Saturday, April 20, 2002

Hawk? Or eagle overhead? The silent walking meditation Lauras itself along Ragged Mountain on Saturday morning.

An enfolding meditation on our retreat day:
1. Zen is looking; Zen is listening.
2. Inviting insight, allowing what is there to reveal itself, as it is.
3. Prayer is gratefulness, trusting what is there to reveal the presence of God. For where is God not?
4. Jumping in, engaging what is there, acting & moving, a transformation which affirms, empties, resurrects, and ascends.
5. At origin, still -- listening, looking, the practice of no barriers.

Brook carries itself before our eyes.

By becoming a human being Christ annihilated the dichotomy between matter and spirit. In the Person of the Divine-human Being, a continuum between the divine and the human has bees established. Thus, God's plan is not only to spiritualize the material universe, but to make matter itself divine. This he has already done in the glorified humanity of his Son. The grace bestowed on us by the Ascension of Jesus is the divinisation of our humanity. (Thomas Keating, in The Mystery of Christ, p.86.)

Sando lay in the brook looking at us, lapping water, and epitomizing the emerging and engaging convergence of our lives. Susan sings a song. We bow to the betweening embodiment, and return to the hermitage for lunch.

The grace of the Ascension enables us to perceive the irresistible power of the Spirit transforming everything into Christ despite any and all appearances to the contrary. (p.87)

The bird overhead, I think, was a hawk. Watching us as we step our prayer mindfully.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Jo is bald like a Zen nun. Head shaved clean as a whistle. So is David's -- but he hasn't just come home from a second bone marrow transplant. On back stoop in the cool of evening Jo asks what is my dream. I tell her to be the monastic I am.

To seek and long for God alone. And since nothing is really separate from God -- to seek and long for each other in our awakening into the realization of God. So many are alone, even alienated, unaware of their true relatedness, their true home. To invite -- quietly, kindly, and compassionately -- oneself and each into their own very nature, this is the practice of contemplation, Zen, and engaged service. To invite Christ, God, Bodhisattvas, holy men and women -- each into the wordless silence of love's simplicity, stillness, and sanctuary.

Empty and desireless,
Cold and thin, simple and genuine,
This is how to strike down
And fold up the remaining habits
Of many lives.
When the stains from old habits
Are exhausted,
The original light appears,
Blazing through your skull,
Not admitting other matters.
Vast and spacious,
Like sky and water merging
During autumn,
Like snow and moon
Having the same color,
This field is without boundary,
Beyond direction,
Magnificently one entity
Without edge or seam.

- Hongzhi (1091-1157)(dailyzen)

It was 94 degrees at 1:33pm in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. Now, Jo calls down to say "ice cream" -- and in that calling all is for the moment just as it should be.

Someday, David says, illness and disability will be no more. Will that eventuality be a conclusion of courage or a cause for reassessing all valuing?

"To ice cream," says David, going up stairs with his Welsh laughter.