Saturday, July 18, 2015

present-centered recollection

Spective; retro-, pro-, per-, propter-


Before. Beyond. Through. Near at hand.
In what ways do the modern accounts differ? While mindfulness (sati) is often equated with bare attention, my conversations with—and recent studies of works by—the learned monks Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhikkhu Analayo, and Rupert Gethin, president of the Pali Text Society, led me to conclude that bare attention corresponds much more closely to the Pali term manasikara, which is commonly translated as “attention” or “mental engagement.” This word refers to the initial split seconds of the bare cognizing of an object, before one begins to recognize, identify, and conceptualize, and in Buddhist accounts it is not regarded as a wholesome mental factor. It is ethically neutral. The primary meaning of sati, on the other hand, is recollection, non-forgetfulness. This includes retrospective memory of things in the past, prospectively remembering to do something in the future, and present-centered recollection in the sense of maintaining unwavering attention to a present reality. The opposite of mindfulness is forgetfulness, so mindfulness applied to the breath, for instance, involves continuous, unwavering attention to the respiration. Mindfulness may be used to sustain bare attention (manasikara), but nowhere do traditional Buddhist sources equate mindfulness with such attention.
(--from,  A Mindful Balance, by B. Alan Wallace)

"Present-centered recollection."

Says it. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Todd, Doug and I talk about loving kindness in prison

Ramadan ends.

I buy a globe of the world at Good Will.

There’s no certainty.

I watch a Harold Camping documentary.

He was thinking a lot about the end of the world.

I don’t think much of it.

I think

     not so

        much of it.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

what's in a name

Hospital bed set up. Air mattress extraordinaire.

Who knows who might visit and want such a snoozer?

Waits in front room.

Clock ticks.



Let's call it, instead, adjustable bed adjustable mattress.

Seems better description.

Domine labia mea aperies et os meum adnuntiabit laudem tuam

4 AM, hour of unfamiliar animal screech outside closed gate on Barnestown Road.

Cats and dog take to stairs and windows, their domestic habitat perches, as continuing short bursts of calling-screech goes back and forth then up toward Hope.

One dog then the other I accompany out through barn to do their vigil pee.

All is predawn still. 

Only unheard chant of Cistercian monastics in faraway choir stalls arrives  at mountain vale the insinuation of night office these men and women intone for the rest of us to the Unseen One we are mostly unaware of in our listening confusion.

The wind kicks up.

Night will yield.

Sleep resumes.

What is not known returns to itself after billions of years wandering away through uncharted meander toward some imagined solution to some imagined problem filling dense minds taken to road underbrush and fluid eddy swirl the movement through seeming final veil obscuring emergent rising light.

Rhythm peal of wind-sway tone from hanging pipes to ready prayer invite waking bird into the choir.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tangled; web we weave


It's not what you think it is.

It's the story told about what you think.

Never what is not thought.

Fact without opinion.

Something nearing truth.

As it is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

searching for intelligent life

Is there life on other planets across the universe?

Is there life here?

By 'life' I mean intelligent life.

And intelligence means seeing and articulating connections.

For good of all.

Let's find some!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ralph, Ruth, their green photo flags

Walking cemetery in Lincoln. 

Good company.

A prayer in passing.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Missa est; Ita

The philosopher said don't look for trust, be trustworthy. 

The poet wrote,"What's madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance."

The hermit, saying nothing, walked the hills.