Saturday, April 11, 2015

Je me souviens

The promise was life together. 

Not near.

We go on.

gaze, loving what is seen

Silence advances. Not unlike a fading mind. Whoosh of blood in head.

Before the world comes to be again, while only mute light in east arises, when men's minds are asleep and plans folded on nightstand, I watch for a spell.

"Don't make."

Don't make the world today.

Let it remain in silence. Be gateway through into God space.


As we are looked also on by nothing other but looking Itself.


Loving what is seen.

Friday, April 10, 2015

two gates; worth, opening

The Gate

I had no idea that the gate I would step through 
to finally enter this world 

would be the space my brother's body made. He was 
a little taller than me: a young man 

but grown, himself by then, 
done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet, 

rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the cold 
and running water. 

This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me. 
And I'd say, What? 

And he'd say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich. 
And I'd say, What? 

And he'd say, This, sort of looking around. 
Marie Howe, "The Gate" from What the Living Do. Copyright © 1997 by Marie Howe.

the gate

Lasciate ogni speranza
Voi ch'entrate

abandon all hope
ye who enter here

the inscription at the entrance to the inferno
of Dante's Divine Comedy


behind that gate 
there is no hell

hell has been dismantled
by theologians
and deep psychologists

converted into allegory
for humanitarian and educational

behind that gate
the same thing begins again

two drunken grave-diggers
sit at the edge of a hole

they're drinking non-alcoholic beer
and munching on sausage
winking at us
under the cross 
they play soccer
with Adam's skull

the hole awaits
tomorrow's corpse
the "stiff" is on its way


here we will await 
the final judgment

water gathers in the hole
cigarette butts are floating in it


behind that gate
there will neither be history
nor goodness nor poetry

and what will there be
dear stranger?

there will be stones

upon stone
stone upon stone
and on that stone 
one more

(From Sobbing Superpower by Tadeusz Różewicz. Copyright © 2010 by Tadeusz Różewicz and Joanna Trzeciak)


 Where were they before they were caught?

What wordless evocation brought them starboard into empty net?
"When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.' So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, 'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead" (John 21:1-14).
The question 'Who are you?' is twin to 'What is this?'

Ask them. Over and over. Again and again, ask these questions. They are empty nets thrown over worn rails of wooden minds.

Bobbing. Sinking into depths.

With unrecognized appearances.

And morning scents of falling water dripped along frying sustenance.

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Silence says nothing well.

from what might never occur, otherwise

Something about this week dwelling the ordinary that slips from mind the very notion of resurrection. Then these words appear:
Thinking of the second coming or of Jesus “returning” often raises the same kind of problems that we saw with the ascension. People who still think that “heaven” is a long way away, up in the sky, and that that’s where Jesus has gone, imagine that the second coming will be an event somewhat like the return of a space shuttle from its far-off orbit. Not so.  Heaven is God’s space, God’s dimension of present reality, so that to think of Jesus “returning” is actually, as both Paul and John say in the passages just quoted, to think of him presently invisible , but one day reappearing. It won’t be the case that Jesus will simply reappear within the world the way it presently is. His return— his reappearing— will be the central feature of the much greater event that the New Testament writers promise, based on Jesus’s resurrection itself: heaven and earth will one day come together and be present and transparent to each other. That’s what they were made for, and that’s what God will accomplish one day. It has, in fact, already been accomplished in the person of Jesus himself; and what God has done in Jesus, bringing heaven and earth together at immense cost and with immense joy, will be achieved in and for the whole cosmos at last. That is what Paul says at the heart of one of his great visionary prayers:
           His plan was to sum up the whole 
           cosmos in the king— yes,     
           everything in heaven and 
           on earth, in him. (Eph. 1: 10) 
This means that the second coming takes on all the dimensions present in Israel’s scriptures, the dimensions of the whole creation singing with delight when Israel’s God comes to “judge” the world (Pss. 96; 98). “Judgment” in this sense is like the “judgment” given when a poor widow finally has her case heard, the bullies who have been oppressing her are firmly rebuked, and she is vindicated. “Judgment” is what happens when someone who has been robbed of home and dignity and livelihood is upheld , with everything restored. “Judgment” is what happens when a forest that has been damaged through overzealous logging , on the one hand , and acid rain, on the other, is wisely replanted and the source of pollution identified and stopped. The world is out of joint, and God’s “judgment” will perform a great act of new creation through which it will be restored to the way God always intended it to be.
(--An excerpt from “Simply Jesus,” by N.T. Wright, in Martin, James; Lewis, C. S.; Wright, N. T.; Tutu, Desmond; Tutu, Mpho; Wolff, Catherine; Patchett, Ann; Moss, Candida; Crossan, John Dominic; Morris, Jonathan; Groome, Thomas H. (2013-03-12). The 10 Best Books to Read for Easter: Selections to Inspire, Educate, & Provoke: Excerpts from new and classic titles by bestselling authors in the field, with an Introduction by James Martin, SJ. (Kindle Location 527). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.)
A phenomenology of appearance, making manifest that which is there, only mostly unseen.

