Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I've been listening to the words spoken about the administration in Washington, about the fears the current administration will not follow the rule of law and that their worst is yet to come, about American children being the angriest and most medicated kids in the world.

I've read articles about entropic decay in Iraq. Entropy swirls in America in the three US branches of government, in most of our pop-culture.

I've been told many theories. Some by far right supporters of the men in Washington, some by conservative supporters of the Constitution, some by liberal proponents of impeachment. It all seems, at best, difficult.

I'm concerned. More than that, noise and cynicism grow very loud.

Let’s go silent.

Let’s go stand in silence — no silly chants, no fatalistic “We deserve them,” and no pleading with Congress members.

Let’s put our bodies where words have failed.

Let’s remember embodiment and incarnation, mere being and presence.

Let’s go stand…anywhere…in silence, sign-less and anonymous, and wordlessly look within.

Let’s find out where truth waits noiselessly.

What do you (don’t) say?

Let's not, a while.

Though night after night
The moon is stream-reflected,
Try to find where it has touched,
Point even to a shadow.
- Takuan (1573–1645)

Let's while a way.

Let's unknot this.

While away.


Friday, August 03, 2007

A woman frets over signing a lease for doing energy and writing work. She eats a spinach croissant. All the signs are right, she says, then goes to do the deed.
Alone in mountain fastness,
Dozing by the window.
No mere talk uncovers Truth:
The fragrance of those garden plums!
- Bankei (1622–1693)
Two squash from Curtis Island sat together overnight on bakery case. One decided to go home with a woman who rows daily around the island.

The hot weather brings out irritation of opinion from some of the cranky irregulars. By the time I return from letting dog out at Ragged Mtn, one of them admits they've been bad. They spill out the door, the last one calling up to where I sit, saying goodbye. They've exhausted themselves lifting their opinions of this one or that one over the proverbial top. The room is empty. Gregorian chant plays.
Actions, Actions, Actions
Beings are owners of their actions. . . heirs of their actions; they originate from their actions, are bound to their actions, have their actions as their refuge. It is action that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior.

--Culakammavibhanga Sutta
At prison today, three good conversations in three places. One man says it is only our acts that make us solid. Words and promises are see-throughs and slip-throughs. Acts are seen, felt, and stand on their own as evidence of someone presenting himself/herself.

In Belfast Bo Lozoff talks at the Universalist Unitarian Church. He'll do workshops tomorrow at the prison. At end of the evening a massive thunder and lightning storm knocks the lights out for 15 minutes. He leads song, Knocking on Heaven's Door, and all ends well.

Cesco came through the storm with subdued alarm. His mistress is away. He suffers my brand of care.

To the door. Out. I go out and he comes back. To the door. Out. Walk up to brook with flashlight. He gets lost returning. Back in. To the door. Out. Soon I'll get him back in.
I have called to you, Lord, all the day;
I have stretched out my hands to you.
(-- from Psalm 88)
Heavy eyelids.

Too many cookies.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

We wonder about one another. Is she well? Is he ok? What will happen?

It's a nice thing to do. In the Course in Miracles this evening the final circle was asked their responses to "I place the future in God's hands."

The Way of heaven is silent,
It has no appearance, no pattern.
It is so vast that its
Limit cannot be reached;
It is so deep that it
Cannot be fathomed.
It is always evolving
Along with people,
But knowledge cannot grasp it.
It turns like a wheel,
Beginninglessly and endlessly,
Effective as a spirit.
Open and empty,
It goes along with the flow,
Always coming afterward
And never in the forefront
- Lao- tzu
Faces come in from years ago. Names are connected. We're well, thank you. And you?

This is what we do in this life -- we inquire after one another. It doesn't matter what the response -- we're all just fine, and someday we'll die. No surprises there.

We live our lives with profound trust. However we understand the reality or notion of God, the fact is our lives are in the hands of one another. If we consider carefully, we come to see that our lives are in the hands of one another.
Thus says the Lord: With heaven my throne and earth my footstool, what house could you build me, what place could you make for my rest? All of this was made by my hand and all of this is mine – it is the Lord who speaks. But my eyes are drawn to the man of humbled and contrite spirit, who trembles at my word.
--(Isaiah 66:1 - 2)
And so, I ask you: How are you? Are you well? And when you die, you will be well, as all shall be.

