Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sing a new song to the Lord all the earth.

Everywhere turn around freely,
Not following conditions,
Not falling into classification.
Facing everything, let go and
Attain stability.
So it is said that the earth lifts
Up the mountain without
Knowing the mountainÂ?s
Stark steepness.
A rock contains jade without
Knowing the jade's flawlessness.
This is how truly to leave home.

- Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157)

The song's name is "All the Earth"

Be that new song.

Speak well of God.
Speak well of one another
Speak well of yourself.

This song of life.

Love itself.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Gossip is toxic. Gossip is toxic because it tricks us into believing we are talking about someone else -- and not ourselves.

God's life flows within and through every one of us, everyone. Call it Christ life. Call it the life of the Holy Spirit. It fills and empties every one of us. Now. And always.

When we gossip we are intending (whether we are aware of it or unaware of it) to decide for God where God is. They say the sin against the Holy Spirit is saying and believing that the Holy Spirit is not where the Holy Spirit is.

I explain to you matters
Pertaining to enlightenment,
But don't try to keep your mind on them.
Just turn to the ocean of your own essence
And develop practical accord with its nature.

- Yangshan

Billy Graham winds up centrist at 87. Far to the right of him, hard core fundamentalists denounce him for allowing God the room to be God. A Vietnam vet said tonight he was scared of fundamentalists because they remind him of the fundamentalism and fear to open up that resides in himself.

For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?
(from Matthew 16:24 - 28)

The world isn't worth one life. And yet One Life is in and beyond the world. Now the world is worth it.

Seven Tips for Giving Up Gossip

1. Recognize that gossip doesn't undo the situation you're talking about. It only puts in motion another situation based on negative feelings.

2. Know that comparing yourself to others is useless. Everyone has his or her own talents. In this way, give up jealousy and the wish to put others down.

3. Be aware of and transform your own thoughts, words, and deeds rather than commenting on those of others.

4. Train your mind to see others' positive qualities and discuss them. This will make you much happier than gossiping ever could.

5. Forgive, knowing that people do harmful things because they are unhappy. If you don't make someone into an enemy, you won't want to gossip about him.

6. Have a sense of humor about what you think, say, and do, and be able to laugh at all of the silly things we sentient beings carry out in our attempt to be happy. If you see the humor in our human predicament, you'll be more patient.

7. Practice saying something kind to someone every day. Do this especially with people you don't like. It gets easier with practice and bears surprisingly good results.


(Seven Tips for Giving Up Gossip, in article "the truth about gossip -- if you don't have anything nice to say..." by Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, published in Tricycle, Summer 2006)

These are words that are useful. I listen to them.

I have to forgive myself for trying to limit God.

No gossip. Nothing to hide. There is no other.

Open view.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Before I wake up, tell me one thing -- what is life awake like? Would I be alone?

The teaching of the mind ground
is the basis of Zen study.
The mind ground is the
great awareness of
being as is.

- Fayan (885-958)

A retired minister in the Methodist tradition wandered into the shop during conversation tonight. He stood by the bakery case and joined in the circle. Tom and Maria were up. Jayen and Saskia were on the other bench.

God is ground. Jesus understood this. Don, the visitor heard Tom say that "revitalization" was his understanding of "born again." Maria said it was "turning point" for her. And for me? I like not knowing the unknowable.

God's ways are not our ways.

From an Orthodox website:
"Wake Up O Sleepers" to Newness In Christ!

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP! St. Paul tells us all "... It is high time to awake out of sleep ... the night is far spent, the day is at hand" (Romans 13:11-12).

Or in short: Wake Up O Sleeper!
St. Paul is urging us to wake up to the spiritual realities which direct our destinies. It is very true that we can -- and often do -- sleep through some very important and vital aspects of our Christian lives.

Therefore, it is very important to ask, " ARE WE AWAKE ENOUGH TO BEGIN ?"
TO BEGIN WHAT?
There is another message which goes with this call to sobriety -- this call to be awakened to the spiritual realities of life. It is a message which comes from beyond space and time; across the past, through the future, and into the present moment of eternity. Indeed, it is a message meant to secure our living in the Eternal Now! The message is from God Himself, and its significance is so great, but at the same time, it is so very subtle, that we can easily miss it. You have heard it many times already.

Jesus Christ, the God-man, says to us: " Behold, I make all things new ." Let me repeat that: " Behold, I [Jesus the Son of God] make all things new ." Do you hear that?
God does not say, " I am going to make all things new tomorrow." Nor does He limit its application by saying, " Behold, I made all things new at one point and then stopped ." The sense of God's message to us is this:

Behold --Listen up, this is very important -- I have, and will continue to make all things new in your life. It is a process which I have begun for you, and will continue to do with you -- if you live the Christian life of faith and action -- and this newness will be an ongoing process of life springing up in you for all eternity!"

(From website, a piece adapted from a Homily By +Fr. Isaac Henke, http://www.antiochian.org/wake-up-o-sleepers)

Karl Rahner talked about anonymous Christians.

Unknown authorship.

No-name God.

Who are you?

And are you alone?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Reality is the answer.

