Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stack cord of wood. Listen to Dogma Free America on ipod while carrying and fitting wood. There is no end to the awful things done in the name of dogma.

What will thaw us from the fearful clutch of rigid thinking?
Although we know that a
Frozen pond is entirely water,
The sun’s heat is necessary to melt it.
Although we awaken to the fact
That an ordinary person is Buddha,
The power of dharma is necessary
To make it permeate our cultivation.
When the pond has melted,
The water flows freely.
When falsity is extinguished,
The mind will be numinous
And dynamic and then its function
Of penetrating brightness will manifest.
- Kuei-feng
The notion of king is not attractive. Royalty is not a metaphor I pronounce. I prefer presence.
And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.
(--1 Corinthians 15:28)
Better to table the king talk and ask what "all in all" really means. It might change everything if that phrase were understood.

Everyone would be intimately present to the inner reality of Reality Itself.
And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers [or sisters] of mine, you did it to me.”
(--from Matthew 25:31-46)
I never know who is in front of me. I often disappoint with lack of awareness. I'll have to look into a new way of seeing what is there, seeing through to what is behind what is there, and seeing light even in the darkest dimness in myself and others.

When I meet someone who knows better than anyone, whose criticisms are stored in a dim understanding of our mutuality, who fears that no one is as good as they are -- I have to learn to see.

Metaphors of dominion and dominance are unpronounceable to me. I stutter when they demand to be uttered in the open away from their boxed storage in musty closets.

I look away. I go elsewhere. I'm looking for a way to say a world without comparison.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Two conversation circles with inmates in prison followed by deliberations about teaching a college course on Aesthetics in there, then finding out at security desk I had some other guy's driver's license since two days ago leaving prison security window.

I've been someone else for two days. No wonder I couldn't think straight.
Good and evil all arise from one’s own mind.
But tell me, besides your activities,
thoughts, and discrimination,
What do you call your own mind?
Where does your mind come from?
If you can discern where your own mind comes from,
Then boundless karmic obstruction
Will be cleared away instantly,
And all sorts of marvels will come of themselves
Without being sought.

- Ta Hui (1089-1163)
Being someone else isn't anything you know about. It just happens, as one would look down at the picture on a license you begin to recognize is not yours. How long have I not been me? Not just this time, but at any time?

Stanley Kunitz believed, wrote Sven Birkerts in his essay Clarity and Obscurity in Poetry , "that poems can contain 'moments of wilderness' — lines that don't necessarily themselves make sense but which, when taken away, impoverish the work."

So too with our lives -- events or behavior that make no sense in the general intention of living sanely, but if left out, diminish the life.

Everything is the longing of the most intimate itself for relationality expressing the oneness within.

Chances are there is a progression something like the following: the reverential is the referential is the relational.

What is holy-real is self-referential in its relationality.

What is occurring below and beyond awareness is face to face encounter with who we are within the other. We look, but might not see. We listen, not hearing. Touch, without sensing. Become, and feel, but no comprehension.

What today is called "spiritual" is the web of life in its wholeness inviting and revealing itself to each one of us.
  • Prayer, the kind that sits in generous oneness in the surround of the holy (the wholly-other/not-other), helps.
  • Meditation, the kind that simply attends what is with gracious openness, helps.
  • Service, the kind that proffers hand and time, presence and attentiveness, to whomever and whatever at the door of our being, helps.
Help, as they say, is on the way.
  • When we bow we seem to be bowing to someone or something outside us, but we are bowing to that within ourselves reflecting what is holy-real.
  • When we seem to be referencing someone or something outside ourselves, we are directing the energy of bringing back home what longs to belong where it belongs.
  • When we surrender illusory autonomy and no longer cultivate separateness we retell original narrative of union and communion.
What is most intimate is that which is within us -- a oneness belonging to each and all.

Hide and Seek

It's hard not

to jump out

instead of

waiting to be

found. It's

hard to be

alone so long

and then hear

someone come

around. It's

like some form

of skin's developed

in the air

that, rather

than have torn,

you tear.

(--Poem "Hide and Seek" by Kay Ryan)

If I forget who I am, no need to remind me. I'll settle for a benign exchange, a kindly nod, a wave in passing.

The way falls lightly from the one within the intimacy of no-name presence.

Each way, found this way, is the way.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kiewslowski, in Dialogue VII suggests we steal ourselves when we lie about or deny right relationship. This is sudden thought.

