Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Seeing the kingdom is an inside looking through the outside into the Inner Itself.

Ask Peter, James, and John. They saw the kingdom while still in the breath. (So many are willing to bide time and wait to be out of breath to see the glorious reality of the kingdom.) It is right here. Right now. No waiting.

See?

1 He also said to them, "Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power." (Mark 9:1)

What does it take to see what is here and now?

You want to be a mountain-dweller,
No need to trek to India to find one.
I've a thousand peaks
To pick from right here on the lake.
Fragrant grasses and white clouds
Hold me here.
What holds you there,
World-dweller?

-- Chiao Jan (730-799)

Elie Wiesel said, "God means movement, not explanation." (In Legends of Our Time, c.1968). We need to move with the Holy Spirit through what disturbs us to the place we are no other -- where Reality of God speaks truth with love -- a Christing Expression shown transparently in our transforming surrender to being-peace.

And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, "This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him." (from Mark 9: 2-10)

Voice from cloud -- origin ever-present -- word from silence.

We must listen to one another.

There are only two options: welcome God in one another; or, welcome one another in God. Many think there is a third option: not welcoming. That, I've come to see, is not an option.

It's welcome all the way down and up, inside and outside, like or dislike, oranges or silly putty.

The greatest welcome is kindness.

Be kind to yourself.

And, thus, to everyone.

Becoming Beloved.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Nothing to gain. Nothing to lose.

What is going on between us?

Yes.

The true follower of Tao does not grasp at the Buddha, nor at bodhisattvas, nor at arhats, nor at the exceeding glories in the three realms. Attaining transcendental independence and untrammeled freedom, the true follower adheres to nothing. Even if the universe should collapse, their faith would not falter. Should all the Buddhas from the ten heavens appear before them, there would not be the slightest elation. Nor would they experience the slightest fear, should all the demons come out. How can one be this calm?
- Lin chi

No ego means it doesn't start, nor finish with you, with me. Transparent self means awareness of what is passing between us.

The Lyric

Suffering
lament, sorrow and wild
joy commingle in

the lyric -- a collective
sigh of relief comes cascading
out of the blue --

a yearning to submerge
in life like the swimmer
in the pool forgetful

immersed and quenched --
water trailing scattered
diamonds in a rustling

voice of resigned subsidence
as though in the same stroke
everyone alive were speaking through you --

(Poem: "The Lyric" by Tom Clark from Light & Shade: New and Selected Poems. Coffee House Press.)

Through you. Through me.

What is taking place is what is going on between us.

Let it go.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

When the bomb fell on Hiroshima many thought, "Oh, It is the Christian face of Jesus come visit. It is the Transfiguration." The religious mind called the test "Trinity" and the bomb "Big Boy." The mind that wants to build tents when the sacred is seen also wants to destroy houses and human life when its interests are in question.

From Bamboo Forest Temple,
I faintly hear the evening bell.
Twilight touches the brim of your hat
As you turn and enter dark blue hills.

- Lui Ch'angt-ch'ing (710-785)

If form is emptiness (as Buddhists hold), then metamorphosis (a transformation; a marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function) is the shining of our deeper intuition and insight through who we thought we were into the vital appearance of now merely who we really are.

"WE WAITED UNTIL the blast had passed, walked out of the shelter and then it was extremely solemn. We knew the world would not be the same," recalled J. Robert Oppenheimer, first director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, moments after the first nuclear weapon test explosion, code-named Trinity, on July 16, 1945. Twenty-one days later, at 2:45am on Sunday, August 6, the Enola Gay lifted off with its single-bomb payload from Tinian Island and headed for its target. At 8:15am, the Air Force B-29 dropped the bomb, "Little Boy," from an altitude of 31,000 feet. Forty-three seconds later, the bomb detonated 1,800 feet above Hiroshima. Aboard the Enola Gay from a distance of 11 miles from ground zero, tailgunner George Caron described the scene as a "peep into hell." Of Hiroshima's population of 340,000 people, 130,000 were dead by November 1945 and by 1950 an additional 70,000 had perished, mainly from radiation-related illnesses. On August 9, another nuclear bomb fell on Nagasaki.
(Nuclear Testing Index: 54 Years After Trinity, Hiroshima, It Is Time to Cage the Nuclear Genie I S S U E B R I E F, VOL. 3, NO. 8, August 6, 1999, at http://www.clw.org/archive/coalition/briefv3n8.htm)

Pause here to stop the mind that attempts to justify such killing. Rest a while in the absence of compassion as (then and now) military powers force their will and wares on bodies of humans, suffering.

Once I was secure. I said, "I will never be shaken."
Lord, by your favour you had given me strength, set me high;
but then you turned your face from me and I was shaken.
I cried to you, Lord, and prayed to my God.

