Saturday, December 08, 2007

Out on Penobscot Bay, rowing to sound of bell buoy, in chill afternoon sun.

Meetingbrook's koan is:
Embodying the dwelling-place of the Alone; Stepping aside to make room for another.
Buddha is enlightened, John Lennon dies well remembered, and Mary, mother of non-separation is born into being, the same being she will herself birth.
There are only two stories in all of literature -- a man goes on a journey, a stranger comes to town. (--Leo Tolstoy)
In Olin's art room at the prison there are many words for reflective individuals.

We belong as we find ourselves.

Friday, December 07, 2007

There's no cure. Not for what ails us. There's healing. Truth heals us. Heals, not cures.
Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. If anything at all, it is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and of the world. It looks at things objectively. It does not falsely lull you into living in a fool's paradise, nor does it frighten and agonize you with all kinds of imaginary fears and sins. It tells you exactly and objectively what you are and what the world around you is, and shows you the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and happiness. One physician may gravely exaggerate an illness and give up hope altogether. Another may ignorantly declare that there is no illness and that no treatment is necessary, thus deceiving the patient with false consolation. You may call the first one pessimistic and the second optimistic. Both are equally dangerous. But a third physician diagnoses the symptoms correctly, understands the cause and the nature of the illness, sees clearly that it can be cured and courageously administers a course of treatment, thus saving his patient. The Buddha is like the last physician. He is the wise and scientific doctor for the ills of the world. - Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught from Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith
So many of us want the world to fit the construction plans of our afflicted egos. That doesn't happen. Meditation and prayer deconstruct the ego. The prayer of listening to the sound of what is being said is dismantling the plans creating the world in our image.

The peer art instructor has quotes around the room in prison. "Real deep discipline unlocks desperately needed individuality" was the quote from Harley Brown in the well kept room.

Prison is one thing. But in our everyday lives I'm not sure why we excoriate others for not being our idea of who they should be. Nevertheless, we do.

It's hard work trying to steer everyone else's direction.

I will not work that hard.

Nor take it well.

Let life.

Do it.



Thursday, December 06, 2007

No ideas, the man said, but in things. And things, someone else said, are made of words.
In all things be a master
Of what you do and say and think.
Be free.
Are you quiet? Quieten your body.
Quieten your mind.
By your own efforts
Waken yourself, watch,
And live joyfully.
Follow the truth of the way.
Reflect upon it.
Make it your own.
Live it.

- Buddha from the Dhammapada
We have to speak. To keep things in existence.

For the time being.

Only words.

Filed with silence.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Leave a shoe out tonight. Nicholas will be about.
Careful! Even moonlit dewdrops,
If you’re lured to watch,
Are a wall before the Truth.

- Sogyo (1667–1731)
Glance, maybe.

Don't watch.

A brief gaze.

Then, away.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Richard's daughter calls this afternoon from Warren to say her father died three days ago. At Tuesday Evening Conversation his chair is vacant, but he is merely absent.

John O'Donohue writes that presence and absence are sisters; vacancy being the opposite of presence.

Saskia leads Buddhist prayer and bells for a deceased person.
You ask me why I stay on this blue mountain?
I smile but do not answer.
My mind is at ease!
Peach blossoms and flowing streams
Pass away without a trace.
How different from the mundane world!

- Li P’o (701–762)
He wanted to be done with the cycle of birth and death. It took a Saturday afternoon going to prepare snow blower for coming storm to lay him out on ground with no getting up.

Many months ago, just before going out door after conversation, Richard asked: "Are you my friend?" I said: "I am." I didn't know it until he asked.

In the Ninth Elegy, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote:
Maybe we're here only to say: house,
bridge, well, gate, jug, olive tree, window —
at most, pillar, tower... but to say them, remember,
oh, to say them in a way that the things themselves
never dreamed of existing so intensely.
We rang bells after touching earth, burning incense, bowing, and saying grateful words.

Many bells. A joyful cacophony.

For a friend.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Practice makes perfect.

Perfect what?

Practice makes perfect this.

This what?

Practice this: making one's way through.
Just detach from all sound and form,
And do not dwell in detachment,
And do not dwell in intellectual understanding,
This is practice.

- Baizhang
The bird feeder capped with snow dome shows colored lights through white snow covering lights and feeder.

There is no state of perfection separate from the one practicing making way through what they are doing as who they are being where they are.



Sunday, December 02, 2007

First Advent

Storm approaches. Night.

As for Christ...hard to say. Still

No removal. Snow.