There.

We've done it.

Our lives.
Hermitage Update Summer 2007; Events at Meetingbrook, Summer 2007

Note: There has been a delay posting Update and Events in their normal places on the website. For Summer 2007 Hermitage Update, and Events at Meetingbrook, please see Today at Meetingbrook, Sunday, May 20, 2007
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or, here:

Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update, Spring/Summer 2007



Theme: And All Is As It Is.


And this, then,

is the vision of that Heaven of which

we have heard, where those who love

each other have forgiven each other,


where, for that, the leaves are green,

the light a music in the air,

and all is unentangled,

and all is undismayed.

(From poem 'To My Mother" by Wendell Berry)


Spring came to Maine. Summer follows. Last patches of snow drew into themselves on northeast side of Ragged Mountain. As usual, the mountain remains itself through ice, wind, and snow -- throughout stays itself as green stretches awake, water seeps from hidden springs, and porcupines wander trails. The more a thing changes the more it becomes itself. The more we change the more we remain in the itself. Is God the Itself?


Meetingbrook begins again. We've a new lease at the harbour. The following gatherings take place regularly at the Meetingbrook Hermitage Bookshop/Bakery by the Harbour, and at Meetingbrook Hermitage at Ragged Mountain.


Note: All events at Meetingbrook are free, open, and informal


1. At Harbour Meetingbrook. Evening Conversation Practice at Bookshop/Bakery: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evening, from 5:30 to 6:30pm there is a formatted conversation on a different theme or focus. Each conversation intends and practices deep-listening and loving-speech. The hour consists of: reading aloud around the circle, brief silence, open conversation, and final circle comments.


Themes of weekly and daily events :

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Tuesdays: Buddhist Meditative Tradition
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Wednesdays: Laura Soul-Friend Conversation -- a circle group inviting each to reflect and speak of their own prayer and practice, what is noticed, and how things are going. (Occasional presenters.)
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Thursdays: Christian Contemplative Tradition
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Fridays: Paths to Peace -- Community Conversation on Interdependence, Eco-spirituality, and Interreligious Dialogue
*

Saturdays: Poetry Tea, and Literature (4:30-5:30pm).We read around circle our own writing or pieces of each person's choosing.
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Sundays: Upstairs/Downstairs Community Table (1:00pm-2:30pm.) Whether it is called brunch, barbecue, potluck, or meat-&-potatoes -- a regular Sunday gathering with good food & good company. (Donations of food or money gratefully accepted.)
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Daily: Noon Lectio -- 15 at 12. A regular daily pause for 15 minutes at noon to listen to a reading for 5 minutes, sit in silence for 5 minutes, then have an opportunity to share some personal response (if you wish) in the circle for the remaining 5 minutes.
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Music: Come by any time to practice or rehearse in public. We also have a piano. No one will pay a bit of attention to you. Weds and Sun others are sure to be there with harmonica, guitar, harp, or flute.
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Invitations to Use Patio:

-- Open invitation to use harbour patio for gatherings. Any time, just ask. Our redone patio at the water, with its new large grill and cafe tables, is available for use by the Meetingbrook community for gatherings of family and friends. One requirement: A plate of food must be offered to a stranger passing by. -- Open invitation to use harbour patio for morning Tai Chi, QiQong, or Yoga.

Our harbour patio is quiet and lovely in the mornings, especially from 6:00am-10-00am. If any individual or small group wished to practice/lead meditative movement using our patio, please ask.


...


2. At Mountain Meetingbrook. Practice at Meetingbrook Hermitage at Ragged Mountain:

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Saturday Ora et Labora Practice (7:15am-9:15am). Beginning with a silent sitting, chanting, and walking meditation -- we then (after coffee/tea and toasted English with jam taken in silence with periodic audio tape background) do a period of work around grounds of hermitage in mindfulness.
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Sunday Evening Practice. Two hour meditation practice consisting of: 35 minute sitting, 10 minute walking, chanting (of Heart Sutra or Compline), then: reading at table, silent mindful eating of soup & bread, then circle conversation/reflection.


