Saturday, January 27, 2007

Who's insane?

Protesters arrive in Washington. It is a noble effort to honestly believe there's a discourse capable of happening. I rather think there is lack of honest discourse.

Too many of us prefer the template of one opinion rather than that of one mind.

When most people hear
That the Buddhas transmit the
Teaching of the One Mind,
They suppose that there
Is something to be attained
Or realized apart from mind,
And they use mind to seek the teaching,
Not realizing that mind and
The object of their search are one.
Mind can’t be used to seek mind;
If it is, even after millions of eons
Have gone by, the search will still not be over.

- Huang-Po

Does "One Mind" suggest we see in all directions? Is there only one mind? Do we indeed already dwell within such a reality -- but do not recognize that reality?

We need a new way of thinking. If there is such a recognition of (what some call) holistic thinking, it would entail seeing all aspects at once. If such a capability belongs to us, there would need to occur a corresponding conversation about what is seen and where what is seen might be pointing us.

In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings. His most apparent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January. (Wikipedia)

We might come to see: War breeds war; Peace breeds peace; Hatred, hatred; Revenge, revenge; Wanting breeds want; Wishing breeds wishes. What we seem to currently lack is appreciative recognition of the value of looking in two (or more) directions at once -- a curiosity yielding a diverse yet singular vision.
Skunk Hour

(For Elizabeth Bishop)

Nautilus Island's hermit
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son's a bishop. Her farmer
is first selectman in our village;
she's in her dotage.

Thirsting for
the hierarchic privacy
of Queen Victoria's century,
she buys up all
the eyesores facing her shore,
and lets them fall.

The season's ill--
we've lost our summer millionaire,
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl
was auctioned off to lobstermen.
A red fox stain covers Blue Hill.

And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall;
his fishnet's filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler's bench and awl;
there is no money in his work,
he'd rather marry.

One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill's skull;
I watched for love-cars. Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town. . . .
My mind's not right.

A car radio bleats,
"Love, O careless Love. . . ." I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat. . . .
I myself am hell;
nobody's here --

only skunks, that search
in the moonlight for a bite to eat.
They march on their soles up Main Street:
white stripes, moonstruck eyes' red fire
under the chalk-dry and spar spire
of the Trinitarian Church.

I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air--
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail.
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.

(Poem by Robert Lowell, 1959)
Our mind's not right. We ourselves are hell. Nobody's here.

Declaring "I'm the decision maker," President Bush yesterday challenged congressional efforts to formally condemn his Iraq plan, while Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned that a proposed Senate resolution criticizing the deployment of additional troops would embolden the enemy.
"Any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. "I'm sure that that's not the intent behind the resolutions, but I think it may be the effect."

(from article "Bush Defies Lawmakers To Solve Iraq," Gates Says Doubts Bolster Enemy
By Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writers, Saturday, January 27, 2007; Page A01)

Navigating the streets and waters -- between Americans opposing the rhetoric, decisions, and actions of the Bush administration and Americans forwarding the strategy of surge, occupation, and indeterminate continuation of war -- is a navigation filled with warning scent of skunk and rotting bodies of fallen fellow beings. (This is, of course, rhetorical olfaction metaphor, but the unpleasant smell curls upper lip.)

A pervasive sense of insanity looms over everything said these days. I feel like a deranged orderly in day-room of psychiatric facility. Nothing I hear makes sense -- not from patients, nor from medical staff. The worse are those trained in labyrinthine diagnostic and statistical codification which, for them, neatly precludes any authentic communication, instead using substitute artificial clinical babel. Perhaps the first sign of insanity is the recognition you are among the insane. Hello, my name is Bill!

