Today At Meetingbrook

Friday, June 03, 2005

Sando rests on bed in kitchen after surgery for cancer. Cesco got most of the pizza crusts tonight.

In prison this morning man works on the alphabet. Keeps writing "n" for "s" in "basket." We have plenty of one-to-one time.

In regular Meetingbrook Conversation in afternoon we speak about Husserl and phenomenology. We wonder whether intersubjectivity leaves residue of consciousness on three styrofoam cups.

Twelve years and ten years along in prison for two of the men. One talks about his son, the other his daughter -- how it is time goes by without them.

Just because something is what it is, doesn't mean accepting it that way makes anything easier.

Radical empiricism, or immediate experience, is our life-world. Where we are is where life experiences itself in the world.

Today life tries an experience of awareness.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

We must investigate.

It is a great misfortune for those
Engaged in learning to take the
Sayings of the sages as mere
Verbal exercises.

- Xue Xuan (1389-1464)

Investigate how the galaxies came to be. How up and down are relative terms. How fossils of fish are embedded along the top of the Himalayan mountain range.

We need to investigate why the Ten Commandments and the Four Noble Truths have nailed the ways we humans lose our way. Why con artists and fraud bilkers are so successful at separating us from our money. Why we would want to go anywhere when the cost of automobile and travel is so expensive.

And then we might wish to investigate the healing loveliness of stillness. The refreshing simplicity of silence. The lithe poetry of spring leaves in twilight breeze.

Sages say something worth hearing.

Wisdom.

Worth.

Hearing.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Where is truth?

Therefore, Ananda, be as a lamp unto yourselves, be as a refuge to yourselves. Take no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone besides yourselves.
- The Buddha

Truth is not outside. Truth is not inside. Truth is siding itself. It is the immediate next someone. It is the immediate next something.

Truth is relational.

If we ask -- Where is truth? -- we must be willing to face truth.

Truth is nothing other -- it is our engaged interrelating presence as, with, and through what is called -- Truth.

The Tobacconist's
I am nothing.
I shall always be nothing.
I can only want to be nothing.
Apart from this, I have in me all the dreams in the world.

(-- the first four lines of "The Tobacconist's", Ãlvaro de Campos, Lisbon, 15-1-1928, heteronym of Fernando Pessoa, 1888-1935)

Sometimes, nothing -- is all we can realize.

Between you and me. The immediate next. Interim. Betwixt. Thin Place. Itself "I AM."

Siding immediate -- our engaged interrelation with all that is -- a light unto itself.

Siding ourselves in siding itself -- the absolute nearside -- where truth is.

Shall we meet there?

Lamp unto itself all the world.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Blame is substitute for awareness.

Mostly when we blame someone or something we do so from the hiding place of fear or anger. Blame is duality's first line of attack. If we refuse the invitation to awaken, blame is the rejection notice we send out.

The Brahman Dona saw the Buddha sitting under a tree and was impressed by his peaceful air of alertness and his good demeanor. He asked the Buddha:
"Are you a god?"
"No, Brahman, I am not a god."
"Then an angel?"
"No indeed, Brahman."
"A spirit then?"
"No, I am not a spirit."
"Then what are you?"
"I am awake."

- Anguttara Nikaya

At Friday Evening Interreligious Dialogue Conversation we read footnotes by Sri Aurobindo. This Tuesday morning Saskia stirs dough for chocolate puffs. She remembers Aurobindo's words on quietude and simplicity. They are part of the balance from which action springs. The conversation spoke about egolessness. One person said that as long as we have a body we have an ego.

For a contrarian, the opposite of whatever is shown or said is also seen or heard. Perhaps it is inaccurate to say "egoless." Maybe the word "egoistic" applies. Or, "ego is tic" is a helpful breakout of the word.

A tic is -- "A habitual spasmodic muscular movement or contraction, usually of the face or extremities." Tic is also called habit spasm. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=tic)

We have, and often are, a habit spasm. This habit spasm is in response to stimuli, conditions, or persons. This usually happens when we are unaware and separated from the well of our true being. We are parched and dry, frightened or anxious to please, desperate or blindly grasping at straw. Habit spasm is unawake reaction. Ego is tic twitching the extremities of our body, emotions, or thinking. Mindless action, defensive emotions, or blaming thinking usually follows.

The well of our being -- the wellness of being -- is ignored during egoistic episodes in our daily life. We exhaust ourselves in these episodes. We have fallen asleep.

Buddha said he was awake.

There is no substitute for being awake.

We are blameless.

In this, well.

Monday, May 30, 2005

We honor and pray for all dead and deadened by war.

Are we ready to go? Is it time to end suffering and craving? Do we yet see peace?

18. By the power of that Buddha's Original Vows,
All who hear his Name and desire birth,
Will, without exception, be born in his land
And effortlessly enter the Stage of Non-retrogression.

19. Bodhisattvas, if you make vows
That your lands will be like this,
While aspiring to save all beings everywhere,
Your name will be renowned throughout the ten quarters.

20. In order to serve millions of Tathagatas,
You can assume various forms and fly to those lands;
After worshipping them with joyful hearts,
You will return to the Land of Peace and Provision.'

(from THE LARGER SUTRA ON AMITAYUS: Part 2, Translated from Chinese by Hisao Inagaki}

("Tathagata" means "Thus gone one." It is a term the Buddha used about someone who has brought an end to suffering and has reached nibbana.
"Nibbana" is the highest goal in Buddhism, the third noble truth. It signifies the end of suffering and craving, the attainment of perfect peace. Ultimately, however, it defies description.)

We nearly approach a time when we see war for what it is -- mindless destruction.

We near awareness of an immaculate element wherein we'll see through every illusion -- when mind reveals clear peace, true heart.

Until then, we look into the eyes of the deadened and stand silent at the burial places of the dead -- and weep.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Silence is
Still
Unworded.

(wfh)

Maybe all we can do is learn how to see and say the world.

Like entrusting yourself
To a brave person
When greatly afraid,
By entrusting yourself
To the awakening mind,
You will be swiftly liberated,
Even if you have made appalling errors.

- Majjhima Nikaya

Maybe what some call forgiveness, and others call awareness, is a way worth considering.

Poem is
Being
Written.

(wfh)

Sitting with others during Poetry, Tea, and Literature yesterday, these four word glimpses ask to be spoken. One final one today.

Holiness is
Itself
Revealing

(wfh)