...


3. Hermitage Harbour Room. Upstairs over bookshop/bakery is a lovely studio apartment. This single room with balcony overlooks our patio and the harbour with all the boating bustling that takes place there. This room is available for brief retreats, overnight stays, or day solitude visits. Call and ask us to reserve it for you. We operate by donations, and are grateful for whatever dollar amount you are willing to leave as donation for the ongoing work of the hermitage.

When not occupied by guests, the Harbour Room is available to everyone for quiet time, one-with-one conversations, meetings for up to 12 people, reading, or simply looking out over the water.

...


4. Meetingbrook and Maine State Prison. Meetingbrook volunteers weekly at the State Prison in Warren. We hold Meetingbrook Conversations (MC's) and Individual Learning Conversations (ILC's) with attendees from general population. We have also embarked on MC's and ILC's in the closed unit protective custody. We are also embarking on ILC's in the Special Management Unit (formerly known as the Super-Max). Friday mornings are dedicated to these lovely encounters.





5. Ongoing Life at Meetingbrook. Masquerading as a mildly mannered (sometimes cranky) gathering place of irregulars, the bookshop and bakery continues on at Camden Harbor. Meetingbrook Hermitage is a place of collation and recollection, hospitality and inquiry, acceptance and forgiveness, good conversation and better baked goods, not to mention the best and quietest sitting place on the water where coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are always on the house.

The harbour location is the market-face of Meetingbrook Hermitage. We often think of ourselves as hito, that is, hermits in the open.. The promises we take are Contemplation, Conversation, and Correspondence. There are no secret handshakes nor special qualifications to belong at Meetingbrook. Everyone who walks into view or is heard saying a word, everyone who thinks of us and others with engaged consideration -- everyone belongs.

...


6. Money. We are small and we are not independently wealthy. Therefore we need, ask for, and accept donations to fund Meetingbrook. The bookshop/bakery is a labor of love, it does not pay for itself, therefore. we ask for help to continue its operation i.e. for rent and utilities. We ask you to donate whatever you can, whenever you might be able. Saskia and Bill have part-time employment to help stay afloat. We are blessed with volunteers and board members who help run the place and keep us in our place. Everyone involved receives a yearly salary of a penny and a pizza for their efforts.

...


*

Subscriptions: We invite you to become subscribers.

Subscriptions of $50.00 dollars or more a year earns you our gratitude and a 10% discount a year on all books and music.

Subscriptions of $250.00 in a year and you receive our gratitude, 15% discount, and one night in the Harbour Room.

Subscriptions of $500.00 a year, and you receive our gratitude, a 20% discount on all books and music for the year, as well as two overnight stays in the harbour room with morning breakfast.

Any gift subscription of $1,000 dollars or more receives all the above -- and -- we will loan you our dog and cat for a weekend, ignore you when we see you, and not tell anyone of your kindness.

...


*

New Economic Template: Curiously, we would actually like to operate the bookshop/bakery on a new economic basis, namely, by donation. Items such as used and sale books, not-today baked goods, previously owned music cds, as well as soups, sandwiches -- would be exchanged on the basis of whatever the individual could pay or wishes to donate to the hermitage. (We've done this already with tea, coffee, and hot chocolate since 1996. Since last year the practice extends to sandwiches and Sunday Community Table, patio-grill food-stuff, and several other goodies).

We have tea pots around upstairs and downstairs for donations to help us pay the rent etc and purchase food for all the hospitality gatherings where we are pleased to offer food and drink gratis. We like both the idea and the practice of what a philosopher once said, namely, �Life is gift, not recompense.� We slowly mull, meditate, and little by little implement this notion of gift-for-gift economy. We daily recognize that everything -- all of it -- is gift.

...


*

Please consider donating to Meetingbrook. Tell us about Grants or Foundations that might be friendly to peace, hospitality, tolerance, community engagement, or just plain nice folks who like the idea of what we've been praying, meditating, and engaging these past years as we begin our 12th year at the harbour.

