Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Saturday Haiku

Rain on snow -- limb by
Limb, falling, failing, smooshing
Bough on road -- why rush?

(nunc ipsum, wfh)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Upaya


Revive the skill. Be with one another in everydayness.
 
When someone who has not attained the Way practices Zen for a time, that person is Buddha for the duration; if one practices Zen for a day, one is Buddha for a day; if one practices Zen for one's entire lifetime, one is Buddha for a lifetime. And whoever fosters this faith is a person of great capacity for the Dharma.
- Enni Ben'en (1201-1280)
We are becoming too wordy and worrisome in the rhetoric used toward those disagreeing with us.

Today we could practice looking at one another with kind heart and mere presence of mind.

Create the world in the image of appreciatory fondness!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

into a more agreeable myth.

Before rushing to condemn.

Before it is too late, we might wish to translate our lives into a more agreeable myth.
Original: 子曰:“《诗》三百,一言以蔽之,曰:‘思无邪。’”


English: Confucius said: "The Odes has three hundred verses, but to use one sentence to describe the essence of it is 'Think No Evil'" (Verse 2 of Analects of Confucius, Chapter 2)
http://www.chinese-wiki.com/index.php?title=Verse_2-Analects_of_Confucius_Chapter_2&printable=yes
Confucius thought about the story he might have been going to speak. Then he remembered, "Think no evil." Many do. Some have or have had powerful media presence.

I prefer Confucius to those who think politics is a game to win and destroy your enemy opponent.

A new story is needed.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three in the morning

1. A new 'Mu' --

Question: Is it true no one has ever seen God?
Answer:
No,
One has ever seen,
God.

2. Compassion and understanding present gratefulness --

Question: Who are you?
Answer: I am you!
Question: Then, who am I?
Answer: Thank you for asking! I am waiting for you to answer me.


3. Three is not a crowd; three is community --

Question: Is there a way around 'two,' a way to move beyond dualism and the difficulties of dwelling in a world of separation and 'othering' discord?
Answer: O-what-it!

One -
Way here
Around two -
Is
Three

(Comment: Three is where one and two go when they need to move beyond themselves and rest in an embrace of interdependent co-origination and circumincessional interpenetration.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

all this is folly to the world


So, I fall on ice. Fast and hard. Just that. And pain. In back and wrist. Moving is difficult. Lie still in bed.
God Is Love

God is Love. How many times have we heard the word "love" being used to define that which is ultimately indefinable? I suppose it is because that's the only word that can even bring us close to grasping the ungraspable. When we use "love" to define that which is transcendent, absolute, and metaphysical, we're using it to describe qualities and attributes that are non-ordinary, that represent a higher dimension of human experience, intuition, and cognition. That is why the love that is God is transpersonal, because it points us far beyond our unique individuality or the unique individuality of any other.

—Andrew Cohen, EnlightenNext/
Saskia arrives home from sibling attention to mother's house -- packing, sorting, remembering -- and is out again this morning. I am with Confucius  and Lao Tzu. And pain.
The splendor of the tathagata
Is the compassion that dwells
At the center of all minds.
The clothing of the tathagata
Is the gentleness and patience
That dwell in every mind.
The seat of the tathagata
Is the emptiness of all phenomena.

- Lotus Sutra
I wonder aloud about keeping things fresh and clear and in perspective when a student asks about her writing and a tiredness she experiences. The mind wants us to believe it's all the same, nothing new, repetition and revulsion. Mind is good at this persuasion. It seems to me that beginners mind is not good at it. Beginners mind sees everything and every act as first thing, first act. Like Upanishadic literature, one without a two.
A Girl

   The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast -
Downward,
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child - so high - you are,
And all this is folly to the world
.

(Poem by Ezra Pound)
The universe walks around in your shoes. (Pound said a poet should not be trusted who used the word 'cosmic' in a poem. John Maloney had that on his kitchen wall in Cambridge 37 years ago.)

There's a cosmic understanding that only you possess. If you do not share it, the rest of us are desolate. Please, share it without tiring of it.

If I had anything to say I probably wouldn't say it. Because I don't, I do.

