Saturday, December 31, 2011

In self-effacement and anonymity.

In the H'oponopono practice it is the expression of sorrow and love that reaches for mercy and forgiveness, saying, "I'm sorry," and, "I love you." It is mercy itself and forgiveness itself that you are serving for yourself and the other person.

No matter what.

In Tonglin practice the process of healing and transformation can be assisted with your breath by your allowing through you to the Buddha or Christ that which needs to be healed or transformed, allowing the return back through, the very healing and transforming grace.

In both practices, it is not you doing the forgiveness and love, healing and transformation -- you are only a conduit, a passageway to the source itself.

No matter what.

We are meant to be a passageway, and not in the way.

A Christian passage:
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)
A Buddhist passage:
"To follow the path of wisdom has never been more urgent or more difficult. Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that are destroying the planet. It has never been more difficult to hear the unflattering voice of the truth, and never more difficult, once having heard it, to follow it: because there is nothing in the world around us that supports our choice, and the entire society in which we live seems to negate every idea of sacredness or eternal meaning. So at the time of our most acute danger, when our very future is in doubt, we as human beings find ourselves at our most bewildered, and trapped in a nightmare of our own creation."
(from, Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche)
To a living way:
The following notations have been gleaned from the commentary of the translator, Raymond Blakney, in 1955 ...
The identity of China's mystics is complicated by the rule that no true mystic would know himself to be such.

"Where there is no author, however, it is necessary to invent one; and by the time the Tao Te Ching had been put in form, legend had supplied Lao Tzu, and Ssu-ma Ch'ien incorporated the legend in his Historical Records (Chap.63). It presents Lao Tzu correctly enough as one who had given up civilised and is impatient with Confucian ideas and who accordingly departs for points unknown, presumably to live out life as a recluse."

"Confucius came to Chou to consult old Lao Tzu about ritual." [and spoke of the heroes of old ...]

"Lao Tzu said,
All those men of whom you speak have long since mouldered away with their bones.
Only their words remain.
When a capable man's time comes, he rises; if it does not, then he wanders wearily around.
I have heard that good merchants keep their goods buried deeply to make it look as if they had none,
and that a superior man whose character is perfected will feign stupidity.
Give up, sir, your proud airs, your many wishes, mannersims and extravagant claims.
They won't do you any good, sir!
That's all I have to tell you."
"Confucius went off and said to his students: 'I know that birds can fly and fish can swim and beasts can run. Snares can be set for things that run, nets for those that swim and arrows for whatever flies. But dragons! I shall never know how they ride the wind and cloud up into the sky. Today I saw Lao Tzu. What a dragon!'"

"Lao Tzu practiced the Way and its Virtue. He learned to do his work in self-effacement and anonymity. For a long time he lived in Chou, and when he saw that it was breaking up, he left. At the frontier, the official Yin Hsi said: 'Since, sir, you are retiring, I urge you to write me a book."

"So Lao Tzu wrote a book in two parts, explaining the Way and its Virtue in something over five thousand words.
Then he went away.
No one knows where he died."

(from, The Way of Life - "Tao Te Ching" ...
The Mystic Wisdom of Ancient China, Translators Notes ... 1955)
May no one know where we die!

And, not knowing, pray and practice for us a way of life: Way itself!

Thank you, old year!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Showing up where you are just this moment

Be. Here. Now.

Three good words.

Presence. Place. Present.

We watched film About Richard Alpert (Ram Das), "Fierce Grace," and had circle discussion at Rockland Public Library Thursday evening after shortened conversation at hermitage on year-end Course in Miracles text.

Judy choose from Teacher's Manuel a text to end with, a prayer to take us out. (I cannot find it just now, but in searching, find this):

Indeed, yes! No one can escape God's Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him. He will hear his sinlessness proclaimed around and around the world, setting it free as God's Final Judgment on him is received. This is the Judgment in which salvation lies. This is the Judgment that will set him free. This is the Judgment in which all things are freed with him. Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:

Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace

forever in the Heart of God. Where is the world,

and where is sorrow now?

Is this your judgment on yourself, teacher of God? Do you believe that this is wholly true? No; not yet, not yet. But this is still your goal; why you are here. It is your function to prepare yourself to hear this Judgment and to recognize that it is true. One instant of complete belief in this, and you will go beyond belief to Certainty. One instant out of time can bring time's end. Judge not, for you but judge yourself, and thus delay this Final Judgment. What is your judgment of the world, teacher of God? Have you yet learned to stand aside and hear the Voice of Judgment in yourself? Or do you still attempt to take His role from Him? Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.

You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. God's Judgment waits for you to set you free. What can the world hold out to you, regardless of your judgments on its gifts, that you would rather have? You will be judged, and judged in fairness and in honesty. There is no deceit in God. His promises are sure. Only remember that. His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone, will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it to your heart, and offer it to all the world to keep it safe.

(from, A Course in Miracles)
Never fond of traditional definition of the word 'judge' -- it appears to me this morning as the Japanese word 'mu-ge,' which translates as 'no-barrier.'
[2] Suzuki-roshi discusses ri and ji extensively in the Sandokai lectures: "When you practice zazen more, you can accept things as your own, whatever it is, you know. That is actually the teaching of, you know, famous teaching of Kegon-jiji-muge.[2] Jiji-muge means 'being has no,' you know, 'no barrier, no disturbance.' It-it, you know-interrelated closely. And it is difficult to say, 'This is bird, and this is me,' because it is interrelated very closely. So it is difficult to separate bluejay from me. That is jiji-muge." [From fourth Sandokai lecture, SR-70-06-03, p. 3.] (--from Suzuki Roshi Transcripts, San Francisco Zen Center)
God's final judgment is no-barrier -- the revelation and realization of no-separation (presence), no-distance (place), no-time (present).

God's promises are sure: Be; Here; Now!

The barriers and beliefs constructed by the mind have fallen to earth where Christ is found in each grain of soil, each gain of soul, each refrain of the song of God.

I'd buy a ticket for this show! Except that -- it's free, it's me, it's thee!

Want to go for a ride?


Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is to follow what?

Working as surgeon with humanitarian hands, "Completely present with unclouded mind." That's what James Orbinski said he had to do as the killing took place around him -- about doctoring during the genocide in Rwanda in 2009 documentary film "Triage, Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma."

Orbinski, former head of the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) was also there in Somalia, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sudan in humanitarian stark and terrible times when human cruelty and indifference was met with particular, specific, and concrete attentive response.
The tallest peaks
North of the district—
Cliffs so high
The road is lost in clouds.
At dawn,
I climb the tower for a look,
Gradually feeling
Their serene effect.
In smoke-blue haze,
Massed peaks
Appear as if joined.
When will I climb
And set foot there,
And gaze on all
Creation below?

- Chia Tao (779-843)
With a man like Orbinski there is only solid ground and real flesh. No gazing on what's below or lofty distance from which to pontificate or speculate. Science and service brook no metaphoric substitution. Horror and terror are real and awful weapons alongside machetes, Kalashnikovs, and withholding food.
Sharp desolation walks with dull consolation in the wrenching things his eyes have seen.
Never Forget!
by Saado Cabdi Amarre

If you're elected as an impartial judge
But you tend to stick close to your clan
Corruption will be rooted in your mind
If you sell property behind the owner's back
You'll find yourself playing a dangerous game
Deception and fraud are the enemies of justice
There's a clear line between them
If you shun responsibility and turn your back on the law
If justice is muddied then confusion will reign.

Hey you, Xaashi! Look at the children robbed clean of everything
Look at the pleas of those women the judge ignored
An astonishing arrogance that now goes unnoticed
A nation of evil-doers will never progress
When lawyers themselves corrupt the law
When people are bribed and imprisoned for nothing
Wrong-doing in this life will be paid for after death
Peace is impossible unless evil is confronted

It's irrelevant that this man comes from my neighbourhood
It doesn't matter to the case if you are close to him
The trial doesn't concern any of these issues
Hey you, judge, focus on the facts and on justice
You've got blood on your hands, you're tainted with deception
You hide poison at the bottom of the bowl
Here justice is as pointless as a poorly-tied camel-halter
Because all the judges are so easily bought
Those who can't bribe are forced to walk through a thorn thicket
My heart breaks at the suffering of so many people
It's an outrage if we can't bring justice into line
It's a disgrace if we don't all campaign for change

If the judge breaks the law and says robbery's legal
If the judge makes friends with greed and wealth
Never forget the true judgement of the grave!
Never forget there's a grave with your name on it!
Never forget hell and its punishments!
Never forget heaven and its blessings!
Never forget Allah records all your deeds!
Never forget the Day of Judgement!
Never forget that God is Chief Justice!

