Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, April 29, 2006

There is no end to mind. But "end," the monk said, is also a concept. There is no concept to mind. No end; no concept. There is no mind.

There is only what there is.

As to the roaming of sages,
They move in utter emptiness,
Let their minds meander in the great nothingness;
They run beyond convention
And go through where there is no gateway.
They listen to the soundless
And look at the formless,
They are not constrained by society
And not bound to its customs.

- Lao-tze

There is no proof anything is other than what it is. Without proof we are left only with the curious notion of trust.

"Do you trust yourself? -- I asked a few people in prison. They answered "No!" They're right. Trust isn't segregated. Trust is relational. Only if one person trusts herself can anyone else trust himself. But if no one trusts themselves, how comes trust into being?

There must be some one who is trust itself. From that ground point everything else takes direction.

Sitting outside shop this morning, sipping coffee, looking out over harbor, sunlight on face, all alone.

I trust one thing. I trust what is trust itself.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Three inmates worry the chaplain's position will be filled by someone who will, chink by chink, have moral integrity broken away. So, we talk about how anyone retains moral integrity in an unraveling time.

Cold cliffs, more beautiful the deeper you enter
Yet no one travels this road.
White clouds idle about the tall crags;
On the green peak a single monkey wails.
What other companions do I need?
I grow old doing as I please.
Though face and form alter with the years,
I hold fast to the pearl of the mind.

- Hanshan (8th century)

The pearl is awareness without either pretense or penury. No pretending means awareness threads do unravel; one must hold the thread ready for new creation. No penury means faith that what is whole in itself (no matter how unseen) is ever at origin of each encounter; one trusts the goal of integrity to hold despite every movement to the contrary.

There are rumors around the prison that my hat is in the ring for a look/see.
It was a fine interview these three offered -- heart-felt and spot on.

A man this afternoon told of the following conversation he had with a woman in hospice. "What's wrong with me," she asked. He looked at her, and said, "You're dying." She thought a bit. "I want it to be over with as soon as possible." He smiles and says to her, "You've always been impatient and in a hurry."
He tells me this, observing the delight he feels, the permission to speak honestly and openly about death with those dying.

Tonight we're told a woman we know is found wandering and confused in a shopping center out of state. Saskia listens to the caller. They try to piece together contacts and strategy.

For all who are lost. For all imprisoned. For all sick, worried, and afraid. For all who reach out to be of assistance.
For all who do not know they are wandering, lost. For those who think they know, and don't. For all who believe themselves immune to compassion in favor of duty, lesson teaching, or power abuse. For those who long for justice and mercy.

We pray during the necessary unraveling.

May each thread be restorative.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Saw lovely house in Belfast. It would make fine consolidation. (Lick finger. Hold it in air. Which way the wind?)

My teacher said to me,
"The treasure house within you contains everything,
and you are free to use it.
You don't need to seek outside."

- Dazhu (487-593)

Within is suitable address. Receive visitors there.

Lord our God, we are tired by the work of the day. Refresh us with peaceful sleep and, forever renewed by the help you give, let us always be dedicated to you in body and mind. (Final prayer, Compline)

So it is we are dismissed.

According to the word.

Pronouncing the house of being.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

There's far too much interest in the beyond and the behind, the up ahead and far back. I prefer the awe of what is near now.

People who study Buddhism should seek real,
True perception and understanding for now.
If you attain real, true perception and understanding,
Birth and death don't affect you
You are free to go or stay.
You needn't seek wonders,
For wonders come of themselves.

- Linji (d. 867)

The sorrow and the joy -- the pathos of real events without distancing by analytical or cynical -- this is where dwells true heart/mind.

According to [Michel] Henry, life can never be seen from the exterior, as it never appears in the exteriority of the world. Life feels itself and experiences itself in its invisible interiority and in its radical immanence.
(in Wikipedia, on Michel Henry, French Philosopher, 1922-2002)

Cesco shakes, his collar jangling. Mu-ge curls on desktop.

Water in water bowl.

Affirming awareness.

Feels life.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Docks went in today at Camden Harbor in front of shop. Tonight we tie dinghy string to rail. There is a vivid and astounding rainbow arching Penobscot Bay. Spot of sunlight alone on North Haven captured eyes.

