Saturday, August 20, 2016

practice, resting

How to say it?

Practice is resting in undifferentiated suchness while moving through activity’s extended center wherein nothing is other than mere appearance absolutely encompassing the seemingly separate within awaring presence.

That’s one
way to say

Friday, August 19, 2016

one and one is one

Maybe we are alone.

If we comprehended aloneness much would reveal itself.

Because we don't, so very much remains concealed.

Alone is the place reality remains within itself.

It is possible to be that place wherein, alone, one is within itself completely with another.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

cheirourgía. (Greek)


Your people can't see
You, can’t see

No one knows whether
Nor who you are

Here's my prayer 
         for all afraid:

Be open,

Be true

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

life boats

In one dream I wander street passing familiar when I realize I’d lost track of my dog. I'm already crying bemoaning other loses the hilly cityscape morphizes as I take each labored step. I call out for him, knowing it has been a while and many miles. And there he is, just around corner, bedraggled and tired, that resigned happiness finally acknowledged at greeting rubbing embrace. But he is hurt. He has been injured. Rear quarters palpably purple cut bloody open wound. I wonder how to transport him. And where? Whisk him home? Or to a hospital?

Awake now back into this current dream  I smell his doggy presence beside bed where he’s been each night I’d slipped into the swirl writhing the dream within the dream that infection, atrial fibrillation, compromised breath, high fever, soaking sweats, dehydration, malnourishment and bland riding edge of swirl in lethargic drift over surface of other world of food smells and voices of people laughing, someone smoking cigarette over and over, the long intervals of unmoving attentiveness, heightened sensitivity that at some point, when time is right, empty stage will begin new scene and actors cross to unseen places resuming we so delicately think of as reality, but is really théâtre de l’absurd.

And I am back in 1964 attending during summer vacation from seminary a conference at St. John’s University in NY. I’m surprised by this interest, scholarly lectures, Martin Esslin, and his book. He was there. He coined the phrase ’Theatre of the Absurd.’  

Curiously it made sense, as did the very notion of taking seriously the absurd. Ludicrous!

There was a production of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros (1974). It was absurd.

The great religions are the ships,  
Poets the life boats.
Every sane person I know 
Has jumped overboard. 

I still have the small red/multi-colored book from 1961 which includes Beckett, Genet, Ionesco, Adamov, Pinter, Frisch. Throw in names of Sartre, Camus, Anouilh, Heidegger, Miller, Bolt, and Cummings and the landscape of a decade or two of human dramaturgy,  situational poetics, conversational philosophy, temporality theology, and  senseless sentient spirituality -- and we have a weltanschaung of attempt to rectify mind.

Not Plato’s poets. Nor academia’s poets. 

But anyone who speaks words into being, or, who speaks being into words. 

Like our Confucian teachers, Mencius to Wang, the rectified mind of knowledge/act as landscape of presenting realization of correct relationship one to one another.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


“...the taste of something more to arrive and realize seems to keep and contain the light of the continuum of presence where there is nowhere to go...but forward through” (woman in text, pre-surgery)
I like the notion that "the continuum of presence" is that "place" where "there" is "nowhere to go". 

Presence as being nowhere to go.

This is significant. If present, there is nowhere to go. If present (at death), then, the response to the inquiry as to "where" one goes, the answer is "nowhere."

"There is no there there" wrote Gertrude Stein.

We go nowhere when we are present.

We go nowhere when we die.

What are we doing here?


agonizing cry for realization all around

Here is Poïesis, (making), at work.
Poïesis (Ancient Greek: ποίησις) is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek term ποιέω, which means "to make". This word, the root of our modern "poetry", was first a verb, an action that transforms and continues the world. (--Wikipedia)
The transformation on this man's whole appearance and presentation as he shifted from talking about Milwaukee disturbance to metamorphic becomes the poet proclaiming a depth of bone-nearing revelation. Below transcript is link to watch him recite poem. I was moved.


AMY GOODMAN: I want to—for you to end, because I know you have to go teach, with your poem. You are not only a community activist, co-founder of the organization Flood the Hood with Dreams, but you are also a poet. Can you share a poem with us today? 