(The literal translation of this Somali poem was made by Maxamed Xasan 'Alto'
The final translated version of the poem is by Sarah Maguire)!
How we long for justice! How often is it's absence felt. Still, to go on, during no exterior verification of a fierce interior comprehension...

How puny I feel viewing these recent historical circumstances. Only a vague hope the feeling might turn into a sobering beginning from which to evolve.

This political and chaotic world needs sorting through with specific, detailed, particular, and felt acts of human decency so that insanity and inanity do not rot the roots of becoming human in the world.
"To See a World..."
(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence")

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus’d upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fiber from the Brain does tear.

He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
The Beggar’s Dog and Widow’s Cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.
The Gnat that sings his Summer song
Poison gets from Slander’s tongue.
The poison of the Snake and Newt
Is the sweat of Envy’s Foot.

A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro’ the World we safely go.

Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight.
Some are Born to sweet delight,
Some are Born to Endless Night.

(by William Blake, 1757-1827)
The task, as Dr. Orbinski points out, is to become completely present with unclouded mind for as long as we can to each person in whichever circumstance we arrive at.

Are we up to it? Am I? The onslaught of anti-humanitarian cynicism and profit-hungry rhetoric in the political theaters on this country's and world's stage alarms my naïveté. Christian charity and Buddhist compassion along with universal notions of justice and kindness might be inadequate antidote to greed, power, indifference, and smug elitism. What do you occupy to engender love in fearful places?
Somalia has been steadily worn down by decades of conflict and chaos, its cities in ruins and its people starving. Just this year, tens of thousands have died from famine, with countless others cut down in relentless combat. Now Somalis face yet another widespread terror: an alarming increase in rapes and sexual abuse of women and girls.

The Shabab militant group, which presents itself as a morally righteous rebel force and the defender of pure Islam, is seizing women and girls as spoils of war, gang-raping and abusing them as part of its reign of terror in southern Somalia, according to victims, aid workers and United Nations officials. Short of cash and losing ground, the militants are also forcing families to hand over girls for arranged marriages that often last no more than a few weeks and are essentially sexual slavery, a cheap way to bolster their ranks’ flagging morale.

But it is not just the Shabab. In the past few months, aid workers and victims say, there has been a free-for-all of armed men preying upon women and girls displaced by Somalia’s famine, who often trek hundreds of miles searching for food and end up in crowded, lawless refugee camps where Islamist militants, rogue militiamen and even government soldiers rape, rob and kill with impunity.

With the famine putting hundreds of thousands of women on the move — severing them from their traditional protection mechanism, the clan — aid workers say more Somali women are being raped right now than at any time in recent memory. In some areas, they say, women are being used as chits at roadblocks, surrendered to the gunmen staffing the barrier in the road so that a group of desperate refugees can pass.

(December 27, 2011, For Somali Women, Pain of Being a Spoil of War, By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN, The New York Times)

The dilemma is active hope in the midst of staggering numbness.

Even in my inadequacy and embarrassing smallness I affirm impossible human decency wherever enacted in the midst of frightening realization of what we are capable of -- what we must face in order order to...what?

In order to...what?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This being the between we are

As a Catholic Christian and a Zen Buddhist I find no difficulty. It's a non-difficult middlemost.

The continual exchange of center and circumference finds me in the middle of this dance of perception and actuality.

Difficulty arises when the thought arises that there is a decision to be made between two options. When you reside in the between there is no decision. What is there is what is there. One? Other? Not two things: just one-an-other. Which is another way of saying there is no other, only this, where you are/who you are.

I'm never not who and where I have been. I will always be where and who I am.

What is there to be cut away with the blade of decision? What 'two' is perceived as needing excision and extrication in or from our mind?

To dwell in the middle of the world, of existence, of my life, is to dwell in the middle of the question: Which would you prefer to cut away -- your inhaling or your exhaling?

There is no decision required. I stand between the options and, for now, right here, practice both inhaling and exhaling -- with great delight and happy realization of the gift.

I practice accepting simplicity, anonymous service, accommodating silence. (asasas)
In its most non-dualistic form, existential freedom comes only from realization of the "true man":
"If you want to freely live or die, go or stay, to take off or put on [your clothes], then right now recognize the man who is listening to my discourse. He is without form, without characteristics, without root, without source, and without any dwelling place, yet is brisk and lively." (Discourse XIV)
Freedom arises when we recognize who we really are -- and in our normal way of being, it is shattered when we think, speak, and act from habitual identification with body/mind phenomena. The process of such identification, this "thirst for becoming" (a deeply insightful teaching of the Buddha himself), is manifest in the endless stream of our personal tendencies, divided neatly by Buddhists into the triad of desire, aggression, and ignorance. When we realize ourselves to actually be this free inner agent, then we become that freedom itself.

In the chronicle of Lin-chi's rugged teaching, we see a beautiful example of action without hesitation. His wild ways -- shouting, beating, knocking over tables, and so on — is but skillful means in accordance with clarity, without fixed root. The true man, ever and always, is free and unperturbed. In Discourse XVIII, we hear a teaching which sounds curiously like the Chinese Taoist, Chuang Tzu:
"Only you, the follower of the Way right now before my eyes listening to my discourse, [only you] enter fire and are not burned, enter water and are not drowned, enter the three hells as though strolling in a pleasure gardens, enter the realms of the hungry ghosts and the beasts without suffering their fate. How can this be? There are no dharmas [genuine objective phenomena] to be disliked."
(from, "Lin-chi and the True Man without Rank"
by Scott Mandelker, Ph.D.
This time of year I note Jesus, Stephen, John, the Holy Innocents, Mary, Joseph, Angels, Animals, Francis, Story, Imagination, Hopes, Longings, Christ-Mind, and New Beginnings.

I also note Siddhartha, Tathagata, Kuan Yin, Dogen, Bodhidharma, Lin-chi, Layman Pang, Bankai, Ryokan, Meditation Bell, Zafu, Only-Don't-Know, InterBeing, Buddha-Mind, and Incense.

Mostly, I note that everywhere I look, in whatever direction gaze falls, the middle of everything seems to surround and sustain the no-effort no-choice no-other... presence of perfection which is what is. This 'what is' (as you know) has been known by and called by different names. You'll be able to recollect the name or names most familiar to you. For me, these days, like in Faust, I have no names, for: “Names are but noise and smoke, obscuring heavenly light.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

We have poets. We are fortunate. Even in their attempts to convey a point of view they are blessedly circumflex.
13. Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; 5
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: 10
Praise him.

(Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844–89. Poems. 1918)
This dappling stippling adazzling -- this being the between we are -- with asasas gratefulness!

Wind blows, water flows, nobody knows.

Say it: Ain't life grand?!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where no-one-else is

It's not so bad being alone.

The poem/video starts off with: "If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you've not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren't okay with it, then just wait. You'll find it's fine to be alone once you're embracing it."

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those “sappy slogans” from pre-school over to high school groaning, were tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relived, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it.

If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

(-- from poem by Tanya Davis – "How To Be Alone"
Being alone could even be when no one else is there.

Consider being no one else.

Be there where no-one-else is.

A work of art. Happily so.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The world disappears. Only sounds remain of a world evanescing. No need to remember it or wish it return. Only attend the sound of what is worlding said. Of that sound, heard through silence, comes to be what we need to see.

The Grace of Night Solitude

George the Golden sleeps in mud room. Mice forage in cabinets. Saskia visits family with our two dogs. I stay on futon alongside mudroom to keep George company. He complains. I tell him if he hadn't immediately peed on rug when his caretaker brought him in during the pipes-bursting emergency on Christmas night, maybe he'd be on this side of the glass door instead of on the many tiered bedding cushion and towels beside winter boots. He's content to watch the firestove orange flames and feel the up swoop ceiling fan drop warmth over partition to foyer flophouse in strange residence until morning.

I've had more luck than Han-Shan:
Late at night I sit alone
And work on deadwood zen
I stir the lifeless ashes
The fire won't relight
Suddenly I hear the tower
Chimes resound.
Its sound of clarity
Fills the winter sky.

- Han-shan Te-ch'ing (1546-1623)
We walk out to soft snow at 3:00am and feel the grace of night solitude, me in red shorts and Baffin boots and down vest, George in happy 5 inch snow peeing freely under white lighted wreath behind block and tackle hanging from bookshed ridge pole.

