Saturday, August 05, 2017


Sitting with the dying

Saturday night


Friday, August 04, 2017

on way to poetry

what if

all prayer

is a calling


from the one

being prayed


what is


prayed for

what do you think

Prayer is funny.

You think God

And say

What is thought

Thursday, August 03, 2017

one must say ‘yes’ where one really can

This from Louie, Louie, a mailing from by :

Posted: 02 Aug 2017 07:06 AM PDT
Photo by Thomas Merton
 "If I can unite in myself the thought and devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russian and the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians.

"From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians.

"If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other. If we do this, the union is not Christian. It is political and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all the divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ."

- Thomas Merton, "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander", p. 12
Posted: 02 Aug 2017 06:59 AM PDT
From the People Board of Blue Eyed Ennis; Photo by aleshurik (Flickr)

"The more I am able to affirm others, to say ‘yes’ to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am. I am fully real if my own heart says yes to everyone.

"I will be a better Catholic, not if I can refute every shade of Protestantism, but if I can affirm the truth in it and still go further. So, too, with the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, etc.

"This does not mean syncretism, indifferentism, the vapid and careless friendliness that accepts everything by thinking of nothing. There is much that one cannot ‘affirm’ and ‘accept,’ but first one must say ‘yes’ where one really can. If I affirm myself as Catholic merely by denying all that is Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., in the end I will find that there is not much left for me to affirm as a Catholic: and certainly no breath of the Spirit with which to affirm it."

- Thomas Merton, Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander (NY: Doubleday and Company, 1966), p. 144.

then one becomes liberated in life

In its mind the slender cat is in some primordial jungle where enemies slither and stalk against her.

The waking white dog raises his head as she races across bed to flee or fight an encroaching foe and she hisses and bares teeth toward his ragamuffin drowse.

Rattled, he is wide-eyed and on edge as the interior feline movie of the wild cat rolls on. She tears out bedroom door.

