Through TheeThis is the cost and benefit of community. Theology demands communal kerygma. Dale says it was the crucifixion that rivets Christianity. I suspect the suffering, death, resurrection, ascension, and coming of the Spirit are of a piece -- one event that we apportion to particular distinctive multi-events so as to allow the mind a contemplative sequence. And yet, if the sequencing were true, these 10 days between Ascension and Pentecost are the bereft days. Jesus is gone. There remains only the experience and the teachings -- but no insight, no inspiration, no awakened mind and heart of those left bereft.
If you wish to bring the two matters of birth and death to conclusion, and pass directly beyond the Triple-world, you must penetrate the koan “This very mind is Buddha." Tell me: What is its principle? How is it that this very mind is Buddha? And "this very mind" just what is it like? Investigate it coming. Investigate it going. Investigate it thoroughly and exhaustively. All you have to do is keep this koan constantly in your thoughts.
- Daito (1282-1334)
The "triple world" (triloka) is a common Buddhist term for "universe." The three worlds are "the world of desire"--(kâmaloka), "the world of bodily form" (rûpaloka), and "the immaterial world" (arûpaloka).A variant might read: "This very mind is Christ." This, then, is a time of investigation. What happened? Who was he? What am I?
(--from Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot, [Zen For Americans], by Soyen Shaku, translated by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, 1906)
Not until I exhaust myself investigating do I let go, bereaving and bereft, into what is wholly-there beyond me. "From me."
That which is Wholly-there is the complete-Reality, which we have named "I Am Here and There, Where and When." This Holistic Inseparability, nicknamed "God", is what we must pass through, is what we are passing through, once we let go of our fragmented separative notion of small, isolated, disconnected self. "Through Thee."
This penetrative, permeative presencing of each in each, all in each, and each in all -- this integrative investigation and indwelling incarnative awakening -- this descent/ascent of the Spirit of Wholeness/Holiness -- is our arrival at the costly beneficial advent of community. Of sangha. Of church. Of circle. Of who and what we truly are --One/Another. No other.
Each as each. Each as all. All as each. All as all.
Dale and David and Saskia and I, in that prison pod yesterday morning, investigating this mind beyond the triple worlds, enter a moment of peace.
We read Wendell Berry:
THE PEACE OF WILD THINGSWe remember times canoeing rivers in turns that become still waters.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
(— Poem by Wendell Berry)
We remember these times. Their quiet. Their peace. Their grace.
An ascension to what we are.
To what each "I Am" is.