Saturday, April 18, 2009

Poetry can bring us home.

Close or far, poetry opens the door.
Trust in the Heart

The perfect Way's like boundless space
Nothing lacking, nothing extra
It is because of choice
That its absolute truth is lost.
Don't pursue externals;
Don't dally in the interior void.
When the spirit remains serene
In the unity of things
Dualism vanishes by itself;
When that unity is not clear
There is loss in both directions.

- Seng-ts'an (d. 606)
Still, there's Thomas. He wants to see, feel, and hear this risen body of Jesus. Touch. You keep belief. He wants something that turns and walks off, stops and laughs.
Maybe there's a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

(from song, Hallelujah, lyrics and music by Leonard Cohen)
The author wants the song to stop for a while. It's over-sung. Monks have that problem with psalms. I have that issue with so much that we say.
The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.
(from Acts 4:32-35)
Maybe there'll come a day we share. Real sharing. Maybe.

Until then, there's poetry.
An Infant In Your Arms

The tide of my love
Has risen so high let me flood


Close your eyes for a moment
And maybe all your
fears and fantasies

Will end.

If that happened
God would become an infant in your


And then you
Would have to nurse all

(Poem by Hafiz)
Touch it. Let it happen!

Friday, April 17, 2009

There there.
Enlightenment is like the
moon reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet,
nor is the water broken.
Although its light is wide and great,
the moon is reflected even
in a puddle an inch wide.
The whole moon and the entire sky
are reflected in dewdrops on the grass,
or even in one drop of water.
- Dogen (1200-1253)
If we go anywhere, we are there.
Between Walls

the back wings
of the

hospital where

will grow lie

in which shine
the broken

pieces of a green

(Poem by William Carlos Williams, 1934)
The four of us at table in the prison pod read this poem 17 times as it read us the same number of times.

Take your time. You have 16 times left.

Go there.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Through him, with him, in him.
A monk asks: "What is this 'seeing one's nature and becoming Buddha'?"
Daito replies: "The snow melts and the bones of the mountain appear."
- Daito (1282-1334)
Though, with, in.

The ending of Season 2 of "Life" had this voice-over:
What we learned as children --
that one plus one equals two,
we know to be false.
One plus one equals one.
We even have a word
for when you plus another equals one --
that word… is love
(from "One," final season episode, Life, NBC, April 8, 2009)
Love is within through.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hope is now changing.
Repeatedly undergoing birth and death is just due to grasping at objects. When we reflect back on the mind that grasps at objects, we see that the real identity of mind is originally pure. Within this purity, grasping mind does not exist. Within nirvana, fundamentally there are no thoughts moving; the movement is ever still. Being still, there is no seeking.
- Records of the Lanka
There is only now and there is only change.

Perhaps we can, if needed, live without hope.

Because hope is now changing.

I need you now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What if resurrection is through?

When I give the poem to the monk in the tower room he reads it aloud to me. It is a moment that mirrors through.
Running Out Of Words
(for Fr. Robert, fondly)

The old monk is senile with sinus infection.
Who would listen to him?

Prattling on about “exitus et reditus” as if anyone
knew Latin words anymore.
We listen to be kind; there’s nothing in what he says for us.

We are visitors to his contemplative universe, exiles in a world of woe and credit cards, both full enough.

But I’m lying.

Once I dwelt in words, a room with dusty books and scattered papers piled
in order of abandonment.
“Detritus et transitus.”
This life an oscillation between throw away and go away.

Jesus might have a wrap on theological formal iteration, but in today’s 
world spirituality
it’s just irritation, something the pure of purse get to do in monastery or mountain spa with top dollar.

After Vigils, zazen, and walking
full moon through kindly silhouette branching chill tree, the cup of coffee
set on wood chair satisfies.

I lied about the monk too.
His senility is happy ploy forgetting what is not real even as illusions of time stack up like beams of dust reminding us to remember this remember that don’t forget.

He remembers one thing: He has 
gone out. 
He remembers another thing: He is 
come back.

Between these two one things reside all wonder and revelation of forgiveness, which I ask him for.

All trespass, all unkindly, all looking away,
unhearing, running off.
Out of words, knock on wood, prattling
on with silence.

(-- wfh/5:33am, Holy Thursday morning)
When the inner becomes outer and the outer becomes inner, there are no words for inner/outer.

Something has gone through.