Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Read articles, watch dvd again with and without commentary, remain puzzled about what happened and why the leadership of government and military decided to so baldly and badly represent themselves.

It is, as Pat Tillman would say, disappointing.
When you are free and independent, you are not bound by anything, so you do not seek liberation. Consummating the process of Zen, you become unified. Then there are no mundane things outside of Buddhism, and there is no Buddhism outside of mundane things.
- Yuanwu
Given the most benign benefit of the doubt, lies were the main ingredient. A more sinister doubt still has to be deliberated.
They never counted on his brother Kevin discovering that there was an initial investigation that vanished. They never counted on a mother and father who were strong enough to demand the truth about what had happened, and determined enough to rescue the real person that was Pat Tillman from the spin machine into which the Pentagon tried to feed his body.

Pat himself, after seeing the Iraq war firsthand and declaring it to be “so fucking illegal,” quipped to his fellow soldiers that the military seemed to be so inept that it couldn’t even construct a credible lie. How prescient was that?

Kauzlarich, like Boykin and all their ilk, has the spiritual depth of his own skin, which is what he is trying to save … whether in an exchange of faith for immortality or in deflecting the sorry truth onto a bereaved and angered family with cheap revival-tent accusations of “atheism.”

Mary Tillman, Pat’s mother, showed me a page from Pat’s journal when he was 16 years old. It was Pat’s reflection on why he had decided, once and for all, that he didn’t need organized religion. The entry was motivated by Pat’s grief at the death of an old family cat. Pat wasn’t comfortable with the idea that one could love another creature that was being excluded from the bargain in the afterlife. He and his brothers grew up between a river and the mountains, where they roamed countless miles and delighted in the ceaseless interplay of geography, climate, flora and fauna. In his journal entry, Pat speculated about this singular universality, and made up his mind that one didn’t need some anti-material monarchy buzzing with angels to accommodate himself to mortality.

Pat never felt separate enough from the world to despise the worms. And so Kauzlarich’s expression of fear and loathing for the world would have amused Pat.

Pat’s ashes are adrift from where they were scattered along the Pacific Ocean, mixing back into the elements with which he was so at home; while Ralph Kauzlarich and the Pentagon fret about a five-foot-two-inch mother who refuses to make them an offering of her fear. Surely Pat Tillman is laughing.

(--Playing the Atheism Card Against Pat Tillman’s Family, 7/28/2006, Truthdig, by Stan Goff)
At morning practice we listened after sitting and chanting to Adyashanti interview about identity and the illusions we cultivate around identity.

We shoot ourselves in the head, or are shot in the head by nameless others for reasons difficult to fathom, when we identify ourselves too closely with what we are not.

We are not the saviors of the world, much less the Middle East, or northern Africa, nor are we the drug policemen of any country, certainly not our own.

Something awkwardly delusional has infected our moral stability, and we lurch violently left and right smashing precious things -- like justice, decency, respect, truthfulness, and a primordial fairness that has been exchanged for power and fear.

Let’s change that!

Please?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Watched film The Tillman Story. Sad the death of one man. Sadder the death of trust that truth be told.
This matter (Zen) is like a great mass of fire: when you approach it your face is sure to be scorched. It is again like a sword about to be drawn; when it is once out of the scabbard, someone is sure to lose his life. The precious vajra sword is right here and its purpose is to cut off the head.
- Tai-hui (1089-1163)
The only thing that forestalls desolate cynicism is that someone knows the truth, even if hidden and distorted, someone knows what happened.

Knows the truth of a particular situation.

This belief, we might call it, is a sustaining hope during a time when belief and hope are desperate commodities to find.

Two thoughts: If we carry trust within us we'll be able to find it when needed; And we cannot misplace trust unless we put it somewhere we are not.

Trust is an inner reality. It is who we are when we are there where it is.

We must stay well within ourselves.

That's where, in silent presence, truth be told, word and act create new worlds.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

There is a difference between believing in God and believing in God's way.
As soon as you sense any lingering or obstruction,
all of it is false imagining.
Just make your mind clean and free,
like space, like a mirror, like the sun in the sky.

- Yuanwu
God's way is clear like mirror, free like space.

This helps as we move through something.

Making God's way home.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Avidya, ignorance, runs deep.

Deeper still, beyond form, is emptiness. And yet, emptiness is form. It's not a matter of choice. It's a matter of weathering the ride through both.
It is all pervading, spotless beauty;
It is the self-existence and uncreated
Absolute
Then how can it even be a matter
Of discussion that the real Buddha
Has no mouth and preaches no dharma,
Or that real hearing requires no ears,
For who could hear it?
Ah, it is a jewel beyond all price.

- Huang-po (d. 850)
In the dream the book was a series of green paper bags inside each other. One had a glass dish with crumbs on it. This, I suspected, was a new concept in reading -- the reading of things engaged by the reader's so-called writing of the text in situ.

The book, it might be said, is in the bag.

Wisdom crumbs.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The harbor seal broke surface close to rowing boat.
When no thoughts have arisen and nothing at all is on your mind, you merge with the boundless and become wholly empty and still. Then your actions are not interrupted by doubt and hesitation.
- Yuanwu
Bell buoy to bell buoy.

These long quiet mornings just after sunrise stroke by stroke on Penobscot Bay with what is there.

With us.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Sometimes, in the silence, absent intent or will, there is merely now, with nothing else to distract.

To consider this, one allows stillness.
"The future is unchangeable, then?"
"We have a saying," she told me. "'We don't change the future; we choose the future.'"
(-p.102, in Neverness, a novel by David Zindell, c.1985)
No choice, then, no future?

What will the zen mind think of next?
One instant is eternity;
When you see through this one instant,
You see through the one who sees.

- Wu-men (1183-1260)
Help see me through this: If you see through the one, who sees?
“And while the future's there for anyone to change, still you know it's seems
It would be easier sometimes to change the past”

--Jackson Browne
No change for the choiceless.

Do you mind?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Return here. That's cushion talk at morning sitting.

When we are not present it's not only our absence, rather we have absconded here itself.
If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.

(--from poem LITTLE GIDDING (No. 4 of 'Four Quartets') by T.S. Eliot)
It's the same with alcohol. Man takes drink; drink takes drink; drink takes man.

It's not addiction to alcohol, primarily, it is theft of here.

Here is gone when human presence is missing. No one here.

So, sit on cushion, return here.

Save the world. Start here. Stay here.