Saturday, November 14, 2009

A hermeneutic:

In the beginning earth breathing wholeness is monotheism's awakening.

Then, embodying wholeness is God become human.
Know the essence of mind.
Its intrinsic essence is pure clarity.
It is essentially the same as a Buddha.
Know the functions of mind.
Its functions produce the treasury of teachings.
When its activity is always silent,
Myriad illusions become suchness.

- Tao-hsin (580-651)
When no longer angered or disturbed by the reality of what is taking place around me, I surrender to the wholeness.

This is the course of Oneness -- of monotheism -- moving through Judaism, to Christianity, to Islam.

Fragmented and scattered mind finds Itself.

In whole-sight.

What needs doing...

Is being done.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Have you affirmed the Charter for Compassion yet? Image

Thursday, November 12, 2009

There's no purpose. We're useless.

And we love it.

The Zen Master asks, "But, what is 'it'?"
"And, irrespective of what one might assume, in the life of a science, problems do not arise by themselves. It is precisely this that marks out a problem as being of the true scientific spirit: all knowledge is in response to a question. If there were no question, there would be no scientific knowledge. Nothing proceeds from itself. Nothing is given. All is constructed."
(--Gaston Bachelard in La formation de l'esprit scientifique, 1934)
Everything is itself. Everything is done for itself. No other purpose. No other reason.

Stop trying to be something. Or to do something.
As long as we insist that meditation must be meaningful, we fail to understand it. We meditate with the idea that we’re going to get something from it—that it will lower our blood pressure, calm us down, or enhance our concentration. And, we believe, if we meditate long enough, and in just the right way, it might even bring us to enlightenment.

All of this is delusion.

- Steve Hagen, from “Looking For Meaning,” Tricycle, Fall 2003
A man stops by. His wife has entered an Alzheimer's unit. He misses her. I feel for them.

Words and presence are the manifest realities of true silence and inseparate wholeness.

It grows starker these nights.

It is clearly, coldly, November.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Men and women who've served in the military -- especially those who experienced combat circumstances -- are to be acknowledged and thanked.

Those responsible for the stupidity of war are to be held accountable for their actions.

War is the one insult to human intelligence that human intelligence has not yet figured out.
The great way of the buddhas is profound, wondrous, inconceivable; how could its practice be easy? Have you not seen how the ancients gave up their bodies and lives, abandoned their countries, cities, and families, looking upon them as shards of tile? After that they passed eons living alone in the mountains and forests, bodies and minds like dead trees; only then did they unite with the way. Then they could use the mountains and rivers for words, raise the wind and rain for a tongue, and explain the great void, turning the incomparable wheel.
- Dogen (1200-1253)
However much we hate war, we have compassion for those suffering it -- combatants and civilians.
Calm fell. From Heaven distilled a clemency;
There was peace on earth, and silence in the sky;
Some could, some could not, shake off misery:
The Sinister Spirit sneered: "It had to be!"
And again the Spirit of Pity whispered, "Why?"

(- final stanza from poem, And There Was a Great Calm, by Thomas Hardy)
The spirit of compassion, even pity, must be responded to.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We're not sure what to do with life or death.
Sniper Who Killed 10 Is Executed in Virginia
By IAN URBINA 1 minute ago; New York Times, 10Nov09

John A. Muhammad, whose murderous shooting spree in the fall of 2002 left at least 10 people dead, was executed on Tuesday night at a Virginia state prison.
We might be safer with him dead.

But we're not any wiser; not any better. Do we even want to be?
There is more to desire than just suffering. There is a yearning in desire that is as spiritual as it is sensual. Even when it degenerates into addiction, there is something salvageable from the original impulse that can only be described as sacred. Something in the person wants to be free, and it seeks its freedom any way it can. […]

As the well-known contemporary Indian teacher Sri Nisargadatta, famous for sitting on a crowded street corner selling inexpensive bidis, or Indian cigarettes, once commented, “The problem is not desire. It’s that your desires are too small.” The left-handed path means opening to desire so that it becomes more than just a craving for whatever the culture has conditioned us to want. Desire is a teacher: when we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame, or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allows us to embrace life fully.
(- Mark Epstein, from “In Defense of Desire,” Tricycle, Spring 2005)
We are so many dead men walking around no longer breathing -- but not willing to close eyes and exhale.

Tide out.

We hardly want to know what we truly desire.

But we are just.

We can kill.


Monday, November 09, 2009

No need to be afraid of knowledge.

No need to be afraid of uncertainty.

Hospitality, conversation, and meditation are good examples of small ways available to us to affirm the simplicity of service, silence, and stillness.

I don't for a minute think that an empty room is empty of all the beings once occupying it.

Zen is the practice of seeing this emptiness through.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

What is Ultimate Reality? It is what-is without the blade of thought to cut it.

There is only Ultimate Reality. All thinking that severs and divides is illusory thinking.
Imagination draws its energy from a confrontation with desire. It feeds off desire, transmuting and magnifying reality through desire’s power. Fantasy does the opposite; it avoids desire by fleeing into a crude sort of wish-fulfillment that seems much safer. Fantasy might be teddy bears, lollipops, sexual delights, or superhero adventures; it also might be voices in one’s head urging acts of outrage and mayhem. Or it might be the confused world of separation and fear we routinely live in, a threatening yet seductive world that promises us the happiness we seek when our fantasies finally become real. Imagination confronts desire directly, in all its discomfort and intensity, deepening the world right where we are. Fantasy and reality are opposing forces, but imagination and reality are not in opposition: imagination goes toward reality, shapes and evokes it.
(- Norman Fischer, from “Saved From Freezing,” Tricycle, Spring 2005)
Karl sends postcard from Village Soup with photo of us at the shop by the harbor. He says,"This photo always brings back fond memories...".

We imagine a new reality. Evoking it.

Shaping it.

Becoming it.