Saturday, July 26, 2008

Little by little there's less and less reason to step outside the hermitage. Even when I do, eyes practice custody. There's scant need to see anything other than what's under foot.
You who seek the Way
You waste your spirit searching
We all have something wondrous
Unmarked and unnamed
Called, it answers clearly
It doesn’t stay in hiding
Guard it well I pray
Don’t let it get scratched up

- Han shan
There might have been a time when I enjoyed being out in public.

I can't imagine when.

I don't imagine why.

Life without why.

Is a better way.

Friday, July 25, 2008

In prison today readings from "Does the universe have purpose?"

Who knows?
If you wish to bring the two matters of birth and death to conclusion, and pass directly beyond the Triple-world, you must penetrate the koan “This very mind is Buddha.” Tell me: What is its principle? How is it that this very mind is Buddha? And “this very mind” just what is it like? Investigate it coming. Investigate it going. Investigate it thoroughly and exhaustively. All you have to do is keep this koan constantly in your thoughts.
- Daito (1282-1334)
From Solaris the quote: "There are no answers, only choices."

When in doubt, don't despair.

Choose, instead.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Originally, nothing else is.

Only this.
The body of reality is pure as empty space. But emptiness is not empty and existence does not exist. Existence basically does not exist; people themselves become attached to existence. Emptiness is basically not empty; people themselves become attached to emptiness. Pure liberation is apart from existence and emptiness, without contrived actions, without concerns, without abiding, without attachment. Within Nirvana, not a single thing is created. This is the contemplation of enlightenment.
(- Records of the Lanka)
At Thursday Evening Conversation the question is asked: "What do I want in my heart?"

I remember as a young man saying I didn't want anything from God. I only wanted to see God.

I arrive at a four word response to the question: "To acknowledge each one." The four words can be read two ways with varying emphasis.

It occurs to me that if I acknowledge each one, I am seeing God.

This is enough.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yes, yes. No, no.

This is good advice.
It's all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The Old Story -- the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it -- is not functioning properly, and we have not learned the New Story.
(--from The New Story -- Comments on The Origin, ldentification and Transmission of Values, by Thomas Berry)
I wouldn't be surprised if the "New Story" had no narrative explanation connected to it.

Just what is taking place.

Ever changing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Paddling ceder strip canoe in harbor and out around Curtis Island at twilight and back at dusk. Greet couple in white rowing skiff leaving their tie up abeam sailboat from home port of Portland. The quiet mariners slip into end of day on still waters.
People at their best, like water,
Serve as they go along;
Like water they seek their own level,
The common level of life,
Love living close to the earth,
Living clear down in their hearts,
Love kinship with their neighbors,
The pick of words that tell the truth,
The even tenor of the well-loved state,
The fair profit of the able dealing,
The right timing of useful deeds,
And for blocking no one’s way
No one blames them.

- Lao Tzu
Mary of Magdala has been a favorite. Whatever her story she was there inward and in words. She passes through mythic narratives in bevy of roles, most apocryphal, each conveying an aspect of spiritual life needed by the imaginer.

Blocking no one's way with blame -- simply acknowledging course and direction -- we pass alongside one another with glance and greeting and prayer for grace as each navigates the pathless way of water.
I'm glad the diversity of woman visits. Kahlil Gibran said, "Your friend is your needs answered." Men find responding need with mothers and lovers, wives and sisters, daughters and friends, boat mates and narrative companions.
It is Marvellous to Wake Up Together
by Elizabeth Bishop

It is marvellous to wake up together
At the same minute; marvellous to hear
The rain begin suddenly all over the roof,
To feel the air suddenly clear
As if electricity had passed through it
From a black mesh of wires in the sky.
All over the roof the rain hisses,
And below, the light falling of kisses.

An electrical storm is coming or moving away;
It is the prickling air that wakes us up.
If lighting struck the house now, it would run
From the four blue china balls on top
Down the roof and down the rods all around us,
And we imagine dreamily
How the whole house caught in a bird-cage of lightning
Would be quite delightful rather than frightening;

And from the same simplified point of view
Of night and lying flat on one's back
All things might change equally easily,
Since always to warn us there must be these black
Electrical wires dangling. Without surprise
The world might change to something quite different,
As the air changes or the lightning comes without our blinking,
Change as our kisses are changing without our thinking.

(--Poem, It Is Marvellous to Wake Up Together" by Elizabeth Bishop from Poems, Prose, and Letters. © The Library of America, 2008.)
A kiss is only a kiss. Of course, it is always a kiss. But a kiss is not something other than itself. Everything is itself. Nothing is other than itself.
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
(-- from On Friendship, by Kahlil Gibran)
So it is, Mary is honored for being.

No other.


Who she was in and through herself.

Who we are, in and through, ourselves.

Wending way as pathless...wandering itself.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We work, we tire.
When one truly dies and leaves his own body, he can go freely wherever he likes. In the midst of profound darkness or when the doors and windows are shut, one enters a state of freedom. The body is like a dream. When we see this and awake, not a trace remains.
- Takuan (1573-1645)
We retire, we die.

Throughout, we live.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

What if movement through time, folded, were possible? Would our efforts be spent to always 'correct' things done hither or yon?
Each thing is different, each is complete and perfect just as it is. The very fact that everything is different makes it One Body. (We think of difference as opposed to the One Body; instead it's the nature of the One Body.) Form is emptiness. When we see that, when we can see everything as it is -- all the distinct, different things composing the One Body -- we understand prajna wisdom, the state of nirvana, the state of oneness, the state of enlightenment.
(--pp. 69-70, in Infinite Circle, Teachings in Zen, by Bernie Glassman)
With no inside or outside, emptiness is form.

Are we another One? Are we one another?

Forget everything! Place one foot ahead of the other.

It's your move.