It is the feast day of St Angela Merici (1470 - 1540)
She was born in Desenziano, in Lombardy, in about 1470. She became a Franciscan tertiary and set up a school to instruct girls in Christanity and good works. In 1535 she founded the Ursulines, an order of nuns devoted to giving a Christian education to girls from poor families. She died in 1540. (Universalis)

Angela Merici is known now as the foundress of the Ursuline nuns - and so she was, but despite her own inclinations. In reality she was in advance of her own times. Her plan of religious women without distinctive habit, without solemn vows and enclosure, was directly contrary to prevailing notions at her period, and under the influence of St. Charles Borromeo at Milan and subsequent papal legislation (under St. Pius V) the Ursulines were obliged to adopt the canonical safeguards then required of all nuns.
Angela Merici died in Brescia on January 27th, 1540.
(Courtesy of Catholic Information Network, CIN)

There are no longer any canonical safeguards. Nor are there any places to hide. All work now must be transparent and in the open. The Ursulines are in ordinary clothes. The Bush Administration is found to wear no clothes. The rest of us no longer know what we cloak and what we reveal. We look both ways before crossing and before opening our mouths. And when we open our mouths no sound comes out. We find we have nothing of note to say and no way to say it. People look at us -- mouths open -- and they laugh. That's what we do best -- laugh at one another. Sometimes the laughter sounds like screams of anguish; sometimes it looks like derision and mockery. Every once in a while the laughter is simple laughter -- over the absurdity and humor of our situations. A tinge of sorrow. A resignation. Leaving fools. Disappearance is a magician's deceptive switch -- taking up a different footing where he never left.

I protest.

Too much.

To model yourself after the way of the Buddhas is to model yourself after yourself. To model yourself after yourself is to forget yourself.
To forget yourself is to be authenticated by all things. To be authenticated by all things is to effect the molting of body-mind, both yours and others'. The distinguishing marks of enlightenment dissolve and [the molting of body-mind] causes the dissolving distinguishing marks of enlightenment to emerge continuously.
At first, when you seek the truth, you have distanced yourself from its domain. Finally, when the truth is correctly transmitted to you, you are immediately the primordial person.

(-- Dogen's statement on the self, from the Shobogenzo, from Chapter 7, Zen Action/Zen Person, Book by T. P. Kasulis; University of Hawaii Press, 1981)
Once you realize.

You are insane.

You are not.

Now that I am insane, I realize once I wasn't.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Brook is hard frozen.

A bodhisattva is an ordinary person who takes up a course in his or her life that moves in the direction of Buddha. You're a bodhisattva. I'm a bodhisattva; actually, anyone who directs their attention, their life, to practicing the way of life of a Buddha is a bodhisattva.
--Kosho Uchiyama, in Opening the Hand of Thought

Wood stove has moved from barn to shop.

True study of the Way
Does not rely on
Knowledge and genius
Or cleverness and brilliance.
It is an easy thing,
Just cultivate a
Keen and sincere desire
To seek the Way.

- Dogen (1200-1253)

If you know someone needing prayer, do not hesitate.

One may say of the epistemological assumption of "Thirteen Ways" what Nehamas says of Nietzsche's thought, that it is not skeptical since it "does not deny the reality of things"; it does not "doubt that the world exists." It doubts only "that the existence of the world requires the existence of a description that is true of it from every possible point of view, a description that would depict it in itself as it really is" (83-84). It is not the existence of the world of "Thirteen Ways" that is at issue, only the possibility of a definitive description of it that does not originate in the sensibility of the perceiver. And aphorism in early Stevens, as in Nietzsche, is a way of depicting the resulting multiplicity of senses without discrediting or trivializing any particular depiction.
Excerpted from a longer analysis in Early Stevens: The Nietzschean Intertext. Copyright 1992 by Duke UP. On "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" comments on Wallace Stevens poem, Modern American Poetry,

Cat stares between two bookcases. Battle-worn mouse finds respite.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I like Basho's words: “Nothing is worthy of writing down unless it is seen with fresh eyes.” (Basho, 1644–1694)

Not more, not less; but "un-less." Basho has given us "MU" in a word understandable. We are not less than the gods, nor are we less than any comparative predicative, whether subject or object. We are unless.

Lao-tze said to cultivate
Tranquility and detachment.
To be natural means not to force things.
When you act natural, you get what you need,
But to know what is natural,
You have to cultivate tranquility.

