Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, May 08, 2004

End deceitful punishing.

The shame of war atrocities committed in the name of American freedom stands side by side with increasing anger and resentment on the part of those longing for freedom without humiliation. Between callous operational torture and cynical reactive impotence -- where can we go to be antidote and healing alternative?

The real way circulates everywhere;
how could it require
practice or enlightenment?
The essential teaching is fully available;
how could effort be necessary?
Furthermore, the entire mirror is
free of dust; why take steps to polish it?
Nothing is separate from this
very place; why journey away?

- Dogen (1200-1253)

If each one of us is not the embodied origin of the path to peace, then there is no peace, no path, and no authentic way to dwell bodily in this world. There is no system that has the answer. No government. No religion. No philosophy. No psychology. No product to buy. No political stance, left or right, to champion.

There is no place to run, no place to hide. The enormous world which we have known as easily manipulated and controlled is collapsing into a small sliver of geography, into a slight space of minuscule hope. That thin place is you. Is me. Is each and every person. Is every individual waking slowly and finding themselves in that stark and solitary dwelling place named "original."

When we find ourselves at origin, the world begins -- again.

"As a poet I hold the most archaic values on earth . . . the fertility of the soil, the magic of animals, the power-vision in solitude, the terrifying initiation and rebirth, the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe. I try to hold both history and the wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times."(Gary Snyder, quoted in The Writer's Almanac)

Consult no timepiece. Seek no guru. Choose no political party. Follow no other truth. It is now up to you, up to each one of us, to embody what is found with original presence.

Be what is found.

Honor what is emerging through and within the embodied reality we are discovering.

Be father/mother with original presence.

Whole. And full of grace.

Birth alternative antidote.

Begin true healing.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Over barn through trees back behind brook beyond Ragged Mountain -- moon slips cover of cloud reappearing into this room. Gift of 3:15am.

Trying to find a buddha or enlightenment is like trying to grab space. Space has a name but no form. It’s not something you can pick up or put down. And you certainly can’t grab it. Beyond this mind you’ll never see a buddha. The buddha is a product of your mind. Why look for a buddha beyond this mind?
- Bodhidharma (d. 533)

Why look for anything?

Reading Inner Christianity by Richard Smoley at Thursday Evening Conversation we wonder whether anything with an outside is rife with secrets. Anything with an outside has initiations, attitudes of exclusion, rules for membership, special handshakes winks and nods, and tends to evaluate or judge who is worthy to belong. In the circle there is a preference for something not so controlled. Do we not see what is right here before us because something has veiled our understanding? Would an innocent heart and open mind allow the revelation of what is both ground and groundlessness of existence – a revelation full of grace?

It seems there are three phases of the traditional problem of God’s face, stated, “No one sees the face of God and lives.”

1. If we can’t look at God,
2. The potential is we can we look as God --
3. And so, what is this/now/here looking?

From Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas our thinking has sought to solve dualistically the distinctive fluctuation between potential and act. Contemporary psychology phrases this as – If we can only actualize our potential we’d be better. happier people. A subtle dualism pervades this thinking about act and potency. Could we rather say that every act or actual thing or actual being is its own power? The very fact of being is the very fact of the power inherent within being.

By saying power is undifferentiated from the locus of power, something odd occurs. Intention and act remain inseparable. Thus when I say, “I am writing” the reality is that writing is what I am. Or “I am walking” doesn’t mean that walking is an activity some separate “I” is doing, rather, walking is what I am.

Still, there is a paradox here. If power resides in what is being done, there is a diminished emphasis on who is doing the doing. What we in the west call the “I” or “ego” or “self” begins to be de-emphasized. A curious presence emerges. Something whole begins to come into view. Surprisingly there is less an “I” seeing what is there than there is mere seeing what is there.

We are “impotens” i.e. Latin for “feeble, powerless, not master of.” At the same time the adverbial “impotenter” means “weakly, intemperately, passionately.”
Impotentia” also means “poverty.” Poverty emerges as its own presence. It no longer exclusively means penniless. Poverty emerges through undifferentiated realization as mere seeing, unadorned and liberated to be itself.

