Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hurricane, they say. Tonight more rain and wind. Late Sunday it will make landfall down east Maine or one of the Atlantic Provinces -- New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. There's a surprise. A small hurricane, they say, more a tropical storm. Still, small boats are huddling inner harbor.
After sunset the whole world is cool,
And after a rain, mountains and rivers are clear.
The prevailing wind comes from the west,
The sounds of autumn are congealed
In the sounds of grasses and trees.
I feel the rapidity of passing years,
And lament the fading away of material things.
Who would feel distressed
Seeing how the seasons affect man’s emotions? Let me ask the philosopher of the Gateway
To the Void.
What method is there to practice,
Which will cause me to abandon the
Desires for gain and not cause
Vexations to arise?

- Po-Chu-i (772-846)
The new coffee maker brewed on cue at 6AM in the newly cavernous kitchen at Ragged Mountain. Oatmeal with Kefir, French Vanilla yogurt, chocolate chips melted therein.

A couple from Vermont stop in. A geologist, she is taken with one of the stones Saskia found on an island. He tells me about Martinism. They take a ginger cookie and forget to pay before they leave.
Consequently, the Trinity, composed of the three terms which we have specified, should be considered under two aspects.

1. We should first look at the synthesis of this trinity, the cause of its reality. The third term (God the Holy Spirit) contains these conditions in itself.

2. We should then analyze this synthesis by dividing it into its three constituent terms, and by determining the existence of the two opposite terms, active and passive, positive and negative. We must not forget that during this analysis we destroy the reality of the being thus divided into fractions.

Every reality, of whatever kind it might be, is therefore composed of three terms, and these three terms are contained in one sole whole. This truth is quite as applicable to physics as to metaphysics; the works of Louis Lucas upon physics and chemistry, 1 and of Wronski in mathematics, 2 are an irresistible argument against those who think that a philosophical principle is a foolish idea, without any practical import.

The third term of our theogonic series, or God the Holy Ghost, therefore represents the whole body of God, who can be analyzed in this way--

(--from CHAPTER XIV. GENERAL SUMMARY OF THE SYMBOLICAL TAROT. THEOGONY--ANDROGONY--COSMOGONY, in The Tarot of the Bohemians, By Papus, [Gérard Encausse, (b. 1865 d. 1916)] Translated by A. P Morton, [1892])
I give Michael cookie for helping the woman bring sailboat to finger float. He thinks we'll catch fish for weeks with the knots she netted to cleats for security. He's like that.

The water is still calm. No wind yet. I'll take in the dory rower wind vane and fold in the sail flag. The tables are rolled to rear of patio. Chairs tucked under yellow bird house by lock marina fence.

There you are.

Time to go.

Home.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Senators McCain and Obama met in Louisiana tonight in their first debate. Good for them. We need to hear them side by side.

No matter what they said, the fact of saying it in full sight with no place to hide is important. Even if there are misrepresentations or sleight of hand comments, we can watch how they respond to the peculiar jousts.
Where he lives is indeed most
Elegantly secluded,
And the people who live there
Have all attained tranquility.
Dense groves of bamboo line
Both side of the road,
The clear brook flows by the hut.
How free and relaxed is the monk,
Having abandoned all the worry
And anxiety of the world,
The four meditations unite him
With Suchness so that he regards
Everything as illusory.

- Meng Hao-jan (689-765)
In prison this morning we red Raymond Carver's poem, "Happiness."
Happiness

So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.

When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.

They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.

I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.

They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.

Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.

Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

(Poem by Raymond Carver)
One of the men said he sometimes looks out his window at the chain link fence with rolled razor wire atop, and sees it as beautiful.

To see anything as itself is to see beauty.

The longing to see this moment reveal itself, to see what is wholly itself, is beauty.

Look here!

Beautiful!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

God is one.
Monk Ch’ung-fan! Monk Ch’ung-fan!
You left in autumn to go to Mt. Fu-fu,
Now it is spring and you have not yet returned.
You must be fascinated by the bustling scene of
Falling flowers and singing birds,
You must be enjoying the solitude, surrounded
By brooks and mountains just outside your door
And window.
Surrounded by hills, who cares anything about
The affairs of the world?
As the city dwellers gaze into the distance,
They see nothing but peaks covered with clouds.

- Wang Wei (701-761)
There is no other.

We're home.

No matter what they tell us.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I prefer compassion.
To you, who are like a solitary cloud coming
Out freely from the mountain cavern,
Any famous scenic mountain serves as your refuge.
- Yuan-chien
Over being right.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oscar the dog had a bath. His human companion looks for work. Couple from Florida stop by. Maine autumn briskness delights them.

Toy with the flowers
And their fragrance
Scents your garments.
- Kido Chigu (1185-1269)

Walked to Rockport Harbor and back last evening. At harbor a newly constructed boat sits at dock. I climb stairs to look at her.
ADVENTURE is a 53-foot historic replica of an 18th century colonial trading vessel designed by the late William Baker. She will replace an existing replica that currently is on display at the Charlestowne River landing.
(--Rockport Marine writeup)
Belted Galloway herd chewed hay. Said hello to Herb at his grave site in Rockport Cemetery. In my ear the public radio version of the urgency of financial repair.

This morning, church. Waking at dawn, first color coming from eastern horizon. Water in harbor unmoving. Calm at end of dark night. We ate upstairs after Saskia and Rokpa returned from rowing and I from walk. I'm reading from The Moral of the Story, An Anthology of Ethics Through Literature (Singer and Singer editors). The stories remind just how complex living as a human in this existence can be.

One of the regulars talks to two women about hypnosis, psy-ops, proliferation, and other world issues of population, sustained economies, and personal as well as world problems.

