Saturday, July 11, 2015

précis; meetingbrook

Our spirituality is a continuing practicing through silence of contemplation, conversation, and correspondence.

A reminder on this Benedictine feastday.

Our way through this imagined place called existence, world, life.

the socks waving goodbye.

When a poet dies he does not take his words with him.

What he does take is everything yet to be brought into words into a world of his creation.

Sort of like what some people imagine occurs happens when God dies. Or died. Or will.

A good poet, like a good God, resides in the after-resonance of a poem, or a world that feels what has been created.
             Millie was in the backyard hanging the
laundry. I was watching her from the kitchen
window. Why does this give me so much pleasure?
Because I love her in a million ways, and because
I love the idea of clean laundry flapping in
the wind. It’s timeless, a new beginning, a
promise of tomorrow. Clothespins! God, I love
clothespins. We should stock up on them. Some
day they may stop making them, and then what?
If I were a painter, I would paint Millie hanging
the laundry. That would be a painting that
would make you happy, and break your heart.
You would never know what was in her mind, big
thoughts, little thoughts, no thoughts. Did she
see the hawk circling overhead? Did she
hate hanging laundry? Was she going to run away
with a sailor? The sheets billowing like sails
on an ancient skiff, the socks waving goodbye.
Millie, O Millie, do you remember me? The man
who traveled with cloth napkins and loved you
in the great storm.
(Poem by James Tate, December 8, 1943 – July 8, 2015)

Nursia, Monte Cassino, Monte Subasio, Ragged/Bald

Good Benedict!

Ora et Labora.

Hermit monastic.

Ora pro nobis!


Laborare cum nobis!

Help us overcame the ‘three fundamental temptations’ of self-importance, lust, and anger. 

Grow a large community of followers around your vision for peace and wisdom.


Friday, July 10, 2015

for all who suffer

Dirt, dry and tired

Walking circles

An evening ritual

Thursday, July 09, 2015

from French ignorer or Latin ignorare ‘not know’

People ignore you?

Get over it.

You’re not even there.

I’m telling you this because I’m not here.

Where is everyone?

Please ignore that question.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

About enlightenment, in light of grace



Is all.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


“Listen," St Benedict said.

So, we try to.

Prayer of those who dwell in a Monastery of the Heart 

Loving God,
You who dwell in our hearts,
make for us a cave there
in which to hear your voice
more distinctly,
feel your care
more tenderly, 
understand your will
more clearly, 
and come to know
your presence
at every moment
of our lives
with new clarity
and new courage,
with new faith
and new urgency.
Enable us to grow
in the Benedictine spirit
in ways that make us
compassionate co-creators
of a world in process,
creative keepers
of the human community,
loving listeners
to the heartbeat of the world,
caring sisters and brothers
to its wounded
and bringers of peace
to a world in distress.
Let us sink into your Word,
let us nourish it to life,
let it lead us beyond
the burdens of the day
so that we may become
the people you desire us to be.
Give us hearts
where all may enter in,
ears to hear your call,
hands to do your will,
voices to sing your praise
and soul enough
to recognize You
in everything we do.
This we ask
through the intercession
of all the faithful monastics
who have gone before us
and through the grace
of the living God.
— Joan Chittister

not art


Such an odd wish.
Feelings of guilt and shame. And to tease out what was right from what was wrong. What the weathermen had right was our understanding of what the position of the United States is in the world. It was this knowledge that we just couldn’t handle. It was too big.  We didn’t know what to do. In a way I still don’t know what to do with this knowledge. I don’t know what needs to be done. And it still eats away at me as it did 30 years ago. 
(--words {almost accurate} of Mark Rudd, former member of Weather Underground, from documentary, 2003)
Add another dozen years, and the names Dohrn, Ayers, Whitehorn, Gilbert, Boudin, Oughton, Jaffe roll by on final credits. The Vietnam War, Flanagan said, made us all a little crazy. The murder of Fred Hampton in his bed was pivotal, and it was raw police excess.

The Vietnam War was cruel, illegal, terroristic, a lie, and tore this United States into shreds still not taped back together yet.
All the time I pray to Buddha 
I keep on 
killing mosquitoes. 
     (--Kobayashi Issa, Translated by Robert Hass)
I watched. It was the late 60s, early 70s. It made me deranged.

American casualties, 58,300. The number, following the war for them, of deaths, rises higher.

Or, 58,220,

Or, 58,178,

And further:

Deaths in Vietnam War (1965–1974) per Guenter Lewy
Allied military deaths282,000
NVA/VC military deaths444,000
Civilian deaths (North and South Vietnam)587,000
Total deaths1,313,000
Estimates of the total number of deaths in the Vietnam War vary widely depending upon the time period and area covered by the data.
Guenter Lewy in 1978 estimated 1,313,000 total deaths in North and South Vietnam during the period 1965–1974 in which the U.S. was most engaged in the war. Lewy reduced the number of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese battle deaths claimed by the U.S. by 30 percent (in accordance with the opinion of United States Department of Defense officials), and assumed that one third of the battle deaths of the VC/NVA were actually civilians. His estimate of total deaths is reflected in the table.[1] 
Up to 155,000 refugees fleeing the final NVA Spring Offensive were killed or abducted on the road to Tuy Hòa in 1975.[78] Sources have estimated that 165,000 South Vietnamese died in the re-education camps out of 1–2.5 million sent,[79][80] while somewhere between 50,000 and 250,000 were executed.[79][81][82][83] Rummel estimates that slave labor in the "New Economic Zones" caused 50,000 deaths (out of a total 1 million deported).[79][81] According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, between 200,000 and 400,000 Vietnamese boat people died at sea,[84] although Rummel cites estimates ranging from 100,000 to 1,000,000.[81] Including Vietnam's foreign democide, Rummel estimates that a minimum of 400,000 and a maximum of slightly less than 2.5 million people died of political violence from 1975–87 at the hands of Hanoi.[81] In 1988, Vietnam suffered a famine that afflicted millions.[85]
So, yeah, insanity was rife. 
Writing shit about new snow 
for the rich 
is not art.

     (--Kobayashi IssaTranslated by Robert Hass )
Hard to figure out the criminals. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

What the Dalai Lama, Nietzsche, and the Grateful Dead have in common -- the exhortation to be kind!

The Grateful Dead perform their final concert. The Dalai Lama says he might be the last one. Friedrich Nietzsche uncompromisingly sought to accept all events and situations in his life.

This thought:
Write me a poem? the voice asked. 
But there is no me, 
      so no poem 
      nothing to be said --
so in 

Then, Nietzsche: 
I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.
(--Friedrich Nietzschesection 276, The Gay Science) 
Happy 80th Birthday, Tenzin Gyatso!

A good Dalai Lama.

Sunday, July 05, 2015


On my cushion at 5:30 for 6pm practice! And I think, “I am alone."

Then this image appears:

And I think: amor fati!

Is all aloneness unexplained earliness?

Sunday Evening Silence!

Complacencies of morning sun porch

Birdsong praise.


Solitude of cats here of a Sunday morning.