Go against character. Reinvent yourself and pretend you are not that person, knowing you are, not the invention, but the creative source of the longing to be what you not yet are. All of it.
The source of consciousness cannot be an object in consciousness. To know the source is to be the source. When you realize that you are not the person, but the pure and calm witness, and that fearless awareness is your very being, you are the being. It is the source, the inexhaustible Possibility. (65) (-- from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's I AM THAT)
It is, I admit, a curiosity -- this interest in becoming what we already are. One without a two in a world in love with duality and twoness. One with profound  awareness that one and one make for intimate interpenetration -- relationality and connection as proleptic prelude for disappearance of the other and restful residing in the source of what is.

Perhaps all our striving and effort to clarify is merely straw sweeping pathway so as to allow the pathway to be there as it is without impediment to the awareness of what is there without impediment.

Seems like folly. Might be. Thus my name might be 'Raca.'
The self you want to know, is it some second self? Are you made of several selves? Surely, there is only one self and you are that self. The self you are is the only self there is. Remove and abandon your wrong ideas about yourself and there it is, in all its glory. (516-7)

There is no second, or higher self to search for. You are the highest self, only give up the false ideas you have about your self. (517)

Your own self is your ultimate teacher (sadguru). The outer teacher (guru) is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher that will walk with you to the goal, for it is the goal. (51)
(Nisargadatta, ibid,
http://www.nonduality.com/asmi2.htm)
Raca it is!

Call me this, brother.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Being terribly understood



Ignorance of impermanence, the man speaking on the podcast said, is what attachment is. He was speaking of the 2nd Noble Truth. It is often spoken of as 'desire' or 'craving' -- so, I like his emphasis. I think of this while watching documentary about gang related violence and 'interrupters' -- those who know this kind of violence and are committed to inserting themselves into the heat and passion as willing interrupters of the killing and revenge that well up.

Like watching anger arise within yourself and not giving it your arms and legs.
When you can listen to your thoughts
without becoming lost in what you hear;
when you can hear them
without adding or subtracting,
without editing;
when you can remember the
very worst without cringing,
without even an eyeblink of the mind,
it's then your life will turn.

- Journeys on Mind Mountain
There is no end to desire and craving, anger and revenge. We seem to forever be put upon, short-changed, disrespected, stole from, resentful, punked, turned down, turned out, rejected, unappreciated, and betrayed. It's a hard experience to get your mind around. It's easier to attack and avenge than to watch and let go. Who can do that work?

Maybe that's one of the reasons 'right concentration' comes as 8th path in the road map to travel through suffering and your life with less and less attachment to what is passing through.
CONNUBIAL

Because with alarming accuracy
she’d been identifying patterns
I was unaware of—this tic, that
tendency, like the way I’ve mastered
the language of intimacy
in order to conceal how I felt—

I knew I was in danger

of being terribly understood.

(Poem by Stephen Dunn)

"All being is nuptial." That's what I remember Karl Stern writing in his book "The Flight From Woman (1965) -- I read it over forty-five years ago. It stayed with me, as you can see. Like a koan, it stays. The way he used the word 'nuptial.'

I watched the film "Shaolin" yesterday. At end, after devastation and dramatically choreographed impermanence, a brief cinematic flashback conversation between husband, (taken refuge and repentance in temple as a monk), and wife as he hands her urn with a loved one's ashes:
He: "Life is about affinity. Follow affinity and live freely." [hands urn to her] "Here, let her keep you company."
Her: "You're not leaving?"
He: "Cao Man" [his brother, attacking temple] "is here. His mistakes are also mine. Only I can help him."
Her: "You've really changed. I know we can never be together again, but... I really like you as you are now."

(-- dialogue from film, Shaolin, 2011)

I thought -- What a good ending line!

It has a Fred Rogers feel to it. And it could be a koan to be recited over and over, indefinitely, until, and even after, it breaks open into us as a realization completely liberating and finally understood:

"I really like you
As you are
Now."

Start off at this moment saying it three times...slowly.

Then go to the kitchen counter, reheat the coffee or pour hot water for tea, and sip the phrase, sound by sound, syllable by syllable, word by word, looking out window into this new consideration.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

After Quaker Meeting

Prologue:
Two phrases during silence.

Logos:
1) "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
1.1) Re-rendered as: Know God, be still, I am that! (Be still as you are. That is how you come to know God.)