"What use is my life, when I sink into decay?
Will dust proclaim you, or make known your faithfulness?"

The Lord heard and took pity on me. The Lord became my helper.
You have turned my weeping into dancing, torn off my sackcloth and clothed me in joy,
It is my glory to sing to you and never cease: Lord, my God, I will proclaim your goodness for ever.

(from Psalm 30)

God will not be consoled. Not 61 years ago. Not today.

God says, "They have been Christed, yet they do not see. They have been Spirited, still they don't hear."

Off to the side there is weeping.

Don't ask whose.

Face it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Changing form.

The world? Moonlit
Drops shaken
From the crane's bill.

--Dogen

Changing emptiness.

Transfiguration

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

On Beech Hill at dusk view of Ragged, lake, bay, and fields in haze. Car lights up from route 17 curl west. Everything is as it is.

If you create the idea of a Pure Land and your aim is to be saved by the vow of Amida, a demon will attach himself to you through that aim. Because doubt, like the great sky, has no subjective body, the demon has nothing to hold on to.
- Shosan

Doubt and certainty meet on double rutted road. Certainty says, "Out of my way!" Doubt asks, "What way?"

Counting the Mad

This one was put in a jacket,
This one was sent home,
This one was given bread and meat
But would eat none,
And this one cried No No No No
All day long.

This one looked at the window
As though it were a wall,
This one saw things that were not there,
This one things that were,
And this one cried No No No No
All day long

This one thought himself a bird,
This one a dog,
And this one thought himself a man,
An ordinary man,
And cried and cried No No No No
All day long.

(Poem: "Counting the Mad" by Donald Justice from Selected Poems. Atheneum.)

The insane live among us with no one allowed on their way, or good enough for it.

The ordinary man lives with others secure in the knowledge there is no way out alone.

I ask you -- tell me about the way you see yourself?

We have time to talk. It's really all we do have.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Nobody's gone anywhere. We're all still here. Living and dead -- all still here. Only, some of us move around more visibly. Think more loudly. Carry on more quickly. That's ok. It's all ok.

Of late, I love but quietness:
Things of this world are no more my concern.
Looking back, I've known no better plan
Than this: returning to the grove.

Pine breezes loosen my robe.
Mountain moonbeams play my lute.
What, you ask, is Final Truth?
The fisherman's song strikes deep into the bank.

- Wang Wei (710-761)

Someone wrote somewhere about Final Judgment something that made me think: That's when God says "Shut Up!" to someone making one more judgment on someone else. That's the final judgment -- after which "No More Judging!"

I think, this feast of Ignatius, about a Jesuit I've long respected. Dan Berrigan once reminded himself: "Color it not kind with skies of love and amber. Make it plain with death and bitter as remember."

Transfiguration
(For Philip)

Don't mourn for what was;
there's languishing, recoil
in dire recalling.

Seek an austere rejoicing
in ghostly angelic absence -

a purified presence, a whisper
of that lion hearted voice
urging heartfelt action and
biblical fluency:
"I believe,
therefore I tame the world's
clamor, chaos, inanity."

Then behold -
transfigured by ordeal,
a different, difficult friend.

(Poem by Dan Berrigan SJ)

A taming faith. It's a belief I can get behind. It stands aside as the masses of professing believers chant mantra-like the name of Jesus as their own personal possession. Then, when the noise has passed, steps out Christ from the shadows and ministers to those who've been left blunted by the exultant crowd, those forgotten in the ecstasy of others' remembrance of how special they are, those not worthy enough in the eyes of The Few to be gathered into their cadre of triumphal inner circularity.

Christ be there in the open!

Inanity be tamed! Clamor be quieted! Chaos be stilled!

It will come -- the time of transfiguration -- when we recognize that it is us here, just us, the family that will not go away. Not by judgment. Not by exclusion. Not by secret handshakes and signal coded formulas that puff up those claiming especial privilege. There where Christ continues quietly showing up after the crowds pass by.

No false deals of privileges and commendations and elevations and dense plea bargains sacrificing something other, someone other, in place of a more personal surrender and awareness.

Christ will not be tricked after two thousand years into that scam of religious and political delusion. Nor should we.

End wars. Be peace. For God's sake -- try loving what Christ loves!

Be Jesuits in motto today: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam ("For the greater glory of God").

One another.

Us all.

Different, difficult friend.

God is One.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Here's the question.

Humans born into this floating world
Quickly become like the roadside dust:
At dawn small children,
By sunset already grown white-haired,
Without inner understanding,
They struggle without cease.
I ask the children of the universe:
For what reason do you pass this way?

- Ryokan (1758-1831)

If not love and understanding -- or as Sonny puts it "love of understanding" -- then, what?