Mind set free in the Dharma-realm,
I sit at the moon-filled window
Watching the mountains with my ears,
Hearing the stream with open eyes.
Each molecule preaches perfect law,
Each moment chants true sutra:
The most fleeting thought is timeless,
A single hair's enough to stir the sea.

- Shutaku (1308-1388)

Out from restaurant children and parents to watch as double bow stretched this feast of Mark. Mark wrote about Jesus. I don't think Jesus considered anyone his enemy.

Listen, O God, to my voice;
keep me safe from fear of the enemy.

(from Psalm 64)

The "fear of the enemy" just might be the enemy's fear. Anyone who considers themselves the enemy of others is someone in whom fear has taken residence. They mistakenly consider themselves a manipulation of fear. Fear is in control. An enemy is one operating under the influence of fear.

Without fear, there are no enemies.

Do not accept the fear many sell. We are not buying.

Watch. Listen. Chant. Unstir the sea.

Home, we sit zazen.

Without fear.

Practicing joy.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We are invited: "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." (Psalm 95)

To allow the heart to feel, to delight when so, to sorrow when so -- this is the invitation to life.

Better than a hundred years of mischief
Is one day spent in contemplation.
Better than a hundred years of ignorance
Is one day spent in reflection.
Better than a hundred years in idleness
Is one day spent in determination.
Better to live one day wondering
How all things arise and pass away.

- Buddha in the Dhammapada

A woman called me on Sunday to tell me she was not dead. I was glad, I told her, it keeps my slate clean, never before hearing the voice of someone dead. She was pleased to be not dead, even if someone with the same name as hers was. It was no one I knew. Yet, the information had been passed in the shop. I directed her to the obituary of a namesake she'd not known.

I might be wrong about the voice of the Lord. I heard chickadee and lapping waves, splashing rain and sound of cat descending stairs. Saskia heard the voice of someone dear, of a surprise, and happily so.

We are so. And so we are in one another's lives.

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My being thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and see the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night, as they ask daily, "Where is your God?"

(From Psalm 42)

We hear voices all the time. We long for, and thirst after, the sounds of life that sustain us through moments and hours, days and years.

We tell our stories, our hearts break. They heal. We have a choice. We retain softness.

Where is this God?

Speak now.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

We need to look. We need to converse. We need to get into and through contemporary difficulties. We need to fall through the ice of our dissatisfaction and swim the current together to safe and sane society. It is spring. It is Easter. The waters are open and flowing.

In shop earlier, a revolving conversation including Susan, Tommy, Bob, Jan, Annie, Sam&Susan, Jeff, and Ed.

'Christ' is one imbued with, and communicating of, the life of God. That life irradiates love by kindness, understanding, tolerance, thoughtfulness, service and awe at the continual revelation of God-with-and-within -- exceeding human limits, yet inspiring to journey beyond -- into the present moment, present person, and present mystery.

The great path has no gates,
Thousands of roads enter it.
When one passes through this gateless gate
He walks freely between heaven and earth.

- Mu-mon 1228

So many want a heaven far ahead in time. Heaven is, rather, at hand.
Those oblivious to the responsibility of incarnating God's-life and Christ-presence thereby fail to care for the earth, exclude sentient dwellers, and ignore sacred tabernacle which is gift and grace of present reality. They try to convince us this world is forsaken, expendable, and merely a testing ground to endure contaminants and ignore the tainted soil of sin.

So many far-away and one-day-soon thinkers!

We need near and now seers!

Those who, in their prayer, practice the loving gaze of God's light co-create the original gift and grace of matter and spirit in this existence. The ever-present origin of eternal revelation is at hand for our touch, for our reception.

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed for his own use anything that he had, as everything they owned was held in common.
The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all given great respect.
None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any members who might be in need.

(Acts 4:32 - 35)

Whatever the resurrection is, it will not be realized unless and until more and more people come to the very earth where-upon they dwell, come to flesh, and incarnate the vision of God where we dwell.

The 'vision of God' is not some reward far-away and some-day-soon earned by those who've been good. When we are willing to look at one another with love, to see with humility the unfolding revelation of God in the unfolding revelation of another person, and to behold the heart of passion and pathos in the human theater of everyday experience -- then we will embody the vision of God, seeing as God sees.

Open.

Flowing.

(Looking every way at once.)

Pray we see clearly the way we live!