Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dusting off bicycle.
The clouds of sunset
Gather in the western sky,
And over the silent silvery Han
Rises a white jade moon.
Not often does life
Bring such beauty.
Where shall I see the moon
Next year?

- Su T’ung-Po (1037-1101)
Riding bicycle.

No gallons; many miles.

Next year? An empty question!

"Now" never arrives nor ever departs.

Friday, July 18, 2008

His wife has taken to forgetting. He is wearied by the care. Repeating the same questions over and over. No answer stays long with her. She asks again.
Shall I tell you what it is to know?
To say you know when you know,
And to say you do not, when you do not,
That is knowledge.

- Confucius
Does living a life of not knowing mean that when Alzheimer's comes I won't realize what I never realized before?

In prison today we listened to Rumi's poem several times.
Every form you see has its archetype in the placeless world;
If the form perished, no matter, since its original is everlasting.

Every fair shape you have seen, every deep saying you have heard,
Be not cast down that it perished; for that is not so.

Whereas the spring-head is undying, its branch gives water continually;
Since neither can cease, why are you lamenting?

Conceive the Soul as a fountain, and these created things as rivers:
While the fountain flows, the rivers run from it.

Put grief out of your head and keep quaffing this river water;
Do not think of the water failing; for this water is without end.

From the moment you came into the world of being,
A ladder was placed before you that you might escape.

First you were mineral, later you turned to plant,
Then you became animal: how should this be a secret to you?

Afterwards you were made man, with knowledge, reason, faith;

Behold the body, which is a portion of the dust-pit, how perfect it has grown!

When you have traveled on from man, you will doubtless become an angel;

After that you are done with this earth: your station is in heaven.

Pass again even from angelhood: enter that ocean,
That your drop may become a sea which is a hundred seas of 'Oman.

Leave this 'Son,' say ever 'One' with all your soul;
If your body has aged, what matter, when the soul is young?

(-- Poem by Rumi)
From Son to One.

Each emergence to a new situation calls for faith. Faith is trust in love. It sees though empty darkness covering us and whispers to the vacancy that All shall be well! No matter what, All shall be well!

The "situs," the "place" we find ourselves occupying, is a holy place.

God is this moment taking place.

Faith says yes to the longing to discover God in situ.

Walking up to a familiar stranger someone says: "I can't place you."

Place me.

Placing you.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Full as it needs to be, orange moon over Curtis Island.
The Path of enlightenment
Cannot be charted or measured:
Highest of the high,
Vast beyond limit,
Deepest of the deep,
Profound beyond fathoming,
Big enough to contain
Heaven and earth,
Small enough to enter
An infinitesimal point,
Thus it is called the Path

- Records of the Lanka
Just this evening I reside in the thin space between the twofold emphases of the sentence:
"I don't give a damn!"

Between: "It doesn't matter," and, "I condemn no one."

In the narrow shift of emphasis there's barely room to turn side to side.

It is a serene and grace-filled turn.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Barn sill refashioned. Support beams sistered. Heavy stones laid alongside flower barrel.
The wise find pleasure in water;
The virtuous find pleasure in hills.
The wise are active; the virtuous are tranquil
The wise are joyful; the virtuous are long lived.

- Confucius (551-479)
When tired, sleep.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Here's what was written on the patio this evening: "God is this moment taking place."
The present moment is the most profound and challenging teacher we will ever meet in our lives. It is a compassionate teacher, it extends to us no judgment, no censure, no measurement of success and failure. The present moment is a mirror, in its reflection we learn how to see. Learning how to look into this mirror without deluding ourselves is the source of all wisdom. In this mirror we see what contributes to the confusion and discord in our lives and what contributes to harmony and understanding. We see the relationship between pain and its cause on a moment-to-moment level, we see the bond between love and its source. We see what it is that connects us and what it is that alienates us.
(-- Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart)
So it is we treat each as God.

It is what is taking place.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oiled bicycle chain. De-nailed wood. Moved stones with cart to pile. Drilled holes in plywood board for canoe seat. Wondered whether Jesus, Siddhartha, and Mohandas really are humanity's hope.
In samsara, which is like a dream and illusion,
Sentient beings roam like blind lunatics.
Not realizing the truth that confused
Appearances have no essence,
Those who cling to the false as true get so exhausted.
To the serum of youth, which is like a flower,
The young are attached like witless bees.
Not recognizing this is impermanent and fading,
Those who wander in endless lower
Realms get so exhausted.
After word knowledge, which is like a mirage,
Teachers wander like smart wild beasts.
Not recognizing that there’s no connection
Between term and meaning,
Those who wander in endless jargon get so exhausted.
To the pleasure of experience, which is like a rainbow,
Meditators are attached like faithful children.
Not recognizing that it’s an enticing dead end,
Those who hope for a result of spiritual warmth
And signs get so exhausted.

- Godrakpa (1170-1249)
The physical work and tiredness feel good.

Heather and Mark from Ontario. Nicky and Elijah from Massachusetts. Swordfish and chocolate ice cream.

There is no greater gift to practice than mere listening.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

No thought, no word.
Moonlight and the sound of pines
Are things we all know
Zen mind and delusion
Distinguish sage and fool
Go back to the place
Where not one thought appears
How shall I put this
Into words for you?

- Han-shan Te-ch’ing (1546-1623)
After words, no thought.

No knowing why.