Friday, October 04, 2002

Thirty people filled the cabin for dedication. Many sang together. Then each. Kristen sang. SuSane sang. John sang. Saskia, Virginia, Sam, and John played instruments. Robert read poem. Susan blessed water for Buddhist blessing of place for practice. Cesco drank the blessing water. Transitus night was this combination -- as well as silence and hands on cabin walls leaving blessings by hands and hearts.

After Eucharist in Rockland, prison today, Andre's poem "Then He Came." A gift --
from the darkest of the skies came light,
a bright spark,
he caught the people's eyes,
and helped with their vision

(excerpt, poem by Andre W.)

Tonight's sitting and compline complete the lovely celebration of Francis.

This is our practice.
In silence and prayer to hold each in heart and light -- this is our promise.
In gratitude!

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Dedication of Chapel/Zendo Cabin
Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage
Oct 3, 2002

1. Welcome

2. Reading from Living Buddha, Living Christ

3. Songs & Music

4. Buddhist Blessing

5. Words of Gratitude

6. Songs & Music

7. Psalm Prayer

8. Hands & Hearts, Final Blessing of Touch

9. Refreshments

To study the way is to study self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between one’s self and others. (Zen Master Dogen)

All praise be yours, My Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather's moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
So useful, lowly, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.

(Saint Francis)

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Angels today. Therese yesterday. Francis of Assisi tomorrow evening, then the 4th, and all October.

You ask why I live in the mountain forest,
I smile, and am silent,
and even deep within remain quiet:
the peach trees blossom,
the water flows.

- Li T’ai-po (701-?)

The brook is a sleepy tumbling passage from one place to another. Francis went to the core. He faced the mirror. He stepped into the mirror. He is known as the mirror of Christ.

This path is worth stepping.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Finishing ladder steps to loft in chapel/zendo. Dedication on Thursday evening 3Oct., Transitus of Francis. Woodbox placed on porch. Windows cleaned. Loft arranged.

The iris pond has flowered
Before the old temple;
I sell tea this evening
By the water’s edge.
It is steeped in the cups
With the moon and stars;
Drink and wake forever
From your worldly sleep.

- Baisao (1675-1763)

The delight of a place to pray and sit zazen! Rough wood, candlelight, and woodstove. Grand simplicity of sacred space.

If the radical core of creation is at center, then as we open our mouth and heart, mind and intention to reach that place of presence we engage the open way of place itself.

The very place of prayer is where Christ emerges. The very place of silent sitting is where Buddha awakens.

Practice makes perfect sense. Prayer reaches no end. Awakening silence within practice and prayer -- it is time to begin again. I am still in my own dream. Now it is time for sleep.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

(--from poem “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke)

Two dogs get biscuits by bed. When will they chew?

Sunday, September 29, 2002

“Heartwood circle up,” the woman said on the sloping roof of Sr. Bette's yurt-in-progress. Tied by rope at waist to copula beam, we join the slow and meditative work of fashioning cedar shingle to round arc and jigged height Saturday afternoon at lighthouse road Stockton Springs.

Forty-some years I’ve lived in the mountains
Ignorant of the world’s rise and fall
Warmed at night by a stove full of pine needles
Satisfied at noon by a bowl of wild plants
Sitting on rocks watching clouds and empty thoughts
Patching my robe in sunlight practicing silence
Till someone asks why Bodhidharma came east
And I hang out my wash.

- Shih-wu (1252-1352)

The koan might easily be: Why does Christ come in human form?
And Saskia kneads dough in kitchen for bread.

It is feast of all angels. Notably: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel.
These four names of Archangels rise in translation like haiku poem for us:

Coming to be Conveyance, a Haiku of Angels
Who is like God? Strong
One of God. Blessing of God.
My light is like God.


These Angels come to earth because this is where Christ comes. Wherever else the benefit of Angels and Christ, earth is blessed.

The world’s rise and fall is again in the mouths and minds of those whose odd delusion is the planning of destruction, war, and remaking in their image.

Hidden in the center of the world is Christ. What is Christ? Christ is not the religious object of religious people. Christ is the radical core of creation. Jesus was a Jew, a man of his time. Christ is where Jesus found himself.

Angels permeate creation as questioning, strong, blessing, light. They are inspiration and intuition of creation and humanity. They, like God, like us -- long that light show through each and all with glowing warmth and clear sight.

Here is creation. Here is where we find ourselves. Here in creation. Here is Christ, the radical core of creation. Here is laundry swaying in breeze. Here is fragrance of bread becoming itself in oven.

Finding our way is the kindness light offers.
Practicing silence. Practicing creation itself.