Saturday, January 16, 2016

don't and don't

The war that is going on is not just Iraq and Afghanistan. No, more than that.

And it's not just good versus evil. Our christian and muslim friends don't own the patent.

So, what is the war?

Damned if I know.

If I knew I'd share what I knew.

I don't so I don't.

It's just us. And we don't know.

So, we look through silence as one might pray if they knew how to pray and what to pray for.

We don't and don't.

Friday, January 15, 2016

five word glimpse

Everything is as I am.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I know nothing of supernatural powers

I put old brown cover from grocery market bag on book by Daniel Berrigan.

Then find Maurin quote.
Chesterton says:
"The Christian ideal
has not been tried
and found wanting.
It has been found difficult
and left untried."
Christianity has not been tried
because people thought
it was impractical.
And men have tried everything
except Christianity.
And everything
that men have tried
has failed. 
~Peter Maurin
Then find one of Berrigan’s poems.

Zen Poem

How I long for supernatural powers! 
said the novice mornfully to the holy one. 
I see a dead child 
and I long to say, Arise!
 I see a sick man 
I long to say, Be healed!
 I see a bent old woman 
I long to say, Walk straight! 
Alas, I feel like a dead stick in paradise. 
Master, can you confer on me 
supernatural powers?
The old man shook his head fretfully
How long have I been with you
and you know nothing?
How long have you known me
and learned nothing?
Listen; I have walked the earth for 80 years
I have never raised a dead child
I have never healed a sick man
I have never straightened an old woman's spine
Children die
men grow sick
the aged fall
under a stigma of frost
And what is that to you or me
but the turn of the wheel
but the way of the world
but the gateway to paradise?
Supernatural powers!
Then you would play God
would spin the thread of life and measure the thread
5 years, 50 years, 80 years
and cut the thread?
Supernatural powers!
I have wandered the earth for 80 years
I confess to you,
sprout without root
root without flower
I know nothing of supernatural powers
I have yet to perfect my natural powers!
to see and not be seduced
to hear and not be deafened
to taste and not be eaten
to touch and not be bought
But you-
would you walk on water
would you master the air
would you swallow fire?
Go talk with the dolphins
they will teach you glibly
how to grow gills
Go listen to eagles
they will hatch you, nest you
eaglet and airman
Go join the circus
those tricksters will train you
in deception for dimes-
Bird man, bag man, poor fish
spouting fire, moon crawling
at sea forever-
supernatural powers!
Do you seek miracles?
listen- go
draw water, hew wood
break stones-
how miraculous!
Listen; blessed is the one
who walks the earth 5 year, 50 years, 80 years
and deceives no one
and curses no one
and kills no one
On such a one
the angels whisper in wonder,
behold the irresistible power
of natural powers-
of height, of joy, of soul, of non belittling!
You dry stick-
in the crude soil of this world
spring, root, leaf, flower!
around and around
and around-
an inch, a mile, the world's green extent,-
a liberated zone
of paradise!

(Poem by Dan Berrigan, in And the Risen Bread: Selected Poems, 1957-1997,  By Daniel Berrigan, John Dear)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Four bells



space/time, continuum

As it was

In the beginning

Is now

And ever shall be --

World --



(go ahead, look at this, your original face,
the one you had before your mother and father were born, is this present moment)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

gotta love this attitude

"The Cynic is the Tyrant's Best Friend" Ken O'Keefe 

"Far too long we've been taught that we cannot do anything, that this is the way life and the world has always been. That's a load of non-sense."

We are infinite souls with the capacity for great resilience, love and empathy. There is nothing more heroic than being able to empower one another in the fight against tyranny. We stand united, ready to face what we must to end wars.
Posted January 09, 2015

“Humanity’s challenge at this decisive point in history is to face a monster that is desperately attempting to expand it’s tyrannical system of human enslavement. Simultaneously human consciousness is growing with unparalleled expansion and this is a grave threat to the tyrants. Only one of these forces, humanity or tyranny, can succeed and the world we handover to our children and future generations will be defined by our success or failure in this regard. The irony is that the tyrants have no power but that which we have unwittingly relinquished to them… in order to create a better world owe simply need to take our power back. That is my ultimate goal; a better world. My wisdom in this matter comes from the knowledge that the attainment of this goal is not up to me, it is up to us.”
Ken O'Keefe, Nov. 2015

switching, and listening to Frankie from Sydney NS

junction between two nerve cells," 1899, from Gk. synapsis "conjunction," from synaptein "to clasp," from syn- "together" + haptein "to fasten." Related to apse. Introduced by Eng. physiologist Sir Michael Foster (1836-1907) at the suggestion of Eng. classical scholar Arthur Woollgar Verral (1851-1912). (
The buddhist teacher said we could let it through, let it be, and let it go.

