Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, August 07, 2010


I'll have two eggs, coffee, and rye toast.
Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them.
(--from Luke 12:32-48)
I watch. I gaze into the emptiness of everyday life and see the fullness of no other place, nothing else to do. It is all right here. God, one might suggest, is here. Where is there to go?
Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

(--from poem, Call Me by My True Names, by Thich Nhat Hanh)
We can't say we've been there. It would be a lie. No. We are only always just arriving. Hello! Is there room in this inn? Will you wake me at 6AM?
In my pot nothing
But the wind's deep moan,
For company only a
Staff of wisteria vine;
Last night we chatted
And laughed till all hours;
The empty sky listened with a cold heart.

- Muso Soseki (1275–1351)
If the cosmos is cold, dark, and empty, then we are cold, dark, and empty. But with a difference. We have the capacity to make of the cosmos a place of meaning. Make it a phenomenal place.

Attributes are not limitations.

We are the transcendence of any limitation mind imposes.

Metanoia, beyond-mind, checks us out of our former accommodations and leads us to new bright places of spirit, truth, heart, and, most importantly, laughter.

I greet you there and here.

Enjoy your journey.

Enjoy your companions.

Enjoy forever being born!

Friday, August 06, 2010


A cloud hangs over the day.

When man tries to ape the divine there is much suffering.

I mourn Hiroshima's mushroom cloud. I greet the unknowing cloud of Tabor.

I prefer transformation and transfiguration to mass murder and posturing power.
– He did not know what he was saying. As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid.
(--from Luke 9:28-36)
Be afraid of those who want you to be afraid of others.
If you wish to avoid wandering in samsara there is not better way than to seek Buddhahood. If you want to become a Buddha, understand that Buddha is the mind. How can you search for the mind in the far distance? It is not outside the body. The physical body is a phantom, for it is subject to birth and death; the true mind is like space, for it neither ends nor changes. Therefore, it is said, "These hundred bones will crumble and return to fire and wind. But One Thing is eternally numinous and covers heaven and earth."
- Chinul (1158-1210)
When Jesus was transfigured, the story goes, and all settled back into ordinariness, they discovered they were alone.

Only alone.

Like Thomas Bolt's poem "Temporary Structure" where "a bucket slowly disintegrating in a creek where 'it is beaten back and forth.' It is the form given by thought and language to a present continually improvised... " (James Merrill, from Foreword to Thomas Bolt's Out of the Woods, c. 1989)

This is our life.

This, our poem.

Worded.
Wondering, which cloud reveals our present coming?

Thursday, August 05, 2010


"...[B]ut what is all-encompassing can have no opposite." (From Introduction to A Course in Miracles)
Before the eaves, slender bamboos,
A thousand stalks of jade,
Sing when the cool
Rains fall, with a rustling sound,
Their feathery green intruding at my desk;
They know there is no
Purer hidden spot than this.

- Isho Tokugan (1360–1437)
There is no outside.

Only illusory thoughts of there being an outside.

With each other, with one another, there is no other.

We're in the same boat.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Two plus two is four.
This message is not just
For the rich and noble
The thousand flowers
And the hundred grasses
All have spring within them
Profound people in later days
Who read the sutras
Do not ask the way to the
Great road of enlightenment.
Stop! Stop!
Why do you have to wander the south?
The site of enlightenment is right
Under your feet.

- T'aego (1301-1382)
Two times two is four.

Please -- evidence and experience.

No dogma, no doctrine.

Lies last only so long then stop.

Truth extends and expands, goes on and on.

Call truth; tell truth.

Sit still; stand still.

And know.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


There's a phrase in the Nicene Creed: "...one in being with the Father."

It might read: One in being-with, the Father.
A single moon
Bright and clear
In an unclouded sky;
Yet still we stumble
In the world's darkness
.
- Ikkyu (1394-1481)
Maybe it's what God is -- "being-with."

When we are really with someone, it is where God is.
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - chapter 67

Everyone under heaven says that my Tao is great and beyond compare.
Because it is great, it seems different.
If it were not different, it would have vanished long ago.

I have three treasures which I hold and keep.
The first is mercy; the second is economy;
The third is daring not to be ahead of others.
From mercy comes courage; from economy comes generosity;
From humility comes leadership.

Nowadays men shun mercy, but try to be brave;
They abandon economy, but try to be generous;
They do not believe in humility, but always try to be first.
This is certain death.

Mercy brings victory in battle and strength in defense.
It is the means by which heaven saves and guards.
(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)
They say Jesus said: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20)

Be merciful, with us!

Monday, August 02, 2010

The trail through woods on Ragged Mountain at dusk was dry and worn. I'd live in Cape Breton but for the mountains and ocean here. I'm glad Canada is neighbor.
Remember, as something "is" it is always also something "other." Being and otherness thus coexist in the continuous unfolding of becoming. Here it is extremely helpful to make note of the following passage by Derrida where he states: "You see, pure unity or pure multiplicity -- when there is only totality or unity and when there is only multiplicity or disassociation -- is a synonym of death." Here we can now also add the thinking of Jean-Luc Nancy's philosophy of "being singular plural" where once again the emphasis is on both, as compared to one or the other, in the movement of being.
(pp.15-16, The Ethics of Uncertainty, Aporetic Openings, by Michael Anker, c.2009, Atropos Press)
Dog laps water.