- Master Hsieh

"Nothing" is worth writing down. When it is written down, seen with fresh eyes, it is un-less, that particular mystery of being wherein what is taking place is doing so through our seeing and hearing, a seeing and hearing opened out to let pass through the source of all being made manifest in this small pericope of time, this elegant isomorphic place of our being-with one-another.
At the fishmongers
a salt-cured bream
with frozen-looking lips.
Autumn deepening
my neighbor
what does he do?
This inn
where prostitutes sleep too—
bush clover and the moon.
What poetry teaches—all poetry, not only those poems that come from Buddhist traditions—is the interconnection and inseparability of being. Intimacy and connection-made-by-words are poetry’s skeletal structure, its lungs, muscle, and nerves. Basho’s poems show this intimate perception of co-arising with a few deft strokes—there is no time in a haiku to spell out the nature of relationship, yet always relationship is present. On his deathbed, the poet wonders about his neighbor with still-living sympathy; in a fish store, he perceives the fish’s body as keenly and sensually as if it were his own—first the salt curls the reader’s lips, then the cold. In a life, as in an inn, one co-resides equally with every kind of person. Whether perceived with good-natured humor or a heart almost worn out past sorrow, “not one, not two” is the core flavor of Basho’s haiku, the dynamic of its insight and its transmission. In one teaching dialogue, Basho instructed, “The problem with most poems is that they are either subjective or objective.” “Don’t you mean too subjective or objective?” his student asked; the teacher clarified, simply, “No.”
(--from POETRY AS PATH: In the Spirit of Basho; Basho As Teacher, by Jane Hirshfield, who finds that only by losing oneself can one discover one’s true destination. In Tricycle, Spring 2002)

Unless is dwelling place of poetry. It is there the unseen act and unheard kindness inscribe night house with tender present. A woman with cold feet and cold hands finishes counting numbers and comes to bed after covering old dog with cloth asleep in front of cold fireplace.

“The invincible power of poetry has reduced me to the condition of a tattered beggar,” Basho wrote. A man of fragile health, prone to depression, Basho meant this statement literally. One haiku expresses gratitude for the gift of a pair of new straw sandals, with straps the color of blue iris, as he sets forth once more on a journey, and he noted that he was quite safe from robbers, as he carried with him nothing of value to anyone. Yet the statement speaks to his life also at another level: how the poet’s existence is a necessary opening to dependence, as well as to interdependence. “A disciple of the Buddha does not take what is not given,” says one of the ten prohibitory precepts. Basho’s haiku are the record of what the world placed in the open begging bowl of his perceptions. Had the poet’s mind been filled with an idea of self, an idea of world, there would have been no room for what he saw to find new life in his words.

We dwell in the same place as the source of all life seen with fresh eyes. It is no mystery that no one has ever seen God. God is that which is seeing through our eyes. There is nothing there to see -- only that which is being seen.

Nor do we listen to God -- (the crazed assertion of madmen and prophets.) We listen to what God is listening to -- (the crazed attention of mystics and scamps.)

We go about idly, looking and listening, as we are, as God is.

This is the very gift of very being -- the poem of still and silent presence.

It is seen with fresh eyes.




Wednesday, January 24, 2007

If "here" is all there is, maybe there is no "there" there.

Some words (Creeley's?) hung on bookshop wall a while back, "Would dying be here? Never go anywhere you can't live." (My Robert Creeley books will disclose this someday.)

Perceive freshly as you enter
The world of continual emergence.
That rock-bottomed essence of your mind,
Is always still, but ever-emerging;
Always there, as if waiting to be noticed.

- Ji Aoi Isshi

At Lauds this morning a reminder that beneath words dwells that which words try to reveal.
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I shall return. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord! we take happiness from God’s hand, must we not take sorrow too? (--Job 1:21 - 2:10)

Sun comes through cedar as snow nestles in crook facing north. Something has returned to hermitage. It might have my name on it. Several say welcome back. The giving and the taking away are to receive profound bow.

In a sense signification is to perception what the symbol is to the object symbolized. The symbol marks the inadequateness of what is given in consciousness with regard to the being it symbolizes. (Emmanuel Levinas, "Ethics and the Face," in Totality and Infinity)

Last night in the film "Cinema Paradiso" the character Toto returns to his hometown for the burial of his friend, the tearing down of old building, a recollection of lost youthful love and kindly mother who knew him well in his absence. We come to end with a recherche of what is left out of our lives for reasons that no longer matter.

