Saturday, April 15, 2017

choose to be human

 Responding to Nicholas Kristof New York Times (15April17) opinion piece,  “President Carter, Am I a Christian?” I fall off retreat and write: 
Silly, trying to authenticate or derogate whether someone is a Christian. I’d start elsewhere: “Mr Kristof, Am I a human?” 
This Easter I am more interested in whether the spark of life that keeps me going is still firing, for one more morning. I’m interested in whether the current political ethos is really trying to build its power on the pain of suffering people. Or, whether intellectual exhaustion has finally called it quits on science, common sense, and kindly regard. 
I’ll take a beaten up, murdered, and resurrected spiritual activist like Jesus any day over the braggadocio sorry excuses for leaders who claim that richer-than-thou and worthier-than-thou are the new criteria for religious/governing saviors of the contemporary holy land of this country. 
For Χριστός sake, choose to be human!

night shikantaza

in the dark




unseen, unfelt --

Friday, April 14, 2017

know nothing but love

"know nothing

but love”
wrote Thomas Merton (soj, 122) --

so many ways

worded well

the bricks

this time

draw my attention --

they fasten

one another

they pray now

for Trump (unnamed)


those who can

kill us

unlock prisons


can do this

too many

words for


he delivers

his spirit --

a holy act

we act


it is good


... ... ...

(--poems at the time of monastery good friday service)

on retreat

There will be no formal practice Friday evening, Saturday morning, or Sunday evening.
The winter chapel/zendo is available for your use.
Peace to all this triduum time of remembrance and interiority.
And a releasing Easter to you!

all alone

Yes, as poet Gary Snyder once wrote, truck drivers do get up earlier than zen students.

Monk chants lamentation of Jeremiah after, in visitors chapel, woman with white hat wills against two others who engage in dharma combat with her whether to keep overhead light on. White hat wins. Light stays on. Two, vanquished, step out to cross to other dark side chapel.

I have it easy. I can close my eyes.

Afterwards, side chapel empties, white hat shuts light and steps into dawn where later, after zazen, a single bird alights on bare branch overhead as I stand still in its presence.

Or, what's a retreat for?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

(to be) within us

Jesus, you might say, is no longer with us.

He is (to be) within us.
19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14: 19-21, NIV)
As with God, no one sees Jesus.

One sees as God, as Jesus.

It’s too intimate and too hard for us to grasp.

We like Jesus on the cross. As victim. A cause of blame and hatred.

The spirituality is no blame, no victim, no new world leader.

Jesus is what is within us without anything other for us to worship and be saved by.

The word tonight was entrusting -- to put into someone’s care.

We won't find Jesus anywhere but in our entrusting care, our entrusted being cared for.

Blessing, itself, arrives a sacramental touch.

A reporter asked him how he felt. “excellent ... justice ... on the way” (Tony Sanborn)

    1. It’s nice when a friend gets good news.

      And so it is, 27 years later.

      Anthony Sanborn Jr. in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court Thursday morning. Staff photo by Ben McCanna   --Portland Press Herald, 13April2017
      In granting bail to Anthony Sanborn Jr., Judge Joyce Wheeler said: “I don’t know how Sanborn was able to maintain himself ” during his decades of imprisonment.  (Man convicted in 1989 slaying of Portland teen granted bail -- read article))

      It might be part of your job, but to us your updates have been a gift and a kindness.
    2. Sanborn's bail is set at $25k .. most likely be out in a couple hours.
    3.   Retweeted
      Replying to  
      Thanks again Sam for the great reporting and efforts!
    4.   Retweeted
      Replying to 
      Great work on courtroom updates by you.
    5. Anthony "Tony" Sanborn jr who was convicted of murder in -1989 is temporarily a free man. Judge to release him from prison on bail.

      “justice, on the way”
    6. Judge apologizes to the victims family but says justice needs to be served
    7. Another hearing regarding the murder **charge will be set in April so detectives can testify.
    8. A lot of tears right now in this court room
    9. " I can not apologize to you right now Mr. Sanborn but I will grant you bail"- judge
    10. Judge says she believes the only eye witness had eye problems, said she was troubled
    11. Back on-- judge is discussing possible bail