Monday, April 19, 2021

morning's at seven

Morning harbor.

Young girl with young puppy on leash walks with father along dew sparkling grass. Fishing boat, Brenda and Lee, slowly moves out channel to open bay beyond Indian Island at entrance to Rockport Harbor.

Boat lift at Rockport Marine swinging cradle slows and stops. Docks are in. Gangplanks set on Marine Park side of harbor head, flags at half-staff waver north to south. Sun holds everything in unclouded embrace. 

 In my view of the world, which is semi-Buddhist, semi-Hindu, the Creator and the Creature are one, and all beings whatsoever are the masks and plays and ploys of the central self, there is just this self, which plays itself through all forms, through all of us, endlessly.

(--in Four Ways to Center, by Alan Watts)

Browning's words in "Pippa's Song" draw attention to a state of being we've come look at skeptically. We want to protest his concluding lines: 

     Pippa’s Song 

THE year ’s at the spring,

And day ’s at the morn;

Morning ’s at seven;

The hill-side ’s dew-pearl'd;

The lark ’s on the wing;

The snail ’s on the thorn;

God ’s in His heaven—

All ’s right with the world! 

Robert Browning (1812-1889)

But why protest? Is it because we see corruption and dangerous points of view emerging? Maybe because just about every day a gunner slays civilians in supermarkets, workplaces, or eating joints? Perhaps because advertisements and propaganda and lies fill airways we thought were for different uses and purposes?

We say, and are confident in our saying, "Things aren't right."

Hard to argue that pronouncement.

But aren't things always both right and not right at the same time? 

Some claim if each of us is playing "itself" in the world, then each of us is determining what is there to be experienced, there to be seen, there to be lived through.

And yet, it is a shared world wherein we dwell.

It is not within the power of a single individual to engineer and set the causes and conditions for everyone else in its landscape. Hence, the difficulty of living in such a diverse uncontrollable ecosystem of mineral, insect, animal, and (so-called) rational animal on the planet. Not to mention Watts' creator, urges and demiurges, all sharing the walkways and trails of countryside.

One being cannot determine One-Being. 

But one person can look out and see the world as it is in itself.

As it is in itself is prior to the determinations made by preference, opinion, and judgment.

We long to know if that ground of being is right, and good, and just. As if such an understanding mind and heart would make it so.

But -- is it so? Right, and just, and good? Is it so in our sight as that which is at ground and that which is coming to be?

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,

(--from, Speech: “All the world’s a stage BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, (from As You Like It, spoken by Jaques) 

The part I play, the part you play -- has someone written it? Or are we part of an improvisation playing off one another creating scene after scene, opening and closing, an open-air theater for an audience on edge of seats ready to jump up and continue the endless scenario of creative discourse and intercourse and recourse to one another in playful, joyful, aesthetic.

Yes, that's it. The play of aesthetic interconnection. That's what we are.

But first -- we have to see it, hear it, feel it, long for it -- as we step on stage to become it.

And we are becoming, (i.e. attractively suitable).

As we become what we are to be.

saecula

 God knows what to

                                  do

With prayer, while I only

                                know

It is time I 

                                pray

Sunday, April 18, 2021

drop by drop in america

 Three more shot dead

                             This

Time Texas. Our daily dread

                              How

Long, oh lord, how long?

wiederbelebt plus zwei

 Red squirrel jumps from

                                 Green                                   

 feeder runs under over-

                                 turned

Skiff, yesterday’s 

                                  Sleet


Saturday, April 17, 2021

brackish

Watched Frontline’s PBS “American Insurrection” following reporting written and directed by Richard Rowley of Pro Publica.

The threat, he concludes, is not going away.

Chilling and thought-stilling.

sicut eratosthenes in principio

 For now, there is stone

tiredness of the so-called 

world, its, my, premise, 


Just a weariness —

The cant, the can’t, the Kantian

Ought that needs never

haiku liberation assertion

 Poet prefers change

(She doesn’t like seventeen)

Non-numerical 


Free expression, as

Mind would have itself floating

Through formulation

Friday, April 16, 2021

the writer said wisdom is not what you think

It knows difference.


And this awareness is all 


(the) difference. There's




no teaching wisdom 


as long as sameness is our 


cultural blindness.

wahrheitgeschehen, where truth becomes conspicuous

Let us become artists. 

Looking to truth, looking to itself.