(Birdsong brings first light inviting dawn.)

With dawn is passing spirited morning breeze. Everyone and everything has received the passing invitation of this night. I dreamt of two friends from 40 years ago, Bob Coles and Steve Hoder. It is a Franciscan dream and we are saying goodbye. When I wake I continue shallow breathing from sleep, remembering Bob was killed on a Mexico beach 25 years ago. I’d not seen him for years. At his wake there was a video. He circled a large studio as one running laps through a modern dance the purpose of which was not immediately evident. Abrupt endings extend mourning. Goodbyes are waved in lieu of fond recollection. Everyone and everything once met remains not other than us.

Yesterday at the shop Robert and Su.Sane spoke spiritedly of gift and giving. A refreshing interchange focused on new spirit of understanding art and poetry – artful and poetic life. They feel the Tibetan Buddhist monks living in the area are “to be given to” – as if their very being was “to be given to” and everyone is exposed to this new appreciation of being they embody. Of course the “Family/Clarity” Robert and Su.Sane share with their household is a genre of gift which is itself infectious.

Their insight, spoken by Su.Sane, applies to Meetingbrook – “Take the large, put it into the small, you get immense.” It is example of mere-seeing. In our case, Dogen & Francis Hermitage at Bald & Ragged Mountain enters Meetingbrook at Camden Harbor. The prevailing intuition is donation. We will cultivate a presence that blurs the dualistic separation of monastery and marketplace. The primary charism is hospitality, generosity, and communal concretion of contemplation, conversation, and correspondence. This, now, and here.

When we intuit the place as one of collation and recollection we begin to experience how deep listening and loving speech become invitatory prelude for finding one’s original voice.

We become marked people. When we enter the prayer or dream of authentic selfless giving we are marked with the reception of that authenticity. Sandra called it grace some Wednesdays ago, an approaching maturity.

Here ‘mark’ is seen as something conspicuous serving as guide for travelers. Mark (in Webster’s dictionary) is also said to be “one of the bits of leather or colored bunting placed on a sounding line at intervals,” a lasting or strong impression of the attention each individual finds on their way,

Ed stopped by yesterday. He stood outside in sunlight and recited a quote he’d read in a book on Intention by Wayne Dyer:
When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all the animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.” (An ancient Hasidic saying)

It might have been in Heidegger I read the line: Life is gift and not recompense.

This morning I find it in Levinas.
The legacy of the life and work of Emmanuel Levinas [1905-1995] is the teaching of an absolute gratuity.

ABSOLUTE GRATUITY
To give, to offer up, to sacrifice - of one's substance, of one's time, of oneself - without the expectation of recompense. It is only absolute when it takes place without expectation.

ABSOLUTE
That is, an absolute gratuity is an infinite expenditure. It signifies, most particularly, an inverse economy, a total inversion that is most properly thought when it is first construed as a divine inversion, a total expenditure beginning with God's own self-absolution.

GOD'S OWN SELF-ABSOLUTION
Absolute gratuity is the significance of God. From the beginning God gives up God's self absolutely, hence there is creation. God's utter expenditure is, at the same time, incarnation. The flesh of God is the world. Therefore, whenever anything is, it is by way of participation in the event of God's creative sacrifice. Being is sacrifice, primordially. The event of being is therefore most properly called a gift and, paradoxically, a gift that has been abandoned by its giver, God having withdrawn into the gift itself. Creation will therefore find it impossible to return to its origin.

THE ORIGIN
Whenever the origination of a gift is lost, the directionality of generosity is always toward-the-other. This means, in particular, that my generosity must seek an infinity beyond me, beyond a circuit of exchange that begins and ends with me. The conclusion of giving is infinity.

THE CONCLUSION
Because the origin is lost and the conclusion is infinity, the beginning and the end exchange places and they do so always at the same time. Eternity, the time of origins, and infinity, the time of the finite, cross each other in creation. The crux of this crossing is the fixing of obligation. Obligation, one to the other, is the linchpin that holds it all together. Obligation itself is nothing. Obligation is the essence of alterity.