Heaven is God’s space, God’s dimension of present reality...”.

Intending reality from probability, some might say, is a mystical way of drawing out what could be from what might never occur.

So too prayer.

Or the poet sensing the hearing of song only just departing the chaos of felt evocative emergence.

Fact is, we really don’t know judgment at all.

What are we friends for? For this

Bird and Johnson basketball rivalry documentaries seemed the menu for dawn into daylight early snowy April morning.

Difference and sameness, like last night's end of class, can only be grasped by 100% correct relationship.

The ethic of immediate connection without delusive separative thought.

How we are who we are by being and doing what we are.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Stop in the name of foisting delusion

If you run away from police you might be shot in the back.

If you move toward police you might be shot in the chest.

There's no arguing with someone who can shoot you any time they choose.

Be careful. A dangerous threat is expanding day by day.

It appears someone with a gun, criminal or police, is someone to avoid.

Self protection, to a Buddhist, is delusory. This delusion grows exponentially.

There is something very odd about the practice of protecting a self nowhere found.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

to be; developed

A friend asks about meetingbrook.

I think of Conner’s thinking about Merton.
Perhaps we can begin by looking at a few descriptive definitions of contemplation given by Merton in one of his last works: The New Man
"Contemplation is the perfection of love and knowledge." (p.13)

"Contemplation goes beyond concepts and apprehends God not
as a separate object but as the Reality within our reality,
the Being within our being, the life of our life. 11 (P.19)

"Contemplation is a mystery in which God reveals Himself as
the very center of our own inmost self." (ibid.)

"Contemplation is the highest and most paradoxical form of
self realization, attained by apparent self-annihilation." (ibid. ) (1)
These quotes show us the mature Merton in his approach to contemplation. Yet they remain in continuity with the body of his writings. In a much earlier work entitled: What is Contemplation?, Merton had written: 
Why do we think of the gift of contemplation. infused contemplation, mystical prayer, as something essentially strange and esoteric reserved for a small class of almost unnatural beings and prohibited to everyone else? It is perhaps because we have forgotten that contemplation is the work of the Holy Spirit acting on our souls through His gifts of Wisdom and Understanding with special intensity to increase and perfect our love for Him. These gifts are part of the normal equipment of Christian sanctity. They are given to us at Baptism, and if they are given it is presumably because God wants them to be developed.... But it is also true that God often measures His gifts by our desire to receive them, and by our cooperation with His grace, and the Holy Spirit will not waste any of His gifts on people who have little or no interest in them. (2)


It is the practice. No-name, no-affiliation, no-fuss practice.

The gifts of God are unpossessable.

Only encounterable.

open, but screened

Nobody else’s definition satisfies the word each one of us must become.  

Delusion conceives of things as  
Existent or nonexistent,  
As being real or unreal,  
As born or unborn. 

In an uncluttered place,  
Concentrate your mind,  
Remain steady and unmoving,  
Like a polar mountain.  

Observe that all phenomena 
Have no existence,  
That they are like space,  
Without solid stability,    

Neither being born nor emerging.  
Unmoving, unflagging,  
Abide in oneness:  
This is called the place of nearness.  
                                      (--from the Lotus Sutra, circa 1st Century BCE/CE)
Not sociology but ontology interests. Not behavior but feeling. Not pedantry but poetry.

The silence of the room. Smoke from chimney. White dog asleep on bed. Night snow dripping from eaves. Sun through clouds.