MUHIBB DYER: Yes, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. And this, I hope, gives the listeners an understanding of the feeling of the despair of a young person that exists in Milwaukee.

I want you to see beyond the bottles being thrown.
I want you to see beyond the anger
and see a young man on his hands and knees
looking up to the heavens
not knowing if God exists
on a street called Burleigh in Milwaukee.

And he says, "It’s like I’m sitting in a jail cell,
Lord, listen to me.
It’s like I’m sitting in a jail cell,
God, listen to me.
It’s like I’m sitting in a jail cell,
Lord, with invisible bars
waiting on death row
counting down the days
because I know they’re coming.
You see, I know they’re coming.
Them police, them jealous dudes and chicks
they’re all coming.
And it wasn’t supposed to be like this.

“You see, Lord, they never told me you were in me.
They never told me you were always there.
So, in turn, I believed what I saw.
And what I saw was a daddy that was never around
and a mama that was always crying
because we were always broke
when there was money outside,
and rats and roaches and pissy mattresses
me and my brother slept on
when there was money outside,
and teachers that told me
I had to wait 12 years to get paid.
You see, my teachers told me
I had to wait 12 years to get paid
while all of them got paid off of me right now
whether I learned or not
when there was money outside.
And what else was I supposed to do?

“They never told me you were in me, God.
They never told me you were always there.
And how was I supposed to know
that being created in your image and your likeness
meant that if you made the Earth, Lord,
I can make my own business,
and if you made the sun,
I could make more than just babies
more than just babies
but buildings and networks
and that busting guns wasn’t the only way
to get access to your power, Lord,
and shaking these dudes down on the block
for this dope money was not the only way
to get access to your power, Lord?
How was I supposed to know?
And how was I supposed to know
that downing shots of Hennessy and smoking weed
wasn’t the only way to accept this and get to heaven,
that I could have gotten down on all fours and talked to you, Lord?

“They never told me you were in me.
They never told me you were always there.
And how was I supposed to know
that every time mama was like
’Stay in school, baby,
stay off those streets,’
that was you, Lord,
and every misdemeanor charge I ever beat,
that was you, Lord,
every felony charge I ever beat,
that was you, Lord,
and when those bullets missed me
when I was on the block doing wrong,
that was you, Lord,
and when my boy laid in that casket
cold and lifeless,
that that was like you was trying to tell me
he would be me if I didn’t change?

“And now I’ve fallen.
My time is up.
I know they’re coming.
And I don’t even know
if you listen to kids like us, Lord.
Do you even care about kids like us, Lord?
But I know now what I should have known then.
And it took me to fall to see the light.
You were always in me.
You were always there.
Forgive me, Lord,
for I knew not what I was doing to myself.
Please, send me somebody
a voice
maybe from across the nation
a sympathetic voice
that understands
that I need to be taught
something that I’ve never been taught before.
Please, send me someone
anybody in humanity
that can teach me to love me
teach me to love me
teach me to love me."

Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Muhibb Dyer, I want to thank you for being with us, community activist, poet, co-founder of the organization Flood the Hood with Dreams, speaking to us from his hometown, that went up in flames this weekend after police killed an African-American man on Saturday night, speaking to us from Milwaukee, one of the most segregated cities in the country.
. . .
(--From transcript, Democracy Now, 15Aug2015)

(Segment with Muhibb Dyer begins at 16:33. His recitation of his poem begins 28:38. This is a remarkable experience of transformative maker reaching into depth of insight with agonizing cry for realization all around.)

something to think about when not in ER for 5 hours until dawn with intravenous heart meds being pushed

No Path 
       ~by David Whyte

     There is no path that goes all the way.
                                    (--Han Shan)

Not that it stops us looking
for the full continuation.

The one line in the poem
we can start and follow
straight to the end.

The fixed belief we can hold,

facing a stranger that saves
us the trouble
of a real conversation.

But one day you are not
just imagining an empty chair

where your loved one sat.
You are not just telling a story

where the bridge is down and there’s
nowhere to cross.

You are not just trying
to pray to a God you imagined
would keep you safe.