Martin Heidegger’s (1889–1976) writings on art renew the romantic paradigm in the philosophy of art for the twentieth century. Despite all his criticism of the idealist tradition, Heidegger insists with Schelling on art as a Wahrheitsgeschehen, a truth-event, that is, an occasion when truth becomes conspicuous. Still, Heidegger differs from his romantic precursor in that he does not elevate art to that height where it becomes the only access to truth. Rather, he allows for some few alternative events in which truth reveals itself as well. Nevertheless, Heidegger agrees with Schelling insofar as both thinkers place art as an “organon of truth” above the propositional correctness of science and, hence, some versions of philosophy.

(—p.173, In The German Aesthetic Tradition, by Kai Hammermeister, 2002)

 If God is ‘itself’...

Truth reveals itself, 

As.

Well

such an odd way to live

 Oh those lies.

And the liars.

I used to hear lying was wrong.

These days liars are proud politicians and powerful believers in lies and lying.

Isn’t that sum-thin’?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

et lux perpétua lúceat eis.

 If God is sanity, there is reason to understand why so many of us are disturbed. 

Yet, it is via this very disturbance that we return to the shape of our lives, having recognized dissonance and divertissement from an underlying harmony and regularity.

Have you an ear for it?

The melodic classical chants in the night?

Cloister semblance.

That resonance from inner portico walking to and from the sober celebration of what is true, right, and just.

Each passage a pilgrimage to the interior.

Step by shuffling step along one’s solitude.

Turning at edge of garden.

We end as we began.

In silence.

Sane, and

Sufficient.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

take that insane delusion into silence

My money lives in a hollow in a tree half way up an abandoned trail on the other side of Bald Mountain in a rusted coffee tin alongside a st christopher medal where the child jesus is carried aloft enroute the remaining climb to summit where there is no money, no stocks, no checkbooks, no insurance, no overdraft, no dividends, and no payoff. 

Squirrels, I assume, have shredded the paper tender into nesting material for young offspring as they are taught the down-mountain route, the crossing of downhill road, arriving at hanging sunflower black oil seeds in front yard next to prayer flags and Peruvian brightly colored cross strung along thicket of downed cedar tree from old snowstorm.

I assist auditor reading numbers from spreadsheets with huge payrolls and big salaries, careful to be precise so as not to have to backtrack when bottom lines do not lineup. This exercise of trying to be helpful marks the irony of a seeming detachment and disregard for what might have been called when younger an attraction toward voluntary poverty. Why then do I not rejoice at the lines where individuals post 300, 500, 800 thousand dollars in gross wages alondside others posting 30, 40, 50 thousand in theirs?

One new year's eve day in early 1970's, walking with five colleagues from a child caring institution along a road in a county above new york city, talking about how one of the crowd had left the field to become a stock broker, I made what I thought was an obvious statement that "None of us will ever make more than $20,000 a year." Suddenly I was walking alone, everyone else having stopped in their tracks. One of them said, "Speak for yourself, Harry!" There was an intimation for me in the following silence that I was, in a very lonely sermon, indeed, only preaching an odd eclogue for myself.

Transfixed Francis of Assisi, impoverished Benedict Joseph Labre, and besotted Taneda Santoka -- all paupers, mendicants, wanderers -- were forebears. For them, prayer, poetry, and befuddled idiorhythmics were their temperment and fate. Outcast saints for the spes publica outcasts in our Divina Comedia communities of imagination.

An elderly friar I've know a long time once proclaimed, as if in ecstatic revelation, that "We are a monied economy and society." For him, this proclamation changed everything. I waited for him to say something else. He retreated into silence, stumbling through his insight for the next forty years.

Since central bankers can’t define money anymore, they now have one job: to convince you they still know what they’re doing, so you don’t panic, and so the financial aristocracy hangs onto the legacy system that underpins their ever-growing wealth and assets. Their remaining weaponry is a combination of insincere optimism and linguistic alchemy. As Ryan Gosling’s character in the Big Short says, “Wall Street loves to use confusing terms to make you think only they can do what they do. Or even better, for you to just leave them the f*ck alone.” This applies heavily to central bankers too. It disguises their many failures and shows they achieve stability by complexity. Those who have tried to expose the tomfoolery to the masses have had to endure a life of media solitude. Take Jeff Snider, an expert in the deep dark areas of finance. He tells us, quite simply, that most of what central bankers say does not reflect reality. Yet the mainstream press has no interest in publishing any of his work.

The longer they keep up this deception, then the more people will become aware, increasing the chance of a coordinated uprising. The problem is that it’s never happened before, ever. A nation of angry citizens reacts accordingly. Back in 1860, automotive pioneer Henry Ford said, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”Though it rhymes and does not repeat, history shows us a financial revolution remains a pipe dream.