I bow to snow blanketed Christmas Buddha and Celtic Cross stalwart in new-found alliance in welcoming view to drop-by friends.

Surrounded by medical faces last week their greatest interest (aside from physical hearts) was the monastic hermit vocation in response to their questions wanting to know 'What do you do?' (as in: what does your heart do with it's erratic and restricted beats?

A seminar on surgical asymptomatic symbolism right there and then which was, at the time, here and now.

Life is life, all of it -- no choosing between this and that; mere acceptance of this and that and life in the between.

Still, we muse:

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

(Poem, "When You Are Old" is reprinted from The Rose. W.B. Yeats. 1893.)
Fondly so, for we are a frail and fragile recollecting family making way day by day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Venite adoremus

Jesus, like Buddha before him, longed for us to transcend greed, anger, and ignorance. He wished to reintroduce generosity, compassion, and wisdom.

We live and die between this and that.

As visitors here and there let's opt for genuine peace, presence, and everyday kindness.
When ice on the pond is three feet thick
And white snow stretches a thousand miles,
My heart will still be like the pine and cypress,
But your heart, what will it be?

- Ziye (265-420)
Snow settles quietly on bronze Celtic cross and stone Buddha at outside corner of bookshed/retreat. nobis

Merry Christmas!

Note: There will be no Sunday Evening Practice on Christmas Day.

Christus Natus Est...

Nothing is without God

Word is, nor are we

Without God, that is --

Nor is nothing not

Within silence, everything is


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 28

Four men stacked the remainder of three cord of green wood I'd left under tarp where dropped the days surrounding Saskia's mother's passing transition here at the hermitage.

While they worked I was on a table watching someone's heart on large simulcast being explored one day then excavated the next by wires and cameras and balloons and meshy hold-em-opens.

God is good. People, all of us, are good. I gratefully acknowledge this and celebrate it.

I especially bow in gratitude to all the men and women extending acuity, skill, kindness, and care to those of us placed in their hands.

With love!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sometimes you do come back.
U.S. Life Saving Service Station History
The Surfman Motto:
"You have to go out,
but you do not have to come back!"

A letter to the editor of the old Coast Guard Magazine written by CBM Clarence P. Brady, USCG (Ret.) which was published in the March 1954 (page 2) issue, states that the first person to make this remark was Patrick Etheridge. Brady knew him when both were stationed at the Cape Hatteras LSS. Brady tells the story as follows:

"A ship was stranded off Cape Hatteras on the Diamond Shoals and one of the life saving crew reported the fact that this ship had run ashore on the dangerous shoals. The old skipper gave the command to man the lifeboat and one of the men shouted out that we might make it out to the wreck but we would never make it back. The old skipper looked around and said, 'The Blue Book says we've got to go out and it doesn't say a damn thing about having to come back.'"

Etheridge was not exaggerating. The Regulations of the Life-Saving Service of 1899, Article VI "Action at Wrecks," section 252, page 58, state that:

"In attempting a rescue the keeper will select either the boat, breeches buoy, or life car, as in his judgement is best suited to effectively cope with the existing conditions. If the device first selected fails after such trial as satisfies him that no further attempt with it is feasible, he will resort to one of the others, and if that fails, then to the remaining one, and he will not desist from his efforts until by actual trial the impossibility of effecting a rescue is demonstrated. The statement of the keeper that he did not try to use the boat because the sea or surf was too heavy will not be accepted unless attempts to launch it were actually made and failed, or unless the conformation of the coast--as bluffs, precipitous banks, etc.--is such as to unquestionable preclude the use of a boat."

This section of the Regulations remained in force after the creation of the Coast Guard in 1915. The new Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations, 1934 edition, copied Section 252 word for word
as it appeared in 1899. [1934 Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations, Paragraph 28, page 4].

source: U.S. Coast Guard
Include gratitude, to each and all, for safe return.

I do.

Coming to: ad venire; 27

Saskia brought flowers.
I don't crave fame and profit or care that I'm poor;
Hiding in the depths of the mountains
I keep far away the world's dust;
The year has waned and the skies are cold:
Who'd be my companion?
The plum blossoms are adorned in moonlight
One branch-new.

- Jakushitsu Genko (1290-1367)
Three of them. They are silhouetted in vase against 9th floor windows looking out to Fore River through veil of falling snow illuminated with city lights during a quiet stretch of hospital night.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will proclaim your praise;
for you do not delight in sacrifices:
if I offered you a burnt offering, it would not please you.
The true sacrifice is a broken spirit:
a contrite and humble heart, O God, you will not refuse.

(from Psalm 51, Morning Prayer)
Prayer, I submit, is communion of thought and feeling intended toward someone's or something's healing recovery and healthy wholeness. Prayer penetrates and integrates where it visits, whether in this seeming existence or beyond into seamless inclusive presence of longing itself.

I am grateful for the kind thoughtful feeling prayer arriving here from other heres beyond this specific one.

Where, I occlude, and happily conclude, all is well.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 26

Time to change heart.

"My heart exults in the Lord." (1 Samuel 2)

Leap out, leap up, Skip beat, block passage. Get fixed, watch breath. Carefully.

This is today.

As is that which we call "Lord."

Right now he's snoring in next bed behind curtain.

As is Portland beyond window shade.

As am I before forgetting interdependent interrelational interbeing.

Change heart, see things through, with love.

Welcome, winter, returning light!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 25

Maybe this is as far as I go.
Under evergreens
I walk along a pathway
Now gone to sight
Beneath autumn leaves strewn there
By winter's mountain winds.

- Tonna (1289-1372)
I step out onto bulkhead deck as night and pre-dawn discuss their border edges before turning to their ritual exchange. I look up at stars. So many so far so beyond what can be entirely seen. It is hard to see beyond the edges of things, places, or persons. Still, we are called, to do, this.

The edge of everything is the startling invitation to consider going beyond what 'ego' sees to the completely beyond realization of what-is-awake within the one seeing itself.

Maybe 'I' stops at the edge of 'this' and cannot go further.

Maybe this is as far as 'I' goes.

As 'I' momentarily surrenders its passport and dissolves suddenly into surrounding landscape, there remains only 'this' only 'here' only 'now.'

Maybe this is as far as I go.

Ask: What's there to do?

Ha! Celebrate! Rejoice! Laugh and cry! Enter awakening realization!

Say: That's a good one!

Ask each other: Where've you been?

Yeah, yep, and yes...

Now here this...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Love is useful.

Does it matter if it emanates from the idea of christian thinking (divinity incarnating as love-with-us) or buddhist thinking (fully compassionate heart/mind realizing true nature)?

Use it.

Just be grateful.

And use love to be of service.

Coming to: ad venire; 24

I update WiserEarth profile. Most times the response to 'who am I?' is 'dunno!' -- but once in a while a longer meditation is required. Here's this morning's:

At meetingbrook hermitage we practice between traditions.
We attend to and cultivate three particular promises: contemplation, conversation, and correspondence.
The hermitage silent sittings, respite retreats, formal and informal conversations invite practicing deep listening and loving speech.
Our need for honest inquiry into true nature -- relational resonance with earth, cosmos, other people, all beings, and the holy sacred unknown some call god some call reality some call wholeness -- brings us to prison, correctional center, nursing home, hospice space, college classroom, quiet conversation, and simply being-with others in everydayness.
We call ourselves m.o.n.o. (monastics of no other) -- a literation where 'one' and 'my' and 'mu' dance and play with each another as might kitten or koan seeing itself in a mirror.
We are grateful for the gift of being here, alone with others, in the surround of thoughtful, creative, and compassionate community.
Our activism is being-here and responding to what-is presenting itself.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It is quiet around the hermitage
Daylight seeps into earth

Coming to: ad venire; 23

Language belongs to the earth. The earth speaks through you and me. Word and words.

Listening is the primary gift. Given and received.

We've been overlooking the obvious.

Advent is the coming to be of word and words through all that is, revealing and concealing, engaging creative experience of breathing intercourse birthing inimitable now with ineluctable here, a marriage replete with distinctive union, pregnant promise, pastoral sacredness -- all that we thought was somewhere else someone other sometime distant -- rather, in this place with this one in this instant a felt, proximate, living, and loving presence with your name my face your eyes my feet your seeing my finding your breathing my hearing your touching my tasting your fragrance as we are as it is as will be...