Russian chant plays from cd. Now Gregg and Susan's cd, Rambling Sailors, Wanderlust plays sea chanteys. Four women row out to sailboat for first autumn sail. O'a comes by to pick up Rokpa to play with Bailey the elder poodle up on the 12.8 acres for sale.

I drink Kefir, probiotic raspberry version. The air becomes ungrounded with theories swirling like drunken nutrinos just off their trajectory from some unnamed galaxy.
An Opportunity to Create the Future
It is a characteristic tendency of human beings to indulge in emotions such as happiness, grief, or anger in response to present conditions, failing to balance these feelings with the awareness that present conditions are results of past causes. It is illogical to face the present only as an object of enjoyment or tolerance, neglecting to use it as the opportunity to create the future.
(--Muso Kokushi, in Dream Conversations)
If the world is stranger than can be proven, it is not stranger than we can imagine.
Dissociative fugue: People with this condition dissociate by putting real distance between themselves and their identity. For example, you may abruptly leave home or work and travel away, forgetting who you are and possibly adopting a new identity in a new location. People experiencing dissociative fugue typically retain all their faculties and may be very capable of blending in wherever they end up. A fugue episode may last only a few hours or, rarely, as long as many months. Dissociative fugue typically ends as abruptly as it begins. When it lifts, you may feel intensely disoriented, depressed and angry, with no recollection of what happened during the fugue or how you arrived in such unfamiliar circumstances.
(--MayoClinic.com)
Maybe we don't remember who we are. Maybe there are multiple dimensions and multiple personalities. Maybe there are two, three, four, or five Americas, each ruled by secretive cabals intent on hiding their actions and decisions from each other and from the general populace. I don't know. That's beyond me. I like cookies and peanut butter and jam on English muffins.

The Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee gathered this morning to hear Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Christopher Cox testify.
But after hours of back-and-forth, the committee’s leaders said explicitly what had seemed clear all day: that they rejected the administration’s plan. “What they have sent us is not acceptable,” the committee chairman, Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, told The Associated Press.

The panel’s ranking Republican agreed. “We have to look at some alternatives,” Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama told The A.P.

One after another throughout the session, senators from both parties said that, while they were prepared to move fast, they were far from ready to give the administration everything it wanted in its proposed $700 billion plan to buy up and hopefully resell troubled mortgage-backed securities. (-- Bailout Plan a Hard Sell on Capitol Hill, By MARK LANDLER and STEVEN LEE MYERS, Published: September 23, 2008 The New York Times)

How do we hear what is true? How put into practice what we know to be true? How do we discern the real from the unreal, the natural and authentic from the fabricated and fraudulent?
His mother and his brothers came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’
(--Luke 8:19 - 21)
In quiet places I sometimes ask out loud for help to listen to what is true. I never hear any response out of the ordinary.

Only ordinary sounds.

From mothers'.

Brothers'.

Sisters'.

Hearing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sometimes the ugly sound of a bomb is exactly what it is -- an ugly sound. Whether that bomb is made of destructive metal and explosive detonators, or if it is made of 700 billion doubtful dollars, much of which will go to benefit very greedy men and institutions at root the cause of this financial fiasco. The sound of the oncoming bomb should give us pause.

Between the cost of the Iraq war (some three trillion, says the Washington Post) and the cost of the administration's Wall Street debacle (most likely well over one trillion) -- you would think someone would have thought of simple things like health care for everyone, equal expenditure for educational quality for our children, and proper care of bridges and roads. The sound of our imbalanced priorities hurts the ears of anyone listening.
The sound of peaceful music, the sound of terrible noise, are both clearly revealed as they are and nothing else. Nonetheless, we prefer the peacefulness and dislike the irritation of the noise. We try to control, to change things to how we want them. This can be done with a certain degree but cannot be done completely and eternally. If, on the other hand, we accept things as they are and see things as clearly revealed as they are, that acceptance itself is the first step toward unbreakable peacefulness.
- Eido Tai Shimano (b. 1932)
This might be the one straw too many. It's hard to imagine that enormous amounts of money will be paid out to failed leaders by failed leaders while so many support their "betters" utterly against their own interests and needs.
Do not refuse a kindness to anyone who begs it,
if it is in your power to perform it.
Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go away! Come another time!
I will give it you tomorrow’, if you can do it now.
Do not plot harm against your neighbour
as he lives unsuspecting next door.
Do not pick a groundless quarrel with a man
who has done you no harm.
Do not emulate the man of violence,
never model your conduct on his;
for the wilful wrong-doer is abhorrent to the Lord,
who confides only in honest men.
The Lord’s curse lies on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the virtuous.
He mocks those who mock,
but accords his favour to the humble.

(Proverbs 3:27 - 34)
Wisdom and humility are in short supply these days. We are crowded in by mocking mendacity.

We need silence. And space for solitude. Stillness and a sense of holy diffidence. All will, we want to think, be well.
Jesus said:
‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’

(Luke 8:16 - 18)
Jesus was talking about understanding, not money. If you have it, it will increase. If you don't have it, what little you might think you have will dissipate. To understand requires stark engagement with what is taking place.

It is good counsel to "take care how you hear."

So many sounds come our way. It is difficult to discern the sincere from the sarcastic -- there are training programs to coach the sinister to sound like the sacred.

Only genuine inner silence will hear the difference.

Listen well.

We are brothers and sisters -- first and foremost.

Learn this first.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Peace wants you.
The mountain air sparkles as the sun sets,
Birds in flocks return together.
In these things there is a fundamental truth,
But when I start to explain it, I lose the words.

- Ryokan (1758-1831)
Surrender now.