(--in When the U.S. Dollar Collapses, the Majority Will Back the Elite’s New Currency, Not Crypto, in.ConcodaApril 2021)

Monks chant as bells toll in French cloister. What do they pray for? Perhaps they pray for what everyone, whether they pray or not, is longing to find, namely, a way through.

Through what? You name it. Just a way through. To what? You name it. Just whatever it is that provides sanity and safety and sincere encounter with what we desire most.

And what do we desire most?

I don't know -- and, so, cannot say.

But if I did know -- just to play this out -- if I did, by some extraordinary delusion of prescience, know -- Ha! -- I'd take that insane delusion into silence, and, apophatically aphasic, would not be able to, thus, could not, say.

 ...   ...   ...


 Haiku

         (per la mia famiglia

 

the begger 

                   hands out

what is uncertain, 

                   looking --

what is it 

                   we hold


            (wfh/14april21) 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

our tuesday evening conversation

                                                      Sabbaths III

 


As timely as a river


God's timeless life passes

Into this world. It passes

Through bodies, giving life,

And past them, giving death.

The secret fish leaps up

Into the light and is

Again darkened. The sun

Comes from the dark, it lights

The always passing river,

Shines on the great-branched tree,

And goes. Longing and dark,

We are completely filled

With breath of love, in us

Forever incomplete.

 



~ Wendell Berry ~

 

(Given)

what happens after death

Before 'I' dies
everything is me.

As 'I' dies
everything is you.

After 'I' dies
everything is not we --

everything is
as it is, itself

if you say it, it appears

Hermit walks 

                        alone

Everyday listening 

                        to this —

God is speaking 

                        void

Monday, April 12, 2021

from zafu to sink

Last night’s practice, 

                                  Tom

Called it kitchentaza, 

                                  wry

Dish wash dharma 

                                  tales

doris’ shikantaza

                 (a haiku after her Basho insight)


All things sit and 

                             gaze,

“What is this? What is this?” 

                             Seed

Emerges; 

                             Itself

if

                 (a haiku seeking new conditional)

If you are black, if

You drive, if stopped by police —

If fear and harm stare...

Sunday, April 11, 2021

haiku

           (pour petite fleur and jardinier)

lighting candle, now

fifty years 'life-together' --

this nuptial lointain

Saturday, April 10, 2021

imagine this

We think we remember. 

But what we have is assemblage of intimations of fluctuations of mental constructs that seep into physical images and feelings remembered by swirling atoms formed into corporeal neural firings projecting images on historical screen like morning wavering of sunlight and shadow through net yet blossomed tree.

What we remember is the remembering, not the thing itself. 

No one has ever seen God.

But we remember something about the passing gaze.

Unlike a painting, our minds are not fixed. It is like the image is wiped clean and a new one is created every moment. While the next image will often be very similar to the previous one, it is never exactly the same. It is constantly changing in subtle ways leading to an endless stream of karmic appearances. . . . Think of the places that appeared to you in childhood and the places that appear to you now. Think of the people you have met and the emotions or thoughts you have had. If we compare all these experiences, we can begin to get a sense of how powerful and creative our karma can be.

From The Realm of Shambhala: A Complete Vision for Humanity’s Perfection by Shar Khentrul Jamphel Lodrö (Khentrul Rinpoche) © 2021,Tricycle

This is how I remember my karma. 

Show mercy upon me, oh God, according to your kindness, and according to the multitude of your mercies, blot out my sins.  

Psalm 51:1, Aramaic Bible in Plain English

Images engraved on my retina blind me to what is passing before me.

Karmic newsreels of black and white grainy moving pictures watched from darkened isolation theater of saturday film remastery  — with popcorn and bubblegum on soles of sneakers.

From inner recollection the realization — we are always there; we were never there.

And the words:

And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” 

Jeremiah 31:34 ESV

Remember separation no more.

We are not condemned to live in what has been forgotten.

We are invited to dwell in what is being created, mind you, right here.

I look over to zazen bench. There is a gray beret on its seat, the kneeling pads inviting, promising to hold up whatever weight placed on them.

It is Easter Saturday.

Cat assesses through screen window the outdoors.

Who was it said: Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder; absence let’s the heart forget”?

Then there’s the poet:

“...whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh & exciting - over & over announcing your place in the family of things.”

― Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

The whole of the book of genesis, indeed, the whole of the stories of our historical and cultural experience can be seen as a surrounding of two words, maybe the only two words we’ve ever received from what we call God.