If correct relationship is the most intimate encounter with what is one within, we steal the wholeness from itself and deprive ourselves what we are
Nonviolence

Nonviolence belongs to a continuum from the personal to the global, and from the global to the personal. One of the most significant Buddhist interpretations of nonviolence concerns the application of this ideal to daily life. Nonviolence is not some exalted regimen that can be practiced only by a monk or a master; it also pertains to the way one interacts with a child, vacuums a carpet, or waits in line. Besides the more obvious forms of violence, whenever we separate ourselves from a given situation (for example, through inattentiveness, negative judgments, or impatience), we "kill" something valuable. However subtle it may be, such violence actually leaves victims in its wake: people, things, one's own composure, the moment itself. According to the Buddhist reckoning, these small-scale incidences of violence accumulate relentlessly, are multiplied on a social level, and become a source of the large-scale violence that can sweep down upon us so suddenly. . . . One need not wait until war is declared and bullets are flying to work for peace, Buddhism teaches. A more constant and equally urgent battle must be waged each day against the forces of one's own anger, carelessness, and self-absorption.

(- Kenneth Kraft, Inner Peace, World Peace)
We live and die in silent, oftentimes unknown, expression of the longing welling from within.

God is this longing for itself.

There is no path to God.

One's own way is what is longing for itself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cold arrives.
Under the trees, among the rocks, a thatched hut:
Verses and sacred commentaries live there together.
I’ll burn the books I carry in my bag,
But how can I forget the verses written in my gut?

- Ikkyu (1394-1481)
Just in time.

Lecture in prison today: Spirituality -- A Personal Way To What Is Within.

The most intimate is within us we are one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hay lay rolled by outer trees off field in Dover-Foxcroft.

Sun slant cold with flutter of flurry a November reminder of what she keeps at bay.
All of the hundreds and thousands of
Dharma doors return to the mind.
The immeasurable subtle virtues
are in the source of mind.
All the doors of perception,
meditation, wisdom,
spiritual penetration,
and transformation are
contained in one’s mind.

- Fa-yung (593-657)
The drive on backroad Maine was worth the winding hills.

There's nowhere, really, to go. And no end in sight.

It is the prayer of passing seconds and horses standing by fence that keeps us sane.

A new furnace and finished kitchen window trim inside as 20 degree dark outside keeps silence.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are the dead as real as the living?

Moon quarters stretching cloud over cold mountain. At root, we are all homeless.
Sitting Alone

Meditating deeply upon Dharma
Reach the depth of the source.
Branching streams cannot compare to this source!
Sitting alone in a great silence
Even though the heavens turn and the earth is upset,
You will not even wink.

- Jakushitsu Genko Zenji (1290–1368)
I would find a boat with wood burning stove, enough room to turn around, sit and read, place words next to another, and let stars converse in vast aloneness.

"What one writes is merely the ashes of one's experience." (--Franz Kafka)

Black cat stealths to foot of bed. Night passes time playing with falling temperatures. New furnace arrives tomorrow. We burn paper money for warmth.

“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” (--Gilbert Chesterton)

Chesterton is ambiguous. Read him both ways.

Be found gone.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

White dog comes into room, looks at me, turns, leaves.

The French poet who edited Mythologies looks at words and wants them silent.
Buddhas and ordinary men are equally illusions.
If you go looking for the true form,
it is a speck of dust in the eye.
The burnt bones of this old monk
embrace heaven and earth;
Do no scatter the cold ashes to mountain and sky.

(- Bukko, d. 1286)
I have wandered far from the monastery of silent awareness. Then, tonight, in chapel/zendo, sitting. And walking. Then chanting compline by candlelight. When moon came through new glass wall not even clouds had a word in mind.
Passer-By, These Are Words

Passer-by, these are words. But instead of reading
I want you to listen: to this frail
Voice like that of letters eaten by grass.

Lend an ear, hear first of all the happy bee
Foraging in our almost rubbed-out names.
It flits between two sprays of leaves,
Carrying the sound of branches that are real
To those that filigree the still unseen.

Then know an even fainter sound, and let it be
The endless murmuring of all our shades.
Their whisper rises from beneath the stones
To fuse into a single heat with that blind
Light you are as yet, who can still gaze.

May your listening be good! Silence
Is a threshold where a twig breaks in your hand,
Imperceptibly, as you attempt to disengage
A name upon a stone:

And so our absent names untangle your alarms.
And for you who move away, pensively,
Here becomes there without ceasing to be.

(--Poem by Yves Bonnefoy)
We're not quite sure how to exist without form. Nor if it is wanted.

November today was desolate. Empty. So my soul spilt itself into no container.

All over.

The sense of impending news with formless silence deep enough to remain unsaid.

As we become absent names.