When we, as we, come to...

The sound of...

The sight of...

The feel of...

What is...

Coming to...


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Coming to: ad venire: 22

Sunday Morning Recollection of Sorrow in Three Parts


Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.
(--Ludwig Wittgenstein, from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)

Grinned horrible a ghastly smile, to hear
His famine should be filled.

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
(bk. II, l. 845)

Last Convoy of American Troops Leaves Iraq, Marking an End to the War

BAGHDAD — The last convoy of American troops to leave Iraq drove into Kuwait on Sunday morning, marking the end of the nearly nine-year war.

The convoy’s departure, which included about 110 vehicles and 500 soldiers, came three days after the American military folded its flag in a muted ceremony here to celebrate the end of its mission.

In darkness, the convoy snaked out of Contingency Operating Base Adder, near the southern city of Nasiriyah, around 2:30 a.m., and headed toward the border. The departure appeared to be the final moment of a drawn-out withdrawal that included weeks of ceremonies in Baghdad and around Iraq, and included visits by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, as well as a trip to Washington by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq.

As dawn approached on Sunday morning, the last trucks began to cross over the border into Kuwait at an outpost lit by floodlights and secured by barbed wire.
For security reasons, the last soldiers made no time for goodbyes to Iraqis with whom they had become acquainted. To keep details of the final trip secret from insurgents, interpreters for the last unit to leave the base called local tribal sheiks and government leaders on Saturday morning and conveyed that business would go on as usual, not letting on that all the Americans would soon be gone.

Many troops wondered how the Iraqis, whom they had worked closely with and trained over the past year, would react when they awoke on Sunday to find that the remaining American troops on the base had left without saying anything.

(--from New York Times, 18Dec2011)

Hail, Coffee !

COFFEE affords a good restoring draft,
Which clears the fumes of wine too freely quaffed.
By her you gain, when you the table quit,
A calm more courteous, and a brighter wit;
And soon recovered, by her powerful aid,
You are not of a second feast afraid.
She by the god of verse is praised and loved;
The poet’s genius is by her improved.
Your frigid rimers, if at times inspired,
Write their best lines by coffee’s fragrance fired.
She can enliven philosophic plan,
And make an analyst a pleasant man.
Statesmen, through her, well feasted and content,
Form happy schemes of better government.
Knowledge sometimes to journalists she brings
Of court intrigues, and deep designs of kings.
Peace, truces, wars, she to his dreams can show,
And lets him, for three pence, the world o’erthrow.

(Poem by Jacques Delille, 1738-1813; From The World’s Wit and Humor, Volume X, French — Rutebœuf to Balzac; The Review of Reviews Company; New York; 1906; p. 237.)


There are some events in the world about which to add further personal words merely darkens, deepens, and disorients sorrow.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 21

Three in the morning. Still. Here.
Your hidden hut is a solitary cloud
Upon the clear deep waters of a pool.
The pines about it are dewed
With the distant moon,
A glow of liquid light to be my friend.
I pass the night in the shadow of flowers,
Where garden herbs enrich
The patterns of moss.
I too would leave the world
And fly to the western mountains
With the phoenix and crane.
- Ch'ang Chien
Snow is being made at neighboring Snow Bowl through the night. Cold enough. Odds are it will actually snow naturally some day, ground hardening, our extended mud December anomaly bound to cease.

Friday Evening Conversation we watch short videos of David Abram speaking about voices of nature that we have been ignoring. How alphabet makes it possible for us to think human meaning is the only true type. That we've turned our back on conversations with tree and shrub, granite and stone, water and feathered family. Which cuts us off. Makes of each an object. Lonely. Incommunicant.

Here and Now
for Barbara

There are words
I've had to save myself from,
like My Lord and Blessed Mother,
words I said and never meant,
though I admit a part of me misses
the ornamental stateliness
of High Mass, that smell

of incense. Heaven did exist,
I discovered, but was reciprocal
and momentary, like lust
felt at exactly the same time—
two mortals, say, on a resilient bed,
making a small case for themselves.

You and I became the words
I'd say before I'd lay me down to sleep,
and again when I'd wake—wishful
words, no belief in them yet.
It seemed you'd been put on earth
to distract me
from what was doctrinal and dry.
Electricity may start things,
but if they're to last
I've come to understand
a steady, low-voltage hum

of affection
must be arrived at. How else to offset
the occasional slide
into neglect and ill temper?
I learned, in time, to let heaven
go its mythy way, to never again

be a supplicant
of any single idea. For you and me
it's here and now from here on in.
Nothing can save us, nor do we wish
to be saved.

Let night come
with its austere grandeur,
ancient superstitions and fears.
It can do us no harm.
We'll put some music on,
open the curtains, let things darken
as they will.

(Poem by by Stephen Dunn)

In prison yesterday an elderly Buddhist, a middle aged street blackjack afficianado, and a one-week-in new and shell-shocked inmate arrival each seemed to express a reluctance for traditional explanations of 'sin' and 'salvation.' It gathered our attention when one said he preferred personal responsibility, in and out, rather than a deus-ex-machina explanation.
Lesson 351

My sinless brother is my guide to peace
My sinful brother is my guide to pain
And which I choose to see I will behold

Who is my brother but Your holy Son? And if I see him sinful I proclaim myself a sinner, not a Son of God; alone and friendless in a fearful world Yet this perception is a choice I make, and can relinquish. I can also see my brother sinless, as Your holy Son. And with this choice I see my sinlessness, my everlasting Comforter and Friend beside me, and my way secure and clear. Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice. For He alone gives judgment in Your Name.

(from A Course in Miracles)
There we were.

Here we are.

A new appreciation of wording-with one-another.

Curtains no longer keeping in or keeping out.

Our quiet conversation with the night.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 20

Even cranky intelligent curmudgeons have to let go. Engaging and enraging, Christopher Hitchens gave his view of politics and personalities with all stops open.
Christopher Hitchens died Thursday of esophageal cancer. He was, in the words of the Washington Post, “master of the contrarian essay” and, as his home publication Vanity Fair describes him, “a wit, a charmer, and a troublemaker.” (from Truthdig, 16Dec2011)
I'd rather read raw and insightful than hedging and calculating. (While that sentence is spurious and obsequious, it reflects a delight for emperors' tailors willing to expose indelicate truth.)
Time is to be valued! You just try to learn Zen or Tao on the surface as something outside yourself, learning to recognize terms and slogans, seeking "buddhahood," seeking "mastery," seeking "teachers," considering them conceptually. Make no mistake about it -- you have but one mother and father, so what more are you seeking? Turn your attention back upon yourself and observe.
- Lin Chi (d 867)
Healing and wholeness are the tasks of human life. Broken truth longs to be put back together again even though it is the longing more likely to continue rather than impossible repair. One comes to live in the debris more accepting of chipped and fractured objects of affection.
Reading Isaiah 33:7-24 ©
Look, Ariel is lamenting in the streets,
the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
no travellers use the roads.
Treaties are broken, witnesses despised,
there is respect for no one.
The land mourns, it pines away,
Lebanon is withered with shame,
Sharon is a desert,
Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.
‘Now I stand up,’ says the Lord
‘now I rise to my full height.
You have conceived chaff, you will give birth to straw,
my breath shall devour you like fire
(from Office of Readings)
It occurs to me that a sentence coming to mind is worth contemplation: "There is no God like our God."

Rather than a triumphalist creed or screed or Hadith it seems the sentence contains its opposite -- There is no God like our God. There is only what-is-called-God. Not 'my' or 'our' or 'the' or any variant of seeming possessive certainty.

What 'God' there is is beyond our telling. So, we approximate. We emerge as approximating theists. Which is fine. Only, less annoying than convinced locators, smug creedalists, or court savants.
And because Love battles

And because love battles
not only in its burning agricultures
but also in the mouth of men and women,
I will finish off by taking the path away
to those who between my chest and your fragrance
want to interpose their obscure plant.

About me, nothing worse
they will tell you, my love,
than what I told you.

I lived in the prairies
before I got to know you
and I did not wait love but I was
laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose.

What more can they tell you?
I am neither good nor bad but a man,
and they will then associate the danger
of my life, which you know
and which with your passion you shared.

And good, this danger
is danger of love, of complete love
for all life,
for all lives,
and if this love brings us
the death and the prisons,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
into double pride, love,
with your pride and my pride.