2) "Honi soit qui mal y pense" is a French phrase meaning: "Shamed be he who thinks evil of it".
2.1) Re-rendered as: On y soit qui mal y pense: One becomes what one thinks.) If evil thoughts, evil. If good thoughts, good. Watch your mind; see what you wish to become.)
Epilogue:
Perhaps what silence and stillness offer is translation into the language of nature -- an ordinary, transformative, elemental, concretion of what we used to call 'spiritual' into a watchful, engaging, presenting silent and still listening with attentive awareness for what is sounding itself before us.

From the bottom of my heart


I weave a new green painter double passing thorough stem eye bolt of peapod at dock knotted against itself at beginning of reach across to tie-bar to distribute pressure of pull these windy swelling seas of late February soon to leap into March.


The time of year when troubling diagnoses of personality disorder and post-traumatic stress seem to be rubber stamp applicable to anyone paying attention to the way the world has decided to stagger through the solar system occupied and populated by maladaptive bipeds angry and antipathetic against personal objects of individual and collective illusory opposition and deranged dissociative obsessive delusion. We don't seem to like each other very much. We hide within drugs or alcohol. We hurt and murder whomever we name 'enemy.' And we create a cover story that 'God' is our inspiration and casus belli against sinful, unfaithful, and evil 'others.'

I hope there's an early spring and a successful Mayan Calendar planetary tidy-up this 2012.
If you want to understand that
All within the three realms
Is nothing but buddhamind,
Then contemplate that the Dharma realm
Is nothing but a product of mind.

- Avatamsaka Sutra
What are we thinking?

How has the mind, individual and collective, become the fearful, antagonistic, flesh-cutting, dissembling, distortive lens it has become?

Sugar?

Or gluten?

Maybe, the distress caused by belief in the supernatural or our unwillingness to be silent and to contemplate reality rather than our familiar pastime of dissecting, diverting, and destroying anything or anyone we consider 'not one of us.'

The universe we have created is insane. Contrast this with the universe as it is in itself, which, I submit, is sanity itself. What is it we are not seeing?

Gratefulness.org
includes a note about Raimon Panikkar and a letter he wrote when he was dying:
Fr. Raimundo Panikkar's Farewell Letter

Father Raimundo Panikkar is preparing to leave the visible world. Born on November 3, 1918 in Barcelona, Spain to a Catholic mother and Hindu father, Fr. Raimundo Panikkar has long specialized in the dialogue between Christianity and Asian religions. Of his first trip from Europe to India, Panikkar once wrote: "I left as a Christian, I found myself a Hindu, and I return as a Buddhist, without ever having ceased to be a Christian." His best known books include The Cosmotheandric Experience (Orbis, 1993) and The Infra-religious Dialogue (Paulist, 1978).

In recent weeks, Father Panikkar mainly sleeps and remains in complete silence. On 28th January 2010 he sent his personally signed last letter:

"Dearest Friends,

"I would like to communicate to you that I believe the moment has come to withdraw from all public activity, both the direct and the intellectual participation, to which I have dedicated all my life as a way of sharing reflections. I will continue to be close to you in a deeper way, through silence and prayer, and in the same way I would ask you to be close to me in this last period of my existence.

"You have often heard me say that a person is a knot in a network of relationships.

"In taking my leave from you I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for having enriched me with the relationship I have had with each of you.

"I am also grateful to all of those who, either in person or through association, continue working to spread my message and the sharing of my ideals, even without me.

"Thankful for the gift of life which is only such if lived in communion with others: it is with this spirit that I have lived my ministry."    http://www.gratefulness.org/readings/panikkar-farewell.htmhttp://www.gratefulness.org/readings/panikkar-farewell.htm
Our 'Conversation Kitchen' is named after Panikkar. (How many people name their kitchen after someone?)

"Communion with others" is, perhaps, a good place to start. Also, a good place to end. Maybe mental illness begins to end with the journey of communion with others. Maybe religions try to offer a template of connection. That some pervert the template of connection is just mental illness finding new avenues of opportunistic appropriation.

"Relationship," realization of, cultivation of, respect for -- this is a pathway worth contemplating. We don't have to force or create relationship. We already are related and relational to and with everything and everybody.

Would that we could see!

Would that we might be what we are!