Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Too many voices, too many words, today.
No one had anything of interest to say.
Evening mountains veiled in somber mist,
one path entering the wooded hill:
the monk has gone off,
locking his pine door.
From a bamboo pipe
a lonely trickle of water flows.

- Ishikawa Jozan (1583-1672)
It's me, of course.

Sometimes words are ski pole banging against metal trash can.
They rattle along curb, topple into street, strew empty elan.

It's my mind.
There is
no one here
save me
When door closes,
it isn't what is

kept out;

it's what isn't
ready to be

let out.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Invitation and excitement. Issue one, delight in what follows.

All week the conversations have been rich. At shop. At prison. In liturgical dialogue. At university class. In mindful presence without object. What is itself needs nothing more.
Western Peak

Highest mountain in the West,
eighteen thousand miles from the East,
reaching the sky and dwarfing the other peaks.
If one wishes to reach it, one is there already;
for a Zen student can make a mountain
wherever the feet are touching.

- Jakushitsu Genko Zenji (1290 – 1368)
Prayer is dangerous involvement with God. With God there is no bargaining. Everything has to be as it is. No delusion. No wishful thinking.

The old phrase is true, just not as ordinarily conceived: "Out of sight, out of mind."

Mind disappears as eyes merely gaze with love at everything.

Save the world! Look as everything looks; not at.

Transfigure and transform.
That's the invitation.

Excited yet?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

How proud we all feel. Something light has turned our heads and made us smile. Even those with mud still on their shoes recognize a sparkling moment and shake their heads.
Non-Effort

The wind in the pines plays a subtle
song, of which I have become
effortlessly aware.
I did not compose it, I do not perform it;
yet it simply is as it is.
Nor do I strain to be aware of it.
It just is as it has always been.
The music, strangely, is as bright as
My Self-lit interior.
If I tried to compose it or
perform it, I could not do so.
If I strained to become aware of it,
it would surely die and fade away.

- Ji Aoi Isshi
Many will be happy to see the backs of those who will be leaving office. We'll wish them well. We won't pretend bygones will go by and fade. We'll lobby for justice and accountability. But not now.

Now belongs to the fully feeling fantastic.

As God is.

My joy.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It feels like months ago. The election.
Better or Worse?

Ordinarily, we spend all our time comparing and discriminating between this and that, always looking around for something good to happen to us. And because of that we become restless and anxious about everything. As long as we are able to imagine something better than what we have or who we are, it follows naturally that there could also be something worse. We are constantly pursued by misgivings that something bad will happen. In other words, as long as we live by distinguishing between the better way and the worse way, we can never find absolute peace such that whatever happens is all right.

When we let go of our thoughts that distinguish better from worse and instead see everything in terms of the Universal Self, we are able to settle upon a different attitude toward life--the attitude of magnanimous mind that whatever happens, we are living out Self which is only Self. Here a truly peaceful life unfolds.
--Kosho Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought
Universal Self is what we call undivided hope.

There's no need for hope.

The world is one.

For now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama will address the country in a few minutes.
Becoming a buddha is easy,
but ending illusions is hard;
so many frosted moonlit nights
I’ve sat and felt the cold before dawn.

- Shih-wu (1272-1352)
It is a good night.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Note: The bookshop/bakery will be closed Sunday 2Nov08. There will be no Sunday Evening Practice at the hermitage. The shop will re-open for conversation Tuesday Evening at 5:15pm.
.....

The Day of the Dead passes. All Souls Day arrives.

No one dies who sees life as it is.

Of course there is death and loss.

But no one dies... seeing life as it is.