...


*

Sails: Everybody gets to go sailing with Saskia on Penobscot Bay. That's a given. Even without asking. You might just be shanghaied by her. Keep your wits about you.


*

Some final words: We have called ourselves mono, that is, monastics of no other. We intend a life of prayer and mindfulness, practicing between traditions what the designation mono stands for. It stands for the gift given all creation and existence -- the gift of wholeness -- a gift very often not seen, heard, or understood.


We feel called. We do our life and this practice of mindful service with the realization that each person is gift, and each invitation to love and serve one/an/other is gift. We are each of us invited to dwell within a true dwelling place.


Some hold that true dwelling place to be What Is Itself...or...God. Our focus as meetingbrook monastics includes both expressions -- namely, Buddha-Mind and Christ-Consciousness. Some do not use the word God but nevertheless long for What Is Itself. However it is worded for you, we feel this reality to be no other. Hence: monastics of no other


For us, Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage is a place where each is invited to presence herself or himself. What is no other to us is gift. What Buddhists call Bodhichitta, (unconditional loving-kindness and compassion), and Christians call Agape, (love that promotes overall well-being, the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity, and humanity for one another as well as God) -- is what we attempt to practice, engage, and embody. (The Bodhisattva vow to save all beings, and a Cosmotheandric spirituality which is all-inclusive, are both ways that are Vorbild (i.e. the pattern before us) and Schwer (i.e. difficult). Still, humbly, we practice.


Meetingbrook is a Schola Gratiae et Contemplationis, (that is, a School of Gratefulness and Contemplation). It is a daily practice. It is hospitality. It is an integral conversation between silence and word. It is an engaged interaction with all our brothers and sisters. It looks to, and listens for, all sentient beings. It quietly and reverently seeks to attend the source mystery of life. This source mystery of life is what some call God, and some call What Is Taking Place, Here, Now! We try to pay attention to how each person and being expresses their view. We trust in inclusive sharing of each path, each trail along that path, each step on the trail. This is what a Laura of Hermits is for us -- It is a common viewing of each trail and each pathway leading each of us home.


In conclusion: We are grateful for all the blessings and wonderful folks we've been privileged to meet these dozen years. Come visit. Grace us with your presence. You are integrally within the sound of what is taking place. We listen for you. Let's listen together!


What else is there?


Just you.


Just us.


Just everyone.


And all of it.


As it is!


With love,

Saskia, Bill, Cesco , Mu-ge ,
and all who grace Meetingbrook,
5 May 2007

(In memoriam, Katherine)


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Summer 2007 Events at Meetingbrook

All Events at MEETINGBROOK are free, open, & informal

Meetingbrook is a Place of Conversation, Collation, and Recollection
at Camden Harbour and at Ragged Mountain
Consult : Today at Meetingbrook�For any changes in schedule.

CONVERSATIONS AT BOOKSHOP/BAKERY HERMITAGE ON THE HARBOUR

Note: All conversations are 1 hour in length. Anyone invited to drop in. We practice loving speech, deep listening, and honest inquiry. Format: circle reading; brief silence; conversing; final circle comments.

TUESDAY EVENING CONVERSATION AT BOOKSHOP 5:30pm-6:30pm
Theme - Maybe Zen, Maybe Not. A Practice/Study focusing on Buddhism and its meditative tradition. A brief silent sitting, brief reading, and conversation. Currently: No Time To Lose, by Pema Chodron.

WEDNESDAY EVENING CONVERSATION AT BOOKSHOP 5:30pm. -6:30pm
Theme - Laura Soul-Friend Conversation. A conversation focusing on personal practice, experience, and belief. (A "Laura" is the Greek word for "trails" or " various paths.") Primary focus is the invitation to reflect and speak aloud where our practice is, what delights and/or difficulties we experience. Each Wednesday some person, or some aspect of practice, will begin the conversation.