But to my ears they will come before
to wear down the tour
of the sweet and hard love which binds us,
and they will say: “The one
you love,
is not a woman for you,
Why do you love her? I think
you could find one more beautiful,
more serious, more deep,
more other, you understand me, look how she’s light,
and what a head she has,
and look at how she dresses,
and etcetera and etcetera”.

And I in these lines say:
Like this I want you, love,
love, Like this I love you,
as you dress
and how your hair lifts up
and how your mouth smiles,
light as the water
of the spring upon the pure stones,
Like this I love you, beloved.

To bread I do not ask to teach me
but only not to lack during every day of life.
I don’t know anything about light, from where
it comes nor where it goes,
I only want the light to light up,
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are.

You came to my life
with what you were bringing,
of light and bread and shadow I expected you,
and Like this I need you,
Like this I love you,
and to those who want to hear tomorrow
that which I will not tell them, let them read it here,
and let them back off today because it is early
for these arguments.

Tomorrow we will only give them
a leaf of the tree of our love, a leaf
which will fall on the earth
like if it had been made by our lips
like a kiss which falls
from our invincible heights
to show the fire and the tenderness
of a true love.

(Poem by Pablo Neruda)
We are like this. God is like this. Truth is just like this.

So, I sit with the koan: What is this?

Even as night watches and wonders in monastic nescience.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 19

When is an inch on a yardstick not an inch?

It's a good koan. Compliments of Willow.
The mountain's head is white
And mine is too
December dies, the year
Runs out its string as all things do

- Yuan Mei (1716-1798)
Half December.

Is there a death that can be called half-death?

I arrive in silence to this meditation place. Dog sleeps on white couch. Nothing moves. Letters appear. Thinking gives way to gaze.

One student, Zach, at last night's final class held at hermitage, wondered what the man would do who'd escaped the shadowy darkness of the Plato's Cave analogy rather than try to convince those still blinded to real light that there was more than they'd accepted in their darkness.

Robert Lowell's line came to mind: "All's misalliance. / Yet why not say what happened?" ((From poem, "Epilogue.")

Just saying.

No need to hammer and nail, measure or cut, design or build.

Only say what happened with no craving for anything other than the saying.

Here's how Lowell surrounds that line:

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme--
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All's misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun's illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.

(Poem, Epilogue, by Robert Lowell)
Give a poet an inch, he'll imagine us a new way to see the world.

And all views from our yard!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 18

Different. Everything feels different. "Differre," (Latin), to carry away. Something about mortality.
On a more intimate note, he recalls interactions with his teacher, the late Seung Sahn (known to his students as Soen Sa Nim), with obvious admiration and a discernible sense of the teacher’s presence. Our discussion of Buddhism and not-Buddhism reminds him of his teacher pushing him into being a teacher. “I said to him,” he recalls, “‘Soen Sa Nim, I’m here to learn how to practice from you. I’m not interested in being a teacher; I want to be the student.’ And he said ‘If you are my student, then this is how you will learn to be a student, as you teach.’ And I said, ‘But I don’t know anything. I don’t know what to do. I wouldn’t know what to talk about.’ And he said, ‘Aawwwwww,’ as if he really deeply understood what my issue was, ‘no problem, you only talk about area you understand. Don’t talk about area you don’t understand.’” (- about Jon Kabat Zinn)
The Buddha said: "For one who takes nothing whatsoever as I or me or mine, such a one is free from the snares of the king of death."

Now, there's a practice!

That's what we heard at practice last evening.

Even the man knocked down and out by his cow in Antigonish Nova Scotia was there to hear those words. Back from subdural hematoma and months of mindful breathing in and out of consciousness.

Welcome, again, to Meetingbrook, David!

For both the words and the 87 year old's return to visit, we are grateful!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 17

Lucy, Lucia, light through blindness. Quite a metaphor!

To fail

It's what

Now, endings

Take Pagliacci 

"La commedia 
è finita!"

All we can
Do is
Go home

A Tibetan teacher is giving opening remarks at a retreat and a snippet of the video catches my attention. He says that we are here, "taking time out of our lives..." -- and that's all I need to hear. Is that what we are being called to do? Take 'time' out of our life? Is that what 'home' is? Is home timelessness, dwelling in the eternal and infinite now, with nothing, nowhere else, and fully within the realization of What-Is-Wholly-Itself?

And this, right in the middle of what we call 'world?' In the midst of everything that presents itself? Seeing light through and beyond forms?

If you tell me it is all a story, a metaphor, that we are in a mind weaving endless tales of subterfuge and irony, deceit and heartbreak, all for the dramaturgy of divine realization, apogee and denouement revealing what our eyes, fraught with facts and fantasies, cannot penetrate; we are stunned by all final scenes pointing out paradoxical obverse, that we are of a piece with what has never broken off, with the Holy Itself, God, Father/Mother, Being, Truth, Love -- and have never, really, been anywhere else -- then I will have to continue looking at you, long and full of frowning wonder, while around us stage is struck, costumes folded, solitary lamp stand placed at empty center of proscenium where vacant seats rise to open doors and out into what Lucia sees.

But that is to come.

As we.

Come to.

Lesson 347

Anger must come from judgment. Judgment is
The weapon I would use against myself,
To keep the miracle away from me.

Father[/Mother], I want what goes against my will, and do not want what is my will to have. Straighten my mind, my [Mother/]Father. It is sick. But You have offered freedom, and I choose to claim Your gift today. And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me. He sees what I behold, and yet He knows the truth. He looks on pain, and yet He understands it is not real, and in His understanding it is healed. He gives the miracles my dreams would hide from my awareness. Let Him judge today. I do not know my will, but He is sure it is Your Own. And He will speak for me, and call Your miracles to come to me.
Listen today. Be very still, and hear the gentle Voice for God assuring you that He has judged you as the Son[/Daughter] He loves
I am listening.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 16

Francis Poulenc Gloria performed by Down East Singers at Camden Opera House yesterday afternoon. I choose it over philosophy lecture at library. Anthony Antolini conducts, Soprano Christina Astrachan solos, and instrumentalist group, Ti' Acadie added vim and vigor. Soloist drew us into realization of text. I translate: "as sin is taken away, we are none other than mercy itself," or:
(miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
Have mercy on us; You who take away the sins of the world, hear our prayers. Who sits at the right hand of the Father, have mercy upon us.
None, other than? Or, none other than? Mercy itself awaits simultaneous translation.

Something about being drawn in, "being" drawn in, brings tears through music. This balcony of eremitic gratitude!
Where He Found Himself

The new man unfolded a map and pointed
to a dark spot on it. “See, that’s how
far away I feel all the time, right here,
among all of you,” he said.
.         .”Yes,” John the gentle mule replied,
“alienation is clearly your happiness.”
But the group leader interrupted,
“Now, now, let’s hear him out,
let’s try to be fair.”  The new man felt
the familiar comfort of everyone against him.
.                                   .He went on about the stupidities
of love, life itself as one long foreclosure,
until another man said, “I was a hog,
a terrible hog, and now I’m a llama.”
To which another added, “And me, I was a wolf.
Now children walk up to me, unafraid.”
.             .The group leader asked the new man,
“What kind of animal have you been?”
“A rat that wants to remain a rat,” he said,
and the group began to soften
as they remembered their own early days,
the pain before the transformation.

(Poem by Stephen Dunn)
It is 3AM. New intimate deck outside dining room slider is awash in moonlight. I step out barefoot to stand under the surrounding sanctuary of star and planet, empty space and unseen truth -- invitatory of cosmos chanting creation, transcendence transforming prayer into silent interiority, a suffusing simplicity.

At performance end Sunday afternoon Saskia steps into reception room as I walk to harbor to check dark brown linseed/pinetar'd Matinicus Peapod nestled between Manning's dark green dory and Lewis' dark blue sailing pod. Calmly tethered to floats where "Prophet" is at rest alongside three lobster boats inboard of shrinkwrapped schooners down from Landing. A glorious December twilight, lighted fir tree atop "Mary Day" mainmast, lighted star tops turret on Mount Battie up and away. French and Latin lyrics from concert as well as Acadian rhythms are settling into low tide sway of float where I balance softening to the passing flow...
Q: What kind of person is a Ch'an master?

Tao-shin replied: Someone who is not disturbed either by chaos or serenity is a person with the know how of good Ch'an practice. When one always dwells in tranquility, the mind perishes. But if you are always in a state of discernment, then the mind scatters chaotically. The Lotus Sutra says: "The Buddha himself dwells in the Great Vehicle. The power of meditation and of wisdom gives remarkable splendour to the dharmas which he has acquired. These he uses to save all beings."

