Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sacred Heart yesterday. Immaculate Heart today. Heart breaks. Not whole; not disintegrated. Just broken. Broken heart throughout.
Bend down and there it is:
No need to wrest it from others.
With the Way in complete agreement,
The mere touch of a hand is spring:
The way we come upon blooming flowers,
The way we see the year renew itself.
What comes this way will stay;
What is gotten by force will drain away.
A secluded person on an empty mountain,
While rain falls, picks some blades of duckweed.
Freely feeling the flash of dawn:
Leisurely, within the celestial balance.

- Ssu-k'ung T'u (837-908)
What is the idea of God? At Maine State Prison, D. says "Religion is that which screws up the idea of God."

Not the idea we have about God. Rather, the idea of God. What is, then, the idea of God?

Are we?

The dialogue is familiar:
"Goodbye," he said.

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see clearly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have lavished on your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have lavished for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . ."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

(-- from Le Petit Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, 1943)
Drizzle is inaudible right now.

"Eidos" is the Greek term for what is seen -- the immutable genuine nature of a thing.

Do we have any idea of the idea of God?

What is God is...seen?

Such intriguing stillness!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain speaks. Rain silences. Rain fills basement. Sump pump braves submersion. Water recedes.
How amazing, how amazing!
Hard to comprehend that
Nonsentient beings expound Dharma.
It simply cannot be heard with the ear,
But when sound is heard with the eye,
Then it is understood.
- Tung-shan (807-869)
Language speaks.

Silence speaks.


To both.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday's Laura Soul-Friend Conversation came to focus on how we language our perceptions. There's a curious disintegration of discourse and nomenclature going on in the political and governmental arenas in the United States and around the world..
--"Ending War" now means increasing troops, munitions, and spending.
--"Protecting the Environment" now means giving polluters and ravagers ten more years to consider reducing their destruction of the earth.
--"Ending Abortion" now means killing doctors and attacking clinics.
--"Love Your Country" now means supporting whatever it does with regard to warfare, capitalism, medical insurance, or powerful corporations.
--"Get Out and Vote" now means believing that no matter how frustrated you are about the policies and direction of the leaders, it can be solved only at the voting booth every 2 or 4 years.
--"Change is Coming" now means wait 2 or 4 more years before acting on the belief that voting changes anything truly important.
--"We are a Christian Nation" now means that however and whatever anyone with a gun decides the Bible means to them, they are free to start a war, kill a doctor, deny science, let illness be God's judgment, and hope for the end of the world so that you can be with Jesus in some grand hereafter. {Read "Allah" and "Muslim" for other parts of the world.}

Amos Wilder once wrote:
Generations live in it (language) as a habitat in which they are born and die... The language of a people is its fate. Thus the poets or seers who purify the language of the tribe are truly world-makers. (--Amos Wilder, Early Christian Rhetoric)
Thomas Merton once wrote that we need a new language of prayer.
This new language of prayer has to come out of something which transcends all our traditions, and comes out of the immediacy of love. (--in The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (1975) Part One : Ceylon / November 29 - December 6)
Watching the video from "Rethinking Afghanistan" by Robert Greenwald, ( is part of the maddening deterioration of language -- a version of "We'll free you by killing you." Far too much latitude is given to the language: "War is messy," and "Civilians, unfortunately, are accidentally injured."

We have to listen deeper for the new language.
Each of you has a priceless
Jewel in your own body.
It radiates light through your eyes,
Shining through the
Mountains, river, and earth.
It radiates light through your ears,
Taking in all sounds, good and bad.
It radiates light through
Your six senses day and night.
This is also called absorption in light.
You yourself do not recognize it,
But it is in your physical body,
Supporting it inside and out,
Not letting it tip over.
Even if you are carrying
A double load of rocks
Over a single-log bridge,
It still doesn’t let you fall over.
What is it?
If you seek in the slightest,
It cannot be seen.

- Ta-an (d.883)
Some would say that on a higher level God knows what is happening and no one can really be harmed.

My faith seems to falter at the belief that it doesn't matter what happens to people, the earth, animals, and this unusual thing we call "existence." I don't know how to respond to those who say it is all an illusion created by our mind's perceptions, and that if we change our perception, it's all good. Some say that in this illusion we call life, it doesn't matter one way or the other. I'm agnostic in the face of such statements.

I'll be nailing ceder shingles as I consider these matters.

It will be my meditation. My prayer.

My inhaling preparation for a language soon to arrive in some coming exhalation.

Until I am able to hear the wisdom residing in the gap between breath coming and going, I'll merely practice.

As breath arrives.

As breath departs.

This is my faith.

This, my fate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Spring begins to run out. Metaphors are like that. They step in, stand for something beyond them, then step out. We're left with what has been pointed to, only without taking off shoes to stay for long.
Blue pines and green bamboos
Shade my window,
Flowers smile,
Warblers sing by my hermitage.
As I climb the stone steps,
I see the strengths of cedars;
At the pure cool mountaintop,
Buddha is bright and vivid.

- Deiryu
It's time to walk away from snarling mockery. Leave that to the snarling mockers It's their job.

June has grown full of itself.

We need a new language -- our fate depends on it, as does the prayer needed to face this fate.

The old thing is dead.

A new reality comes to breathe.

One breath at a time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Now it is nearing midnight.
The thought of enlightenment has many names but they all refer to one and the same mind. Nagarjuna said, "The mind that fully sees into the uncertain world of birth and death is called the thought of enlightenment." Thus if we maintain this mind, this mind can become the thought of enlightenment.
- Dogen (1200-1253)
Don't think about it.

Sip water.

Go to bed.

Amnesty International, meeting at hermitage tonight, graciously leave us a copy of Walk for Tibet 2009, Indiana to New York, about Jigme Norbu's 900 mile walk. Norbu's father , recently deceased, was the older brother of the Dalai Lama. "The walk was a son's tribute to his father, Norbu said." (Final line in book.)

Walk, don't think.

Sleep, don't think.

Swallow water.
For current information about Meetingbrook: Update and events

Monday, June 15, 2009

There's suspicion that not much is changing in Washington. Maybe that's par for the course. I never liked golf, golf metaphors, nor country clubs.
The universal body of reality
Is so subtle that you do not
Hear it when you deliberately listen for it,
And you do not see it when you look at it.
As for the pure knowledge
That has no teacher,
How can it be attained by thought or study?

- Huanglong
No teacher. No knowledge. No special understanding.

All that remains is the hard and disconcerting fact of learning.

Learning itself.

Forget change.

Instead, learn.

Begin there.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hospitality, meditative prayer, and conversation are three types of practice.

The practice community is diverse and differentiated. The intention is unity, the purpose undifferentiated.
Attain the center of emptiness,
Preserve the utmost quiet;
As myriad things act in concert
I thereby observe the return.
Things flourish,
Then each returns to its root.
Returning to the root
Is called stillness:
Stillness is called return to Life,
Return to Life is called the constant;
Knowing the constant is called enlightenment.

- Tao-te Ching
If we see everything as an act of love, then every act, no matter its intent, is an act of love. Our eyes and heart ensure the transformation.

Late spring rain drenches earth.

Dog gnaws bone.

My heart sets about to see as seeing should be.