Saturday, February 20, 2010

There is
nothing wrong
with silence
Rethinking Ralph Nader. He didn't spoil the 2000 nor 2004 elections. He ran for office. That's that.
The mighty ocean has but one taste,
The taste of salt.
Even so, the true way has
But one savor,
The savor of freedom.

- Majjhima Nikaya
I like the idea of freedom. Even more, I like the practice of it.

Something difficult creeps into the politics of this country.

What shall we call it?

Something Naderless.

We need to find a cure.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Enter my mind and take off your body.

God's invitation.
How I love the natural Buddha
Who waters the wide world with his mercy.
No place to hide in the vast sky;
Even inside the overturned bowl it's wet.

- Jinkag Haesim (1178-1234)
We grow old. The body says it is time to fail. As the poet wrote: "There's no success like failure, and failure's no success at all."

What once was meant to be a statement --
a dripping dagger held in the fist
of a shuddering heart -- is now just a bruise
on a bony old shoulder, the spot
where vanity once punched him hard
and the ache lingered on. He looks like
someone you had to reckon with,
strong as a stallion, fast and ornery,
but on this chilly morning, as he walks
between the tables at a yard sale
with the sleeves of his tight black T-shirt
rolled up to show us who he was,
he is only another old man, picking up
broken tools and putting them back,
his heart gone soft and blue with stories.
(Poem by Ted Kooser, from Delights & Shadows, published by Copper Canyon Press, 2004,)
Soft and blue.
Sit a while. Tell me a story. Let it be sad if it wishes.

I can hear it.

I've got no place to go.

Nothing else to do.

Merely a mindless and nescient nobody.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The peanut butter is organic from the co-op.

The wind is natural from northeast.

Freeman Dyson, theoretical physicist and mathematician known for his work in quantum field theory, makes a distinction about being a practicing Christian, not a believing Christian:
I am myself a Christian, a member of a community that preserves an ancient heritage of great literature and great music, provides help and counsel to young and old when they are in trouble, educates children in moral responsibility, and worships God in its own fashion. But I find Polkinghorne's theology altogether too narrow for my taste. I have no use for a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe. I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian. To me, to worship God means to recognize that mind and intelligence are woven into the fabric of our universe in a way that altogether surpasses our comprehension. When I listen to Polkinghorne describing the afterlife, I think of God answering Job out of the whirlwind, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?... Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.... Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?" God's answer to Job is all the theology I need. As a scientist, I live in a universe of overwhelming size and mystery. The mysteries of life and language, good and evil, chance and necessity, and of our own existence as conscious beings in an impersonal cosmos are even greater than the mysteries of physics and astronomy. Behind the mysteries that we can name, there are deeper mysteries that we have not even begun to explore.
(in The New York Review of Books, Volume 49, Number 5 · March 28, 2002, Science & Religion: No Ends in Sight, By Freeman Dyson, reviewing: The God of Hope and the End of the World, by John Polkinghorne
God is love. Perhaps there's no need to believe in God or anything else.

There is a need to practice love, to practice God. Here, and here, and here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Nescere Ama Nesciri." There. Something belonging to itself.

It is a good motto. "To not know... love... to be unknown."
Psalm 102 (103)

The Lord is compassion and kindness,
full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.
As high as the sky above the earth,
so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
For he knows how we are made,
he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
no trace of him remains.
Don't know.

Be unknown.

Only love.
Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

(--from poem Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot)




Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fort Kent, Caribou, Presque Isle, Houlton. We skirt the edges of Canada. Things look different up here.
Stop and look around you.
Look out from the frameless window
Of a long pause.
Let the images come to you
Rather than chasing outward after them.
Allow yourself to reorient so that
You're no longer pulled along
By the stream of events.
If you want to see differently,
You'll have to look differently.

(- Journeys on Mind Mountain)
A man with balloons on his hat greeted us on our walk tonight along the streets of Houlton. He thinks it will snow.

The masons erected a bust of George Washington in a center square.

A martial arts group went through their storefront exercises.

It's Tuesday night. Tomorrow will be Wednesday.

Nothing more.

Seen clearly.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Here is what love is.
Overcome your uncertainties
And free yourself
From dwelling on sorrow.
If you delight in existence,
You will become a guide
To those who need you,
Revealing the path to many.

- Sutta Nipata
Love is what God is.

And that is this:

Love is this moment speaking.

God is what is being said.