Instead of blocking and fighting it off, pushing it away, or holding fast to it.




Monday, January 11, 2016

nothing of their own

Yesterday, Jan.10th, according to the church calendar at foot of stairs, was the celebration of The Baptism of Christ.

Words alongside Joachim Patinir’s painting of the same, are:
“Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift... We call it grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift -- it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own.” (--St Gregory of Nazianzus, Archbishop of Constantinople, Oratio 40 {D 390})
The religious metaphor still has vibrance. Especially to those who bring nothing of their own.
It is crucial that we understand the importance of incarnation. This became so clear to me in a chance encounter with a recluse near the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky, when I did a retreat at Thomas Merton’s hermitage in 1985. A recluse is a hermit’s hermit. Recluses come into the community only for Christmas and Easter. The rest of the time, they stay in the forest alone with God and themselves. 
I was walking down a little trail when I saw this recluse coming toward me. Not wanting to interfere, I bowed my head and moved to the side of the path, intending to walk past him. But as we neared each other, he said, “Richard!” That surprised me. He was supposed to be a recluse. How did he know I was there? Or who I was? 
He said, “Richard, you get chances to preach and I don’t. When you’re preaching, just tell the people one thing: God is not ‘out there’! God bless you.” And he abruptly continued down the path. Now I have just told you what he ordered me to do. God is not out there! 
The belief that God is “out there” is the basic dualism that is tearing us all apart. Our view of God as separate and distant has harmed our understandings of our sexuality; of our relationship to food, possessions, and money; and of our relationship to animals, nature, and our own incarnate selves. This loss is foundational as to why we live such distraught and divided lives. Jesus came precisely to put it all together for us and in us. He was saying, in effect, “To be human is good! The material and the physical can be trusted and enjoyed. This world is the hiding place of God and the revelation of God!” 
(--from, God Is Not “Out There”, Sunday, January 10, 2016, Richard Rohr)
Perhaps the difficulty we experience with the idea of God is one of perspective. Where are we looking? And who is looking? And why. At what?

Is our interest in God the same as our interest in ourselves? And would it make any difference if we came to settle on the simple fact of life as the simple fact of God?

Are we looking for life? Are we looking for self?

Not out there.

In here.

Residing within God.

Owning everything by owning nothing.

a notable and contemplative valediction, received yesterday

Best wishes for abundant experience of the Love that protects us from nothing and sustains us in everything. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

ehi passiko

When contempt begins to fade there appears a sense of undivided mess. (I leave that correction by autocorrection; I intended 'undividedness.')
Perhaps because of our Judeo-Christian background, we have a tendency to regard doubt as something shameful, almost as an enemy. We feel that if we have doubts, it means that we are denying the teachings and that we should really have unquestioning faith. Now in certain religions, unquestioning faith is considered a desirable quality. But in the Buddha-dharma, this is not necessarily so. Referring to the dharma, the Buddha said, “ehi passiko,” which means “come and see,” or “come and investigate,” not “come and believe.” An open, questioning mind is not regarded as a drawback to followers of the Buddha-dharma. However, a mind that says, “This is not part of my mental framework, therefore I don’t believe it,” is a closed mind, and such an attitude is a great disadvantage for those who aspire to follow any spiritual path. But an open mind, which questions and doesn’t accept things simply because they are said, is no problem at all.
A famous sutra tells of a group of villagers who came to visit the Buddha. They said to him, “Many teachers come through here. Each has his own doctrine. Each claims that his particular philosophy and practice is the truth, but they all contradict each other. Now we’re totally confused. What do we do?” Doesn’t this story sound modern? Yet this was twenty-five hundred years ago. Same problems. The Buddha replied, “You have a right to be confused. This is a confusing situation. Do not take anything on trust merely because it has passed down through tradition, or because your teachers say it, or because your elders have taught you, or because it’s written in some famous scripture. When you have seen it and experienced it for yourself to be right and true, then you can accept it.”
(--from, Necessary Doubt, byAni Tenzin Palmo, tricycle),
Perhaps mess is what we must adjust to.

I worry about clean, clear, controlled environment and polis. (I worry, and yet find them compelling.)
My worry is doubt come visiting.

At Saturday Morning Practice we listened to Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu, I'd been sitting on seiza bench following thoughts about suffering and presence. I wondered if presence was the vital metaphor of what we call God, what would be the opposite of presence?

It occurred to me the opposite of presence is presence without awareness.

Then listening to the Bhikkhu (monk) he used the phrase ‘appropriate attention.’ That seemed to fit -- the opposite of presence is presence without appropriate attention.

Perhaps that's why we so easily are deceived thinking we are present when we are not.

Investigate this.

See this.

A good practice!