Rain this Tuesday. John in from Bangor. Chris from Belfast. Dean from the old Camden bookstore. Sam and Susan play harmonica and splice line. Rock climbing couple come in to check radar on web. She's not happy to be flying to Florida in the eyebrow of Ike the storm.
John, Chris, and I have at the large movements of history, economics, population numbers, and geologic shudders. Perhaps what has been looked at as moral flaws of government representatives has merely been their awareness of the inevitability of decline and deterioration resulting in a single-minded effort to survive and prosper during the down slide. Don't we each wish to remain alive and ahead of the jaws of predation?
So many folks are looking at climate and atmosphere and registering despondency. Where, they ask, has the leadership been? Why has there been such reluctance to admit that forces beyond morality and human intention are at work -- the undulations of civilizations laboring under their own weight, the down turn of creativity into decline and rule by dominant minority stifling political creativity with their totalitarian rules and theocratic pronouncements? The stages of genesis, growth, time of troubles, universal state, and disintegration were identified by Toynbee -- will there be surcease from the repetitive wheel threatening western civilization at this time of American power?
In a classical text entitled "The Questions of King Milinda," a monk named Nagasena uses an allegory. . . A group of people gathered on the edge of a flooding stream want to go to the far shore but are afraid. They don't know what to do until one wise person comes along, assesses the situation, takes a running leap and jumps to the other side. Seeing the example of that person, the others say, "Yes, it can be done." Then they also jump. In this story the near shore is our usual confused condition, and the far shore is the awakened mind. Inspired by witnessing another, we say, "Yes, it can be done." That is one level of faith. After we have jumped ourselves, when we say, "Yes, it can be done," that is quite another level of faith.
(-Sharon Salzberg, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Spring 1997)
Jay has found a lovely spot for himself and pup to meadow roost awhile. Anne calls for schedule of evening conversations. Tina confirms that 'foal' might mean pregnant. Tom brings mail and asks if we got the earlier box of books. Rain stops.
At evening conversation we read from Thomas Moore's foreword to the book by Anthony de Mello
is a Sanskrit term meaning spiritual practice, or, a means
of accomplishing something -- a discipline in pursuit of a goal. (Wikipedia
). A phrase jumped out: "...the manifestation of the soul in the body" -- leading us to speak of body/soul in this existence, of feeling our way through, and the cause/effect dynamic in Buddhism and the present moment.
Joan, Carol, Saskia, Deb, and I complete the hour as visitor David arrives at end of conversation. He and friend join in a post-final circle extension. He says his faith is what keeps him (to consternation of others) either sane or insane. His intensity bespeaks a vibrancy about positive living.
At snow-bowl an old and wizened frog refuses to budge from roadway as we walk Rokpa
the Border Collie -- who suddenly notices a hop and turns when Saskia
looks closely at the road sitter. We go by and leave it to its drizzly meditation.
If we saw things differently, would we live free from fear and negativity?
Maybe all does work unto good.
If we completely feel.
It is my friend Jo-Ann's birthday. Someone I love.