It is August. Nights cool.
The wisdom of the Tathagatas is just like this: it is complete in the bodies of all sentient beings. It is merely all these ordinary, foolish people who are not aware of it and do not recognize it.
- Avatamsaka sutra
We're different and we change.

You and I are not who we were yesterday.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


How do we remember each other?

Just by walking around?
The grass covered path
Is secluded and still;
A closed door faces
The Chung-nan Mountains.
In the evening, the air’s chilly,
But the light rain stops;
At dawn, far off,
A few cicadas start.
Leave fall
Where no green earth remains;
A person at his ease
Wears a common white robe.
With simplicity and plainness
His original nature still,
What need to practice
Calming of the heart?

- Chia Tao (779-843)
Rowing just after sunrise, passing gathering on southeast corner of yacht club high above low tide, a wedding party occupies the edge. I watch a few moments. Offer a prayer for them. Raise oars, extend arms, dip flats, pull up, exiting between green and red channel markers through calm and smooth waters.
Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.” But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?.” So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’
(--from Luke 12:13-21)
Seems that I remember you're not to call your brother 'Fool.' Maybe that was his name. 'Empty-headed person; bellows, bag.'

I'd like to be a fool. (Some would probably say to forget the future subjunctive, enter the present indicative.) I am a fool. (But I don't want to brag.)
Without any guile I'm saying, I feel grateful to those whose serious attitudes and life lived at the edge of death define me as an empty human being and dreamer (there are moments when I'm on their side). Fundamentally, an entire human being is simply a being in whom transcendence is abolished, from whom there's no separating anything now. An entire human being is partly a clown, partly God, partly crazy . . . and is transparence.
(p.xxix, Preface, to On Nietzsche, by Georges Bataille, c.1945, English translation by Bruce Boone 1992, Paragon House, NY)
There's nothing in me but the interstice of what is to be found in you.
For Gina Arline Berriault

In the California Gardens
evening primrose, wand flowers,
red angel trumpets and poppies
abound in an extravagance
of beauty
that leads inward
where silence itself is beauty
and in that interior altar
is the recognition
of joined minds.

A sculptor of words dwells there,
her presence is clarity,
musical and precise
with a quality of friendship
that blesses us all.

This is the privilege
of life itself
and however far we fall short
in our friendship
the lines that stretch between us
are all there is

God is what we have between
each other and is never lost

I walked up her steps,
knocked on the door
and the door would open
into her rare air

A tea table perched in space
above sailing boats,
her head tilted
or held in her hands
a salad and cheese
and the spring light of her live spirit
carried me into higher currents.

We don't know what we are
or where, or how to look upon
ourselves or the world.

But in a dark place this week,
I turned and there at eye level
was an orchid of such translucent
radiance, it's her!
I thought with a jolt of recognition
And it is.
Thats how I remember her.

(Poem by Indigo Hotchkiss, San Francisco CA --from Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Vol 23 Number 2,
This is how we remember each other: remember what is between us.
"God is what we have between
each other and is never lost"
I went, after rowing, to sit with the Quakers. They are signless now. So a couple walks through their sitting at the outdoor Children's Chapel, white earphone buds in their ears, talking to each other throughout their passing, then down the stone steps past large silent bronze bell, and back to gravel driveway. The Quakers just sit there, not ruffled or shushing, gazing out at wide sunny Penobscot Bay or in to their accepting hearts, allowing each sound to come to go.

Just Walking Around

What name do I have for you?
Certainly there is not name for you
In the sense that the stars have names
That somehow fit them. Just walking around,

An object of curiosity to some,
But you are too preoccupied
By the secret smudge in the back of your soul
To say much and wander around,

Smiling to yourself and others.
It gets to be kind of lonely
But at the same time off-putting.
Counterproductive, as you realize once again

That the longest way is the most efficient way,
The one that looped among islands, and
You always seemed to be traveling in a circle.
And now that the end is near

The segments of the trip swing open like an orange.
There is light in there and mystery and food.
Come see it.
Come not for me but it.
But if I am still there, grant that we may see each other
.
(From: A Wave - Poems by John Ashbery)
It is a lovely prayer -- silence. Each oar-stroke on my 2 hour journey around two bell-buoys served as prayer and patient progress. The Osprey chose not to dive at me. The seal did not try to leap into the pea-pod. I leave a nickel on #2 out beyond Curtis Island for mariners in need or for the spirits of those whose ashes travel tides in and out each dawn and dusk.

It is our life -- to journey with and through each other.

Do come. See it.

"Grant that we may," indeed, "see each other."

With calm hearts.

Walking around.