The rivers will clap their hands,
and the mountains will exult at the presence of the Lord,

(--from Psalm 98)

Why anything happens is no longer interesting. That it happens is interesting.

If anything else is to be revealed, let it. If not, no matter.

Good health is simply the slowest way
a human being can die...

(--author unknown, from A Buddhist Guide to Death and Dying)

We prayed this morning for all once visible and connected to meetingbrook. We pray for all remaining visible for the time being, whether connected or not to meetingbrook. (Here is where no one is not connected.)
Let it go,
and your life of a hundred years

Open your hands.

Walk around.


The swarm of words,
and little stories
are just to loosen you
from where you are stuck.

If you want to know
the one in the hermitage
who never dies,

you can’t avoid this skin-bag
right here.
(--from "Caoan-ko, Soanka: A Song About My Grass-Thatch Hut, by Shitou Xiqien (700-790); in All a Mistake: Poems of Soto Zen Masters, translated by Yasuda Joshu roshi and Anzan Hoshin roshi)

Here we are!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Let's go to God. (Dropping apostrophe 's): Let go to God.


I know a man who is mostly negative about everything. He might be right about his opinions. I know a woman who is mostly positive about everything. She might be right about her opinions.

Everything means everything. Nothing left out.

I feel, like all modern Americans, no consciousness of sin and simply do not believe in it. All I know is that if God loves me only half as much as my mother does, he will not send me to Hell. That is a final fact of my inner consciousness, and for no religion could I deny its truth.
~ Lin Yutang

To let go is to pass through. (Granted, there are too many words about what is called 'God' -- still, one or two more might not break the camel's backing through the eye's needling view.)

'God' is that which is let go. If we let go of 'God', is God all that remains? Is the quote so many use really, "Let go and let God go"? It is a chilling prospect to us. The quote usually suggests that if we let go (drop our feeble efforts to control) then we let God (take control). But if we look again, might not the quote be suggesting that if we let go (of control) so too God is let go (of control). What then?
In simple terms, what does karma mean? It means that whatever we do, with our body, speech, or mind, will have a corresponding result. Each action, even the smallest, is pregnant with its consequences. It is said by the masters that even a little poison can cause death, and even a tiny seed can become a huge tree. And as Buddha said: "Do not overlook negative actions merely because they are small; however small a spark may be, it can burn down a haystack as big as a mountain." Similarly he said: "Do not overlook tiny good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel." Karma does not decay like external things, or ever become inoperative. It cannot be destroyed by time, fire, or water. Its power will never disappear, until it is ripened.
--Sogyal Rinpoche, in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Faith in God is faith in God without apostrophe. Not God's control, nor God's punishment, not even God's love. These 'possessives' or 'possessions' of things or actions are not 'God's' as if separate from 'ours.'. God is God. Buddhists will not even allow 'self' to be spoken about as other than 'Buddha' or 'the Absolute.' One and one and one is not three. One is one. Another one is another one. Still another one is still another one.

Life and being are in themselves exactly what they are. Life is life. Being is being. God is god. Self is self. These are not four things.

And you are you. Not five.

Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset is well known for writing: "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" -- (I am I plus my circumstances).
In his "Ensayo de estetica a manera de prologo," Ortega asserts that nothing can be an object for consciousness -- present to the "I" --, unless it is changed into an image, concept, or an idea. Every object or action possesses an "I," claims Ortega, by the mere fact that it exists: "Todo, mirado desde dentro de simismo, es yo."
(--"Ortega y Gasset and the "Critics of Consciousness," David K. Herzberger, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Summer, 1976), pp. 455-460
The existence of God and the existence of "I" dwell in the same light. Let's allow light. To show itself.
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
–Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heals our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives. It is our connection to God and to each other.
–Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

This connection allows us to let go of everything outside. "Nexus" is the center of something. "Co-" is with. Thus, to "center with" is to be oneself with what is surrounding.

"The heavy air surrounds us as we walk out in the glistening snow." That's what Richard says from the bench in front of the fire. Michael eats a cookie. Dan has gone. So has Myles. Robin was in. Karl's gone home.

