for Sunday Morning: A liturgy of coffee and English muffin. Woman makes pilgrimage with Rokpa
, Jane and Wallace to the wonderful land of Snow Bowl for morning exultation.
Wood sacrifices itself to old Waterford wood stove. Birds are given their daily seed. Cat wanders the premises looking for someone to devour. Resist him, ye winged communicants!
All is well.
A thousand mountains,
Wind and snow,
Stop me in my lonely tracks;
Turning my head to the western sky,
The road a dead end,
I recall the distant event of
Bodhidharma’s arrival in China
An old monkey howls from the highest peak.
- Wu Hsueh Tsu-Yuan (1226–1286)
I'll walk the four miles into town and join Jay in his quest for a suitable place to make omelets and make prolepsis
in a market face continuance. The sun warms. Winter is spending final week thanking mounds of snow for support given it over last three months. Winter was very successful this year: very cold, snowy, icy, and unrelenting.
I shall be standing before you there on the rock, at Horeb. You must strike the rock, and water will flow from it for the people to drink.’ This is what Moses did, in the sight of the elders of Israel. The place was named Massah and Meribah because of the grumbling of the sons of Israel and because they put the Lord to the test by saying, ‘Is the Lord with us, or not?’
(--from Exodus 17:3-7)
I like the "...or not?" What place does "not" have in the realm of presence? Buddhists smile at the question. Street slang from recent times predicated "not" at end of sardonic declarative as single word deconstruction of preceding sentiment. "I love you. Not!" Not for nothing, but perhaps it is for the balance of human preparedness that the word "not" wanders into our vocabulary at unexpected times.
These are difficult times economically. Still, we'd like to offer hospitality and warm simplicity in a place of mere contemplation, open conversation, and real service correspondence.
This should be easy, eh?
Basic to a life of prayer is a childlike reverence for the immediate, concrete realities of everyday living. The wisdom of the contemplative way is to know that taking a walk, tying one's shoe, pouring boiling water into a teacup are incarnations of divine love. The universe is God's body In that it embodies the reality of his love which alone truly is and without which nothing is: You reach out and touch a single drop of water hanging from a leaf -- What are you touching really? Who is really touching it? -- the first intimations of an answer give birth to a song God sings deep within the heart. Those who hear this song know the bliss that surpasses understanding
(--from p.100, in The Awakening Call, Fostering Intimacy With God, by James Finley, 1984)
Gregg and Susan sing from their cd
(Rambling Sailors) as Saskia
cuts sausage, potatoes, and onions for Kraut Soup filled with sauerkraut and joy for today's Upstairs/Downstairs at the shop then Evening Practice here at hermitage.
Church is now a moveable
feast of ordinary celebration. Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques have accomplished their tasks well -- readying us for a life of everydayness
and gratitude for the hands and eyes and ears presenting God-in-the-world. Monasteries, Zen and Christian, have given us silence, watchfulness, listening, and wholeness of presence with stillness. Difference is no longer associated with division, wholeness embraces separation and whispers -- "Love sends no one away!" See the one you are!
What a delight to know that taking up a collection is becoming making ourselves a collection of community.
In your solitude, you are one of us.
In our practice, we are one with you.