Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dale and David in Protective Custody think it might better read:
From Thee
through me
to we
or:
Through Thee
from me
to we
This 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).
(--from Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot, [Zen For Americans], by Soyen Shaku, translated by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, 1906)
A variant might read: "This very mind is Christ." This, then, is a time of investigation. What happened? Who was he? What am I?

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.

"To we."

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 THINGS

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 times canoeing rivers in turns that become still waters.

We remember these times. Their quiet. Their peace. Their grace. 

An ascension to what we are.

To what each "I Am" is.

We.

Alone/Together.

Free.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"In your compassion," the psalm says, "blot out my offenses."

There's something new occurring. Christ, the essence of creation, has entered, sown through life and death, and ascending (as, with, and through) us, crosses the bridge from time to eternity, there to dwell in proleptic prescient presence with who we really are in the Eternal Now as we, until and always, dwell in this open wholeness with him, them, one another, we, ourselves, no other.
Ascension Friday

From me
Through Thee
To we
(--wfh)
Birds with early light sing this song. Horse from Draper's stable neighs in affirmation. Cars down Barnestown Road pass east to where water rises and falls in dawning dance.
Nobody in sight on the empty mountain
but human voices are heard far off.
Low sun slips deep in the forest
and lights the green hanging moss.

- Wang Wei (699-759)
It is Friday morning. Off to prison.

Warm coffee, a continuation, retasting last evening's conversation.

This weekend we remember all those dead and deadened by war.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Delia Mae walked sidewalk of Court Street with vases of flowers in both hands. Her flowered skirt. Her processional gate for Ascension Thursday. With quintessential devotion she stops to join three hermits in front of St Francis Church in Belfast Maine. They collate and converse about the day, the hard winter, their tiredness, and the feast.

She reads from book taken from shoulder bag. She said the Bodhisattva returned from the Radiant Realm and from mid-air said:
"With conscious, with unconscious, too,
Dwell, sorrow. Either ill eschew.
Pure bliss, from all corruption free
Springs but from Insight's ecstasy."
(from As The Sun Moves Northward, by Mabel Collins)
As quilters arrive and pass them by, the glow of sprig-green sunshines through trees astride shifting feet. What grounded witnesses they were! What did they see? Were they finished with looking up? Is there a new spirituality of shy hermits encircling the scurrying ants near curb?
In becoming a person of merit,
Though you perform no lofty deeds
If you are able to shake off worldly mindedness,
You will become one of the
Renowned for that alone.
In pursuing studies,
Though you make no increase in ingenuity,
If you are able to decrease
The externals that afflict the heart,
You will cross over to the land
Of the sages for that alone. - Hung Ying-ming
If God became human so that humanity become divine, why the fear? If Jesus died, rose, and ascended into the divine realm of not-other, why will we not follow? If the Spirit of Holiness permeates and inspires all who would be open to this new reality, why remain in hiding citing fears one by one?
As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’
(from Acts 1:1-11)
(See that last enumeration: Acts one, one - oneone).

In prison yesterday, on the writing board: "If I am here, where are you?"

We decide we are peripatetic itinerant mendicants stopping on a sidewalk speaking of Ascension and looking at and through one another.

The weaving hermit heads back to her yurt. The processional hermit continues her pilgrimage. The hermits from Ragged/Bald wandering in the open drive off to hug Kristen at Chases Daily who serves them coffee and tea, and selects the muffins for their boatyard consumption.

It is a solemn day with solemn acts -- each one of us.

The Ascension says: I am here, you are here! There is a new here and a new we.

No mere heaven and earth, no mere human and divine, no mere nature and spirit, no mere mind and matter.

No.

Merely us. Only we here -- with no exception, no exclusion, no excuse.

No wonder the Ascension is such a small, unnoticed, yet glorious feast!

We are gathered.

"We" gathers.

Where are we not?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Candle blown out. Compline ends.
Cut in thirds, split in half,
How can truth be expressed?
Can one see beyond white clouds
With the naked eye?
The monks still have not come
Back from Mt. Kukkuapada.
The leaves of the sutra
Merely stir a sad wind.

- Daito (1282-1334)
Bell sounds three times.

Truth itself.

Retires.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Brandon chose not to answer question four. It asked that the student develop his own theory of aesthetics. He did however tell me what it would have been. "Awareness."
Mountain home sleeping
No dreams of dust.
Three robes are plenty;
Who says I'm poor?
One for my pillow,
One to serve as a mat,
And at the thunder of my snoring
Heaven and Earth disappear.

- Gensei (1623-1668)
No awareness, no beauty.

With awareness, everything is beautiful. Even the ugly. Even the truth.

In prison, Peter said, everyone is a scared little boy.

Eight more conferences tomorrow.

On another matter, I sent the following to the Beloit Poetry Journal family at the death of Marion Stocking:
Final Submission
"She had a strong desire to get back to the woods," Fred Stocking said.

She took
no words
with her

where
we watch
this breath

only
parsing passing
silence
I'm aware how a poet dies.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Moving rocks with handcart around new garden sitting area between barn and kitchen. The small attempt to fashion a little place for intimacy. Words are shared. We carry each other by listening.
O Lord of Love, may I enter into you, And may you reveal yourself unto me, The pure One masquerading as many. You are the refuge of all devotees. I am your devotee. Make me your own.
--Taittiriya Upanishad
I write Governor of Utah named to be Ambassador to China asking him to do his best to help China release its stronghold on Tibet.

If how we are to one another is measure of our spiritual maturity, there is much in this world to pray for.

Here's my plan: Today I will pray for everyone who needs strength and courage to be the true person without and within. Tomorrow I'll pray for all those who are already true and loving and needing no prayer.

The next day, I will rest.

I wonder what will need to be done the fourth day!

Make me your own!
Until we are able to update our primary website, here's the Hermitage Update and Events at Meetingbrook placed on Google site: 

http://sites.google.com/site/meetingbrookhermitage/hermitage-upate

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The way you feel is your meditation. Shitty feeling, shitty meditation. Joyful feeling, joyful meditation. Nothing other than what is there -- is our meditation.
Nature isn’t dualistic. It isn’t merely a collection of separate parts. It doesn’t throw anything away. It recycles everything. And it doesn’t operate out of a desire to improve things. While we fixate on the parts, nature acts out of the Whole.

We need to start recognizing that the world itself is not dualistic. We need to appreciate that our dualistic thinking doesn’t match Reality and that we pay a heavy and painful price for this discrepancy. Only then can we learn to live on this Earth without making a mess of it.

It’s not that we have to keep our hands off everything. We can’t do that, anyway; after all, we’re part and parcel of it. But we can learn to act in accord with Reality.

–Steve Hagen, from Buddhism: It’s Not What You Think (HarperSanFrancisco)
Everyone and everything is welcome at table and welcome on the cushion.

Working with what is there. Working through what is there.

It was nice to begin Sunday Hospitality at hermitage.

And the dogs somehow missed the cars in their crazed run at neighbor's dog at end of dooryard across road as gate was being worked on.

Some kindness revealed itself.