Saturday, July 04, 2009

A spate of sunlight. An hour, then two, of it. It lengthens. I do laundry. I string lines from barn to boat to roof rack of car back to starboard side. I stand back and admire the shirts on hangers, everything else draped over tied line. The rarity of sun-drying in Maine this season!

Then, from over mountain, dark clouds. Storm approaches. All grows dark. The few hours of sunlight is gone. Again, as so often and without surcease, the sky opens. Tremendous downpour. For close to an hour. I apologize to my newly re-soaked clothing strung across the dooryard. They'll stay put there overnight. Think of it as camping out. The rain has continued for hours. It's what I get for having a mountain out back I can't see over.
And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
(--from Mark 6:1-6)
At Lectio in cabin this morning we consider that one who speaks truth is not easily welcomed. Truth is a funny guest. It threatens what we believe. Then we get angry. Attack the truth and the person conveying it. Just one more dishonored lout driven away.
Just don't seek from another
Or you'll be far estranged from self.
I now go on alone
Meeting it everywhere
It now is just what I am
I now am not it.
You must comprehend in this way
To merge with thusness.

- Dongshan Liangjie (807-869)
Maybe we drive truth away because it consorts with others. We want it for ourselves. Jealousy shoots the other then takes one's own life. A perfect murder suicide. Truth wanders away disconsolate.

A prophet speaks forth truth. There's no foretelling truth. Truth only exists in the present moment.

We open our eyes. We open our mouth.

We see what we are.


Friday, July 03, 2009

Speculation is not seeing. It is guesswork. Don't guess. Just don't know.
You will see then that
both your body and mind,
together with the mountains,
rivers, space, and earth
of the outward world,
are all within the
wonderful, illumined, and true Mind.

- Surangama Sutra
Everything within mind cannot be known. Nothing there can be known. What then?
‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

(--from John 20: 24-29)
Thomas presages "Seeing is believing." No-seeing is erroneously called faith. Nor is it the "certainty" many espouse.

John might have seen it unclearly. Thomas wasn't about experience nor about seeing. Not even about believing.

Thomas sought his true name.

What is it?
God has no name And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end. All names are unified; all space is filled with truth's reflection. Every gap is closed, and separation healed. (--from Lesson 184, ACIM)
It is a matter of 1 and 0. Open or closed.

Closed loop or open transcending spiral.

Thomas longed to be himself, face to face.

There is no out from inside. There is no in from outside.

There is only true mind.

Reflecting what is here.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

We danced to Credence Clearwater Revival's Have You Ever Seen the Rain, and Who'll Stop the Rain this morning while wrapping cookies and this evening after A Course in Miracles.
Singularly radiating
Is the wondrous Light;
Free is it from the bondage
Of matter and the senses.
Not bound by words and letters,
The Essence is nakedly exposed
In its pure eternity.
Never defiled is the Mind-nature;
It exists in perfection
From the very beginning.
By merely casting away your delusions
The Suchness of Buddhahood is realized.

- Seng Ts'an
Heavy rain with thunder and lightning.

What is God's name?

God's name is what is revealing and inviting Itself.
God is a pure no-thing,
concealed in now and here:
the less you reach for him,
the more he will appear
(-- Poem by Angelus Silesius, 1624-1677)
Flashing light across sky dark gray with fog and mist.

Cherry Blossoms and Butoh. The performance of soggy early July.

If God has no name, every word we pronounce tells us what God transcends.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Forgive everything. Withhold nothing. Free the imprisoned self encircled by the ego. Forget tomorrow.
To practice the Tao
Is like defending the forbidden
Royal Palace under invasion.
Guard it closely with your life,
And fight for it with all your might!
Behold, if the freezing cold
Has not yet penetrated
To the core of your bones,
How can it be possible for you
To smell the fresh fragrance
Of the blooming plum blossom?

- Huang Po
If we're going to ride a bicycle or an ox, ride well. Don't fall off unless you have to. Then fall well.
Be careful, my child, in all you do, well-disciplined in all your behaviour. Do to no one what you would not want done to you. Give your bread to those who are hungry, and your clothes to those who are naked. Whatever you own in plenty, devote a proportion to almsgiving. Bless the Lord God in everything; beg him to guide your ways and bring your paths and purposes to their end.
(--Tobit 4:14-15,16,19 )
The sangha is all of it. Forget everything else and what is sought after appears of itself with no effort.

Call it love. Or truth. Even wisdom compassion.

No one knows the rules of the game.

Not even that it is a game.



Saskia completes lobster cookies for the couple's wedding.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So it is.