From “The Universe --- Solved” blog:
Our real free-will-wielding consciousness is in the mind of the “sim player”, wherever it may be.  
Some possibilities…  
1 We live in a post-human simulation written by humans of the future. This is Nick Bostrom’s “Simulation Argument.” “God” is thus, effectively, a future human, maybe some sniveling teen hacker working at the 2050 equivalent of Blizzard Entertainment. We are contemporaries of the hacker. 
2 We live in a simulation created by an AI, a la “The Matrix.” God is the Architect of the Matrix; we may be slaves or we may just enjoy playing the simulation that the AI created. We may be on earth or somewhere entirely different. 
3 We live in a simulation created by an alien. God is the alien; again, we may be slaves or we may just enjoy playing the simulation that ET has created. 
4 Stanford physicist Andrei Linde, the developer of the “eternal chaotic inflation theory” of the multiverse, once said “On the evidence, our universe was created not by a divine being, but by a physicist hacker.” That would make God a physicist – a future human one, or one from another planet. 
5 We live in a digital system, which continuously evolves to a higher level due to a fundamental law of continuous improvement. Physicist Tom Campbell has done the most to develop this theory, which holds that each of our consciousnesses are “individuated” parts of the whole system, interacting with another component of the system, the reality simulation in which we “live.” God is then a dispassionate digital information system, all that there is, the creator of our reality and of us. We are effectively a part of God. 
 “The kingdom of God is within you” – Jesus  
“He who knows his own self, knows God” – Mohammed  
“There is one Supreme Ruler, the inmost Self of all beings, who makes His one form manifold. Eternal happiness belongs to the wise, who perceive Him within themselves – not to others” – from the Vedas, original Indian holy text  
“The first peace, which is most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” – Native American  
(--from Jim Elvidge, “Who is God?” on blog “The Universe -- Solved,” Musings on the Nature of Reality,,  
We don’t really know. So we conject. Then clench. Argue. And defend. Still, we don’t know.

From Professor Andrei Linde’s (b.1948) faculty page at Stanford:
What is the origin and the global structure of the universe? 
For a long time, scientists believed that our universe was born in the big bang, as an expanding ball of fire. This scenario dramatically changed during the last 30 years. Now we think that initially the universe was rapidly inflating, being in an unstable energetic vacuum-like state. It became hot only later, when this vacuum-like state decayed. Quantum fluctuations produced during inflation are responsible for galaxy formation. In some places, these quantum fluctuations are so large that they can produce new rapidly expanding parts of the universe. This process makes the universe immortal and transforms it into a multiverse, a huge fractal consisting of many exponentially large parts with different laws of low-energy physics operating in each of them. 
Professor Linde is one of the authors of inflationary theory and of the theory of an eternal inflationary multiverse. His work emphasizes the cosmological implications of string theory.
I fill bird-feeder.

Sip tea.


The Plum Village community says that Thay is back home there from hospital. Resting.

On wall the writing says, 
“There is no time now         
and nothing like this.”
 Cat looks out open, but screened, window.

As do I.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Camus and Chinese mountain hermits

A student writes: “We’re always talking about the economy, and being told that we need to be out there consuming for the sake of its betterment.”(TR)
Chinese mountain hermits still seek and find an alternate way to live and look at the words you write.
Camus, according to A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning (public library | IndieBound), historian Robert Zaretsky,
Camus achieves with the Myth what the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty claimed for Montaigne’s Essays: it places “a consciousness astonished at itself at the core of human existence.”  
For Camus, however, this astonishment results from our confrontation with a world that refuses to surrender meaning. It occurs when our need for meaning shatters against the indifference, immovable and absolute, of the world. As a result, absurdity is not an autonomous state; it does not exist in the world, but is instead exhaled from the abyss that divides us from a mute world.
It is a question whether the world has anything to say about returning to the source, nature, or whether it is mute.

"In the 1980s no one paid the hermits any attention, because everyone had a chance to make a buck and improve their lives materially," said the shaggy-bearded author. "People thought it absurd to go in the opposite direction."
Now he notes more well-educated former professionals among the denizens of what he calls "hermit heaven", and one who did not want to be named told AFP he was a government official on sabbatical.
"You get a much wider mix, people who are jaded or disillusioned in the current economy and are seeking something more," said Porter. (op cit)
Nobody else’s definition satisfies the word each one of us must become. 

Smigus Dyngus

Watch out for flung water

Easter Monday 

Upon us

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sunday morning walk at STILL;MARBLES

Snow squall.

Window apparition.

Waterfall joy.

community, no matter what

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. (Mother Teresa)

Hence, joy, when light arises of a morning.

A light grasp on life.

Greg Boyle (of Homeboy) reads Hafiz:

With That Moon Language 
Admit something. 

Everyone you see, you say to them 
"Love me."  

Of course you do not do this out loud: 
Otherwise,Someone would call the cops. 

Still, though, think about this, 
This great pull in us to connect. 

Why not become the one 
Who lives with a full moon in each eye 
That is always saying, 

With that sweet moon 

What every other eye in this world 
Is dying to 
                                - Hafiz -

knock, knock, knocking

Let us pray.

On this day, Lord God,
    you opened for us the way to eternal life
    through your only Son’s victory over death.
Grant that as we celebrate the feast of his resurrection
    we may be renewed by your Holy Spirit
    and rise again in the light of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.


(Office of Readings, Vigils)