Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Because you're looking you see

We're not supposed to choose. We're not wise enough. David Whyte speaks of the conversational nature of reality. You can't predict it or control it.

John Lennon with no barrier in his departure speaks with Mother Mary Immaculately Conceived with no barrier in her arrival.

Siddhartha Gautama speaks with the Bodhi tree sitting with dropped off body and mind in light of morning star.

It is the 8th of December.

Come to ground in just the right place.



Friday, December 07, 2012

There is no place that does not see you

Finally, it dawns. Creatio ex nihilo, creation out of nothing, is not a vague speculative philosophical premise.

"Nothing" is the very being of Being. It is a being, or the being of Being-Itself.

To create out of being is to emerge from oneself into the expanse of extension.

God creates the world ex nihilo, out of itself extending out.

We are not created out of the matter of the universe. The universe is created out of us, mattering through mind and spirit the felt metaphor of transcending.

Robert Frost became acquainted with the night.

"Night" is a being as is "Day" a being.

Or, as Seth ended the final circle tonight, "Being is no-thing."

Buddhists point to sunyata, emptiness. Dogen became enlightened hearing Ju-Ching say 'dropping off mind and body.'

Jesus worded the linkage between here and there -- becoming sweet suffering stitching all through with loving presence.

Buddha silences the distracting opinions and theories of judging mind, settling into compassionate listening and stillness attentive to all passing beings.

Any time you exclude anyone or anything from your home ground in the field of emptiness, you are not there yourself.

All are welcome. Even those who detest being there, are welcome to be here.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Afternoon detente









Mostly at the window

Billy Collins tells it wry and dry.

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed. 

               (Poem by Billy Collins)

After zazen in bookshed, reaching into bookshelf, comes this:
 To put pana'i, or reciprocal rebound, into your daily life, criticize as little as possible. Criticism sends out what Polynesians call bad mana, and that energy wii come back at you sooner or later. Criticism is a personal attack that never leads to pleasure; it almost always leads to feelings of withdrawal, anger, dread and disguise. Polynesians believe that "criticism creates," meaning that the more we disparage others, the more they behave as and become that for which we castigate them. Complaining, on the other hand, can be very helpful. Complaints focus on actions and can help make persons aware of and more able to correct behavioral problems. 

A complaint is not a whine of victimization or misery. It never accuses, only identifies problems. It is a statement of willingness to invest time and effort into making a relationship better for both partners."I wish we travelled more. We have to figure out something to do about this together," is a complaint. "You don't take me anywhere," is a criticism that leads to more trouble than problem solving. Current research shows that constructive complaints that point out non personalized problems in a relationship lead to the best and most enduring relationships. 
(--pp. 166-167' in The Pleasure Prescription, To love, to work, to play -- Life in the Balance, by Paul Pearsall, PH.D)
Some slashes take longer to heal. Scars are visible.

It takes a little while getting used to it.



Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Great doubt

Poetry is the new koan.

Only the educated are confused.

The uneducated are never confused.

That's the danger of it.

Not to be confused.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Near midnight

Even the unmoving room
Knows it is time
To become
Even
More still

Monday, December 03, 2012

At your service



Shikantaza is just sitting. No goal. Nothing to attain. Just this. Everyday as everyday.

To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe. To be enlightened by all things of the universe is to cast off the body and mind of the self as well as those of others. Even the traces of enlightenment are wiped out, and life with traceless enlightenment goes on forever and ever.   --Dogen Zenji in his "Genjōkōan" (現成公案)
What was, was. What is, is. What will be, will be.

 Egg Nog, 1%, with final pills.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Advent

The whole is broken into us.

Goodbye Florida; fraud

One can only wonder -- shouldn't someone be doing something about this admission? Or are we just happy to hear the admission? Has it become just political to investigate and prosecute something like subverting the constitution for personal/partisan purposes?


 
Why Florida Really Changed Its Voting Rules, By DAVID FIRESTONE 
It’s common knowledge that Florida cut back on early voting in 2011 to reduce the turnout of blacks and other groups likely to vote for Democrats. But it’s refreshing to see that former top Republicans in the state are now saying so out loud. 
In an interview with The Palm Beach Post published on Sunday, the former chairman of the Florida Republican Party said voter suppression was the sole reason for the change to the election rules. Jim Greer, the party chairman in from 2006 to 2010, said he went to several meetings during which Republican officials discussed the damage that early voting — which brought an unprecedented number of black voters to the polls in 2008 — had done to the party. 
“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” Mr. Greer said. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. 
He made it clear the stated reason for the change, to reduce voter fraud, was nonsense.“They never came in to see me and tell me we had a fraud issue,” he told The Post. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”It’s true that Mr. Greer is under indictment — charged with stealing money from the party — and Republican officials have dismissed his comments as motivated by bitterness. But other party officials and consultants, including former Gov. Charlie Crist, confirmed his observations in the Post article. 
What they’re admitting has long been self-evident, since there is no connection between early voting and fraud. But their publicly admitting this illuminates how the Republican Party reacted after President Obama’s election in 2008, in Florida and many other states. The cry of “voter fraud” was used to justify a range of sins against democracy, from cutting back on early voting and registration drives to unnecessary photo ID cards.Fraud was never a problem that required such restrictions, which were only intended to solve the Republican Party’s larger problem of widespread rejection by minority groups. 
Now that these “anti-fraud” measures failed to do their job in preventing Mr. Obama’s re-election in states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio (thanks, in part, to the courts), the party has a chance to make itself more appealing to a broader range of voters.The first place to start that effort would be in repealing these laws and making it clear that all voters are welcome in the party and in the voting booth. 
[A version of this article appeared in print on 12/02/2012, on page SR10 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Florida’s Fake Fraud Claims.] 
http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/why-florida-really-changed-its-voting-rules/?ref=opinion
If not only in the name of fairness and decency, shouldn't a new fraud investigation investigating anti-fraud investigations and fraudulent rule promulgation be launched?

Has it come to: deny it, admit it, forget it?

The echo of the Trappist monk reaches me again: "Cheer up, Bill, things are only going to get worse!"

Which we are, whence, we have come

At Episcopal Service this first Advent, priest lifts circular host, breaks it, widens his arms to display the extension, and I think:

The whole is broken into us!