Saturday, November 15, 2014

Prison Haiku


In intimacy

Nothing intervenes -- --

Snow no longer falls

read in

Love learning. (A phrase to be read a variety of ways.)

A phrase

To be

Read in

Many ways.

(See how "a variety of ways" becomes "read in many ways".)
Seneca wrote, “Toti se inserens mundo,” a phrase translated by Hadot as “plunging oneself into the totality of the world.” Taking this plunge could be understood as the heart of active presence, of “being here now.” The Tibetan lama Tarthang Tulku writes in Love of Knowledge (1987) that the self lives in the world like an illegal alien, always afraid that its identity will be questioned. “Taking the plunge” is the exact opposite. It means fearless presence, total involvement, holding nothing back. If it is difficult for the self to do this, if it clings to and defends its own positions and wants, that only underscores the need to challenge the self and the conditions it imposes on experience. 

Those who question the contemporary mindfulness movement ask whether it does justice to the Buddha’s revolutionary call to transform both self and world. But we do not have to conclude from this that the only alternative is to stay within the tradition, though for some that will clearly be the right response. Active presence does justice to the Buddha’s revolutionary impulse on a wholly different basis. Not holding back, fearlessly questioning, always going beyond what we know, active presence offers a way into the deeper existential and universal concerns that the Buddha raised through his teachings. 
(--from The Present Moment, by Jack Petranker, Tricycle Magazine, Winter 2014)
Like the phrase "being read in" wherein we do become signs that are read within the great reality (called "being") which is an open book unbeginning and unfinishable.

Learning loves.

Friday, November 14, 2014

What is prayer

Mind is relationality. Meaning is correct relationality. Sanity is clear connection.

Nothing intervenes clear intimacy.

Intimacy is realization of the interpenetrative unbroken.

The night is cold.

Prayer is being said.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We hold this dear man in the light

From Plum Village website:

Official Announcement

To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide, To our Dear Beloved Friends,

Plum Village, November 12, 2014

Re: Thay’s present health condition and how to support Thay’s recovery

With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014, Thay, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.

At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible.

For the last two months, Thay’s health had already been fragile due to his advance age. He was hospitalized in Bordeaux on the 1st of November. He was gaining strength day by day until this sudden and unexpected change in his condition.

All the monasteries in the tradition of Plum Village are organizing practice sessions to generate the energy of mindfulness and to send Thay this healing and loving energy. We would like to ask the whole worldwide community of meditation practitioners to participate and support us in this critical moment. We know and trust that Thay will receive all your energy and that this will be a big support in his healing and recovery.

Our practice of stability and peace in this very moment is the best support we can offer to Thay. Let us all around the world take refuge in our practice, going together as a river to offer Thay our powerful collective energy. We are all cells of the great Sangha Body that Thay has manifested in his lifetime.

Future reports on Thay health and recovery will be posted officially at,,, and

On behalf of the Monastic Dharma Teacher Council of Plum Village,

Bhikkhu Thich Chan Phap Dang Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong Nghiem

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No one is without parents.

The earth and heavens are parents to all of us.

We arise from them and return to them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Practice of meditative voweling

a ee iii oo u


Bell sounds. Bow and begin.


Deus in adjutorium meum intende
Domine ad adjuvandum me festina

This is how prayer becomes present:
God, come to my assistance;
LORD, make haste to help me!

Or, expanded:
Assist my being into instance and intimate compassionate service;
Let what-is-REAL show urgency with movement to action!

Yes, now I have entrance --
Owl calls through still darkness

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The combined difficulty of both war and peace

It is a day to acknowledge and respect veterans both of war and of peace.

Only the warrior and surrounding fields of intimate engagement know the apophatic experience of seeing no other in waging truth throughout reality.

This is our prayer:

May all beings be happy,

May all beings be safe,

May all beings be free, and 

May all beings come to dwell in their true home!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The promise of emptiness

Believe in nothing

But God is nothing

Yes, there is nothing

Other than God 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

A political bagatelle, knocking pegs

Jesus, like many others, has been marginalized and misrepresented. (Modern politics, take note, does this to all who would lead with integrity.) 

James Carroll in his opinion piece in the NYT writes:
And, speaking of God, in what way, actually, can Jesus be said to be divine? A scientifically minded believer wants to discard that notion, but before he does, he should remember that if Jesus were not regarded as somehow divine almost from the start of his movement, we would never have heard of him. And if faith in the divinity of Jesus is left behind because it fails the test of contemporary thought, Jesus will ultimately be forgotten. Is it possible that contemporary thought can learn from this old article of faith? What if the so-called divinity of Jesus lays bare not so much the mystery of God as the majesty of what it is to be human? 
(--from Opinion, NYT, Jesus and the Modern Man, By JAMES CARROL, NOV. 7, 2014) 
Barack Obama isn’t Jesus. He is himself.
"In the teachings of Christ, religion is completely present tense: Jesus is the prototype and our task is to imitate him, become a disciple. But then through Paul came a basic alteration. Paul draws attention away from imitating Christ and fixes attention on the death of Christ The Atoner. What Martin Luther, in his reformation, failed to realize is that even before Catholicism, Christianity had become degenerate at the hands of Paul. Paul made Christianity the religion of Paul, not of Christ. Paul threw the Christianity of Christ away, completely turning it upside down, making it just the opposite of the original proclamation of Christ"
(-- Soren Kierkegaard, in The Journals) 
The Republican Party has become Obama’s Paul, casting a pall over everything about him. They darken him and sidestep any intimation of racial motivation.

People hold on to Obama as they hold on to Jesus -- often out of misplaced perception and distorted belief.

That’s the trouble with humankind.

We’re often not.

Neither kind.

Nor human.

all hands on deck; all souls on ground

new view of old mountain

gift of fallen tree

meanwhile, at harbor

empty moorings

and open channel

this curious early november