Saturday, November 24, 2007

Forgetting what we think is outside us, we breathe in. Forgetting what we think is inside us, we breathe out.

What is there to remember neither inside nor out?
Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountains and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life. Breathe out and let yourself soar to the ends of the universe; breathe in and bring the cosmos back inside. Next, breathe up all the fecundity and vibrancy of the earth. Finally, blend the breath of heaven and the breath of earth with that of your own, becoming the Breath of Life itself.
- Morihei Ueshiba
Neither inside nor out is the Breath of Life Itself.

It is exchange. It is traveler. It is full moon in empty sky.

It is nothing we know and everything that is.

Forgetting even my name, I respond to the sound of any voice longing for itself.

Life is itself. As such, holy.

Breathe each breath.

As first.


And only.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Dying isn't what it used to be. Not any more.
The Journey of the Soul
The meditative experience is, to my mind, the practice of dying, the practice of letting go. The more you practice letting go, the more you begin to understand the journey of your soul or your spirit as it detaches from the material nature of existence. There is a river, and as soon as you unmoor the boat and you start to enter that river, you end up on a journey. Not all of us have gone to the mouth of that river, but I think we are all aware, in the meditative process, that the journey exists. As you go deeply inside your psyche you're aware of the similarity of this journey to the journey of the soul after death.

(--Bruce Rubin, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Fall 1991
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book)
It's less. Dying. It's less and less until so little matters you begin to laugh at the obsessions and anxieties that once seemed so large.

Death is the diminishment of what is not you.

We're meant to die daily. To let go that which is not essential.

Behind and below and beyond matter is no-matter.

Breathe deeply. Spirit waits to reveal itself in the space between intake and outflow of breath.

Whether you think it's trampy or not,
when we are not awake,
we really are ALL sleeping together.
Sawing logs, snoozing,
getting a little shuteye,
some sacktime,
heading to slumberland,
doing the blanket drill,
the bunk habit,
having a siesta fiesta,
a pajama party
or just getting forty winks
and a good night's rest

We're all setting alarms, reading a bit,
warming our feet and spooning in,
stealing the covers, hogging all the pillows or
taking up the whole bed, grass mat,
hammock or our bit of dry earth.
Whether the satin sheets, fur or flannels
are on the futon, floor or igloo ice
whether we are naked, night gowned
or wearing what we wore all day.
We have been doing this a long time together, alot.

Terrorists and tyrants,
the embargoed, enemies and occupying forces
within a few blocks of each other
lay down everyday
not only their weapons but their bodies,
anger and ideologies.
They give up. They surrender,
not to overwhelming odds or power
but to being...tired.
They know they can't win against it.
Something much bigger says
"I don't want to hear another peep out of you.
Now tuck each other in and go to sleep!"

(--Poem: "Sleeping" by Daniel Sisco, from A Breath On Stone: New & Selected Poems by Daniel Sisco. Self-published, 2006.
That's just it -- we're tired.

Give up. Surrender.

Be in yourself the longing of absence for presence.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fog hides island.

Hides shore of mainland. Fog drips sound of bell buoy and two loons, gulls, geese, and ducks calling through pea soup thickness as we row around Curtis Island.

A Thanksgiving meditation with oar circles -- pull and glide.
The imperfect becomes whole.
How true that is!
To become whole and
Return to the Source,
One must ever be in accord
With nature.
There is nothing in the world
So weak as water,
Nor anything strong enough
To overcome it.
The person of great wisdom
Is like water which,
Though benefiting all things,
Never strives.
- Lao-tzu
At church this morning we sat with Tommy on back bench after walking Rockport Harbor.

At cusp of dusk candle is lighted on newly filled grave. And Mary -- we remember her on her 5th anniversary of transition.

Otherwise, and always, things are pretty much exactly as they are found.

Clearly here and grateful, remarkable haunting call of loon.



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The season turns.
Many paths lead from
The foot of the mountain,
But at the peak
We all gaze at the
Single bright moon.

- Ikkyu (1394-1481)
If there is no gratitude, there is no ground on which to stand.
The seed is in the ground.
Now may we rest in hope
While darkness does its work.

(--Sabbath Poem V, 1991, by Wendell Berry)
No ground but within ground.

The work of it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Here is why I like zen.
I leave to the highborn
All the honors of this dissolving world
A life of poverty has taught me to love
Haze and mist.
Today in the spring
The friendship between us adds
Warmth to the sunlight
Even a dry post here on the shore
Is blossoming.

- Muso Soseki (1275-1351)
Zen is why I like here.

No I. No why. No like or dislike.

Zen is here.

Here is zen.


I like why.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Spirituality is the moving revelation of truth with love.
Simplicity is something that our
Fundamental nature inherently
Possesses. If we prepare in
Advance and nurture it within
Ourselves, then wherever we happen to
Be, whether in wealth and high rank,
Or poverty and low status,
In foreign lands, or in difficult
Circumstances, we deal with
Whatever situation we are in
By retaining our simplicity there.
It is not increased when we do great
Deeds or reduced when we are
Dwelling in obscurity.
Wherever we go, we are at peace,
Because we have found simplicity.

- Nie Bao (1487-1563)
In circle at prison today these words found themselves on green chalk board:
Who am I?
Read right to left and down, they place us well.

As it is, we belong...


Truth with love.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

At Sunday Evening Practice reading the Vietnamese Zen Master. He reminds us there is no self. Certainly no separate, isolated self.

We could be anyone.

I love the moment at the ticket window—he says—
when you are to say the name of your destination, and realize
that you could say anything, the man at the counter
will believe you, the woman at the counter
would never say No, that isn't where you're going,
you could buy a ticket for one place and go to another,
less far along the same line. Suddenly you would find yourself
—he says—in a locality you've never seen before,
where no one has ever seen you and you could say your name
was anything you like, nobody would say No,
that isn't you, this is who you are. It thrills me every time.

(Poem: "Ticket" by Charles O. Hartman, from Island. Ahsahta Press, 2004.)
We are anyone.

And everyone.

What a lovely mystery!

All aboard?