And those two words?

Imagine this!

Friday, April 09, 2021

sitting in the middle

 Like sitting for a year in the middle of COVID-19.

Shikantaza,” said Hakuun Yasutani Roshi, “is like sitting in the center of a clearing in the forest, knowing that ultimate danger is about to strike but not knowing what form it will take or from what direction it will come.” 

 (—in, Nothing to Fix, Nowhere to Go, BY 

Alert to what surrounds.

Knowing what is beyond knowing.


haiku

                        (hearing of Prince Philip’s death today at 99) 

Birds on mountain call,

Sun slides northeast each morning —

nothing in room moves

in for life

Where do I live?

Right here. 

 My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.   (-John Keats)

Where do you live? 

Dwell well where you are!

Thursday, April 08, 2021

and now talking to them

We're idiots.

We betray one another.

It's what we do.

And have done for a long, long time. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21ESV 

 Its an old problem in metaphysics: stasis and dynamisn, being and becoming, one and many.

We humans don't change, but we are always becoming something different. 

God, you might say, knows this. God shakes God's metaphoric head and says, "They'll never change."

Humanity, pissed at this lack of confidence in its ability to shape up, sets its jaw and stands firm.

God, still shaking head, says to Jesus, "Will you show them how to be in the world?"

Jesus nods his head. Goes and gets born. Wanders about. Arrives at cross. Dies. Shows up in a room of frightened disciples. Tells them, "There, that's done. Now God understands what it's like to be betrayer and betrayed in a confused existence of human folly and longing. And God, understanding this, feels pity, and reconciles with you."

"No way," they think, trying to feel grateful that all their dreams and fears collapse together in the presence of someone dead, entombed, and now talking to them.

They don't know Paul. 

Paul will have the last wording of this confusion. 

And we, idiots, nod our heads, pretending, then abandoning, hope that we understand.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

that, we are

The non-duality speaker at SAND gathering says one of his personal favorite aphorisms is "Seek and you shall not find." (Peter Russell, 2016) "The attitude of seeking is looking for something else." 

There isn't something else, anything else. There is only each thing, each being as they are. And as they are is consonant and resonant with what you are. Our underlying reality -- often masked by diversity, difference, and duality -- remains our underlying reality. The name of that reality is not clear. But it is there.

I find something in Isaiah that picks up in 8th century BC a variation of this theme:

You shall seek them and not find them—

Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.


For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
 

(--Isaiah 41:12-14, New King James Version)

Perhaps, here, the underlying reality is experienced as one holding our hand, saying we need not fear, help is at hand. 

Nor will we find something else, anything else, that contends, or wars against us. These things are "as nothing" -- "nonexistent."

And "the Lord your God" will help you not find. Will point you at nothing. Will present this non-self/one-self as not existing, not standing-out from that which is as it is throughout. 

It is a reading of Isaiah that requests our attention.

Isaiah saw this and spoke forth what he saw.

This easter time, that seeming mystery is looked upon as a man in 1st century Jerusalem who not only spoke what he saw, but was what he saw. 

And the sight of him was too much for the divided, the diverse, and the dualistic civil and religious authorities who, themselves, grappled with laws and power and the headaches of governance of land and peoples that contended and warred with each other -- as if there was someone else, something else to try to conquer, possess, and control.

And so it is today.

Except for those rare beings who see what is there to be seen below, above, and beyond the surface appearance of surface things.

Let us pray for this seeing. For this sight. For this revelation of that which is true ground of our being, thusness of our nature.

As the story of that 1st century man who walked the earth, was killed, and (somehow) walked the earth again for a spell, looms during this season, we read of that walk.

Are we that?

We are that.

That, we are.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

no passive pietist

 I read on America Magazine website that Hans Kung died today at 93:

 “No peace among the nations without peace among the religions. No peace among the religions without dialogue between the religions. No dialogue between the religions without investigation of the foundation of the religions” (Küng, Christianity: Essence, History, Future (1995).

His weighty books were a joy to read. 

His jaw was not glass.

snapshot

no comparison, no contrast

just the thing itself


as you are, as I am

in this very moment


you are here as I am there

the quiet space of stillness


on the mountain no one skis

on bed cover, OM, sleeping dog

the dust on the road cleanses the sparrows

Doris, beloved nonagenarian, sends this by a former student of hers:

...   ...   ...


  On the Road to Emmaus

     (from a sixteenth –century Flemish painting)


1.     The Painting

Over the disciples’ shoulders

Jesus listens,

eyebrows raised to his hairline, bemused and sad.

