Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, October 20, 2007

An Italiano bagel with butter is a good beginning.

I cannot find the Monastery of Heaped Fragrance,
Miles up now into the clouds of the summit.
There is no footpath through the ancient woods.
Where did the bell sound,
Deep in the sound, deep in the mountain?
The voice of the torrent gulps over jagged stones;
Sunlight hardly warms the bluish pines.
As dusk deepens in these unfathomable mazes,
I practice meditation
To subdue the dragon of desire.

- Wang Wei (701–761)
Black tea with milk helps.

Morning Lauds and night silence round the circle.

I am grateful.

For having.

Been.

Alive.

Friday, October 19, 2007

God is one of us.

It is absolutely necessary for you to seek to obtain genuinely accurate insight and understanding. Then you can travel freely anywhere and avoid being confused by the common sort of spiritual charmer. - Lin Chi (d 867?)

Not one of us is God.

God is.

One.

Of us.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Not my-self, but the no-self I am.

We acknowledge Luke today. He wrote early Christian scriptures.

Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you”. (Luke 10:9, Jer.Bib)

Or: Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.' (NAB)

Or: 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. (KJB)

The deadliest sickness today is the lie saying we are this or that, never this and that, and (of course) avoiding altogether the revelation we are not-this, not-that.

The writer of Romans 2:11 says: There is no partiality with God.

What is God? God is seeing whole. That one, seeing whole, is no other (than, then) God.

Four thousand days and nights.


For a poem to be born,
we must murder we must murder many
shoot, assassinate, poison
so many whom we love.

Look, for just the bird's quivering tongue from the sky of four thousand nights
and days we shot and killed the silence of four thousand nights
and the contrary rays of the four thousand days.

Listen, for just the tears of one hungry child,
from every city in rain, a blast furnace,
a wharf and a coal mine in midsummer,
we assassinated the love of four thousand days
and the compassion of four thousand nights.

Do not forget, for just the fear of a single wild dog
that sees what our eyes cannot and catches what our ears cannot,
we poisoned the imagination of four thousand nights
and the cold memories of the four thousand days.

For a poem to be written, we must murder our beloved:
this is the only way to bring to life the dead,
and we must walk this way.


(Poem by Tamura Ryuichi, 1923-1998, Translated by Toshiko Fujioka, Tomoyuki Iino, and Jon Silkin)

Do we kill what-is-not to bring life to what is? Is our consciousness so divided and dual that we must let fall (die) that dearness of familiarity so as to be family itself? It is a terrifying consideration.

And yet, and yet, and yet...it is our mind that dies to separation, separation which has nurtured delusion in us for so long.

The ego is "separation" with only three letters.

This morning, not my-self, but the no-self I am.

Very near.

At hand.

Come nigh.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Don't mind me.

On Climbing the Highest Peak of Stone Gate

At dawn with staff in hand I climbed the crags,
At dusk I made my camp among the mountains.
Only a few peaks rise as high as this house,
Facing the crags, it overlooks winding streams.
In front of its gates a vast forest stretches.
While boulders are heaped round its very steps.
Hemmed in by mountains, there seems no way out,
The track gets lost among the thick bamboos.
Deep in meditation, how can I part from Truth?
I cherish the Way and never will swerve from it.

- Xie Lingyun (385–433)
Mind yourself.

It's where I am.

You mind?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

If I am here, then, here's looking at you kid!

The mistake has been making two where only one is.
When this Man of Tao left the mountain,
The mountain turned as gray as ashes;
The white clouds hid away their smiles,
And the blue pines were filled with grief.
Suddenly came news of the Man of Tao’s return,
And bird’s song burst open the mountain valleys.
A divine light radiates from his precious temples,
And a dharma rain washes away the swirling dust.

- Su Shih (1073)
The real mystery of Christ-life is how do we come to realize that we are Christ's life?

There's no running away to hide because even the hiding place is Christ's life.
As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do. (--Isaiah 55:10 - 11, from Office of None)
I used to be taken with the fact that I didn't suffer fools gladly. But that was bull. All I was doing was judging people and not suffering their reality. Not much to be taken for.

"Now," David, visiting from Topsham, said at conversation, "it is time to suffer fools, gladly.

It is refreshing being a fool.

Suffering reality.

Gladly.

Here.

Here.

And here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Someone wrote to say they walked out on a disturbing film because it was offensive. I sympathize with him. Unfortunately he didn't get to experience the redemptive/reversal of the film ("Crash".)

There are times I want to walk out of things. I have in the past. It's a mixed blessing, walking out.

Elie Wiesel said that we are defined by that which disturbs us, and not by that which reassures us.

Definition is a hard learning.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

(--from poem, Burnt Norton, in Four Quartets, by T.S. Eliot, 1935)
It's hard to imagine neither stopping nor moving. Hard to conceive being within the still point.