He inches closer to my chair staring at the foreign land of another’s incomprehensible dream.
Paingala Upanishad 
Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna WarrierPublished by The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai 
Om! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite. 
The infinite proceeds from the infinite. 
(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe), 
It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone. Om! Let there be Peace in me! 
Let there be Peace in my environment! 
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me! 
I-1. Then indeed Paingala approached Yajnavalkya as a disciple, and, having served him for twelve years, said: Instruct me in regard to the supreme mystery of Aloneness.
I-2. The eminent Yajnavalkya replied: Dear one, in the beginning this indeed existed. It was the eternally free, immutable, everlastingly one, secondless Brahman, full of Truth, Knowledge and Bliss.
I-3. In it existed the primordial and indefinable Prakriti, consisting of Gunas in a state of equipoise, red, white and dark, resembling (the existence of) water, silver, a man and outlines (respectively) in the mirage oyster-shell, a stump and a mirror; what was reflected in it was the Witness Consciousness.
I-4. Having been modified, with the preponderance of Sattva, and named Avyakta (the Unmanifest), it (Prakriti) became the power of concealment. What was reflected in it became God Consciousness. He has Maya under His control, is omniscient, is the initial cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution (of the world) and has the form of the sprouting world. He manifests the entire world dissolved in Him. Due to the power of the Karmas of living beings is the (world) spread out like this cloth and due to their exhaustion again is (the world) concealed. In Him alone does the entire world exist as a folded cloth.
II-17. As a result of past good deeds, at the end of many lives, men seek liberation. Then resorting to a teacher of Self-realization and (faithfully) serving him long one inquiries into bondage and liberation.
II-18. Bondage results from lack of inquiry; liberation results from inquiry. Therefore investigate at all times. One's own nature may be determined through superimposition and its repudiation. Therefore always inquire (into the nature of) the individual Self and the supreme Self. When the state of Jiva [Jiva is a living being, or any entity imbued with a life force] and that of the world are sublated, Brahman alone, non-different from the inner Self, remains.
III-1-2. Then Paingala said to Yajnavalkya: Set forth the explanation of the major text(s) [Maha-vakyas]. Yajnavalkya replied: Thou art That; Thou That art; Thou Brahman art; I am Brahman - One should meditate thus.
III-3. The expressed sense of the word 'tat' is the world-cause, marked by 'other-ness' (mediacy), having Being, Consciousness and Bliss as his characteristics, Maya as his adjunct and omniscience, etc., as his features. The very same with awareness mixed up with the inner sense, the object of the I-notion, is the expressed meaning of 'tvam'. Rejecting the adjuncts of the supreme (God) and the Jiva, viz.: Maya and avidya, the indicated sense of tat and tvam is Brahman, non-different from the inner Self.
III-4. 'Hearing' is investigation into the import o propositions like 'That Thou art' and 'I am Brahman'. Reflection is the exclusive dwelling on the content of what has been heard. Meditation is the fixing of the mind one-pointedly on the reality, made doubtless through investigation and reflection. Concentration, resembling a flame in a windless spot, is the thought (chitta) whose content is solely the object meditated, exclusive of the agent, and the act, of meditation.
III-5. Then (mind's) modifications referring to the Self, though shooting up, remain uncognised; they are only inferred from memory. By this (Samadhi) alone are dissolved Crores of deeds accumulated in the course of beginningless transmigratory existence. Through skilful practice, thence, then, flow, in a thousand ways, streams of nectar. Therefore, the best knowers of Yoga call (this) Concentration dharmamegha, cloud of virtues. When the meshes of latent impressions are entirely obliterated by virtue of it and the accumulation of deeds, good and evil, pulled up by their roots, the proposition (whose content was) earlier mediated on generates unimpeded and immediate realization (resembling, in its certitude) the gooseberry in the palm (of one's hand). Then one becomes liberated in life.
IV-3. Know the Self to be the rider in the chariot; the body verily to be the chariot; the intellect to be the charioteer and the mind to be the reins.
IV-4. The senses, the wise say, are the horses; the objects are what they range over; the hearts are the moving many-storeyed mansions.
IV-5. The great sages aver that the Self combined with sense-organs and mind is the experiencer. Therefore in the heart, immediately, is Narayana well-established.
IV-6. Upto (the exhaustion of) the operative deeds, the homeless liberated Self, behaves like the Slough of a snake, like the moon (in the sky).
IV-7. Shedding the body in a holy spot or (may be) in the home of an eater of dog's flesh, (the liberated one) attains Isolation.
IV-8. Afterwards, make an offering of his body to the cardinal points or bury (his body). Mendicancy is prescribed for the male, never for the other....
IV-12. When with the knowledge, 'I am That!' 'I am That' -- I, whose mind is pure essence, is pure Spirit, is long-suffering - wisdom is won, when the object of knowledge, the supreme Self, is established in the heart; when the body is dissolved in the state of achieved Peace, then one becomes destitute of the luminous mind and intellect.
IV-29. Whoso studies the Upanishad as a rule (every day) is purified by fire (as it were); by air; by the sun; by Vishnu; by Rudra. He has bathed in all sacred waters. He is versed in all the Vedas; has performed all the sacred rites taught by all the Vedas. He has ritually muttered Lacs of Itihasas and Puranas and one Lac times Rudra's (tantras). He has muttered a million times the sacred syllable, OM. He redeems ten generations of his line, past and future. He purifies the rows of diners of which he is a number. He becomes great. He is purged of the sins of Brahmin-slaughter, drink, stealth, adultery with (even a) teacher's spouse and of association with those who are guilty of these.
IV-30. That supreme Status of Vishnu spread out, like an eye, in the sky, the enlightened ones always behold.
IV-31. The wise, ever vigilant and diligent in praise richly glorify That supreme Status of Vishnu.
IV-32. OM-Truth - This is the secret teaching.
Om! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite.The infinite proceeds from the infinite.(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone. Om! Let there be Peace in me!Let there be Peace in my environment!Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me!
Here ends the Paingalopanishad belonging to the Sukla-Yajur-Veda. 
[Note: The date or author of Paingala Upanishad is unclear, but given its style and the texts it references, it is likely an early medieval era text because the 8th-century scholar Adi Shankara refers to it in his bhasya (review and commentary) on Brahma Sutras.[7][8]   (--Wikipedia) ]
Morning moves on.

Loon calls.

What will it be when “one becomes liberated in life”?

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

baptism of heart

And in India.
“God is not an object to be seen, He is the subject. He cannot be seen, He is the Seer, Find this Seer.” ~ Ramana Maharshi – excerpt from THIS, Prose and Poetry of Dancing Emptiness, Sri H.W.L. Poonja. 
Ramana instructed Papaji to re-focus his path and to locate this “seer.” Thus, Ramana pointed Papaji to what is called the direct path, known in India as Advaita (nonduality) Vedanta. Although Ramana never conferred his lineage on anyone, including Papaji, his repeated visits to Ramana’s Ashram in Tiruvannamalai imbued his future teachings with a certain implied credential many Westerners sought. 
In 1966, Papaji retired and settled in Lucknow, India, where he received visitors until his death in 1997. 
An afternoon association with Jayem in Indonesia, with Mooji in Jamaica, and Papaji in India.

So many ways to visit with those who wander close to home. 

epherema kissed


Is how

The dream


A Brooklyn


Some artist

Two muslims

Childhood cousins

The ephemera

kissed and

reference to Loyola

Sumie paper


Where were you


I created

this and

every single


within you?

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

summer slake

The small boy

In Rockport Harbor

Held water hose

By piling

Drinking from spray

and suddenly

August peeks around

calendar, hears crickets, sees

hillside blueberries 

Monday, July 31, 2017

a.m.d.g. (for the greater glory of god)

The Jesuits have a way of being annoyingly smart and morally active.