"Apostrophes are NOT used for possessive pronouns or for noun plurals, including acronyms." (Purdue Writing Lab Online)

Michael disagrees. Saskia arrives. Another Michael arrives.

Time for light to place attention on this circle. Time for Zen Gifts.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Crying out in anguish, deer in road is at its death. Nightfall between Hampden and Bangor.

When the moon

Of your mind becomes
Clouded over with confusion,
You are searching
Around for the light outside.
- Hozoin Gakuzengo Inye

If someone wishes to live in a monastery as they live in the world, it is best to mindfully bow when bowing, mindfully walk when walking, and mindfully clean cat's litter box when doing so. That, and an attitude of openness to the wonder of profound consternation surrounding the presence/absence of God in the midst of this existence.

Silence would help. But silence is rare. Living among real examples of authentic engaged spirituality in everyday experience would help. But awareness of these treasures among us is often dim and evanescent.

Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour

Light the first light of evening
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one...
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

(--Poem by Wallace Stevens)

Being a monk in the world means mindfully cooking sauerkraut in kitchen as dog eats from bowl on front room rug. It means holding everything in prayer while at same time feeling agnostic whether prayer is possible in this world of mayhem and distress. Or why believers in God imagine their God is invisible and in complete control of everything.

Nevertheless, the light outside leaps from millions of stars in black sky. (That was last night. Tonight, snow in eyes.) I do not, nor can not, turn on stars or snowflakes. What I can do is look up and see them. At the same time -- smelling smoke from kitchen chimney wood fire. As well, brief sorrow for deer by now off road and gone to God. Here, the good dog, after eating, lies with nose near zafu. Classical music from kitchen.

What I love about being here is the surprise of joy and sorrow.

A rendezvous within light. A wandering off in dark. Being called to kitchen eucharist.

The fact of it.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Standing at barn door with Cesco, before gathering firewood cut last night for kitchen stove, sun rises from behind oak tree, orange clear through brush branches on Sally's land.

is walking to or away awareness. It is sitting with each activity, as it is, passing.

Cesco gets up, stiffly. Mu-ge had stretched and hit his nose. Cesco barks once. Cat runs from room. Dog limps out of room. I see this from where I sit on sofa in front room. My dream before coming down to meditation room was about something and someone in the past. But if the dream was at 4am this cold night, it must be now. Therefore I dream of something now that is complete, though not yet satisfactory. This is the nature of suffering -- the not yet satisfactory. If I attach to it and churn in its unresolved state, I perpetuate discomfort. If I look at it and see it as what it is -- unresolved and not satisfactory -- it is merely what it is.

And me? I am in the churning. I am making my way through this mental and emotional dissatisfaction as a small boat makes its way through choppy seas. One cannot control the tempest of the sea -- one can merely pass through the churning waters by steady and alert attention, bailing what has filled the bilge, and telling tale about the event that needs telling once calmer waters return. The hardest part of any turmoil is not telling tales that need not be told but nevertheless itch to be scratched. It is where art wrestles with loquacity, where poetry is confronted by reticence, where paucity walks off with taciturnity as light fades to credits. It is the three characters looking out from chairs side by side at end of film The Station Agent where they sit to this day in final frames of story.

For penetrating to the depths
Of one’s own true self-nature,
And for attaining a vitality
Valid on all occasions,
Nothing can surpass
Meditation in the midst of activity.

- Hakuin (1686-1769)

This is what I am right now. Cat, nose, breath, bark, exit, return, exit, absence, fullness, silence. The absolute nearness of emptiness within each coming and going.
Mr. Cogito and the Imagination

Mr. Cogito never trusted
tricks of the imagination

the piano at the top of the Alps
played false concerts for him

he didn't appreciate labyrinths
the Sphinx filled him with loathing

he lived in a house with no basement
without mirrors of dialectics

jungles of tangled images
were not his home

he would rarely soar
on the wings of metaphor
and then he fell like Icarus
into the embrace of the Great Mother

he adored tautologies
idem per idem

that a bird is a bird
slavery means slavery
a knife is a knife
death remains death

he loved
the flat horizon
a straight line
the gravity of the earth

(Poem by Zbigniew Herbert)
Zazen isn't difficult -- only sometimes impossible, that is, not capable of being accomplished. But it is also gently passible, that is, capable of feeling or suffering; sensitive. The two words -- "impossible" and "passible" -- encircle zazen. Then, like water finding opening for its passage, these words swirl within and continue on and through practitioner.