Who was it said that reality is ok, as long as you go there as a tourist?
The unborn Dharma disappeared in both Japan and China, and it has long since been forgotten. But now it has appeared in the world again. Once you come to know without any doubt that the marvelous illuminative wisdom of the Unborn is the Buddha-mind, and that the Buddha-mind puts all things in perfect order by means of the Unborn, then you can no longer be deluded or led astray by others.
- Bankei (1622-1693)
At times the demand for definition is annoying. Where were you? What do you do? Do you have credentials? Explain yourself! Give an accounting!

It is this statistical obsession with making sure everything between birth and death is accounted for and fractionally reduced to economics or politics.
“We are being infantalized daily. I believe we come into the world as intelligent creatures and we have to be taught to be stupid."(--From The City of Words, 2007 Massey Lectures, by Alberto Manguel, see: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/massey/massey2007.html)

[I]t is crucial whether questions are posed or answers expounded. For Manguel believes that answers breed dogma and intolerance while questions nurture openness and possibility.
“Answers close us in and literature opens doors and windows for us. It forces us to look further, not be content with what seems like an easy answer,” Manguel said.
“It is, I think, exactly what opposes the arts to the kind of society that we are building -- in which the notion of value is of financial value and is therefore a closed notion. A closed notion, like a closed book, offers no exploration, no ambiguity, and no spaciousness in which to connect with others. And connection is what language, literature, and stories offer us.”

“Distortions are the essence of demagogical and commercial language, intent on 'selling' an idea or product...”
Subtly and gradually the language of literature, which is “complex (and) infinitely capable of enrichment” is replaced by the “short, categorical, imperious” language of advertising or the “static” language of politics. It is an example of the tail wagging the dog as language is transformed into mere slogans and propaganda.

(from Politics, marketing ‘co-opt’ rich language of literature, By MARY JO ANDERSON, Sun. Oct 14, The ChronicleHerald Books, http://thechronicleherald.ca/Books/959226.html)
Some say that words are being denuded.
(de·nude (d-nd, -nyd)
tr.v. de·nud·ed, de·nud·ing, de·nudes
1. To divest of covering; make bare.
2. Geology To expose (rock strata) by erosion.)

(-- The Free Dictionary)
"Being" -- without covering, is eternal and infinite. We've successfully covered "God" in the disguise of a savant with white beard. We've eroded the art of invisibility and silence and fabricated a pastiche of overexposure and noise as that which earns enormous wealth and power for the seen and tattled about.

We've been living and searching in vain, Wiesel says, for "God means movement and not explanation." (--in Legends of Our Time).

I've no explanation.

Let's move with what is itself.

On one, two, three...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It is time to return home.

Home is where there is peace, love, compassion and kindness. Where there is torture there is alienation, hatred, deceit, and ugliness.

It is long past time to return home.
Our moral trajectory over the Bush years could not be better dramatized than it was by a reunion of an elite group of two dozen World War II veterans in Washington this month. They were participants in a top-secret operation to interrogate some 4,000 Nazi prisoners of war. Until now, they have kept silent, but America’s recent record prompted them to talk to The Washington Post.

“We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture,” said Henry Kolm, 90, an M.I.T. physicist whose interrogation of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, took place over a chessboard. George Frenkel, 87, recalled that he “never laid hands on anyone” in his many interrogations, adding, “I’m proud to say I never compromised my humanity.”

Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo. It’s up to us to wake up our somnambulant Congress to challenge administration policy every day. Let the war’s last supporters filibuster all night if they want to. There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country’s good name.

(--The New York Times, Op-Ed Columnist, The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us By FRANK RICH, Published: October 14, 2007 )
There is a no-name God that has no interest in our so-called "good name," nor any interest in the bad name we create in the attempt to prove ourselves far superior to those who shall remain nameless.
He waits as at dusk, bamboo walking stick in hand,
At the headwaters of Tiger Creek,
Leading us on as we listen to mountain echoes,
Following the water’s way.

Patches of wildflowers bloom.
A solitary bird calls from the valley floor.
We sit evening zazen in the empty forest:
Quiet pine winds bring the scent of autumn.

- Wang Wei (710-761)
This past week has been a time of nature. Mountains and rivers, lakes and skies full of passing clouds and shocks of sunlight. Morning moist grass, fragrance of leaf and pine needle filled with crow, squirrel, and chipmunk choral work.

These men that are doing the difficult work of conjuring superiority need to get away for a while, get lost in an empty and nameless eco-sphere, and learn again how to simply look and feel and be the reality for which we search.
I carry your heart with me(i carry it in

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(I carry it in my heart)

(--Poem: "I carry your heart with me(i carry it in..." by E.E. Cummings from Complete Poems: 1904-1962. © Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1994.)
Today we make way through the northern stretch of Nova Scotia and into New Brunswick towards Maine.

Let's be here -- each and every here -- we are.

No more torture. Let's come home.

We are (can be, and must be) the deepest secret nobody knows.

Hello! Anybody home?

Coming, Mother!