Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dwelling at the crossroads of abandon and abundance, there is no place to go.
A wandering monk was climbing a mountain alongside a stream, on his way to the Zen monastery at the top, when he noticed a vegetable leaf floating downstream from the direction of the monastery. He thought, "It is just a single leaf, but any place that would waste it cannot be very good," and he turned to go back down the mountain. Just then he saw a lone monk come running down the path, chasing after the floating leaf. Immediately the wandering monk decided to enroll in the monastery at the top of the mountain. - Hsueh-feng I-ts'un (822-908)
(From the Iona Community)

But to keep on going.

Love life; love earth.

Truth dwells at each intersection.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some years from now it will be considered quaint that we planned trips, got in cars, trains, or planes with packed bags and time schedules. Time will come when in some act of intentional transportation of person we will immediately manifest and trans-form wherever desired. With a return passage, of course.

It will not be called time or space travel. It will be falling in to the inner (some say, parallel) universe residing just inside this one.

This existence is stranger and more wonderful than we can even imagine -- although imagination is the gateway to the realities rational mind and sensory touch cannot grasp.

God is nothing creating. And what nothing creates is the marriage of sense and soul transforming itself. We come to terms with what is itself-being in this world.
Meager food and a shabby house:
The marks of a scholar.
A gray gown and a black stick:
The dignity of a monk.
Is there anything else to remember?
I only open my eyes for the spring wind
And the autumn moon.
- Hamhur Kiwha (1376-1433)
Just as a cookie is eaten, destroyed in its presented form, yet transformed into the energy that types these words, so too is everything material married to what is the energetic continuation of exchange. We go on as a process of form being emptiness, and emptiness being form. There is nothing other than this, nothing other in this. Just exchange and continuation.

The Christian mystery story of the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection is side by side with the Hindu God perceived as taking forms as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva), is side by side with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

These are not parallel universes that are somewhere else. (There is nowhere else). They are one within the other as no other within the one.

God is creating out of nothing. We are creation in God. God is with us creating nothing other with compassion. Don't look for God anywhere else. We will see God when we see what God is creating within us creating what creation is longing for.
In prison today we read Chittister and Rowen from Uncommon Gratitude. Later we spoke about geology and consciousness.

At breakfast we shared blueberry pancakes, fried eggs, sausage links, home fries, coffee, and tea with rye toast.

Nothing special.

God is good.

As is.

All.

Of it.

Good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day.

This (free) film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand entitled "Home" is an Earth Day aesthetic watch. "The engine of life is linkage. Everything is linked. Nothing is self-sufficient."(At 9:35 in of 133 mins).

Louise Erdrich writes:

Spring Evening on Blind Mountain

I won't drink wine tonight
I want to hear what is going on
not in my own head
but all around me.
I sit for hours
outside our house on Blind Mountain.
Below this scrap of yard
across the ragged old pasture,
two horses move
pulling grass into their mouths, tearing up
wildflowers by the roots.
They graze shoulder to shoulder.
Every night they lean together in sleep.
Up here, there is no one
for me to fail.
You are gone.
Our children are sleeping.
I don't even have to write this down. 
(Poem by Louise Erdrich)












Perhaps the deepest meditation is homecoming.

Today, look around.

See your home.

Be home.

When we are gone, there is only home, and we are not-other than this home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth is home.

I am earth.













I am home.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First session of new series "Pilot to Practice." Eight of us. Looking at Benedictine experience with gratefulness. Come by next week.
By day the sun shines,

And the warrior in his armor shines.

By night the moon shines,

And the master shines in meditation.

But day and night

The one who is awake

Shines in the radiance of the spirit.


- Buddha in the Dhammapada
Often someone will go their whole life not realizing they're not talking to the person, they're talking to the alcohol in the person.

At times it feels like the whole country is drunk.

If you want to stop talking, that's ok; they've stopped listening to anything but the drink.

There were two ten minute silences during the gathering tonight.

Good speaking. Good listening.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is there any other way to live?

No other
way
help each revere each.

No
w
here.

How ordinary are we willing to be?
It chagrins.

Nothing, or very little, in our culture, attracts. Some days it is more apparent. The newspapers with the huge advertisements. The web magazines full of frivolity. The news stories laboring simplistic contrasts. I am getting crankier.

I've wandered too far from hermitage.
Spiritual practitioners thrive in unpredictable conditions, testing and refining the inner qualities of heart and mind. Every situation becomes an opportunity to abandon judgment and opinions and to simply give complete attention to what is. Situations of inconvenience are terrific areas to discover, test, or develop your equanimity. How gracefully can you compromise in a negotiation? Does your mind remain balanced when you have to drive around the block three times to find a parking space? Are you at ease waiting for a flight that is six hours delayed? These inconveniences are opportunities to develop equanimity. Rather than shift the blame onto an institution, system, or person, one can develop the capacity to opt to rest within the experience of inconvenience.
- Shaila Catherine, "Equanimity in Every Bite" (Fall 2008) Tricycle
My inconvenience is the failure to accept everything as it is.

No, it's more than that.

Factor in my failure to accept I am as I am.

The banana with peanut butter and a side of green juice was just the thing.

Prelude to a nap.

Wind gusts under gray sky.

Solitude wandered away heedlessly.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This is my life.

Solitude. Community. Meditation. Prayer. Hospitality - (Saskia's better at this).

Now here, no where.
Pine Bark Bread

Grasping clouds
And standing on the edge of a rock,
You alone endured the cold
When other trees shed their leaves.
Ground into powder to be mixed
With worldly flavors,
You teach people unyielding integrity.

 - Hamhur Kiwha (1376-1433)
The Trappist monk in the video about Thomas Merton said, "We live in God." That's it. He said he didn't want to speak anything further about it.

There's a candle inside. Ananur left it for us. It is lit when the sacredness of conversation takes place in the wohnkuche. This is what life becomes.

After two hour meditation practice, when dishes are placed in sink, we return to the chapel/zendo to chant Compline. Night prayer ends with this prayer:
Let us pray.
Lord, we have celebrated today the mystery of the rising of Christ to new life. May we now rest in your peace, safe from all that could harm us, and rise again refreshed and joyful, to praise you throughout another day. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
 The Salve Regina  is sung.

Enough said.