THURSDAY EVENING CONVERSATION AT BOOKSHOP 5:30pm-6:30pm.
Theme - Stepping into the Mirror, A Practice/Study focusing on Christianity -- whether traditional, radical, alternative, contemplative, or contemporary. Brief silence, followed by relevant reading, conversation. Currently: A Course in Miracles.

FRIDAY EVENING CONVERSATION AT BOOKSHOP 5:30pm-6:30pm
Theme -- Paths to Peace -- Community Conversation on Interdependence, Eco-spirituality, and Interreligious Dialogue. A look at how contemporary topics affect the many and various everyday concerns --whether religious/spiritual traditions, earth, or the world. Reading, presentation, or film/audio considering topics on themes from all traditions. Currently Eternal Echoes by John O'Donohue. Films and videos interspersed.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON CONVERSATION AT BOOKSHOP -- 4:30pm-5:30pm
Theme - Tea, Poetry, and Literature. For one hour we�ll read poems, prose pieces, essays, or short stories. Bring with you anything you wish to read -- your own writing, or others'.

DAILY NOON LECTIO AT BOOKSHOP --Noon -12:15pm (Tue-Sat) Theme-- 15 at 12. A 15 minute mid-day practice in harbour room. A regular daily pause for 15 minutes at noon consisting of: listening to a reading for 5 minutes, sitting in silence for 5 minutes, then having an opportunity to share some personal response in a circle go-round for the remaining 5 minutes.

OTHER EVENTS AT THE HARBOUR

SUNDAY UPSTAIRS/DOWNSTAIRS COMMUNITY TABLE 1:00PM �2:30PM
Upstairs/Downstairs Community Table: Whether it is called brunch, barbecue, potluck, or meat-&-potatoes -- a regular Sunday gathering with good food & good company. (Donations of food or money gratefully accepted.)Music, conversation, laughter, and superb Sunday dinner. Stop by! Donations accepted for food!

MUSIC REHEARSALS -- 1:00pm-3:00pm (approx)
Any time any day of week. On Wednesday and Sunday afternoon a group might gather.. We've a piano. Come rehearse, or play in public. No one will pay any attention to you. (Unless you wish so.)

OPEN INVITATION TO USE HARBOUR PATIO FOR GATHERINGS --Anytime, just ask. Our redone patio at the water, with its new large grill and cafe tables, is available for use by the Meetingbrook community for gatherings of family and friends. One requirement: A plate of food must be offered to a stranger passing by.

MORNING TAI CHI, QiQONG (CHI KUNG), OR YOGA -- OPEN INVITATION FOR SMALL GROUPS. Our harbour patio is quiet and lovely in the mornings, especially from 6:30am-10-00am. If any individual or small group wished to practice/lead meditative movement using our patio, please ask.

MEETINGBROOK EVENTS AT MAINE STATE PRISON, WARREN ME

FRIDAY MORNING PRISON CONVERSATIONS -- 7:15am --11:00am.
Weekly Meetingbrook Conversations, group and individual, open to all inmates.

HERMITAGE EVENTS AT BARNESTOWN RD, RAGGED MOUNTAIN

HERMITAGE CHAPEL/ZENDO MEDITATION CABIN -- An Open Daily Community resource The Chapel/Zendo Meditation Cabin is always open and available for silence, meditation, or prayer. Whatever your tradition, let us remember one another whenever we sit.

SATURDAY ORA ET LABORA PRACTICE -- 7:15am-9:15am. Prayer and Work. Beginning with a silent sitting, chanting, and walking meditation. We then (after coffee/tea, English Muffins with jam, taken in silence) do a brief period of work in mindfulness around grounds of hermitage.

SUNDAY EVENING PRACTICE AT THE HERMITAGE -- 6:00pm-8:00pm
Each Sunday evening, drop-in. Practice includes: Sitting (40min), Walking, (10min), Chanting, Table reading (10min), Silent Eating (10min), Conversing (20min). Bell. Leave.

Closed Mondays.

Open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am to 8:00pm, Sunday 10:00am to 4:30pm

Let us order your books and music! Thanks!