Listening at mass this morning I hear the words "this" and "is" and "us."
Outwardly, all activities cease;
Inwardly, the mind stops its panting.
When one"s mind has become a wall,
Then he may begin to enter the Tao.

There's not much need to travel anywhere away from home.
Sitting in cabin reading book on zen, cat in loft, dog on rug, I stretch along zabuton leaning against zafu along wall. Fire in wood stove to singe dampness.

Everything seems silly.

Except solitude.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's little noted. Not this year. A mere afterthought.

13 years ago today we opened the bookshop/bakery by the harbor. Two months shy of today we moved out, losing our lease to a new owner of the building. That was long ago.
There is an adamantine Buddha Nature
Within the bodies of sentient beings.
Like the sun, it is essentially bright,
Perfect, and complete.
Although vast and limitless,
It is merely covered by the layered clouds
Of the five skandas.
Like a lamp inside a jar,
Its light shines nonetheless.

- Sutra of the Ten Stages
I begin to feel old. I feel like a mud-puddle after 9 days of rain.

The cedar boardwalk to sliding door by bird feeder is built. The enormous stone placed between two 8' lengths is perfect. I strain my body transporting it from behind barn past muddy runoff.

We watch and listen to Chalmers Johnson Speaking Freely Vol.4. His words are stark and clear. The United States is in serious trouble trying to be a Military Empire and a Domestic Democracy. The latter is failing.
Sheep In Fog
by Sylvia Plath

The hills step off into whiteness.
People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them.

The train leaves a line of breath.
O slow
Horse the colour of rust,

Hooves, dolorous bells ----
All morning the
Morning has been blackening,

A flower left out.
My bones hold a stillness, the far
Fields melt my heart.

They threaten
To let me through to a heaven
Starless and fatherless, a dark water.
(--Poem by Sylvia Plath)
Johnson feels it is just about too late.

Plath sees it her own way.

As for me -- at least the cedar boards are fragrant.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

For events, visit:
Every mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, aunt and uncle, school-teacher and corner-sitting coffee drinker has possessed the sage understanding-without-comprehension whenever they responded to the question "Why?" with "Because!"

Morning sitting. Rokie and me. Fog and mist. Damp and stillness. Boardwalk complete. A long invitation to feet.
You always have the most of everything – of faith, of eloquence, of understanding, of keenness for any cause, and the biggest share of our affection – so we expect you to put the most into this work of mercy too. Remember how generous the Lord Jesus was: he was rich, but he became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of his poverty. This does not mean that to give relief to others you ought to make things difficult for yourselves: it is a question of balancing what happens to be your surplus now against their present need, and one day they may have something to spare that will supply your own need. That is how we strike a balance: as scripture says: The man who gathered much had none too much, the man who gathered little did not go short.
(--2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15)
At conversation on Friday Jay and O'a said the word "because" several times illustrating the answer often given to the question "Why?" when asked. The word was suddenly heard "Be Cause."

There is no answer to the question "Why?".

There is only a response: "Be Cause!"

Nothing precedes "Why" --

There is only the invitation to "Be Cause" -- that is, originate what now happens with your asking. Become source. Be origin.

Get started.
Buddha, being originally "empty" and "without Form" takes the Form of the Thus-Come, whether as the simple Form of Buddha, as in sambbogakaya, or as the double Form of man-Buddha, and is revealed as such. Essentially this means an ekkenosis ("making oneself empty"), even though at first glance it may appear to be just the opposite. The transition from being without Form to being in Form means non-ego and Compassion, like a schoolmaster playing with the children. In any case, throughout the basic thought of Buddhology, especially in the Mahayana tradition, the concepts of emptiness , Compassion, and non-ego are seen to be inseparably connected. The Buddhist way of life as well as its way of thought are permeated with kenosis and ekkenosis. Tathagata is taken to mean both "Thus-Gone" as well as Thus-Come." The reason is easy to understand, since disclosure is here inseparable from keeping hidden, being without Form from being in Form, emptiness from Compassion. That is, taking Form means a self-determination, and self-determination means negation (or self-negation). Compassion means a self-negation, a "making oneself empty," as a disclosure of the original emptiness. Thus-Come always means Thus-Gone.
(--footnote 4, p.288, from chapter 2: The Personal and the Impersonal in Religion, in Religion and Nothingness, by Keiji Nishitani c. 1982)
This morning Rokie and I were cause for the meditation cabin.

Red squirrels surround the house, barn, and cabin, chanting their morning psalms.

If we don't ask why, we'll never get started. If we do ask, we'd better get ready to get busy (or perhaps, get not-busy) with life.

Of course, there are always new questions -- it's what we do.

Like: "Why Be Cause?"