Behind them, arched gateways, insouciant pennants;

a pale blue harbor with miniscule ships,

ochre city, tumble of turrets.

A white-aproned woman in a farmhouse door

chats with a caller;

two men stride off on branching roads,

one trailed by a dawdling child.

 

 

2.     The Disciples

 

It was a long walk.

Only a few gulps of stale water

slosh around in their gourd. Their scalps itch.

Cranky, yawning, shuffling along,

they come upon a man robed in white 

and start to explain the entire fiasco:

the nail’s heft, the burglar groaning,

how gray He looked when they eased Him down.

How, on that third morning,

birds had darted

restlessly; how one disciple had pictured Jesus

hovering over all His flocks,

Pilate’s house halved

by a thunderbolt, centurions claiming

they’d only been following somebody’s orders.

Bobbing donkeys, squashed pomegranate-rind – 

Fifty yards from the tomb’s mouth:

“The boulder’s gone!”

They edged inside, eyes straining 

to adjust from the glare.

 

Black walls dribbled, clay oozed

through their toes. Peering

they saw ants ferrying chunks of fig.

A crumpled sheet; whiff of myrrh.

 

On the way to Emmaus the arguments started.

Each turned over and

over particulars.

“ I think we’ve been taken.”

“You know”, nodded the other, “I was never really sure.”

 

3.     Always on the Road

 

Why did the painter locate them here,

even including a hatpin-height steeple?

Unto the nth generation, he seems to say,

we’ll be complaining to the miracle’s face

that it is no miracle,

we’ll insist to life eternal, ”There is no such thing!”

But the tree he placed the disciples under

means more than the sum of its plain brown leaves.

The city’s gates swing wide for the asking,

the harbor beckons you to a new life.

That woman in the farmhouse door

loves the man she is speaking to;

her soul has opened to meet his.

The child is a blessing to all of them,

the dust on the road cleanses the sparrows.

 

(Poem by Elise Partridge, from Fielder’s Choice)

...   ...   ...

I find this:

                           

Landscape with Christ and his Disciples on the Road to Emmaus Painting

Monday, April 05, 2021

resurrection is...what is...seen

Русский: Спас Анастас (Христос воскресший). 2006. Холст, масло. 60×40. Художник А.Н. Миронов

English: Christ is risen. 2006. Canvas, oil. 60 x 40. Artist A.N. Mironov


...   ...   ...


Easter Monday

                                          (a haiku for all my familiars)


To look, to see, this

no barrier, no divide -- 

mere intimacy


                                       (wfh/5april2021)

being, identified, with wisdom itself

There’s a madness of power. It shows itself in greed, delusion, and anger. This leans to insanity.

There’s a madness of love. It shows itself in service, acts of kindness, and compassion. This leans to being a fool for Christ, a divine madness.

 “True Lovers of Christ”

The third shared meaning by which madness can be characterized is serving the people. This communicates a sense of ministry, of reaching beyond the boundaries of one’s own concerns and preoccupations, of seeing and sensing beyond one’s personal world. The power of loving madness cannot be bound by the limits of the self. It seeks to make a difference in the lives of others and desires to respond to their needs. What is that difference? What is that response?

Saint Teresa of Avila recognizes that this madness is truly wisdom; its works reflect the presence and activity of God. In The Book of Her Life she notes,

“How wise they will be, they who rejoiced to be considered mad because that is what Wisdom Itself was called! How few mad people there are now.... Truly it seems that there are no more of those who people considered mad for doing the heroic deeds of true lovers of Christ.” (27:14)

There is a joy and a sadness in this text. The joy is reflected in the statement that this loving madness is truly wisdom and a source of rejoicing for those willing to be known as mad for the sake of being identified with Wisdom itself. The sadness lies in the observation that such willingness—expressed through “doing the heroic deeds of true lovers”—is becoming ever more rare. There are so few mad people now, yet the deeds remain to be done. And those deeds are nothing less than whatever services will continue the mission of Jesus. 

(—from How Few Mad People There Are Now”: Thoughts of Teresa and Catherine, by Joel Giallanza, CSC)

What is God but the reality of everyday living with an eye toward unveiling the underlying intimacy of being-with one another in the realization of our true nature, the true condition of being at one another’s service?

It is mindfully dwelling within the question, ”how can I help?”

The resurrection is this, freshly realized, intimacy of arrival where we dwell immersed.

            Embodying the dwelling place of the Alone;

             Stepping aside to make room for Another.

It is Easter Monday.