Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, September 03, 2011

At morning practice, Thich Nhat Hanh's words: "Sister Chan Khong then began to sing a verse that is drawn directly from a sutra written by the Buddha. The words go like this:"
This body is not me, I am not caught in this body.
I am life without boundaries. I have never been born,
and I shall never die.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars,
manifestations of my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we
pass, sacred thresholds on the journey.
Birth and death are just a game of hide and seek.
So laugh with me,
hold my hand,
let us say goodbye,
say goodbye, to meet again soon.
We meet today.
We will meet tomorrow
We will meet at the source at every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of of life.

(p.124, in You Are Here, by Thich Nhat Hanh)
In an editorial published Saturday 3 September 2011 on http://www.nationofchange.org/years-911-lost-decade-1315059429 entitled "The Years Since 9/11: The Lost Decade," I contemplate posting a comment, but don't. This is what I write but don't post:
And, dare we forget, the terrible victory of those who perpetrated the attacks. There was a large-scale undermining of the confidence of Americans in their government, and a huge destruction of trust in the people by the government. Just because some leaders of Al Qaeda were assassinated does not diminish their shocking revelation of our irrational response of violence and ineffectual vision of diplomatic or heartfelt resolution by peaceful skills as witnessed in mercenary warfare and mindless spending on armaments, killing, and security. That revelation, short-circuiting our eroded compassion and care for the plight of the less-fortunate, has pointed out the raw aggression of military ambition and political take-no-prisoners mentality. Our leaders are afraid to be unafraid and thus prey on the fears of the citizenry to perpetually think, act, and vote with fear and cynicism. I would prefer not to suspect that the so-called enemy has become our constant self-identity.
Why say something, I reason, just because you think you have something to say?

Ask the dog:
Golden Retrievals

Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then

I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,

or else you’re off in some fog concerning
—tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,

a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.

(Poem by Mark Doty, “Golden Retrievals” from Sweet Machine: Poems. 1998 )
Who is unafraid? Not sunk in the past, or in some fog of...tomorrow?

I'm torn between simple acceptance of the absurdity of this existence as experienced in the world, and the possibility that some other world, perhaps one not 'in' the world -- but the world itself no longer determined, conditioned, or puppeteered by external forces, a world no longer dualized by interior fear, perhaps this possibility is what those who speak of 'spiritual life' mean.

Sometimes not-to-move is the best place to go.

Thirty years ago this week Maine moved me into it.

And there he remained.

Friday, September 02, 2011

In prison conversation turns to what seems impossible there, namely, trust. And we wonder -- is is possible to practice trust without calculating whether some other person was trustworthy to receive trust?
Half my life sitting by rocks and fountains, My study cold, seldom the steam of tea: White clouds emerge from the stillness, In the valley stream the water runs clear. I had no good karma to begin with, So I was born into this muddy age. Yet I know there's some past blessing, For I've escaped the layman's life, Shut my gate among clouds. Alms bowl in hand, I roam the village streets; Grasping my staff, I climb the wooded peaks. Sometimes I drift in the moonlight by Uji Bridge, An empty boat free to follow the purls and eddies. I never go against what the mind desires; All this time I've been spared of the din of the capital. - Gensei (1623-1668)
Here's what I think : trust is it's own. Any act of trust is, in itself, subject and object.

Even more -- any act of trust has no subject nor any object.

It is, in itself, enough. We decide trust is a hard shell nut nearly impossible to crack.

Never go against what the mind desires.

Mind desires trust.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rokie, the Border Collie, back from visiting his cousin Cody, the German Shepherd, is a stick chasing crazyhead up the path, over felled tree, to overgrown hilly pasture of Ragged Mountain.

Morning sitting in cabin is silent. Walk is silent. Even with all the sounds of Hummingbird, cricket, Raven, Chickadee, Finch and Sparrow -- even with cars passing on Barnestown Rd heading elsewhere -- everything is silent.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
(--from John 6:56ff)
Sitting still, merely listening. Walking woods, merely looking.