Ignatius saw to it.

We need to as well:
All of us ought to be haunted by the words of Nadine Yousif, a lawyer with CODE Legal Aid, a local Michigan organization that coordinated the response to the ICE raids. “Everyone thought this could not apply to us,” she said. 
Yousif’s comment calls to my mind Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous poem “First they came.” Perhaps each of us should rewrite Niemöller’s poem under the inspiration of Francis and Ignatius. 
Here’s my attempt — readers can certainly add to this incomplete list. 
First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out because I was not a Muslim. Then they came for the farmworkers, but I did not speak out because I was not a farmworker. Then they came for the African-Americans, but I did not speak out because I was not an African-American. Then they came for people with disabilities, but I did not speak out because I was not a person with a disability. Then they came for scientists, but I did not speak out because I was not a scientist. Then they came after lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and I did not speak out because I was not an LGBT person. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.                                    (--from St. Ignatius, guide us to speak up for others, by   |
Because of Ignatius I think of Dan Berrigan. Because of Dan I think of Dorothy Day:
There she is in 1922 in Chicago, following an abortion, a failed marriage, and two suicide attempts, “fling[ing] herself about” and in love with the pugilistic, alpha-male newspaperman Lionel Moise.  
And there she is in December 1932, on East 15th Street, with Peter Maurin knocking at her door: Maurin, the street philosopher who, Hennessy writes, “didn’t say hello or goodbye, and every time he arrived … began talking where he had left off.” He told Dorothy that he had been looking for her. 
And earlier:
Day was about people, especially poor people, especially those whom she called with some wryness “the undeserving poor,” and the paramount importance of serving them. For her, what the Church defines as Works of Mercy—feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, sheltering the homeless, and so on—were not pious injunctions or formulas for altruism but physical principles, as inevitable as the first law of thermodynamics. Pare her right down to her pith, strip away all her history and biography, and what do you get? A fierce set of cheekbones and a command to love. That’s the legacy of Dorothy Day, and it is endless.   
(--from, A Saint for Difficult People, From bohemian to radical to Catholic activist, Dorothy Day devoted her life to the poor, however unlovable. by James Parker, March 2017 Issue, The Atlantic) 

I met many Jesuits in graduate school. They made learning important.
What St. Francis and St. Dominic have done, that, by God's grace, I will do. (-- Saint Ignatius)
You’ve gotta love a man who references and attributes! 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

taking the turn, pointing toward home

When I arrived the nurses at their station told me there were four deaths since my being there seven days ago. Of the four, I’d spent time in the company of three. I was surprised how this news arrived at my awareness. Working, I’d forgotten to call the house manager to see if a volunteer was needed at the hospice house that evening. I’m glad I was there to hear.
Watching yourself 
After all, to know yourself is to watch your behaviour, your words, what you do in your everyday relationships, that is all. Begin with that and you will see how extraordinarily difficult it is to be aware, just to watch the manner of your behaviour, the words you use to your servant, to your boss, the attitude you have with regard to people, to ideas and to things. Just watch your thoughts, your motives in the mirror of relationship, and you will see that the moment you watch you want to correct; you say, “This is good, this is bad, I must do this and not that.” When you see yourself in the mirror of relationship, your approach is one of condemnation or justification; therefore you distort what you see. Whereas, if you simply observe in that mirror your attitude with regard to people, to ideas and to things, if you just see the fact without judgement, without condemnation or acceptance, then you will find that that very perception has its own action. That is the beginning of self-knowledge.
(--Jiddu Krisnamurti, The Collected Works vol VI p 307)
I watched.

I sat with the sole resident for a spell. I chatted with staff and support volunteer. I had a slice of lemon meringue with those gathered.

Of course it is a hospice residence.

People come to see to the end of their days.
Understanding Hospice
Hospice is not a place – it is a concept of care. The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of a patient’s last weeks, days and hours by offering the patient comfort and dignity. Many people associate hospice care with death, however it neither prolongs life nor hastens death. Hospice staff and volunteers provide a specialized knowledge of medical care that addresses all symptoms of a disease, with special emphasis on controlling pain and discomfort. Hospice care also deals with the emotional, social and spiritual impact of the disease on the patient and the patient’s family and friends.
And as a hospice volunteer, I come to be with those who’ve come to this turn in their lives.

Still, the loss we feel as those we’ve shared time and space with take the turn is notable.

I bow to the four empty rooms.

I make my way out into the salt air parking lot where, earlier, four wild turkeys scraped at the wood-chips and mulch adorning the garden plantings. We’d watched them. The dishes from our pie were rinsed and the cups cleaned and placed where they belong.

I slowly motor the curving road of Anchor Drive, turn right, then right again onto Route 1, and point toward home.