Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, April 03, 2010

"...[B]ut see, I who am life itself am now one with you."
Reading From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday
(The Lord's descent into the underworld)
Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

(--from Office of Readings, Holy Saturday)
Let's enter completely this place. Then, let's leave this place. For where? I can't say...not today. Today is emptiness itself. The silence and stillness bid me mute.
The resurrection is the complete triumph of Christ over the ego, not by attack but by transcendence. For Christ does rise above the ego and all its works, and ascends to the Father and His Kingdom.
Would you join in the resurrection or the crucifixion? Would you condemn your brothers or free them? Would you transcend your prison and ascend to the Father?

(--fromA Course in Miracles/Text/Chapter 11,Section VII, Waking to Redemption, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Course_in_Miracles/Text/Chapter_11)
But see.

I who am.

Life itself.

Am now.

One.

With.

You.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Emptiness...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Is it me?

Yes it is.

Still, taste.

And see.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reasonable dialogue.
The Tao is as deep as can be. Who is willing to pursue it closely? If you don't go into the tiger's lair, how can you catch its cub? If you don't wash out the stone and sand, how can you pick out the gold? Carefully seek the heart of heaven and earth with firm determination. Suddenly you will see the original thing; everywhere you meet the source, all is a forest of jewels.
- Liu I-Ming
Don't look left. Don't look right.

Look through the unnecessary divisions and distractions.

Look carefully.

There.

You are.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HaShem is the Name.

We pause at bridge over brook and sing: "Blessed be the Name of the Lord from this day hence and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting the Name of the Lord is to be praised."

The Name, says Saskia last week, is all this.
Meditation is not about getting away from it all, numbing out, or stopping thoughts. Without trying to be rid of pesky thoughts and feelings, we learn how to practice being aware of them in the fleeting immediacy of the very moment in which they present themselves. We can cultivate awareness of any object: sounds, smells, physical sensations, perceptions, and so forth. Everything is grist for the mill - even those things we find terribly unpleasant. As the Tibetan Dragon Master Gyalwang Drukpa says, “Everything must be meditated!
- Lama Surya Das, "The Heart of Buddhist Meditation," (Tricycle, Winter 2007)
With spade in hand I contour rivulets and torrents coming down mountain into agreeable flows to lower places free from obstruction of leaves and silt and away from places where harm could be done.

Maine's rivers are flooding tonight.

Like a mind swelling with resentment over the success of another, we fabricate grievances. In politics the Republicans grieve health reform even though many of their ideas were incorporated in it. Theirs is a political choice: defeat their political private enemy; let the people be enslaved during the pique of partisan battle.

Give up grievances. It is exhausting finding fault in everything. Find something more inchoate.
Never in this world does hatred
Cease by hatred;
Hatred ceases by love,
And this according to a law
Which has existed forever.

- Buddha
The time of Passover reminds that in the worst of slavery there is a way through and out. However impossible things seem, we are shown the way though, we are surprised by finding out.
For the righteous, the little they have is better
than the abundant wealth of the wicked.
The limbs of the wicked will be broken
while the Lord gives his strength to the just.

The Lord knows when the day of the perfect will come;
and their inheritance will be eternal.
They will not be troubled in evil times,
and in times of famine they will have more than enough.

(from Psalm 36)
What is your name?

Blessed be that.

We have enough.

We are enough.

L'Chaim!

To Life!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy Week. Contemporary alternative to Holy Week. Maine is getting soaked.

It is the hermitage this season. The alternative doesn't present itself this year. We'll stay at the mountain, so to speak, on our own.
Therefore, be as a lamp
Unto yourselves,
Be as a refuge to yourselves.
Take no external refuge.
Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp;
Hold fast to the Truth as a refuge.
Look not for a refuge in anyone besides yourselves.

- The Buddha
The Catholic Church is on the ropes. An aging pug with little spring left in legs it is pounded by its own inability to practice what it preaches. Molesters and cover ups have taken the church out drinking and carousing the night before the fight and lied about its whereabouts in the morning.

A beat reporter has her take on the sorry condition of the heavyweight:
If the church could throw open its stained glass windows and let in some air, invite women to be priests, nuns to be more emancipated and priests to marry, if it could banish criminal priests and end the sordid culture of men protecting men who attack children, it might survive. It could be an encouraging sign of humility and repentance, a surrender of arrogance, both moving and meaningful.
...American bishops have gotten politically militant in recent years, opposing the health care bill because its language on abortion wasn’t vehement enough, and punishing Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights and stem cell research. They should spend as much time guarding the kids already under their care as they do championing the rights of those who aren’t yet born.

(--from OP-ED, A Nope for Pope, By MAUREEN DOWD, Published: March 27, 2010, NY Times)
The people once in pews are moving out into the countryside. The symbols and rituals survive the transition but transfigure and transform into more ordinary expressions of humanity, cosmos, and divinity all rolled into one.

Even in the traditional narrative there was a new appearance of the man disfigured in the power lust thrown against him by both religious and political addicts. He was not recognized in his new manifestation transcending their obscenely perverse and pettifogging pretenses to patronize the populace.

We're meant to come through differently. The story of this week is our transmogrification.

It happens of itself.

When we allow.

Itself.

To be.

Each.

One.

Of us.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Today we do nothing out of the ordinary.
Yo Hermitage


Within its boundaries - no people, no birds. 

Falling petals gather on the moss.

An old monk has nothing to do

But gaze at the moon in the pine tree

And smile at the passing clouds. 



- Taego Bowoo (1301-1382)
In chapel-zendo, as wood stove warmth dissolves, a solitary candle holds silence following practice.

Everyone is welcome here.