Saturday, February 21, 2004

Note: Meetingbrook will re-open Tuesday, Feb. 24th.

It's nice to know there's nothing(ness) to worry about.

The news headline read -- "The universe has at least 30 billion years left."

It's also nice to know there's enough time to shingle the barn roof.

A detailed analysis of light from ancient exploding stars has yielded powerful support for the idea that recently discovered "dark energy" that pervades the universe might be what Einstein originally dubbed the "cosmological constant." If confirmed, the findings support theories that the cosmos will continue its slow expansion toward nothingness instead of violently ripping apart or collapsing, astronomers said.

The results were hailed as pivotal new data that will help answer the most pressing and profound questions about the universe, such as what makes up most of the void and what eventually will happen to it.

..."The simplest assumption is that the universe will become ever darker, and ever emptier, as the galaxies recede from us," Rees said. "And in the very far future, there will be nothing in evidence. Everything will have disappeared beyond the horizon."

(from "'Dark Energy' Backs Idea Einstein Junked," by Rob Stein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, February 21, 2004; Page A02)

In cabin this evening, glancing out over Sando's stretching body, through windows to old apple tree, Sally's land disappears into the horizon. Snow and sleet hit against north windows; an 'Open' banner creaks in wind at southwest corner of porch.

There are other things inviting our attention:
Proverbs 30

2 "I am the most ignorant of men;
I do not have a man's understanding.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?
Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and the name of his son?
Tell me if you know!

5 "Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

7 "Two things I ask of you, O LORD ;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

15 "The leech has two daughters.
'Give! Give!' they cry.

"There are three things that are never satisfied,
four that never say, 'Enough!':
16 the grave, the barren womb,
land, which is never satisfied with water,
and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'

18 "There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden.

29 "There are three things that are stately in their stride,
four that move with stately bearing:
30 a lion, mighty among beasts,
who retreats before nothing;
31 a strutting rooster, a he-goat,
and a king with his army around him.

32 "If you have played the fool and exalted yourself,
or if you have planned evil,
clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning the milk produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.

(New International Version (NIV) © Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society)

So much of this part of the universe cries out 'Give me, give me,' and, 'It's mine, it's mine,' and, 'It's not enough, it's not enough.'

With 30 billion years left, perhaps we'll forget the impertinence of small mean men -- the individual...
who retreats before nothing;
a strutting rooster, a he-goat,
and a king with his army around him.

Let's not retreat before nothing, let's stop strutting, and let's graze the pastures of kingless, armyless wisdom.

Nothingness, like Godliness, is next. Cleansed minds and refreshed hearts have no need of worry.

Gratefulness and nothingness are friends.

All is as it is.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Note: Meetingbrook will be closed for the remainder of the week. We will re-open Tuesday, Feb. 24th.

The rolling hills and snowy roadside drifts are lovely.

We travel the length of Maine this week doing the part-time work that actually contributes to making payments for rent, oil for shop, propane gas for house, wood for stove, and those nice people who really hate the thought of charging late payment fee at credit card companies.

Sages since time immemorial have only explained the problems of pollution. If one does not have all that false consciousness, emotional and intellectual opinionatedness, and conceptual habituation, one is clear as autumn water, pure and uncontrived, placid and uninhibited. Such people are called Wayfarers, or free people.
- Kuei-Shan (771-854)

On the road 1000 miles so far this week: six bottles of water; three salami sandwiches; one pizza; some Chinese food; three coffees; five cadbury fruit and chocolate bars; trudges through snow; walks on rural roads and sidetrip stroll on Canadian beach.

The dogs think we've moved into the car. A little small, they think, but ok. Time for another walk? -- cool!

Nomadic conversations.

Where is home?

Vagrant. Vagabond. Wayfarer.

Take this turn.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Note: Meetingbrook will be closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week. We're on the road doing other work.

"Phenomenology is a means of being led by the phenomenon through a way of access genuinely belonging to it." (Richard Palmer, in Hermaneutics: Interpretation Theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthy, Heidegger, and Gadamer, p.128, c.1962)

Each thing, each person, belongs to itself. When we allow that understanding to become a way of being-in-the-world, we participate in the liberation of each to dwell in their true home.

Comprehending the fundamental,
Embracing the spirit,
Roam the root of heaven and earth,
Wander beyond the dust and dirt,
Travel to work with noninvolvement.
Take care not to let mechanical
Intelligence burden your mind;
Watch what is not temporal
And remain unmoved by things.

- Lao tzu

What does 'unmoved by things' here mean?

If each thing is what it is, and there is no gap between ourselves and each thing, therefore when each thing moves we move, being what we are.

Each thing, each person, is not an object for us to move, or to be moved by. If each-is-each, when one moves -- all moves. I am not separate. "That is what 'I' means. 'I' means everyone." (Maezumi Roshi)

So when you practice shikantaza, just sit. This is the condition of openness. Then being totally open, you are nothing other than all space and time. Dogen Zenji says, "On this body, put the Buddha seal." The Buddha seal is this openness, where there is no conditioning, no division between yourself and the object, no division between yourself and your life. (from article "Appreciate Your Life," by Maezumi Roshi, in Shambhala Sun Magazine, May 2001)

Just like that -- morning comes. And we drive to Fort Kent, Presque Isle, Lincoln, and Millinocket.

No gap. Just miles.

Embracing spirit!