Saturday, July 29, 2017

four by machado

      In my solitude
I have seen things very clearly
that were not true.
      Wake up, you poets:
let echoes end,
and voices begin.
      But don’t hunt for dissonance;
because, in the end, there is no dissonance.
When the sound is heard people dance.

      What the poet is searching for
is not the fundamental I
but the deep you.

Friday, July 28, 2017

a stretch of blue smoke

Longing to see God everywhere is longing to see what is real wherever you look.

Not illusion. Not false impression. But, what is real. 
A Monk’s Hut  
Where a track diverges 
North and south of the mountain, 
Pine pollen, 
Soaked with rain, scatters.  
The monk returns to his hut 
With water from a spring, 
And a stretch of blue smoke colors the white cloud.    
- Yi Sung-in (1347-1392) (DailyZen)
The monk’s hut is the surround of what is real.
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (--Psalm 27:4) New International Version
Enter your hut. 

It is holy ground.

Dwell within with quiet joy. 

Even as you go out.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Who are these folks?
2 There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognized and overlooked by them. The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile, they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their name and in no other. 
(--from, A Course in Miracles)
And why is there so much chaos in America? 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

coming unhinged

Excerpt from email from Charter for Compassion:
“The hour calls for optimism, we’ll save pessimism for better times.” (-- Jean-Claude Servais) 
Dear Agents of Compassion, 
The Spirit of the Times calls out to us, and in our own way, we each feel its presence. The greatest challenges of today are revealing, thread by thread, the total interdependence of our world. Any illusion that once existed of our separation is surely dissolving now. "Normal", as Charles Eisenstein wrote, "is coming unhinged." In fear, some react with more isolation, believing that such tactics can bring back an older, more predictable version of the world. Yet that old world had always been leading us to this moment - for we are certainly here - and the challenges we face do not care which borders once divided us.  
And so where there was once division, 
we have no choice but to sow unity!
This sounds right.

Monday, July 24, 2017

a deeper silence

There's a Japanese word for it that L shared at table practice last evening. I don't remember the word she used. But in Brooklyn its translation is "Waddya going to do? {shrug} Forget about it!" The sense that life isn't fair, accompanied by a kindly acceptence of that reality and those experiencing it.
One of the reasons that we suffer during the most challenging times of our life, is that we assume that it is our job to transform life. We build a house, we plant a tree, we create a garden, we write a book, etc . . . We leave the world around us different from the way we found it. What we don’t often acknowledge is that Life’s job is to transform us in the process.  As Hubert Benoit, the Zen teacher and French psychotherapist states, “The only task incumbent upon us is to understand reality and let ourselves be transformed by it.” This may not be the only task – but it is the one we forget or ignore as we become caught in efforts to plan and transform the objects, events and people around us. 
Inherent in this question of “who’s doing the transforming?” is the tension between acceptance and control. Japanese psychiatrist, Shoma Morita, asserted that our inner world – our thoughts, feelings and body sensations – are fundamentally uncontrollable by our will. For example, we do not will ourselves to fall in love, or out of love, with a particular individual. 
But the list of things which are beyond our control is monumental, starting with other people’s behavior and ending with illness and death. So it is understandable that the more we try to control life – get it to unfold according to our plans and desires – the more we are likely to create a living hell for ourselves — one composed of anxiety, fear, depression, resentment and anger. All of which are the byproduct of Life failing to give us what we want.
 (--from blog Thirty Thousand Days, THE ESSENCE OF LIFE, by Gregg Krech)
The grosbeak, after long stun on wood deck, flew off. When I left hospice patients the other night the ride home was in a deeper silence.

Krechi begins his piece with Pema Chodron:
 “The essence of life is that it’s challenging. Sometimes it is sweet, and sometimes it is bitter. Sometimes your body tenses, and sometimes it relaxes and opens. Sometimes you have a headache, and sometimes you feel 100% healthy. From an awakened perspective, trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death, because it involves rejecting a lot of your basic experience. There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride.”  – Pema Chodron
In the monks' morning chant, the antiphon: "In the shadow of your wings I rejoice, alleluia!"

Sunday, July 23, 2017

discriminating mind and tendencies

young grosbeak


glass door


during table-


becomes our


still a chance that we may see

So many want to say so much about Mary Magdalene.

So much speculation and mythification.

Enough for me that there is her name.

Other than that, there is a reality beyond our grasp.

Let it be.