ALTERITY AND OBLIGATION TO AND FOR THE OTHER
Alterity, the otherness of the other, gives obligation. Alterity, in the face of the disappearance of God, now traces itself across the face of the other person. Divine inversion has now produced a work of human inversion, a reversal of each ego's relationship to itself, so that now each self, having lost its ties to the origin, finds itself only other and utterly alien. It is this for it is only what it is by being other and not itself. This is by no means a Hegelian self-difference that calls out to identity, but an absolute difference, an identity whose identity is difference. Now, when all identity is difference, the self cannot lodge within itself, finding there a restful space of introspection. One finds, now, that the inner is the outer. The other, no longer transcendent, is the seat of the psyche. Therefore now, expenditure, which is the gift of creation, has no other direction than toward the other. This obligation to the other is the first and most absolute responsibility and, since this predeeds eternally any conscious decision, it simply is. It is the body of matter itself.

IM/POSSIBILITY
An absolute gratuity is, of course, impossible, which is exactly why it becomes a matter of utmost urgency. It becomes a matter of the thinking of an actual historical crossing between time and eternity, which is a truly historical or cultural or social thinking. This "exigency," as Levinas would say, is the im/possibility of being otherwise. As our time may be described as one of diversity, pluralism or difference, the thinking of this exigency for or toward the other or the different is the thinking of an ontology that privileges plurality under the sign of ethical responsibility. Obligation to and for the other is now the very reason for being. This is the novel element of our age, what some call the postmodern. It is a profound mistake to understand postmodernity as merely a literary production - an invention. Rather its essence is one of critique and ethical critique at that, a critique that charges - according to my translation - save the lost and preserve the different. This is no longer merely theory but the only possibility of contemporary virtue. That it will be met with suspicion only gives voice to the deep skepticism of our age, a skepticism or material secularity that defines our culture but is simultaneously necessary as the foundation for a radical critique of the metaphysics and ontology of the past. The term "postmodernity" has been criticized for, some say, referring to nothing other than modernity. But, at the same time, reverberating in the extremity of the prefix "post," there is an intuition of or hope for something radically new, beyond the possible. And this im/possible day is dawning.
(Piece {as is} by Eric C. Helmer.) http://home.att.net/~alterity/Layers/lev.html

It approaches 10am. Richard came by to fix weed-wacker. Diane and Ernesto are ready to have breakfast at Corner Shop.

Clarity and charity are lovely gift in all forms and times appearing.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Out of sight out of mind?

To search for enlightenment or nirvana beyond this mind is impossible. The reality of your own self-nature, the absence of cause and effect, is what's meant by mind. Your mind is nirvana. You might think you can find a buddha or enlightenment somewhere beyond the mind, but such a place doesn't exist.
- Bodhidharma (d. 533)

If we put Jesus and Buddha out of mind, where do they go? If the mind they have abandoned is left on its own with nothing in it, does it even exist? And if the Christ and the Bodhisattva are beyond mind, do I have to completely not think when I look at the poster we took home from Vermont symposium in 1984 entitled "The Christ and the Bodhisattva"?

And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me".
(John 12:44 - 50 )

Can we be 'judged' by word? (Maybe.) Especially if body is manifestation of word which is expression of thought which itself is concretion of spirit which emanates from mind which is staging ground for the reality of God -- then -- it is easier to consider word looking around and saying, "This is this and that is that, and thus have I spoken, thus I have judged."

If something is what it is, can we say it is good? If something is not what it is, dare we say it is not good?

Or, is each thing exactly what it is and every body exactly what they are no matter what we think?

Student: Roshi, I may put my hands together in gassho and someone may look at me and say, "Oh, that is good gassho," but there maybe a cold heart behind it.

Suzuki Roshi: Cold heart or warm heart is not the question.

Student: Is it still good gassho?

Suzuki Roshi: Perfect!

(-- from Discussion with Suzuki Roshi, in July 2000 Berkeley Zen Center Newsletter.)