Let Him See Each Presently Arisen State
Let not a person revive the past or on the future build his hopes; for the past has been left behind and the future has not been reached. Instead with insight let him see each presently arisen state; let him know that and be sure of it, invincibly, unshakeably. Today the effort must be made; tomorrow Death may come, who knows? No bargain with Mortality can keep him and his hordes away. But one who dwells thus ardently, relentlessly, by day, by night--it is he, the Peaceful Sage has said, who has one fortunate attachment.
--Lomasakangiyabhaddekaratta Sutta, in The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, trans. by Bhikkhu Bodhi; from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

I am going to die. Right now I continue to breathe. Who knows what happens after death. Right now I am trying to be alert to what is happening right now.

In a dharma talk entitled "The Happiness of Non-Clinging," Tejadhammo Bikkhu writes:
So in this beautiful verse, the Buddha says, Don’t cling to the past, don’t keep hoping for the future, because the past is gone, the future hasn’t yet arisen. He said, instead, with insight, by gathering our mindfulness together, our awareness together, let yourself see each presently arisen state. Each thing that arises within the heart and mind, each thing that comes into our awareness, let us see that. Know it and be sure of it, be clear about what it is, invincibly and unshakeably. There’s no room for uncertainty. You can see clearly what it is. Today you must make the effort, because tomorrow death may come. Who knows when death may come. He says this, the person who can dwell in this way has one fortunate attachment, one blessed clinging One blessed attachment is to remain in the present mindfully, with great awareness, with great satthi. This is the one fortunate attachment. Why? Because it will give rise to great pann± or prajna or wisdom and great compassion. If we can stay in that moment watching what is arising. The Buddha then goes on with his teaching. “How does a person revive the past”? How does a person do this? Well, he says “ He thinks to himself, I had such a material form in the past and he takes delight in that. He says I had such a feeling in the past and he takes delight in that. I had such a perception in the past and he takes delight in that and so on.” So you can see what the Buddha is saying.
Further on, continues:
So as we make an effort, as disciples of the Buddha, to cultivate non-clinging, getting rid of upadana, instead of being swept up and caught up in things we can take heart and strength and courage from the teachings of the Buddha. We can make an effort to see things in the seen merely what is seen, just what is there. In the heard, merely what is heard. We can be clear that form is not Me, is not I, is not Mine. Feeling is not I, is not Me, is not Mine. And we can try to follow the teaching of the heart sutra and realize for ourselves, form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Form is not other than emptiness, emptiness is not other than form. We can try to practice as the Buddha says, one fortunate attachment, that is the attachment to stay in the present moment in great awareness, knowing clearly what is arising, what is passing away. So if we can do this, then this is the end of dukha, this is the end of suffering and the arising of real happiness, real sukha.
I hope that everyone in this room tonight can have that experience. Of course we can all have it just for a moment. If we can practice for one little moment, and then one little moment, and one little moment and we can bring these one little moments together so that we can have longer moments of freedom from clinging. Every act of generosity, every act of dana, whether it’s dana in terms of goods, material things, money or objects, to another person, to another human being is an act of non-clinging if it is done purely with good intention Every act of dana that involves giving my time to somebody else is an act of non-clinging. So when you help someone, when you help them to do something very simple, this is non-clinging, if it’s done out of a pure heart. It doesn’t have to be a big thing.
Mu-ge goes out through barn. Cesco stretches along Patriots mat in middle room. (Patriots and Colts play tonight in Indianapolis. Cesco warms the team insignia with his sleeping aging body. Not even Richard or Jonathan have such devotion to the preparation and well-being of the team!)

Dawn has broken through as I complete this writing at 6:42am, two hours after beginning. The cold, windy night gives way to cold, windy light. What changes is the seeing.

For now, this is sufficient. Possibly and impassibly, satisfactory.