

History allows public apology, change of mind, and semblance of penance to cover what, in the first instance, is blatant and willful wrongdoing.

In poet T.S. Eliot's play about Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket (1118-1170), a line is recited by the chorus: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason." (T.S. Eliot, in Murder in the Cathedral).

Becket was murdered 29Dec1170 by emissaries of King Henry II in Canterbury Cathedral as Vespers was taking place.

On Sunday 21May1172, Henry performed a ceremony of public penance at Avranches cathedral.

He was the king. He got away, they say, with murder.

Another king, Herod, had young boys murdered in Judea. He was attempting to forestall and pre-empt the possibility of a threat to his rule.

Murder and mayhem are tools used by the powerful to cement their power by eliminating whatever is perceived to be in the way of preserving that power.

There are those who feel perversion of power is the only way power can be held on to.
The alternative point of view is that genuine power goes its own way, continually relinquished by renunciate individuals who understand that kingdom, power, and glory belong elsewhere than in the hands of anyone grabbing at and grasping on to it.

Innocence is unknowing.

Ignorance is something else -- more like knowing and ignoring what is known. Repentance is more easily believed when innocence is realized, "I didn't know what I was doing."

Something more cynical occurs when ignorance uses cunning to achieve its objective, then demurs with false theatricality, "I didn't know the gun was loaded -- even after the first dozen shots I fired."

We have history to instruct us.

For the lot of us unfamiliar with the lessons of history, there is prayer:
Oh Good Jesus, for the sake of Thomas forgive us our trespasses, be present in our house, our gate and at his shrine and keep us safe from fell death. Restore to us our customary piety and keep us from straying in mind and body. ( -- Responsory XII From the Office of Matins for St Thomas' Day, Sarum Rite)

Still, it is annoying to watch kings and other incipient wrong-doing leaders get away with murder.

'Fell death' drips poisonous from untruth spoken ignorantly. Such lies stray from safe and sane life in God.

Let us pray for innocence, and reluctance to stray in mind and body!

Stay with us, Thomas, Vespers is finished, and night is upon us!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Mind what you are doing.

The preacher on television says, "Holiness is having the same mind as God; being of one mind with God."

The waistband on two pair of boxer shorts bought at Reny's is printed round with "Change Daily, Change Daily, Change Daily." The sticker taken from them says further, "If in doubt, Change Daily."

Time for a walk in the world outside
And a look at who I am
Originally I had no cares
And I am seeking nothing special
Even for my guests I have nothing
To offer except these white stones
And this clear spring water.

- Muso Soseki (1275-1351)

If we think God’s mind is fixed and final, unchanging and static -- we need to go shopping for underwear. God's mind -- (with apologies for speculating in public) -- is not a thing that is found as exclusive property in text or tribunal claiming, as might a law firm, to be sole guardian of God's rights.

God's mind is in stones and spring water, orange rising sun and white ground snow. There, as well as in the faces of Jay, John, Harold, Martin-&-Judith, Susan, Carter-&-Lola, Joanie, Bill, Sylvia, Jeff, Sam-&-Susan, Karl-&-Pop, Max and William and Dad, and those who walked through shop yesterday whose names I did not hear.

Harold said it as we looked for Micmac book of prayers and chants -- that Spirit is beyond smaller than quark, and has no valence. Thus, immeasurable, and present everywhere. Of itself, non-separate, indecipherable.

With his eyes on mine he quietly described Native American mind on Spirit. As he did the thought occurs -- Spirit is completely within itself -- with no outside. Harold nodded. He smiled when someone behind him said they couldn’t hear him with his low and quiet way of speaking, and quoted a Medicine man who told him to speak only to the one before you, only as loud for them to hear, for only the duration of saying what you are saying.

If a Zen practitioner were standing there she might say that God's mind is no mind -- that everything is finger pointing to the moon. Most commentators make the distinction that the finger is not the moon. But yesterday's Zen smile might have spoken alongside Harold saying that the intent of the person, the finger, and the moon are not three things -- they are the joy of learning, each alongside each in complimentarity. The mind of God is the intent, the finger, and the moon. It is also the ground the pointer and pointee share, as well as the teller of the story and the hearer in relational moment of co-presence.

Martin played his new flute for me. Sylvia read about enchantment and asked where my Irish connection with myth, fantasy, and folklore resided. She made me remember times teaching and studying. The fire lowered, night cooled, upstairs guests gone, day at bookshop/bakery waning. Saskia and Sando were on the road returning home.

The preacher is right. Holiness is having the same mind as God. All day long God shared mind -- from every element (however infinitesimally sub-microscopic) to every face (however shaped and formed by thought, history, and feeling). Being of one mind with God is not difficult/not easy. It is neither of the two. It is one with each.

One mind with God merely is. This mind sees the holy family we are.

Gray squirrel climbs to windowsill. Neighbor's dog barks.

The world is still -- in our seeing, in the mind of the sacred infant and holy old one born and passing each day -- here with us.

No cares. Nothing special. Change daily.

God with us.

Is?