David S. from Belfast used to say "Perfect!" a lot over the years he attended Wednesday Evening Conversations. Last night Tuesday Evening Conversation was just that, and Joanie, Lloyd, John, Saskia, Richard, and I had fun with Shunryu Suzuki's words as they unjudged us around the fireplace.

We had a mind to allow one another all the room needed to find manifestation, expression, concretion, and emanation in the midst of what was there.

And what was not there? Such a place doesn't exist.

There you are!

Bidden. Invited.

What a sight!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

How far beyond?

We forget where we are going. We do this when we refuse to acknowledge where we are.

So our Lord’s sheep will finally reach their grazing ground where all who follow him in simplicity of heart will feed on the green pastures of eternity. These pastures are the spiritual joys of heaven. There the elect look upon the face of God with unclouded vision and feast at the banquet of life for ever more.

Beloved brothers [and sisters], let us set out for these pastures where we shall keep joyful festival with so many of our fellow citizens. May the thought of their happiness urge us on! Let us stir up our hearts, rekindle our faith, and long eagerly for what heaven has in store for us. To love thus is to be already on our way. No matter what obstacles we encounter, we must not allow them to turn us aside from the joy of that heavenly feast. Anyone who is determined to reach his destination is not deterred by the roughness of the road that leads to it. Nor must we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveller who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going.

(--From a homily on the Gospels by Saint Gregory the Great, pope; Office of Readings, 4th Sunday of Easter)

Tonight, steady rain. In the past two days soft green emergence of sprig leaf on edge of branch the mountain length.

Metamorphosis
Always it happens when we are not there--
The tree leaps up alive into the air,
Small open parasols of Chinese green
Wave on each twig. But who has ever seen
The latch sprung, the bud as it burst?
Spring always manages to get there first.

Lovers of wind, who will have been aware
Of a faint stirring in the empty air,
Look up one day through a dissolving screen
To find no star, but this multiplied green,
Shadow on shadow, singing sweet and clear.
Listen, lovers of wind, the leaves are here!

Poem: "Metamorphosis," by May Sarton, from Collected Poems 1930-1993.)

“We arrive at something,” Roethke said in a poem, “without knowing why.”

Psalms, Chapter 73
1. How good God is to the upright, the Lord, to those who are clean of heart!
2. But, as for me, I lost my balance; my feet all but slipped,
3. Because I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4. For they suffer no pain; their bodies are healthy and sleek.
5. They are free of the burdens of life; they are not afflicted like others.
6. Thus pride adorns them as a necklace; violence clothes them as a robe.
7. Out of their stupidity comes sin; evil thoughts flood their hearts.
8. They scoff and spout their malice; from on high they utter threats.
9. They set their mouths against the heavens, their tongues roam the earth.
10. So my people turn to them and drink deeply of their words.
11. They say, "Does God really know?" "Does the Most High have any knowledge?"
12. Such, then, are the wicked, always carefree, increasing their wealth.
13. Is it in vain that I have kept my heart clean, washed my hands in innocence?
14. For I am afflicted day after day, chastised every morning.
15. Had I thought, "I will speak as they do," I would have betrayed your people.
16. Though I tried to understand all this, it was too difficult for me,
17. Till I entered the sanctuary of God and came to understand their end.
18. You set them, indeed, on a slippery road; you hurl them down to ruin.
19. How suddenly they are devastated; undone by disasters forever!
20. They are like a dream after waking, Lord, dismissed like shadows when you arise.
21. Since my heart was embittered and my soul deeply wounded,
22. I was stupid and could not understand; I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23. Yet I am always with you; you take hold of my right hand.
24. With your counsel you guide me, and at the end receive me with honor.
25. Whom else have I in the heavens? None beside you delights me on earth.
26. Though my flesh and my heart fail, God is the rock of my heart, my portion forever.
27. But those who are far from you perish; you destroy those unfaithful to you.
28. As for me, to be near God is my good, to make the Lord GOD my refuge. I shall declare all your works in the gates of daughter Zion.

(in New American Bible)

The mistake we make is thinking anyone has a lock on the mind of God. The equal mistake is imagining nature has gone any further than coming close to mere beginning to disclose her mystery. The tragic mistake is the perennial imposition of personal or narrow psychological interpretation on the enormous and immeasurable realm of human existence.

