Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Saskia, Rokie, and I row out to channel buoy beyond Sherman’s point. Thirteen other traditional rowing craft are pulled up on Curtis Island for their traditional New Year’s Row.

We give two nickels to the base of the buoy. Mine overshoots and plunges into depth. Saskia’s, a Canadian coin, settles nicely against one of the braces.

It is a beautiful, calm, and warm morning row.
When one lives vitally in the present moment
Without being pressured toward the past or future,
One lives as the present itself.
One actually becomes the present unfolding.
No other place is so vast and broad…

- Ji Aoi Isshi
At morning practice we read from Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist, a book by Stephen Batchelor given us this week by David Stinson. We read Appendix III, Turning the Wheel of Dhamma. We contemplate "no repetitive existence.”

It is a New Year.

Awareness, resolve, and community all help.

Day one gives way to day two.

May yours be filled with health and happiness!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Breathing in, I notice the old year fade.
Closed out the old year
And held a dream of spring behind
Eyes shut, till now
This morning I open them to see
It's really come into the world

- Saigyo (1118-1190)
Breathing out, everything begins anew.

Love, understanding, wisdom, and compassion arrive all at once.

How lovely the night!

How lovely the morning!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Suse spoke the phrase tonight and I think I will adopt it whenever I have to fill out more forms asking my occupation. I will write: retiring.
The Way transcends any aspect of
Going or coming,
Movement or quiescence,
So one cannot realize satori by
Waiting for it.

- Daito (1282-1334)
A retiring personality. Retiring from the world.
The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.”We will be told exactly what God wills for us each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and right direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us.
(--from Epilogue, in A Course in Miracles)
Retiring to bed.

I'm glad I dwell in a hermitage.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Intuition, creativity, vision, soul.
Beyond the point where the rivers
End and the mountains vanish
You have kept on walking
Originally the treasure lies
Just under one's feet
You made the mistake of thinking
That now you would be able
To retire in peace
Look: in your own hut the
Meditation mat has never been warm.

- Muso Soseki (1275-1351)
Thinking, listening, looking, connecting.

If we want to know what is lacking and what is needed to heal this bedraggled planet from the backward inanity of a number of its occupants, take a minute, ponder.

Ready yet?

How about now?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Once I thought I was missing out on something.
Stop searching for phrases and chasing after words.
Take the backward step and turn the light inward.
Your body-mind of itself will drop
off and your original face will appear.
If you want to attain just this,
immediately practice just this.

- Dogen (1200-1253)
Now I don't think that way.

Monday, December 27, 2010


If I am not here, where am I?


And if I were to manage to sense what and where here is, what would I be doing here?

Diane's calligraphy over mud room door says, "God spoken here...".

On back of new hermitage business/calling card facing out to walkway approaching glass sliding door is written: "Here is God." Whoever approaches is looked at through these words.

Blizzard allows me to stay put. Anonymous 4 sing from "Noel" composite album. Rokie snoozes on futon. Mu-ge is asleep on bed upstairs. The car that went off the road into snowdrift across from driveway has been yanked out and the flashing lights have gone.


How often in my life have I been absent, not there? I hear the echoing inquiry: Are you there?

I don't mind being there or not being there. Heidegger and Feuerbach and Jaspers used the German word da-sein, (there-being/being-there), to mean human "existence" or "presence" or "authentic being." (cf. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasein.) These phrases and considerations are at the heart of what it means to be here, as humans, in this existence, within Being itself.
If you desire to meet the real Buddha,
you must see your True-nature.
Unless you see your True-nature,
even if you recite the Buddha's name,
read sutras, and uphold the precepts,
you will just be wasting your time.

- Daito (1282-1334)
We have to be it and see it. Sometimes it happens. Most times it takes practice just to realize there is a question about one's presence that is vital.

What are we to do?

Daniel Ladinsky frames two fragments from Francis of Assisi:
HE ASKED FOR CHARITY

God came to my house and asked for charity.
And I fell on my knees and
cried, “Beloved,

what may I
give?”

“Just love,’ He said.
“Just love.”

(--St Francis of Assisi, p.33, Ladinsky)
And:
A KIND FACE

Joy is the greatest cleanser, and it is
the greatest testimony to our
faith.

“Toil with happiness,” my Lord once
said to me.

God sent a servant on an errand
through a dangerous part
of the world.

The servant, having received in hand
what God wanted
delivered,

turned to the Holy and said,
My Beloved Master, do you have a final instruction?"
and God replied,

“A kind face is a
precious
gift.”
(P.34, Ladinsky Daniel, 2002. in, Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. Penguin Group.)
Let's face it.

Let's be kind.
Here is
where there
is

(--Robert Creeley, in Collected Poems, p.547)
One imagines hearing the following:

"Where will you be?"

"I'll be right over...

Here."


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blizzard, they say.

Everywhere blowing snow.

It is ours to look and listen, not know.

I now can say. "I love you, I love God, I love life," and not be concerned that I don't know anything about you, God, or life.

What is born is what will die.

In the meantime, it is now/time seen.
Note: In anticipation of the coming snow, there will be no Sunday Evening Practice this evening.
Stay home, stay warm, stay safe!