- Tao-shin (580-651)
I don't mind forgetting. More and more disappears. Only what is right in front of me makes any sense. (And not much at that!)
For this I am grateful. It seems a new template arises subsuming everything 'else' into it. I do not know how this is done. I've lost whatever itinerary I thought I had. I'm just a tourist. Sightseer. Looking around.
Lesson 346

Today the peace of God envelops me,
And I forget all things except His Love
Father, I wake today with miracles correcting my perception of all things. And so begins the day I share with You as I will share eternity, for time has stepped aside today. I do not seek the things of time, and so I will not look upon them. What I seek today transcends all laws of time and things perceived in time. I would forget all things except Your Love. I would abide in You, and know no laws except Your law of love. And I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own.
And when the evening comes today, we will remember nothing but the peace of God. For we will learn today what peace is ours, when we forget all things except God's Love.
It is like a new map unfolding a man.

There is no destination.

Nor any distance between here and here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 15

I've been watching Bald Mountain much of the morning.

It remains as it is.

Goes nowhere.


I am so

I am not
Something else

For this instance...
A poem
There it is.


By itself!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Coming to: ad venire;14

We renew promises this feast of Thomas Merton at morning practice in the Thomas Merton Bookshed Retreat.
  Another contrast with Augustine is his sense of humour. No-one can be all bad who says of Michelangelo’s Moses that “I’m glad the thing couldn’t speak, for it would probably have given out some very heavy statements”; or of Platonic philosophy that “there is a considerable difference between Plato and Plotinus, but I am not enough of a philosopher to know what it is. Thank God I shall never again have to try and find out, either.” Even when he performs some meritorious action, he scrupulously points out his mixed motives. Here he is on the way to hospital to be treated for appendicitis:
  ‘In the Fourteenth Street subway there was a drunk. And he was really drunk. He was lying prostrate in the middle of the turnstiles, in everybody’s way. Several people pushed him and told him to get up and get out of there, but he could not even get himself up on his feet.
  ‘I thought to myself: “If I try to lift him out of there, my appendix will burst, and I too will be lying there in the turnstiles along with him.” With my nervousness tempered by a nice warm feeling of smugness and self-complacency, I took the drunk by the shoulders and laboriously hauled him backwards out of the turnstiles and propped him up against the wall. He groaned feebly in protest.
  ‘Then, mentally congratulating myself for my great solicitude and charity towards drunks, I entered the turnstile and went down to take the train to the hospital. As I looked back, over my shoulder, from the bottom of the stairs, I could see the drunk slowly and painfully crawling back towards the turnstile, where he once again flung himself down, prostrate, across the opening, and blocked the passage as he had done before.’
 Thus he skillfully deflates the whole drama and convinces the reader that the act was at once infinitely unimportant and infinitely worth doing. This is, of course, true of everything we do; but the truth is easier to assimilate when you see it in action.
Back in Wohnkuche we retell stories about our foolishness over the years -- the farms and properties we thought might be meetingbrook, the visit to the Bishop we thought might be a new form of religious life, the pleasant fiasco of meetingbrook in the marketplace we thought would keep us solvent. Mostly we reminisce about the lovely odd and wonderfully off-center folks passing through meetingbrook -- and still do.
“What is it not to sin? Do not ask much; go, the silent flowers will tell you.” (Angelus Silesia né Johannes Scheffler (1624-1677) )
Folly is the unwritten history of meetingbrook.
For other uses, see Foolish and Fool.
Foolishness is the lack of wisdom. In this sense it differs from stupidity, which is the lack of intelligence.[citation needed] An act of foolishness is sometimes referred to as a folly.

Foolishness and wisdom are contrasted in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. He condemns intellectual arrogance and advocates a humble attitude of foolishness in which it is then possible to learn. Plato likewise said, "He is the wisest man who knows himself to be ill-equipped for the study of wisdom" but Paul makes a distinction between wisdom and the reason of the Greeks.[1][2]
Still, we recite our promises, affirm we wish to continue them, then Saskia does bell chant, a lovely listening to the unabashed sound of brass bowl saying what it and inviter converse.
Three promises:

Contemplation, Conversation, Correspondence. held by Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage“m.o.n.o.”(monastics of no other).

Contemplation is the promise of simplicity.
It is a gift of poverty inviting open waiting, receptive trust, attention, and watchful presence. It is a simple Being-With.
It is attentive presence.

Conversation is the promise of integrity.
It is a chaste and complete intention to listen and speak, lovingly and respectfully, with each and all made present to us. It is a wholeness of listening and speaking.
It is root silence.

Correspondence is the promise of faithful engagement.
It is responsible attention and intention offered obediently to the Source of all Being, to the Human Family, to Nature. It is a faithful engagement with all sentient beings, with this present world, with existence with all its needs & joys, sorrows & hope.
It is transparent service.


Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage invites & welcomes individuals interested in the practice of these 3 promises in their life. Whether the interest is in conversing, praying, deepening, learning, or even holding these 3 promises, we invite you to enter the inquiry and stillness. May the loving light and the compassionate peace of the Christ and the Bodhisattva accompany and support the efforts of each one.


1. We are going to have to create a new language of prayer. (Thomas Merton, Calcutta 1968)

2. When you go apart to be alone for prayer…see that nothing remains in your consciousness mind save a naked intent stretching out toward God. Leave it stripped of every particular idea about God (what he is like in himself or in his works) and keep only the awareness that he is as he is. Let him be thus, I pray you, and force him not to be otherwise. (Anonymous)

3. I long for a great lake of ale. / I long for the men of heaven in my house. / I long for cheerfulness in their drinking. / And I long for Jesus to be there among them. (Brigid, Celtic saint)

4. It is not by closing your eyes that you see your own nature. On the contrary, you must open your eyes wide and wake up to the real situation in the world to see completely your whole Dharma Treasure, your whole Dharma Body. The bombs, the hunger, the pursuit of wealth and power - these are not separate from your nature….You will suffer, but your pain will not come from your own worries and fears. You will suffer because of your kinship with all beings, because you have the compassion of an awakened one, a Bodhisattva. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

5. He who truly attains awakening knows that deliverance is to be found right where he is. There is no need to retire to the mountain cave. If he is a fisherman he becomes a real fisherman. If he is a butcher he becomes a real butcher. The farmer becomes a real farmer and the merchant a real merchant. He lives his daily life in awakened awareness. His every act from morning to night is his religion. (Sokei-an)
first-person plural future active indicative of videō
"we shall see, we shall perceive; we shall look (at)"
"we shall observe, we shall note"
"we shall understand, we shall perceive, we shall comprehend"
"we shall look (at), we shall consider, we shall reflect (upon)"
"we shall look out for, we shall see to, we shall care for, we shall provide, we shall make sure" 
(-from Wiktionary)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 13

In text during Thursday Evening Conversation the phrase "as it is" was read.
Lesson 342
I let forgiveness rest upon all things,
For thus forgiveness will be given me.

I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save me from the hell I made. It is not real. And You have given me the means to prove its unreality to me. The key is in my hand, and I have reached the door beyond which lies the end of dreams. I stand before the gate of Heaven, wondering if I should enter in and be at home. Let me not wait again today. Let me forgive all things, and let creation be as You would have it be and as it is. Let me remember that I am Your Son, and opening the door at last, forget illusions in the blazing light of truth, as memory of You returns to me.

Brother, forgive me now. I come to you to take you home with me. And as we go, the world goes with us on our way to God.
(ACIM lesson 8dec2011)
Is occurred to me it would make a good name for a dog, "as it is," or, Asitis.

Another phrase, "as we go" arises in final sentence, wishing to transform into a name. Hence, "Aswego."

This morning it occurs further that it is a good name for God: Asitis Aswego.

My friends in AA might connect with this neologism/neonate and happily smile at meeting the new arrival.

Through that smile of recognition we hear soft voice saying: "I come to you to take you home with me."

And we are taken with it.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Closer to our time, there is John Lennon, who in 1980 passed through our sight and disappeared.


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

(Lyrics by John Lennon)

Be as one; live as one.

Good words!
What did Buddha see? What breath did he take?