In class last night we wondered about the circumincessional interpenetration found in E.E.Cummings poem.
the great advantage of being alive

the great advantage of being alive
(instead of undying) is not so much
that mind no more can disprove than prove
what heart may feel and soul may touch
--the great(my darling)happens to be
that love are in we,that love are in we

and here is a secret they never will share
for whom create is less than have
or one times one than when times where--
that we are in love,that we are in love:
with us they've nothing times nothing to do
(for love are in we am in i are in you)

this world(as timorous itsters all
to call their cowardice quite agree)
shall never discover our touch and feel
--for love are in we are in love are in we;
for you are and i am and we are(above
and under all possible worlds)in love

a billion brains may coax undeath
from fancied fact and spaceful time--
no heart can leap,no soul can breathe
but by the sizeless truth of a dream
whose sleep is the sky and the earth and the sea.
For love are in you am in i are in we
(--poem by e. e. cummings)
Something new and deeply interested is invited by this poem.

A new and different way of seeing.

In my calendar today, 1Sept, is new year's day.

Entering the silence.

(for love are in we am in i are in you)

Who's where what is here?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Caroline Myss spoke the sentence: "No wonder we fear truth."

Without wonder, truth is enemy. With humility, in the midst of humiliation, we are graced. That truth is hard to love. Hence, fear.
The six supernormal faculties of the enlightened
Are the ability to enter the realm of form without
Being confused by form, to enter the realm of sound
Without being confused by sound,
To enter the realm of scent without being confused
By scent, to enter the realm of flavor without being
Confused by flavor, to enter the realm of feeling
Without being confused by feeling, to enter the realm
Of phenomena without being confused by phenomena.

- Linji (d. 867) from DailyZen
Is that what oneness asks? Just to be it and there and nowhere to be found?

No wonder we say, "I'll take two!" so often.
This I seek. This I long for.
One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

--Psalm 27
This is what I am.

In the silence of the word.

In the wording, absurdly, of silence.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some claim we are becoming zombiesque.
The term is often figuratively applied to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli.
-- Wikipedia on 'zombie'
So much of what takes place as democracy and representative government is corporate marketing and financial sector public relations. There's a need for resurrected transformation of what we like to call the American Character. We're against manipulation, slavery, intolerance, and inequality. This message will unsettle the current powers that run this country. It's time for the change.
All conventional forms of dissent, from electoral politics to open debates, have been denied us. We cannot rely on the institutions that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible. The only route left is to disconnect as thoroughly as possible from the consumer society and engage in acts of civil disobedience and obstruction. The more we sever ourselves from the addictions of fossil fuel and the consumer society, the more we begin to create a new paradigm for community. The more we engage in physical acts of defiance—as Bill McKibben and others did recently in front of the White House to protest the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would increase the flow of “dirty” tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico—the more we can keep alive a new, better way of relating to each other and the ecosystem.

Most important, we must stop being afraid. We have to turn our backs for good on the Democrats, no matter what ghoulish candidate the Republicans offer up for president. We have to defy all formal systems of power. We have to listen closely to the moral voices in our society, from McKibben to Noam Chomsky to Wendell Berry to Ralph Nader, and ignore feckless liberals who have been one of the most effective tools of our disempowerment. We have to create monastic enclaves where we can retain and nurture the values being rapidly destroyed by the wider corporate culture and build the mechanisms of self-sufficiency that will allow us to survive. The corporate coup is over. We have lost. The trolls have won. We have to face our banishment.

-- from article by Chris Hedges, The Election March of the Trolls, August 29, 2011, published on Truthdig website
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_election_march_of_the_trolls_20110829/
The thing about coups is they tend to devour their own.

I'd prefer a more reasonable replacement of the few that have usurped power.

Not a revolution, but a more considered non-violent revolving door that lets out those who've destroyed the good will and lofty hopes of a disappointed populace.

A simplistic religious-right fascism will not, ultimately, please Americans. Listen up, political preacher candidates!

No, tomorrow we start dismantling hypocrisy and posturing.

Real kindness knows not bullshit. No more zombies! No more rote media transcriptions of zombie drivel.

Is there anyone left who remembers kindness, true words-into-actions, who will refuse bullshit?

Let's tell them that need telling what needs to be told!

It's nearly too late!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Maybe it's all about paying attention to each other.
Clouds
Spread like canopies, trailing like sashes,
Changing shape in the sky's midst,
Showing no trace of dust,
Off to the south, in from the north,
Nowhere ever lingering.
Ten thousand miles of heaven and earth
All your neighbors.
- Gensei (1623-1668)
Trying to be of help. Tidying up. Mourning the dead.

Being grateful.

Just that we are alive.

And those not, were once.