Garrison Keillor writes that yesterday, the 3rd, was the birthday of Niccolo Machiavelli, born in Florence, Italy (1469)
Machiavelli's main point in The Prince is that the most important task for a ruler is to keep his country secure and peaceful, using whatever means possible. Sometimes, this means doing things that most people would consider immoral, but Machiavelli said that that's just part of the job.

He was cynical about human nature: he argued that it was natural for most people to be selfish, and so a great ruler has to accept that he lives in an immoral world. He wrote, "A man who might want to make a show of goodness in all things necessarily comes to ruin among so many who are not good. Because of this it is necessary for a prince, wanting to maintain himself, to learn how to be able to be not good and to use this and not use it according to necessity."

He also argued that most people value their property more than the lives of their friends and family, and so in some situations it's okay for rulers to kill their citizens, but it's almost never okay to take away their property. He wrote, "Men must be either pampered or crushed, because they can get revenge for small injuries, but not for grievous ones. So any injury a prince does a man should be of a kind where there is no fear of revenge."

(in "The Writer's Almanac", by Garrison Keillor, May 3, 2004)

As a friend often says, “It is difficult trying to overcome the human.” I'd, rather, prefer to see the difficulty as proprietary opinion claiming sovereignty over depth consciousness. The ‘human’ is a particular mode of intelligence. It is not the whole of intelligence. It is, however, an intelligence adept at protecting and preserving its own interests. It is a combative intelligence that seeks to win – (however ‘win’ is understood) -- the real or perceived contests it engages in, the benefit of which is usually some prize, or power, or reward available only to the winner.

Nature seems a different intelligence. The majestic mystery of nature bursts forth in Midcoast Maine these days. Winter behind us. Now is flowering time. The intelligence of nature stands still within itself -- where it is, as it is.

Meetingbrook remains uncertain. No inspiration resolves. It is a change of season. Nothing special, nothing comprehensible emerges. What has occurred?

MME MARTIN: Quelle a la morale?
LE POMPIER: C'est a vous de la trouver.

(Ionesco, La Cantatrice Chauve)

So much feels absurd. The shop is absurd. The war is absurd. The bickering, posturing, and attacks on each other by presidential incumbent and candidate – this too is absurd.

And then I realize most of my life is absurd.

In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus tried to diagnose the human condition in a world of shattered beliefs:
"A world that can be explained by reasoning, however faulty, is a familiar world. But in a universe that is suddenly deprived of illusions and of light, man feels a stranger. His is a irremediable exile, because he is deprived of memories of a lost homeland as much as he lacks the hope of a promised land to come. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, truly constitutes the feeling of Absurdity." (Camus, p.18)

"Absurd" originally means "out of harmony," in a musical context. Hence its dictionary definition: "out of harmony with reason or propriety; incongruous, unreasonable, illogical." In common usage in the English-speaking world, "absurd" may simply mean "ridiculous." But this is not the sense in which Camus means the word, and in which it is used when we speak of the Theatre of the Absurd. In an essay on Kafka, Ionesco defined his understanding of the term as follows: "Absurd is that which is devoid of purpose.... Cut off from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots, man is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless."

(Eugene Ionesco, "Dans les Armes de la Ville") (p.xix, in The Theatre of the Absurd, by Martin Esslin, c.1961)

Luckily (or not) I was steeped in existential philosophy, theatrical, and political expressions of absurdity during formative years. Poetry and spirituality seemed the only sanity. I wonder -- with what are we out of harmony? With what imperceptible sphere of being are we attempting to find harmony?

When we forget where we are going, when we feel lost, we can at least look, and try to see where we are.

Lost
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

(Poem “Lost” by David Wagoner)

We lose our way. We wander in circles -- first wide, then narrow. Artists we know say it is going to the large to return to the small. This time it feels like plunging through the open earth. What is the consequence? What retrieval is possible in this unknowing return?