Also this 8th of December, along with the clear transmission of light through her mother into Mary, on this date:
Sakyamuni's Great Awakening

Traditions vary on what happened. Some say he made a great vow to nirvana and Earth to find the root of suffering, or die trying. In other traditions, while meditating he was harassed and tempted by the god Mara (literally, "Destroyer" in Sanskrit), demon of illusion.[3][4] Other traditions simply state that he entered deeper and deeper states of meditation, confronting the nature of the self.
In the Pali Canon, there are several discourses said to be by Buddha himself, relating to this story. In The Longer Discourse to Saccaka (MN 36),[5] the Buddha describes his Enlightenment in three stages:
During the first watch of the night, the Buddha discovered all of his past lives in the cycle of rebirth, realizing that he had been born and reborn countless times before.
During the second watch, the Buddha discovered the Law of Karma, and the importance of living by the Eightfold Path.
During the third watch, the Buddha discovered the Four Noble Truths, finally reaching Nirvana.
In his words:
“ My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'[5] ”

All traditions agree that as the morning star rose in the sky in the early morning,[6] the third watch of the night, Siddhartha finally found the answers he sought and became Enlightened, and experienced Nirvana.[6] Having done so, Siddhartha now became a Buddha or "Awakened One".[6][3]
I'll breathe well knowing what Buddha saw.
Bodhi Day -- or Rohatsu, as it's known in Japan -- is the day the Buddha awakens. It's the day he finds enlightenment, sitting under the pipul tree.
A dear friend asked me the question I'm usually asking: so what? What does Bodhi Day mean? Disclaimer here: I'm not a worshipping kind of Buddhist. I don't believe the Buddha was a god, nor even divine. The whole point to Buddhism is that a human being did this -- achieved enlightenment. And that the rest of us -- because he elected to teach -- can also choose that path.
So here's what I believe, and why Bodhi Day is important:
I believe in little enlightenments -- like the day I realised that all the people and beings and plants and seas and fallen stars still live. In our breaths. That as we breathe out, we breathe our own cells into the air. And as we breathe in, we breathe in dinosaurs and comets and poets and bees and Frederick Douglass and Christopher Marlowe and Rumi and wars and loss and love and all that makes up our amazing world. And this connects us. To each other ~ in a kind of web that extends in all directions. Forever.

(from, Bodhi Day, Rohatsu, or Waking Up; Beliefnet; a personal insight into Rohatsu. BY: Britton Gildersleeve
Read more:
Exhale well today!

Coming to: ad venire; 12

Drops drip from ceiling onto chest as I sleep. My chest. Wind groans through large cedars at north edge of house. 4:15am and all is 8Dec. This is the feast celebration of life passing through solid obstacles to reveal itself as nothing other than life-itself-through-itself, or, as some call it, Immaculate Conception.

Mary, the story has it, experienced mu-ge, no-barrier, during her arrival in form. The childhood prayer was: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

A zen koan prayer might be phrased: How does no-barrier allow no-other to appear with nothing present?

(Pause for effect.) Then response: Rain on sleeping man passes through dream without drenching one image!

Hello, Mary! Hello, all that is passing through! Today is your moveable feast!

And what a feast!

Last night I say to students not to fear the word "nothing."

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open--
pools of lace,
white and pink--
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities--
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again--
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

(Poem: "Peonies," by Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems, Beacon Press).
Fallingness is our given nature.

As so, nothing falls through each, and, all, falling together!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 11

Submission. To be sent under.
"God is not an object; God is the absolute Subject." (Henry Corbin, in The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism)
No predicate. No modifier. Verb implied and contained in Subject. No reference outside itself. Nothing outside itself.

Thrown under. ("Subject" 'sub'= under; 'jacere'= to throw). "Throw" - Origin: Middle English thrawen, throwen to cause to twist, throw, from Old English thrāwan to cause to twist or turn; akin to Old High German drāen to turn, Latin terere to rub, Greek tribein to rub, tetrainein to bore, pierce (Mirriam-Webster)

Teirein, Greek, to wear out. Is God, as absolute Subject, that which is wearing out, wearing out whatever thinks itself not-god; rubbing down, twisting and turning the mistaken perception or belief that there is 'other' that exists on its own, separate, even separate but equal, in relation to what-is-called-god? Is our phrase "Thrown under the bus" -- meaning colloquially to sacrifice or do away with, really a riddle phrased to be turned over and looked at again? To throw under the "bus" (when reversed) becomes "sub" or "under." Hence, to throw under the under.
Steiner (1978) offers a demarcation in that, a further aspect of Dasein, as argued by Heidegger, is that Dasein is grounded in language; Being-in-the-world expresses itself in discourse. Furthermore, he made a distinction between ‘Rede’, ‘the speech of Dasein’ and ‘Gerede’, ‘talk’. He avoided the triteness of using the term ‘idle chatter’ for ‘talk’ because it was far too reassuring for what he wanted to say. For Heidegger, ‘talk’ had lost its primary relationship-of-being toward the talked about entity and all that ‘talk’ was doing was to ‘pass words along’ or, to ‘gossip emptily’, fostering illusions of understanding that have no real comprehension. Dasein-with-others takes place in an echo chamber of nonstop bogus interaction, with no cognition as to what is being communicated (Steiner 1978).

The differences between authentic and inauthentic lives were contrasted by Heidegger through the agencies of fear set against anxiety, ‘speech’ contrasted with ‘talk’, genuine wonder opposed to mere novelty. Each disparate category comes about as an expected outcome of the complete antithesis between the self-possession of true Dasein and the collective lack of perception of an existence carried out in terms of ‘oneness’ and ‘theyness’. Heidegger denoted this latter state as ‘Verfall’ (‘a falling away from’ ‘a cadence into decline’). Heidegger was careful to point out that the condition of ‘Verfallensein’ (a fallen state) is not sinful, nor is the term meant to cast a moral value judgement.
Heidegger wrote;

“Dasein has, in the first instance, fallen away [abgefallen] from itself as an authentic potentiality for Being its self, and has fallen into the ‘world’. ‘Fallenness’ into the world means an absorption in Being-with-one-another, in so far as the latter is guided by idle talk, curiosity and ambiguity. Through the Interpretation of falling, what we have called the ‘inauthenticity’ of Dasein may now be defined more precisely. On no account however do the terms ‘inauthentic’ and ‘non-authentic’ signify ‘really not’, as if in this mode of Being, Dasein were altogether to lose its Being. ‘Inauthenticity’ does not mean anything like Being-no-longer-in-the-world, but amounts rather to quite a distinctive kind of Being-in-the-world – the kind which is completely fascinated by the ‘world’ and by the Dasein-with of Others in the ‘they’. Not-Being-its-self [Das Nicht-es-selbst-sein] functions as a positive possibility of that entity which, in its essential concern, is absorbed in a world. This kind of not-Being has to be conceived as that kind of Being which is closest to Dasein and in which Dasein maintains itself for the most part."

For Heidegger then, ‘inauthenticity’ and ‘fallenness’ are not mere mishaps or erroneous options. Rather they are essential components of existence, because Dasein is always Dasein-with and a Being-in-the-world into which we have been thrown. Acceding to the enticement of living a mundane existence is simply a part of existing itself. ‘Fallenness’ was a positive for Heidegger in the sense that there must be ‘inauthenticity’, ‘theyness’, and ‘talk’, for Dasein to become aware of its loss of self and strive for its return to authentic Being. ‘Verfall’ turns out to be the completely essential prerequisite towards the repossession of self, the struggle toward true Dasein (Steiner 1978).

Dasein is committed to searching out the authentic via the inauthenticity of its Being-in-the-world and Heidegger said that authentic existence is not something which floats above everyday fallingness. He postulated that a proper instrument is needed for seizing the everydayness and he said that that instrument is ‘care’ [Sorge]. Because in the condition of inauthenticity we ‘fall away from ourselves’, Heidegger said that we simultaneously fall into a frenetic busyness and an emptiness that gives rise to a sense of the uncanny. As we flap about feeling ‘homeless’ our everyday familiarity is shattered (Steiner 1978).

It is uncanniness that declares the pivotal moments in which Angst brings Dasein face to face with the terrible freedom of deciding whether to remain in inauthenticity or to endeavor to attain self-possession. ‘Sorge’ is the means of transcendence beyond being Dasein-with and Dasein-in to become Dasein-for and Sorge must be a ‘care for’ many things. These things include a concern for others, a care for the ready-to-hand, but in principle Sorge is a caring for the presentness and obscurity of Being itself (Steiner 1978). Heidegger said;
“When Dasein ‘understands’ uncanniness in the everyday manner, it does so by turning away from it in falling; in this turning away, the ‘not-at-home’ gets ‘dimmed down’. Yet the everydayness of this fleeing shows phenomenally that anxiety, as a basic state of mind, belongs to Dasein’s essential state of Being-in-the-world, which, as one that is existential, is never present-at-hand but is itself always in a mode of factical Being-there – that is, in the mode of a state of mind.”
For Heidegger, it is Sorge that signifies a mans existence and makes it meaningful. To be-in-the-world in an authentic existential pretext is to be ‘careful’. Heidegger concluded that ‘care’ is the primordial state of Being as Dasein strives towards authenticity (Steiner 1978).