Bookshop/Bakery, 50 Bayview Street, Camden, ME
Dogen & Francis Hermitage 64 Barnestown Rd, Camden, ME

mono@meetingbrook.org (207) 236-6808 or (207) 701-9644

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* Stop Pretending
The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don't have to gain, develop, or attain them. Like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight, there's no need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we already are--as soon as we stop pretending we're small or unholy. I could characterize nearly any spiritual practice as simply being: identify and stop, identify and stop, identify and stop. Identify the myriad forms of delusion we place upon ourselves, and must the courage to stop each one. Little by little deep inside us, he diamond shines, the eyes open, the dawn rises, we become what we already are. Tat Twam Asi (Thou Art That).
( -- Bo Lozoff, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran)



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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Many people call themselves a recovering Catholic. Some are returning Catholics. I've never left. And no 12 step program tempts.
No one really knows
The nature of birth
Nor the true dwelling place.
We return to the source
And turn to dust.

- Ikkyu (1394-1481)
No one ever leaves the source. We just forget where we are.
Be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you, and scripture says: Be holy, for I am holy.
-- 1 Peter 1:15 - 16
One is holy.

Be that.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dead mouse in front room. Cat stretches on dog's rug -- who'd moved to middle room, no doubt, during drama in front room. Both cat and corpus go out front door, one on his own, the other by hand. July morning damp with dew and mildewing mugginess.
See The Flower
One day the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1,250 monks and nuns. He did not say anything for quite a long time. The audience was perfectly silent. Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha's gesture. Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled. He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower. . . . To me the meaning is quite simple. When someone holds up a flower and shows it to you, he wants you to see it. If you keep thinking, you miss the flower. The person who was not thinking, who was just himself, was able to encounter the flower in depth, and he smiled. That is the problem of life. If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.

--Thich Nhat Hanh
We're meant to be just ourselves, able to encounter what is there, with cheer.

Is this "foolishness with God" what Paul talks about?
18. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;[Job 5:13]
20. and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”[Psalm 94: 11]
21. Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:
22. whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come — all are yours.
23. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

--1 Corinthians 3:10-23 (New King James Version)
To be wise in this world is "foolishness with God." Things present and things to come are the Christ's, and Christ is God's, and we are deep in this foolishness -- attuned, awake, and attentive.

This is the new monasticism -- outside and in the open, adoring and chanting the reality of what is -- with loving, joyful, serving attention.

It is nephew Mark's birthday, in Brooklyn, in 1979 as we waited at 1914-69th street. It's also the feast of Inigo de Loyola, born in 1491 in Azpeitia in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa in northern Spain.
The Experience of Manresa

He continued towards Barcelona but stopped along the river Cardoner at a town called Manresa. He stayed in a cave outside the town, intending to linger only a few days, but he remained for ten months. He spent hours each day in prayer and also worked in a hospice. It was while here that the ideas for what are now known as the Spiritual Exercises began to take shape. It was also on the banks of this river that he had a vision which is regarded as the most significant in his life. The vision was more of an enlightenment, about which he later said that he learned more on that one occasion than he did in the rest of his life. Ignatius never revealed exactly what the vision was, but it seems to have been an encounter with God as He really is so that all creation was seen in a new light and acquired a new meaning and relevance, an experience that enabled Ignatius to find God in all things. This grace, finding God in all things, is one of the central characteristics of Jesuit spirituality.
Ignatius himself never wrote in the rules of the Jesuits that there should be any fixed time for prayer. Actually, by finding God in all things, all times are times of prayer. He did not, of course, exclude formal prayer, but he differed from other founders regarding the imposition of definite times or duration of prayer. One of the reasons some opposed the formation of the Society of Jesus was that Ignatius proposed doing away with the chanting of the Divine Office in choir. This was a radical departure from custom, because until this time, every religious order was held to the recitation of the office in common. For Ignatius, such recitation meant that the type of activity envisioned for the Society would be hindered.

--from The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, by Rev. Norman O'Neal, S.J.
New light, new meaning, new relevance.

God in all things.

Fully ourselves.

Dooryard dew.

Red geraniums.

