Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, July 08, 2006

God's wisdom excludes nothing.

Or, if from a Buddhist perspective, Nothing includes God's wisdom.

Perhaps a middle view: Nothing God loves more that inseparate inclusion.

If you can stop your heart from its ceaseless running after whisps of the will, you will not be different from the Buddha and patriarchs. Do you want to know the Buddha? None other than the one who here and now is listening to the Dharma.
- Rinzai (d.866)

I admit befuddlement. The detritus of dualism that says, "My religion is the only truth -- all others be damned."

The mind has honed the razor sharp edge that divides one thing from itself.

There is so much suffering caused by religious intolerance.

I'd have thought Christian virtue included hospitality, engagement, forgiveness, and love. As would Muslim virtue. Buddhist virtue. Hinduism virtue. Jewish virtue. Pagan virtue. Human virtue.

Be vigorous, but do not sin:
speak in the silence of your heart,
in your bed, be at rest.
Offer righteousness as a sacrifice,
and put your trust in the Lord.

From Psalm 4)

It is a rare joy to sit with those who understand our task to be that of fostering peace and understanding -- no matter what form their prayer and worship takes.

Midnight.

Mother's birthday.

No candles these twenty five years .

Friday, July 07, 2006

It astonishes me that God longs to dwell with us.

It's also no mystery that we don't really want that shared dwelling place to come about. Why not?

For that answer we'd have to search our hearts. Something dies in us when we shut out another or others. We fail to grieve our own death. "Screw it" we say. We wander away not even realizing we've got nowhere to go.

I belong to the Christian wing of the Christian faith. We prefer hospitality, forgiveness, and acceptance. We'd rather celebrate true life than condemn someone we think ought to be punished because how they think is different than how we think.

Where respect and open invitation into dialogue comes first. Where authentic conversation between differing points of view continues and expands our compassion and charity for one another.

I am astonished that God longs to dwell with us!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A young man from Georgia who washes dishes on a cruising yacht bought a Charlie Parker set of cd's. He had a half hour. It passed. He left for launch. He thinks its time religions and races found common ground

The years of a lifetime are a flash of lightning;
Why clings to objects?
They are empty through and through.
Even if you care for the nose
Hung in front of your face,
Still be careful and value every moment
To work on enlightenment.
This is a statement for people
In meditation; what about a
Statement for the seasoned adept on the mountain?

- Dogen (1200-1253)

It is time.

Common ground is formless consciousness.

Then goes time.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Raymond's mother takes a turn for the worse. He'll visit her tomorrow. A last visit. He won't go to the funeral. He can't.

The iris pond has flowered
Before the old temple;
I sell tea this evening
By the water's edge.
It is steeped in the cups
With the moon and stars;
Drink and wake forever
From your worldly sleep.

- Baisao (1675-1763)

In final prayer at hospice memorial service I invoke "The All Holy Creating Spirit Itself."

What person, however careless, who had to address someone of importance, would not spend time in thinking how to approach him so as to please him and not be considered tedious? He would also think what he was going to ask for and what use he would make of it, especially if his petition were for some particular thing, as our good Jesus tells us our petitions must be. This point seems to me very important. Could you not, my Lord, have ended this prayer in a single sentence, by saying: "Give us, Father, whatever is good for us"? For, in addressing One Who knows everything, there would seem to be no need to say any more.
(from "The Way of Perfection" of St Teresa of Avila)

Back home Jon says it might have been a Cardinal the cat got earlier.

Grief is that way. Not one of us is separate from each one of us.

Maybe that's a place to start.

With impermanence.

Again.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It is an odd birthday celebration.

In my pot nothing but the wind's deep moan,
For company only a staff of wisteria vine;
Last night we chatted and laughed till all hours
The empty sky listened with a cold heart.

- Muso Soseki (1275-1351)

We're trying to discern what independence means these days. It is a bit confusing.

No more does the Lord do anything
without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets.
The lion roars: who can help feeling afraid?
The Lord speaks: who can refuse to prophesy?

(Amos 3)

Whose lion? Which Lord? What prophecy?

On Hosmer Pond today, climbing from canoe to island, watching two loons bobbing in wind swelled waves. Suddenly, from land across pond, sound of huge tree falling and crashing. No sawing, no "timber," nothing but falling tree sound. Loons didn't even glance toward direction of the sound. Something needs reversal in this country.

According to Fujitani, reversed words are the
"spirit of things" (kotodama) hiding the presence of
Being (kami); they are "true words" (makoto, written
with the same characters as shingon) incorporating a
spiritual presence (tama). Poetic language explodes
conventional vocabularies beyond the constrictive
field of denotation, informing the word with the
formlessness of the noumenal/experiential. Kotodama
is a language without words (fugen) that only a
poet, a child, or a sage possesses. Poetry contains
the hidden voice of Being (kakurimi) whose secrecy
only the hermeneutical act can disclose.

(from p.382, JAPANESE AESTHETICS: THE CONSTRUCTION OF MEANING, By Michele Marra, Philosophy East and West, Volume 45, Number 3, July 1995, P.367-386
(C) by University of Hawaii Press)

The loons prophesy life without the question 'why?'

The hidden voice of Being is in dripping paddles, swimming dog, and splashing woman. The burden of unseen falling is shared among all those who cannot hear the sound and those that can.

I hear the sound.

Does that make the tree reverse its fall?

Happy Birthday USA!

Are we any closer to a recognizable wisdom?

Monday, July 03, 2006

No tellin' what could happen next.

Meaning to get away from intellectualization
And avoid word traps,
I sailed across the sea to search for the
Transmission beyond the teachings;
Went on pilgrimages till my sandals broke
And found water in the clear stream,
The moon in the sky.

- Kakua (1143 - ?)

No matter what you call God, or Jesus, -- or don't call anyone, other than some action they perform -- we are at odds.

Here we are, fools for the sake of Christ, while you are the learned men in Christ; we have no power, but you are influential; you are celebrities, we are nobodies.
(from 1Corinthians 4)

It's nice to be nothing and no one.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Half of life is form. Half, emptiness. Both are necessary. We live in the middle tension between them.

"God, the scripture is saying, is formless consciousness and the essence of who you are." (Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth, p.219, commenting on a scripture from the Upanishads)

It gives new meaning to someone saying they do not believe in God, or, there is no God. Is there no consciousness? Is there no essence?

The white clouds
On the mountain tops
Poke halfway into this thatched hut
I had thought too cramped
Even for myself

- Koho Kennichi (1241-1316)

Formless consciousness will fit. It belongs wherever anything is what it is.

Sing praise, yes. Observe silence, yes.

Be still, yes.

And know.

Yes.