No you’ve come to the place
where nothing you’ve done

will impress and nothing you
can promise will avert

the silent confrontation,
the place where

your body already seems to know
the way having kept

to the last its own secret

But still, there is no path
that goes all the way

one conversation leads
to another

one breath to the next

there’s no breath at all

the inevitable
final release
of the burden.

And then
your life will
have to start
all over again
for you to know
even a little
of who you had been.

~David Whyte

Sunday, August 14, 2016

invent ora

Let’s see:

breath? check.

gaze? check.



(oh dear!)

something simple and ok

New York Times Magazige adds to my viewing and reading with “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart”, by Scott Anderson, Photographs by Paolo Pellegrin, 14Aug2016,

Seems time for ignorant kids from Brooklyn to learn some history, and care about it.
Seen in this light, the 2011 suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi seems less the catalyst for the Arab Spring than a culmination of tensions and contradictions that had been simmering under the surface of Arab society for a long time. Indeed, throughout the Arab world, residents are far more likely to point to a different event, one that occurred eight years before Bouazizi’s death, as the moment when the process of disintegration began: the American invasion of Iraq. Many even point to a singular image that embodied that upheaval. It came on the afternoon of April 9, 2003, in the Firdos Square of downtown Baghdad, when, with the help of a winch and an American M88 armored recovery vehicle, a towering statue of the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was pulled to the ground.
While today that image is remembered in the Arab world with resentment — the symbolism of this latest Western intervention in their region was quite inescapable — at the time it spurred something far more nuanced. For the first time in their lives, what Syrians and Libyans and other Arabs just as much as Iraqis saw was that a figure as seemingly immovable as Saddam Hussein could be cast aside, that the political and social paralysis that had so long held their collective lands might actually be broken. Not nearly so apparent was that these strongmen had actually exerted considerable energy to bind up their nations, and in their absence the ancient forces of tribalism and sectarianism would begin to exert their own centrifugal pull. Even less apparent was how these forces would both attract and repel the United States, damaging its power and prestige in the region to an extent from which it might never recover.
At least one man saw this quite clearly. For much of 2002, the Bush administration had laid the groundwork for the Iraq invasion by accusing Saddam Hussein of pursuing a weapons-of-mass-destruction program and obliquely linking him to the Sept. 11 attacks. In October 2002, six months before Firdos Square, I had a long interview with Muammar el-Qaddafi, and I asked him who would benefit if the Iraq invasion actually occurred. The Libyan dictator had a habit of theatrically pondering before answering my questions, but his reply to that one was instantaneous. “Bin Laden,” he said. “There is no doubt about that. And Iraq could end up becoming the staging ground for Al Qaeda, because if the Saddam government collapses, it will be anarchy in Iraq. If that happens, actions against Americans will be considered jihad.” (--Anderson)
The Arab world suffers with the inner and the outer portrayal of struggle and conflict.

So do individuals.

This from the biography of Robert Lax:
What Lax didn’t realize, not yet, was that the self he had killed was only his public self. The self that longed for identity in the world. The feeling of being lost and alone went to the center of his being, but he was only twenty-six and deep in his heart he still believed in two things: that there is a God whose presence is love and that it is possible to live a life of simple truth. In another entry filled with ellipses, these four lines reveal a bedrock resolve:
I am sick of all arguments 
I want to do something simple and ok 
Nobody can tell me this is not possible 
Lot of people do it all the time
He would spend the years ahead looking for that simple something, moving from place to place without a permanent residence or job. He would search and ponder life and love, faith and peace, until the wandering and wondering became his life. 
(--pp. 116-117, in Pure Act, The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax, by Michael N. McGregor c.2015)
As auguries of diminished time for continued learning manifest themselves,  the Spanish philosopher’s warning rings true -- without learning from history, we’re condemned to repeat it. And so we seem to be doing.

As with Lax, I, too, am sick of all arguments.

Arabs, Jews, Americans, Russians, Politicians, and ten-dollars-a-word pundits -- are all tedious and insufferable.

But, I managed a slice of toast and cup of chamomile tea for my daily sustinance. Life in this hermit’s cell welcomes illness. Losing weight the easy way.

Why not?