Nice flowers!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Something new is taking place. Everyone senses it. Some deny their senses. A sound. Can we hear it?
However deep your
Knowledge of the scriptures,
It is no more than a strand of hair
In the vastness of space;
However important seeming
Your worldly experience,
It is but a drop of water in a deep ravine.

- Tokusan
Rowing Rockport Harbor just before start of rain. Oars in oarlocks lifting and pulling, turning and dipping.

There's a lovely boat on one of the islands trying to decide if it has a meetingbrook vocation. There's no telling. Only listening.

Walking with Cesco in the rain at Snow Bowl, the rich fragrance of sweet summer water!

Anything becoming part of meetingbrook would engage the practice of collegiality.
"Some say that only the Pope has universal jurisdiction in the Church, and that the jurisdiction of the Bishops proceeds from him. In my opinion, this thesis is absolutely unacceptable. It has the advantage of being simple and coherent, but it turns its back on many texts and facts of early Christianity.

"In the opposite sense, there is the thesis that affirms the power in the Church, even the power of the Pope, would always be collegial. The Pope would always act as 'head of the College.' He could not act by his own power as 'Vicar of Christ' (I place the last words between quotation marks because I am not comfortable with this expression, which I personally avoid using). ...."I am strongly favorable to a collegial power that can be exercised by the College of Bishops as well as by the Pope himself as its head, representing the whole body."

(Yves Congar, une vie pour la verite, Jean Puyo Interroge le Pere Congar, Paris: Centurion, 1975, pp. 209-210).
Even the church must practice.

An inquiry into God ("con" "gar") is an evening's gift, is eve's very life.

So it is, we look over the water, look out into space. We are marked by camaraderie among colleagues.

An eve's practice.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Listen!

A death-knell is sounding. Compassion is all ears. Failure to engage the hospice patient leaves a bitter, lonely, and despondent atmosphere hanging over the assembled.

The power to impeach stands mute staring at a heedless and sneering attitude of the president and vice president who do not respect nor follow the rule of law in America.

The American people are rightfully frightened of this pattern and trend.

The Constitution of the United States stands behind the mute and staring power of impeachment. Both are looking at the elected representatives of the people of this land. These representatives stand frozen in fear, gazing at their political future and fortunes.

No one is being served. Except, fear. Fear is the only focus of eyes too frightened to take a step to do the right thing, to exercise the power demanded by the Constitution, filtered through elected representatives, serving laws that the people of this land -- all the people -- are served by and accountable to.
# Interbeing and Universal Responsibility
In Mahayana Buddhism in particular great emphasis is laid on realizing the union of wisdom and compassionate action. Human fulfillment is seen to lie in the integration of the inner and outer dimensions of life, not in transcendent wisdom or world-saving compassion alone. As long as we remain delusively convinced of our egoic separation, then we remain cut off from the capacity to empathize fully with others. Such empathy is nothing other than the affective response to insight into the absence of egoic separation. For when the fiction of isolated selfhood is exposed, instead of a gaping mystical void we discover that our individual existence is rooted in relationship with the rest of life. For Thich Nhat Hanh, this is the realization of "interbeing"; for the Dalai Lama that of "universal responsibility": two ideas at the heart of contemporary Engaged Buddhism.

--Stephen Batchelor
It's somehow easier to live with the idea, however fictional, we are isolated selves, separated and detached from one another. This fiction feels familiar -- the anger, the jealousy, the resentments.
Bill Moyers gets perspective on the role of impeachment in American political life from Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION's John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT.

"The founding fathers expected an executive who tried to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch... They [Congress] have basically renounced — walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check." — Bruce Fein

"On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools." — John Nichols
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07132007/profile.html
Can you hear it? The knelling continues.

It feels odd to consider that men in such high office of trust are possibly instruments of treachery and ill will. No one wants to believe that.

That's the problem with belief.

It might have nothing to do with actual fact.

There are three things we must do to transcend belief and accompanying paralysis:

The first is vital -- listen. So too, the second is utmost -- listen.

And as the first, and second, the third task is a powerful and irreplaceable one -- listen!

Without belief, listening is.

Once again.

Radical grace.