Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Capitalism is not the answer.

Compassion is.
Help in disguise

When people are unsympathetic to you, and the world does not go as you wish, this should be a help to detachment of feelings from the repetitious cycle of becoming and decay, gaining and losing.

- Muso Kokushi (1275-1351)
Catching people out is not the answer.

Correct relationship is.
The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

(--Poem by Wallace Stevens)
First fire in wood stove.

"Two cord," I leave message on machine.

It really is -- compassion and correct relationship -- I know now.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Bewith.

It's a good word. A marriage of sorts. 'Be' takes 'with' for loving spouse. A new relationship.

If bewith is a new name, its pronounciation sheds light on older use of it when once seemingly stuck in duality. But now not.

"The Lord bewith you." Dominus vobiscum.

"Peace bewith you." Pax tecum.

Et cum spiritu tuo. "And with your every breath, bewith what is whole."

A new hearing of one of the many names sounding God.

John Fowles began his novel Daniel Martin (1977) with:
WHOLE SIGHT; OR ALL THE REST IS DESOLATION.


To be, seen whole, is great, consolation.

Bewith.

Bless you!

Thursday, October 07, 2010


On further reflection, hermits neither go away nor send away.

Nothing needs to be added; nothing needs to be taken away.

Everything and everyone is already 100%. To be perfectly how and what and as we are takes no effort and requires no additions or subtractions.

Would you believe it?
I must strain to see
The few buds this old tree
Labored to open;
In pathos we’re one, and I wonder
How many more springs we'll meet here.

- Saigyo (1118-1190)

If we let go what we are not, if we let go what we are, we begin to realize that right here, right now, everything is being revealed as it is. Earth, heavens, universe, and all sharing dwelling therein and thereupon.

When we think of or call upon God we place ourselves in the joyful expectation and loving gaze of the one wherewith we live and breathe and have our being.
To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
If, therefore, I do anything or say anything or know anything that is not purely for the love of God, it cannot give me peace, or rest, or fulfillment, or joy.
To find love I must enter into the sanctuary where it is hidden, which is the mystery of God.
(-- pp.60-61 in New Seeds of Contemplation (1961) -- from Thomas Merton, A Book of Hours, ed. Kathleen Deignan, c.2007)
The white Border Collie enters zendo, bows & stretches (as he did after being blessed by kind man in Bucksport on Francis' Day), sits on my folded right leg on zabuton, revealing again the reality of mystery life and presence.

In this silence. in this gusty morning after heavy rain, leaves are sodden on soaked ground -- nothing needs to be added, nothing needs to be taken away.

Back in the house, Rokpa walks around with half biscuit in mouth, torn between burying it or eating it. He relents, jumps to couch, snuggles in, dozes.


We eat Farina with dried cherries and Greek yogurt. Sip coffee and tea.

Look out at gray day.

Sense God to be everywhere and nowhere else.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Bruno knew how to be a hermit. Tell them all to go away. Then, he did.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


So few Christians want the correct relationship with God.

Perhaps it might better be called no-relationship with God.

"With God" is the only correct relationship. So many Christians want, instead, something perfect, sinless, pure. They do not yet understand that being-with God is, in itself, the way without anything other.
Learned friends,
Our self nature, Bodhi
Is fundamentally pure
And clean.
Use only this mind
Of yours for direct
Understanding and
Attainment of Buddhahood.
- Altar Sutra
There is nothing other with God.

Our usual concept of relationship suggests something other to be in relation with. That's where we lose our balance.

Let's say it this way: God is "with-us." "With-us" is God. The word 'with' does not mean next to. 'With' means in the middle of.

Be in the middle of God. God is in our middle. God is the between of no others. Center and core of everything without end.


This is incarnational. This matters. This is the self-realization of reality itself.

God is nowhere else.

If you think there is no God, there is no God.

But if you feel all alone, then you feel the close and intimate reality that some call God.

That close and intimate emptiness is what Buddhists call Shunyata, no-thingness. It is what Christians call being-with God, no-other God.

Someone asks why we want to know God.

Someone answers because it is the way we are.

Two peanut butter cookies later, it is time for bed.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Peace and what is good!

Francis said something about preaching always taking place, and sometimes words are used.

It is our every movement that must resound the sweet presence of what is most loving and most true.

For this we pray today.


Rokpa's birthday, he turns 3 today. On the feast of Francis. Pretty nice coincidence.



At Long Pond on Mount Desert Island as late afternoon quiets into dusk, we paddle between mountains.

Francis is half the inspiration of the hermitage. Dogen, the second half. Each thing and each being itself is the whole of it.

Relationship is the whole of it, not the attempt to make the parts fit together. Nothing fits. Only the relationship transcends and incorporates.

We are so fortunate to celebrate the day -- eucharist in Bucksport, hiking Flying Mountain at Southwest Harbor, canoeing with two Loons in silence.
Many paths lead from
The foot of the mountain,
But at the peak
We all gaze at the
Single bright moon.
--Ikkyu (1394-1481)
Each is all. Is peace! Is good!

May true poverty and simplicity dwell in such perfect joy.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


It's all about relationship, not behavior.

We celebrate the Transitus of Francis at end of cabin part of Sunday Evening Practice.
Finally, when all God's mysteries had been accomplished in him, his holy soul was freed from his body and assumed into the abyss of God's glory, and Francis fell asleep in God.
(-- Bonaventure, Major Life.)
Francis died the evening of 3Oct1226.



It's all about relationship, not behavior.

For Francis, for all of us, everyone, this sweet and simple prayer:
Pie Iesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.

Sweet Lord Jesus,
grant them rest. Amen.

(--from Dies Irae, by Thomas of Celano, 13th C.)
It's all about relationship, not behavior.