"It doesn't matter what you say in answer," said the monk's father, "it's what the reality is."

Our words only try to point to the reality. They cannot contain it, nor can they substitute for reality.

As an old friar once said of God -- "God is God!" So too with reality -- Reality is Reality!"

The World Dharma is the same as the Buddha Dharma. If you do not have faith that you can attain enlightenment through the World Dharma, you know nothing of the true essence of Buddhism.
- Shosan

Reality is not what we think it is. God is not what we think God is.

Perhaps for Christians "being saved" means being saved from exclusionary thinking about Christ by embodying what the reality of Christ is.

But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, "Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid."
Matthew 14:22 - 36

Maybe saying 'reality is the answer' falls short. Maybe reality is the whole circle outside of which there is no outside.

I look on Christ -- not as the one punished by the Father for our sins -- but as the very wholeness of reality come to our particular existence to invite us into the wholeness of Christ life as way to the wholeness of God Itself.

The blood, gore, formulas, and punishment motif is far down the line of explanation.

'God is movement, not explanation,' wrote the novelist Elie Wiesel.

Let's move through reality with grace and wholeness. We are not separate from wholeness.

We are saved from separateness by wholeness itself.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Hawaiian uses two phrases: "I'm sorry"; and, "I love you." That's what the note said. Along with the suggestion that he healed by working on himself. Clearing and cleansing that in him which kept another the way they were.

He has practiced "Ho'oponopono" with the late Morrnah Nalamaku.

The road runs into pine sighs;
From far off, it's even stranger.
Mountain light and colors in the water,
Tufted, raggedy.
On a crag in the middle,
In zazen, all alone,
One monk,
Sits facing the cassia bough:
Already old, long ago.

- Chiao Jan (730-799)

Old and long ago -- who? The monk? Or the bough?

Or the fact that once we knew how to heal, but choose not to practice, not to remember.

Morrnah Simeona...is a native Hawaiian Kahuna Lapa'au. Kahuna means "keeper of the secret" and Lapa'au means "a specialist in healing."

She continues, "The main purpose of this process is to discover the Divinity within oneself. The Ho'oponopono is a profound gift which allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past."

Every memory of every experience, since the first moment of our creation, eons ago, is recorded as a thought form which is stored in the etheric realm. This incredible recorder/computer is also known as the subconscious, unihipili or child aspect within us. The inner child is very real and comprises one part of the Self. The other aspects are the mother, also known as the uhane or rational mind and the father, the superconscious or Spiritual aspect. The three comprise the inner family, which, in partnership with The Divine Creator, makes up one's Self I-Dentity. Every human being in creation, every plant, atom and molecule has these three selves and yet each blueprint is completely different.

The most important task for people is to find his or her true identity and place in the Universe. This process allows that understanding to become available.

The purpose of Ho'oponopono is to: 1) Connect with the Divinity within on a moment-to-moment basis; 2) To ask that movement and all it contains, be cleansed. Only the Divinity can do that. Only the Divinity can erase or correct memories and thought forms. Since the Divinity created us, only the Divinity knows what is going on with a person.

In this system, there is no need to analyze, solve, manage or cope with problems. Since the Divinity created everything, you can just go directly to Him and ask that it be corrected and cleansed.

(from "100% Responsibility and the Possibility of a Hot Fudge Sundae: Cat Saunders gets the scoop on Haleakala Hew Len", http://hooponopono.org/Articles/100_percent_responsible.html

Sorrow is acknowledgement of some pain and harm. Love is affirmation and acceptance of what is, or who is, there in our presence.

Sorrow invites forgiveness. Love invites wholeness and interconnection.

There is so much we do not understand.

Our interconnection. Our interdependence. Our profound need to be a place of healing and unity. Our longing to be beings sharing light and peace with one another without exception.

In zazen.

We practice.

All.

Alone.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Right now, in eternity, the dead from Hiroshima make their way through the veil.

Clear dawn enters the ancient temple.
First sun brightens the lofty grove.
Winding paths lead off to secret places.
ChÂ?an chamber: flowers deep among trees.
In mountain light, singing joy is bird-nature.
Pool shadows: empty, the hearts of men.
All sounds here fall to silence.
All that remains: the bell-stone's tone.

- Ch'ang Chien (708-765)

Within me, I drop bomb with my ignorance. Many, bewildered, scream.

Within 1.2 km. (.74 mi.) of the hypocentre there was probably a 50% death rate of the 350,000 people estimated to have been in Hiroshima at the time. Hiroshima City Survey Section estimated a figure of 118,661 civilian deaths up to 10 August 1946. Add to this a probable figure of 20,000 deaths of military personnel and the current figure -- for people are still dying as a result of the radiation received -- is in the region of 140,000. Among those who survived, the long-term effects of radiation sickness, genetic and chromosome injury, and mental trauma have been catastrophic, even unborn children having been stunted in growth and sometimes mentally retarded.
(Committee on Damage by Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical, and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombings; London, 1981). http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/g_l/levine/bombing.htm

No one is better having exploded the bomb.

Right now, in time, I stop the bombing.

One down for peace.