Saturday, May 17, 2008

In loft of cabin warmed by birch in stove -- the silence of wood.
The bait is the means to get the fish where you want it; catch the fish, and you discard the bait. Words are the means to get the idea where you want it; catch on to the idea, and you forget about the words.
- Zhuangzi
Sky, earth, and water. This trinity sets alongside mythic metaphors acculturated through history by theology.

But then, isn't all of matter the making of theology?

I bow to the threeness. Holy, and holy, and holy is communion of each and each in all.

Who can say for certain what is true?

If you try, please, retain some humility.

Friday, May 16, 2008

One final patch of snow melts. They piled a 20 foot high mound about 60 feet round weeks ago. Now, a few inches high and three feet across it melts where the tube run once was at the Snow Bowl.
Every plant and tree knows spring will soon be gone
A hundred pinks and purples
Compete with their bouquets
Willow fuzz and elm pods lack such clever means
They only know how to fill the sky with snow.

- Han Yu (768-824)

The walking man with cancer sat in shop this evening talking about how he cannot tolerate the thought of a bladder bag and will nix the idea of surgery.

We're all walking death through life.

We just don't understand what either of them is exactly.

So, we walk on.

Happy for the practice.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

There is no teacher. Only learners; only the teaching.
Mind to Mind

Literature gives us the great gift of the present moment. As we read we enter the author's mind and follow it like a train on its tracks... she is taking us far out or far in and we're there! --no place else. Mind to mind...

But you ask, isn't the present moment just this: the sun coming in through the window, me leaning on a wooden desk, my eyes darting along the page, my legs crossed--not trucking along, my mind deep in the author's story?

Yes, that also is the present moment, but usually if I'm sitting there without reading, I am a divided person. Half of me is there, the other half is out the window, down the block shopping for wild rice, thinking about supper or how mad I am at a friend. But when I'm reading and I love what I'm reading, I'm totally connected, whole. Me and Shakespeare, me and Milton--no time or space between us. We are one--not two, not split. Then with that oneness, full of concentration and presence, I look up and can really see and experience through my whole body the light coming in through the glass pane and how it plays on the desktop where my book is, and I can feel my legs crossed underneath.

(--Natalie Goldberg, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran)
Just concentration.

Only presence.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can we be entrusted to love?

"Do it!" -- we're told.

"Be it!" -- we intuit.
Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
Pour into the rivers,
And join together in the oceans,
So many the power of every moment
Of your goodness flow forth to awaken
And heal all beings;
Those here now, those gone before, those yet to come.

- Traditional Buddhist blessing
If we are love as it is loving, healing is the order of the day.
"What I command you is to love one another.
(--John 15:17)
Stout fellow! Fine lassie! As you are, so will you be.
Middle English, from Anglo-French comander, from Latin commendare, from com- + mandare to entrust.
Into your hands, Origin/Source, we commend our spirits.

An angel is a message taken in and made one's own.

Go ahead!

Be an angel!

Speak -- we'll listen!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do you feel different?
How elegant is the morning sun
Shining on the rafters and eaves.
How cool are the terrace and pond after the rain.
I burn incense to break the deep silence,
Drink the spring water and relax in joy.
When the mind is at ease and spirit is at peace,
Understanding is gained.
There is nothing left to comprehend.
Who can say that the realm of Tao is far from us?
How tranquil it is
Like the beginning of Heaven and Earth.
- Ni Tsan (1301-1374)
The argument shifts. Are you ready?
In their arguments with Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, the faithful have been defending the existence of God. That was the easy debate. The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits. It’s going to come from scientists whose beliefs overlap a bit with Buddhism.

In unexpected ways, science and mysticism are joining hands and reinforcing each other. That’s bound to lead to new movements that emphasize self-transcendence but put little stock in divine law or revelation. Orthodox believers are going to have to defend particular doctrines and particular biblical teachings. They’re going to have to defend the idea of a personal God, and explain why specific theologies are true guides for behavior day to day. I’m not qualified to take sides, believe me. I’m just trying to anticipate which way the debate is headed. We’re in the middle of a scientific revolution. It’s going to have big cultural effects.

(--from The New York Times Op-Ed Column, The Neural Buddhists, By DAVID BROOKS, Published: May 13, 2008)
What's gotten into us?

We'll never be the same.



Monday, May 12, 2008

Father is origin. Son is loving attention. Holy Spirit is enlightening consciousness.

Breathing mothers creation.
Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
- Sutta Nipata Buddha
When enlightening consciousness fills us, we begin to gather in communion.
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’

(--from John 20: 19-23)
You see, if you choose not to forgive, then it doesn't happen -- and you are burdened with carrying with you the weight of unforgiveness of an-other, namely none other than you.

But if you have understanding, and you forgive -- then everyone is unburdoned, and we go on, lightened and freed.

What do you think? Is it time for Pentecost?

Time for Holy Spirit?

Are you conscious?

Any awareness?

Of peace?