Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, October 28, 2006

No wisdom, no trust.

What I point out to you
Is only that
You shouldn’t allow yourselves
To be confused by others.
Act when you need to,
Without further hesitation or doubt.

People today can’t do this
What is their affliction?
Their affliction is in
Their lack of self-confidence.

If you do not spontaneously
Trust yourself sufficiently,
You will be in a frantic state,
Pursuing all sorts of objects
And being changed
By those objects,
Unable to be independent.

- Linji (d.867)

It is a shame that no trust remains for the current government.

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.
Luke 6:12

It is the mendacity and misconduct that stuns.

I withdraw.

Friday, October 27, 2006

We really do want to see.

The question clear,
The answer deep,
Each particle,
Each instant a reality.
A bird call shrills
Through the mountain dawn:
Look where the old master sits,
A rock in Zen.

- Sodo (1841-1925)

To see is to root oneself. To see is also to follow.

Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
--Mark 10:51-52

Follow where?

Follow on the way.

Where?

Just now -- where are you?

Go your way...on the way!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Soon, people will be trying to break into prison. The world will be crazy. The sky will fall. Chicken Little will be feted. Ice shelves will melt. Oceanfront properties will begin 2.8 miles inland. Madness will be a desirable fate. Rapture cheerleaders will close their eyes and click their heels three times.

So taken with
The faultless face and radiance
Of an alluring moon,
My mind goes farther, farther
To reach remote regions of the sky.

- Saigyo (1118 - 1190)

Maybe Elmer Fudd had it right -- maybe the cwazy wabbit needed to be run out of town. Who's to say. We've been at war now for too many years. The next war will be against bad thoughts. We already know the enemy's weakness -- his mind.

He it was who formed the mountains, created the wind, reveals his mind to man, makes both dawn and dark, and walks on the top of the heights of the world; the Lord, the God of Hosts, is his name.
Amos 4:13

We still long for a God who will toss in the towel and say, "I choose you -- you are my favorite." The hell, we say, with everyone else. I am worthy. I am saved.

I give up.

Vote for anyone.

I have to go and pack.

My flying saucer must be nearly here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

There is no using God anymore.

"As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect" (p. 284, in The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins )

Thomas Merton said we need a new language of prayer. That prayer will have a difficult time pointing to a God that is not completely, wholly integrated with what is present and who we are.

We explain our existence by a combination of the anthropic principle and Darwin's principle of natural selection. That combination provides a complete and deeply satisfying explanation for everything that we see and know. Not only is the god hypothesis unnecessary. It is spectacularly unparsimonious. Not only do we need no God to explain the universe and life. God stands out in the universe as the most glaring of all superfluous sore thumbs. We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can't disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can't disprove, we can say that God is very very improbable. -- Dawkins, "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God," in The Huffington Post)

No God? Or, no other God? There's an important distinction. Has biblical theology and sacred scripture been moving toward an understanding of Creator as a constant contemporary within creation's unfolding? Have we been reluctant to enter this creation in the same way that Christ entered creation? Do we hold ourselves apart from existence in ways that our spiritual wisdom reveals that God does not? Is our consciousness finally ready to surrender to the mystery of divine love -- the unveiling sacred consciousness belonging to each thing and every being in union with God Itself? (Here, the "Itself" stands for "God.")

Life is living Itself through us.

What we are, where we are, is not other than what God is, where God is. The question is: Are we ready to face the incarnation? Are we prepared to look out as the creation? Will we soon take to heart the most profound revelation mind presents us with -- mere and utter gift -- namely, sacred promise and presence formulating the words "I am with you always."?

What we call God, the One we long for, the undivided reality proclaiming our unity and non-separate familiarity with one another -- is what is now taking place with gracious and loving interdependence in, with, and as, all that is here.

The old notions of God are dying away.

The real presence, the life force, the loving substance and energy of That Which Is Itself -- is now our inquiry, is now our practice.

We learn this new language.

Moving through.

Word by word.

Attentive act.

"As" prayer.

Fruits.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Breaking fast. Ramadan done. Would you care for some cakes?

Hold to forgiveness, command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant." [Holy Quran 7:199]

We must always hold ignorance forgiven.

Whoever kills another one without justifiable cause, surely he is killing all of humanity. And whoever saves the life of another one, surely he saves the lives of all of humanity. [Sura Al Ma'aidah: Ayah 32]

In our hands, in our sights -- the fate of the whole world.

The cookies, the ice cream, the cake bar -- may all delight in feeding one another!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What is prayer seeking?

What-is!

What is this?

Look!

Word-itself, as is, reveals.

Christ is written as we are read.

All dharmas are like a dream: this is what all the saints have taught. Consequently, deluded thoughts are originally calm and the sense-spheres are originally void. This void and calm is numinous, aware, and never dark. This void and calm mind is precisely the pure mind which was transmitted by our predecessor, Bodhidharma. Whether deluded or awakened, the mind is fundamentally self-aware.
- Chinul 1209

An awakened life is worth, living.

[A]nyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life... --Mark 10: 44-45

Why use bible as a weapon? Let's be word of love, of truth.

[Paul] did not worry whether his churches were "biblical" or "relevant," but whether they were faithful, showing themselves to be "letters from Christ...written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts" (2 Cor. 3: 1-3).
As French social philosopher Jacques Ellul reminds us, "Faith consists in heeding God's questions and risking ourselves in the answers that we have to give." The Bible should "read" and interpret and question us, for it is we, not the prophets of old, who are in the dark.
Sadly, too many of us either imprison Christ between the pages of our Bibles, bound by the letter (and our favorite modern translation), or we yank him out of God's history altogether by turning him into some image or construction of our own making, exalting and trumpeting our own unique brand of spirituality. In either case, Christ is not Lord and his word cannot speak.
Obscure passages aside, few of us want to be held accountable to any word other than our own. In fact, we want the last word, not because we don't understand, but because we refuse to surrender our autonomous wills and obey. Kierkegaard once wrote, "What is the New Testament? A handbook for those who are to be sacrificed." This is what we don't want to do. We're happy to receive a "biblical insight" but not the sword that cuts and convicts. To quote Kierkegaard again:
Can't we be honest for once! We have become such experts at cunningly shoving one layer after another, one interpretation after another, between the Word and our lives (like a boy putting padding under his pants when he is about to get a spanking). And we then allow this preoccupation to swell to such profundity that we never come to look at our lives in the mirror. All this interpreting and re-interpreting is but a defense against God's Word.
It is all too easy to understand the requirements contained in God's Word ("Give all your goods to the poor." "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the left." "Count it sheer joy when you meet various temptations" etc.). The most ignorant, poor creature cannot honestly deny being able to understand God's requirements. But it is tough on the flesh to will to understand it and to then act accordingly. Herein lies the problem. It is not a question of interpretation, but action.

-- from the Bruderhof Communities - "The Two-Edged Sword" by Charles Moore, http://www.holytrinitynewrochelle.org/yourti86492.html

Not dull, but quick, witted.

Word. Itself. Cuts away that which is separating ego; lets remain that which is alive with quiet joy; suffering what-is-truth-alone dwelling in the name of the one who was, is, still to be.

Each is sign to be read.

Don't fret the bible; embody, word-itself.

If we wish to read, to be read as well, incarnate way.

What is most true has become human.

This...is what prayer seeks.

What is this?

Yes.

What-is this!