(from, What Heidegger Means by Being-in-the-World, by Roy Hornsby,
Spirituality, or classical metaphysics,(Greek: τὰ μετὰ τὰ φυσικά), where being-qua-being is focus of attention, is not easy to understand. It is difficult to submit, to be sent under. We prefer to be on top of things, even over the top. To rise to the heights. To stand above, to lord over. To make it to the highest peak. This is perhaps why there is no taste for authentic spirituality in the marketplace of spiritual materialism. Even "One nation under God" fails to alert attention to what is proclaimed. "Indivisible with liberty" seems even more foreign.
While everyone else
Is so busy striving,
The lone traveler
Is at ease by himself.
He's been living outside of convention
For a long time now;
In his pouch there is nothing at all.
When he walks,
He takes a cane for a companion;
When he talks,
He has the rocks for an audience.
If you ask him what his religion is,
When hungry it's a bowl of rice.

- Wen-siang (1210-1280)
What is uncanny is that we care.

Even if we don't know what to do or what to say, we care.

Being thrown-into and fallen-away we are dwelling at the portal of submission where care, dare I say, compassion and love, long to emerge through our being-in-the-world with one another into an understanding distinct and indivisible, as simple as a bowl of rice, a religion of proximate awareness, a philosophy of unity with diversity.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I stopped the talk by Robert Kennedy SJ, Roshi as he was saying about awakening that it was "clarity of mind from beginning to end."

Tuesday Evening Practice in Merton Retreat had a time limit. And that's that.

Even if no beginning. Even if no end.

Clarity of mind.


Coming to: ad venire; 10

Rest well. Feel well.

That's what I say as I leave to the person I am visiting in the psychiatric unit. Two others arrived as I did. Thus I remained a silent fourth in an echoing room during fragments of an old ritual conversing around phantom fire pit comfortable with nothing to say. They could be visiting me.
The Mountains' Friend

The broad arms of this dusty world
Hold few true friends.
One feels the pangs of loneliness, and sees
How cold the autumn air becomes!
But no, behold your search is ended here,
For countless mountains,
Blue afar, and green ones near,
Remain your friends eternally.

- Jakushitsu Genko Zenji (1290–1368)
For a while it is difficult to determine who is the patient and who the visitors. This happens at prison also; who's the cop, the inmate, the staff, the visitor? Pericopes of memory arise and are given words. Thoughts enter without knocking. Side glances thrown without trace of irony. Subtle theater in long run, actors no longer cue lines, it is a random emergence of Ionesco and Beckett writing absurd cross-dialogue. Somewhere, having forgotten play in progress, director sips espresso looking out blinds behind window reflecting back images of medicated theories with no clock on wall.

In their excess, their blowsy dreaming
and King Solomon-like tempers, the clouds
possess the grandeur of eighteenth-century oils,

when a painter earned his profession
as an anatomist. Those artists of verdigris
and gamboge, too gorged on joy, perhaps,

treated that blank pasture of the “heavens”
like something that had lived.
Their crawly undoings remind us

of the mean curiosities of sheep, the sea’s
half-remembered boil, or a few twisted bolls
of cotton—the morning phosphorescent

or sunset a dull, worn-out gilt.
The nights there were scumbled with light.
How could we ever have taken them

for the abstinence of art?

(Poem by William Logan)
I am perfectly at home in the curious ordinary of displaced images. Those who look for order and odes will squirm amid the erratic and unrhymed arias of unprocessed poetry. The protocol placers are wealthy with set pieces while the riffraff pencil or scampish bamboo brush hardly recognize what dull-lead or stone-rubbed black ink leave as trace behind.

What I really want to say has to do with Sintaklaas.
Saint Nicholas

St. Nicholas "Lipensky" (1294 Russian icon)
Bishop of Myra, Defender of Orthodoxy, Wonderworker, Holy Hierarch
Born c. 270 AD (the Ides of March)[1]
Patara, Lycia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey)
Died 6 December 343 AD
Myra, Lycia
Honored in Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Major shrine Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy
6 December [O.S. 19 December](main feast day)
9 May [O.S. 22 May](translation of relics)
(The "O.S." dates are for the Julian Calendar used by most Eastern churches)[2]
Attributes Vested as a Bishop. In Eastern Christianity, wearing an omophorion and holding a Gospel Book. Sometimes shown with Jesus Christ over one shoulder, holding a Gospel Book, and with the Theotokos over the other shoulder, holding an omophorion
Patronage Children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, prostitutes, repentant thieves, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers

St Nicholas
Saint Nicholas (Greek: Άγιος Νικόλαος, Hagios ["holy"] Nicolaos ["victory of the people"]) (270–6 December 343),[3][4] also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek[5] Bishop of Myra (Demre, in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker (Greek: Νικόλαος ο Θαυματουργός, Nikolaos o Thaumaturgos). He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of "Saint Nikolaos". His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints.[6] In 1087, his relics were furtively translated to Bari, in southeastern Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nikolaos of Bari. His feastday is 6 December [O.S. 19 December].
Here's to fishermen, prostitutes, and pawnbrokers!

Here's to filling shoes with candy and small gifts on this feast!

Here's to all the disorders and disrepair needing master-craftsmen to refashion!

Art is no abstinence.

Poetry is the next phase unphrased, merely attended.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Raven lands on dead branch. Surveys wetland. Leaps into downward sweep. Disappears.

What has it seen?

Where gone?
"Simplicity is the integration and unification of human capacities.
It is the peak sustained by a whole mountain of interconnected and interdependent parts, in which each part acts according to its nature while in complete harmony with every other part.
The vegetative, animal, and human faculties act in concert, each contributing in its own way and integrated into the more developed levels of consciousness. In this way they all are joined in complete submission to the spiritual will, which in turn is totally open to the divine will, both in oneself and in all one’s relationships." 

( - Thomas Keating, from the December issue of
The Contemplative Outreach News)
It is back on limb. Bald Mountain takes shape all around it's shimmering black placement.

Gone again, mountain returns to itself.

Coming to: ad venire; 9

I am listening for god. I am looking for god.

I will not hear god. I will not see god.

God is listening through me. God is seeing through me.

God is, as I am, nowhere to be heard. God is, as I am, nowhere to be seen.
Because you grasp labels and slogans,
You are hindered by those labels and slogans,
Both those used in ordinary life and those
Considered sacred.
Thus they obstruct your perception of objective truth,
And you cannot understand clearly
- Linji (d. 867)
Let's begin again.

I am listening for god. There is no "I."
There is only "I am" listening through what "I" mistakenly think of as me.

I am looking for god. There is no "I."
There is only "I am" looking through what "I" mistakenly think of as me.

What is...god...listening to?
What is...god...looking for?

God is listening to the empty sound where "I" no longer clinks against anything.
God is looking for nothing in that place where "I" once thought it was but cannot occupy due to absence.

Only god is. Nothing else is.

What does this mean?


Stop no...stopping here!

Go on!

Really...go on!

What is going on?
Who is going on?
Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life

(Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke)
We are neither here nor there.

Where are we? Where am I?
We don't know. I don't know.

For "here/there" is no place.
"That" does not see you.

You are listened through.
You are seen through.

God is doing-this. Listening.
God is observing-this. Looking.

Is there anyone hearing?
Is there anyone seeing?

Yes, yes, no/one.

Yes, yes, every/one.

You are correct -- there is nothing being said here.

Only the saying itself, the seeing itself, matters.

God is seeing/itself.
God is saying/itself.

God is where I am not to be found.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Coming to: ad venire; 8

Sabbath. (Sabbaton, in Greek. Shabbath, in Hebrew.) To rest.
Seeing into Nothingness
This is the true seeing,
The eternal seeing

- Shen-hui (8th cent)
Emmet Fox says that righteousness is harmonious thinking.

May each rest well. Today. In life. Through death.

Allowing whatever we are coming to brighten the night.