Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, July 31, 2004

We are a country in the middle of a war.

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me." He replied to him, "Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?" Then he said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions." Then he told them a parable. "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?' And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"' But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?' Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God."
(Luke 12:13-21)

Yes, there's a war in Iraq.

Bullets, bombs, and billions.

An inmate in Maine State Prison said on Friday that spirituality is how we carry ourselves.

What matters to God?

Carry this question!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

In prison in the morning we'll talk about spirituality
 
If everyone is already enlightened, teachers show up when anyone shows up. However unknowing we might be, the light resides at center.

If everyone has that of Christ-reality within them, incarnations of that reality find themselves revealed when invited or prompted by circumstance or attentive being.
 
From the passions arise worry,
And from worry arises fear.
Away with the passions, and no fear,
No worry.
- Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

Brennan Manning in his book A Glimpse of Jesus : The Stranger to Self-Hatred says something close to the following: Jesus was not compassionate because he was the Christ; he was the Christ because he was compassionate.

We'll speak about spirituality because spirituality is about finding a way to compassion through all the diversions and dispersions leading to something other than compassion.

Prison might seem like a difficult place to embody compassion.

No fear. No worry. Will we ever see their absence?

We'll see it. Any day now.

We will.

See. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

In cabin chapel/zendo statue of Francis moves from corner to under loft ladder.

There's something agnostic about July.

In corner where Francis was, small wood box with anchor carving on top.

I tell someone it is a tabernacle.

It holds nothing.

Home of God.

Sitting.

Within.

No thing.



Monday, July 26, 2004

Political convention begins.

Jimmy Carter spoke tonight in Boston at the Democratic gathering. He said: Ultimately, the issue is whether America will provide global leadership that springs from the unity and integrity of the American people or whether extremist doctrines and the manipulation of truth will define America's role in the world.
 
He's 80 years old, been president of the US, won a Nobel Prize, built houses for the poor, and monitored elections worldwide. Jimmy Carter thinks that in this upcoming election, "At stake is nothing less than our nation's soul."
 
I’ve finished the pavillion
On the pond’s west bank
Cleared out the trees
Across to the east
And this
No one understands
But I just wanted a place
To wait on the moon.
- Po Chu-I (772–846)

Hillary Clinton introduces her husband Bill Clinton who rouses the crowd. It's been a long slog from a ruptured vote in November 2000 to this official beginning to restore voter will in November 2004.

Neither too far to the right nor too far to the left, Americans will have a new chance to decide where the middle resides.

In an article published on Monday, July 26, 2004, Steven Laffoley from Nova Scotia, writes "Dissent is Now Dangerous" on CommonDreams.org about conversations he had in Maine. He says, In the local newspaper, buried on page twelve, I read that the Bush administration is test flying the conditions necessary for postponing the November election. A terrorist attack? A hurricane? An earthquake, perhaps?
I find myself wondering: is the "dissent" of pastors, landscapers, and filmmakers enough?
It is then that I realize: I am scared. After all, in America, dissent is now dangerous.


It is an odd thought that in America dissent is now dangerous.

To make now safe again.

We need an election.

A change.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The experiment of Meetingbrook is the intuition that enlightened ordinary individuals serve as unknowing teachers to us.

They don't know who they are. Nor do we try to determine who is or is not teacher. Meetingbrook holds as true that each person, each being, and each situation is itself a teaching.

Those who are following the Way should behave like a piece of timber which is drifting along a stream. If the log is neither held by the banks, nor seized by people, nor obstructed by gods, nor kept in the whirlpool, nor itself goes to decay, I assure you that this log will finally reach the ocean. If monks walking on the Way are neither tempted by the passions, nor led astray by some evil influences, but steadily pursue their course for Nirvana, I assure you that these monks will finally attain enlightenment.
- Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

We're grateful there are beloved Zen Masters with devoted followers who call themselves students of the master.

We're ever further grateful there are so many ordinary non-masters who devote themselves unknowingly to be teacher and guiding examples of learning needing to be integrated within one's being.

Not to choose specific teachers, but to attend alertly to each person/being/situation is to exercise no-choice in the practice of mindful presence.

Compassion and humility are harmonious sounds in this practice.

Listening reveals dissonance and obedience encourages clear resonance as response to what is heard.

We assume enlightenment -- everyone's.

We practice to pass through.

To remember.

One's sound. 

Together.