But what about things that we love?
We see sun shining on the ground, and the dry dust,
And at home the forests deep with shadows,
And smoke flowering from the rooftops,
Peacefully, near the ancient crowning towers.
These signs of daily life are good,
Even when by contrast something divine
Has injured the soul.
For snow sparkles on an alpine meadow,
Half-covered with green, signifying generosity
Of spirit in all situations, like flowers in May —
A wanderer walks up above on a high trail
And speaks irritably to a friend about a cross
He sees in the distance, set for someone
Who died on the path... what does it mean?

(from poem "Mnemosyne" —Third version, by Friedrich Hölderlin)

Is the function of sighted cross for us to ask…"What does it mean?"

We turn around and find ourselves, uncertainly, where we are. Near origin.

For whatever dwells
Close to its origin is loath to leave the place

(from “The Journey” by Holderlin)

We listen, nesciently. The sound of rain through the night – the sound of it saying: stand still; dwell close to origin. C'est a vous de la trouver.

In the encircling swirl of absurdity, we are lovers of the wind.

It moves where it will. And who knows?

Beyond me.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Note: Shop back open Tuesday.
...............

I attend the hermitage of the alone.

Where is it?

Where are you right now?

Now, in this world and in other worlds, in India and China, buddha ancestors equally carry the buddha seal and teach the practice of sitting immersed in steadfastness. Although circumstances may vary in a thousand ways, whole-heartedly practice Zen, giving yourself fully to the way. Why give up the sitting platform of your own house and wander uselessly in the dust of a remote land? Once a wrong step is taken, you depart from the way.
- Dogen (1200-1253)

This season of solitude -- shop not open, no trips away, staying close in -- is a lovely simplicity.

"I and the Father are one," says Jesus, according to John 10:30.

It's odd that modern culture sees 'one' as a lonely number. Preferring twos, threes, and millions to the bare simple sanctuary of one -- our world runs in circles trying to gather and accumulate more and even more as a sign of wealth, success, popularity, and importance.

(God) did not make the heavens in his image, nor the moon, the sun, the beauty of the stars, nor anything else which you can see in the created universe. YOU ALONE are made in the likeness of that nature which surpasses all understanding; YOU ALONE are a similitude of eternal beauty, a receptacle of happiness, an image of the true light; and if YOU look up to him, you will become what he is, imitating him who shines within you, whose glory is reflected in your purity. Nothing in all creation can equal your grandeur. All the heavens can fit into the palm of God's hand; the earth and the sea are measured in the hollow of his hand. And though he is so great that he can grasp all creation in his palm, you can wholly embrace him; he dwells within you, nor is he cramped as he pervades your entire being (...).
(Gregory of Nyssa, "Commentarius in Canticum Canticorum, Oratio 2," 807-8. Quoted in Jean Danielou S.J., From Glory to Glory, P.162-3, quoted within R.C. Zaehner, Evolution in Religion, pp.65-6)

You're the one!

Among all beings, each being is the one and only. This realization is free of solipsism and selfishness, free of me and mine and shoot to kill those trespassing my private property. It is not an easy understanding -- the one that sees 'what is,' even the great 'What Is,' as sole loving reality (soul-loving reality?).

Once awareness sees through the lies and deceits of propaganda and advertisement, once the undivided is understood, once the individual wakes up to true home -- all is blessed, all is full of joy, all is surrendered to and disappears from contentious view.

May all be happy and safe! May all beings gain inner joy - all living beings whatever ... seen or unseen. Dwelling afar or near, born or yet unborn - may all beings gain inner joy. May no beings deceive another, nor in any way scorn another, nor, in anger or ill-will, desire another's sorrow. As mother cares for her son, her only son, all her days, so toward all things living a man's mind should be all-embracing. Friendliness for the whole world, all-embracing, he should raise his mind above, below, and across, unhindered, free from hate and ill-will.
(Sutta Nipata, The Buddhist Tradition, PP.37-38) (http://www.onegodsite.net/archives.html)

My 'church' this morning is green canoe on blue water under sweet warm sun.

Do not allow the noise of division and justification of divisiveness to insult integrity.

Listen to the lovely sound of what is -- being -- spoken in silence, stillness, and sweet song.

One's breath.