Friday, July 18, 2003

Charlie and Joe sit with Cheryl and I in education room in prison.

"Look around, see what is about you as you move to what is in your sights -- this is how we keep balance," says Joe.

In a pellucid ocean,
Bubbles arise and dissolve again.
Just so, thoughts are no different
From ultimate reality,
So don’t find fault; remain at ease.
Whatever arises, whatever occurs,
Don’t grasp-release it on the spot.
Appearances, sounds, and objects
Are one’s own mind;
There’s nothing except mind.

- Niguma

Charlie was called to the hospital.
Soon we'd have to leave early due to administrative special circumstances in the close (maximum) security unit.

Joe said, "What you are seeing -- it's all about balance."
It occurs he might be saying:
"What you are,
seeing --
it's all about,

Cheryl says, "If we read someone else with grace, and let others read us with grace, we allow graciousness to dwell in our midst."

This is what we want -- patience. (L. patior = to suffer, permit, or allow.)
To listen is to suffer what is heard.

We're in prison. We listen to each other. Suffering is shared. Patience is practiced.

Joe says that when he is leaving someone he says, "Keep in touch with yourself."

If we are what we wish to learn, then there is no teaching, only presence learning from itself.

Last night Joanie calls from hospital, she'd fallen, breaking her leg. We visit after leaving razor-wire fence. She's in surgery.

We pray for her, and for Eleanor and Douglas, and all suffering the conversation with age and frailty.

One breath at a time -- we touch one another -- with presence.

Remain at ease

Thursday, July 17, 2003


Not knowing.

Buddhists are asked to have great faith, great doubt, and great effort.

When I went to meditate in mountain-range solitude,
I briefly encountered realization of mind itself.
When I practiced without distraction,
A continual understanding arose.
Now it doesn’t depend on a state of mind.
I’m content with resolution in a birthless state.
I wander in mountain-range solitude,
Or else perform seated retreat in a cave.
Or in the midst of an assembly;
This current continues without interruption.

- Godrakpa (1170-1249)

Walking into the barn last night Cisco stops, listening. I stop, listening. To the left of the door leading from barn to mud room the white and black of a skunk.

We exit. Leave the skunk be. Enter house from dooryard. No stink, no fuss, turn around, go another way. Good we were silent.

What do we know? We have stories we tell about ideas or experience. Some stories we believe. Some we reject. Sometimes we follow stories down the road. Sometimes we find ourselves in a beautiful clearing. Sometimes we fall into a ditch.

Cheryl talked about intention, then eurhythmic "ah" from a Steiner workshop she attended. Sylvia read from a book about dreams -- how they are a place we go for learning. David said, "No judgments." Saskia spoke of sailing, of not trying to impose your will on the wind and water.

We are asked to be attentively and alertly aware of what is passing through us. Allowing passage, constructing no barrier to what is passing through.

Cheryl's brother Kirk sent this poem:


It is as simple as this
If I wake in the morning
I get up
If I die before the dawn
I don't
Everything else
is story.

(--Kirk, c.2003)

Nature, that which is of itself so (tzu-jan), follows its course spontaneously.

Two stories pass through today:
1. War is a loud lie enacted for all to hear and see.
2. Truth, that which is just like this, quietly finds its own way out into clear light.

In this truth there is great faith. In the lie of war there is great doubt. In natural innocence revealing itself through our lives, there is great effort to simply allow artificial barriers dissolve and genuine sacred openness flow through.

Water seeking lowest place. Water source of life. Of itself flowing through.


Monday, July 14, 2003

Full moon over cabin.

Earlier, smell of skunk through kitchen window.

God, embodied in the world, drives away in Subaru wagon and BMW motorcycle from Sunday practice.

Earlier, Sue and Peg returned to dock and took off in their Ford 250 turbo-diesal.

We must replace those who unworthily distort truth. The living and the dead deserve a truth-telling for which to live and to die.

The universe is very, very large.

Earlier, we thought everything passes away.

Truth, as it is, allows passage through.

Moving through what is true we embody what is found there.

Our prayer is for all to travel well through each.

Prayer embodies each passing through all.

We are to travel light.

Spare us!