Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, November 05, 2011

From emergency room to room 31. Julianne, the nurse, is admitting Erika after exhaustion and low blood count, nausea, and possible mild heart attack two days ago.

It nears midnight. It grows late. An extra hour will grace the night.
Paying a visit to Monk Yung

A monk's robe hangs in a retreat in the hills.
Outside the window I find no one but passing birds.
Dusk has come up halfway down the mountain road;
Then I hear the sound of the spring
Cling to the green-tinted slope.

- Meng Hao-jan (689-740)
Outside the hospital window, beyond and through the dark, is an ocean under growing moonlight.

At 23:15 the most recent vitals were taken.

At meditation practice sitting this morning short sentences were broken in half. I wondered: "Why am I doing this." "What am I doing here."

Then they broke:
"Why am I?"
"Doing this!"

And:
"What am I?"
"Doing here!"

Reading Karen Maezen Miller, she speaks of earth as the altar of impermanence.

I bow to this altar.

Just for now.
"Thank you," says the tired, weakened woman just before 2am as she settles back into bed.

"I had nothing else to do," I say, "you're welcome!".

Space is enfolded in this way with these words.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Do try to let time go.

It is no longer needed.

All Souls know this.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Not worth a glance, not a look. Maybe not giving harm-workers the time of day.
Revenge

At times ... I wish
I could meet in a duel
the man who killed my father
and razed our home,
expelling me
into
a narrow country.
And if he killed me,
I'd rest at last,
and if I were ready—
I would take my revenge!

*

But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who'd put
his right hand over
the heart's place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they'd set—
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.

*

Likewise ... I
would not murder him
if it were soon made clear
that he had a brother or sisters
who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
Or if he had a wife to greet him
and children who
couldn't bear his absence
and whom his gifts would thrill.
Or if he had
friends or companions,
neighbours he knew
or allies from prison
or a hospital room,
or classmates from his school ...
asking about him
and sending him regards.

*

But if he turned
out to be on his own—
cut off like a branch from a tree—
without a mother or father,
with neither a brother nor sister,
wifeless, without a child,
and without kin or neighbours or friends,
colleagues or companions,
then I'd add not a thing to his pain
within that aloneness—
not the torment of death,
and not the sorrow of passing away.
Instead I'd be content
to ignore him when I passed him by
on the street—as I
convinced myself
that paying him no attention
in itself was a kind of revenge.


(Poem by Taha Muhammad Ali, translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi and Gabriel Levin, Nazareth)
Forgive me my cruelty. I did not look at you.

That's what saints do. They look. Not turning away.

All of them. They looked.

Their seeing is honored today.

Monday, October 31, 2011

If I die tonight I will have nothing more to say about the nothing more I have to say.
Outwardly go along
With the flow,
While inwardly keeping
Your true nature.
Then your eyes and ears
Will not be dazzled,
Your thoughts will not
Be confused,
While the spirit within you
Will expand greatly to roam
In the realm of absolute purity.
- Huai-nan-tzu
I
It escapes me why anyone wishes to live longer than any one day in their lives.

I'm alive still because it is that one day.

It is always that one day.

Always will be.