Saturday, January 08, 2011

If you ask people to target public officials, even if your language is metaphoric, do you take credit when someone carries out your intimation?

The ignorant and restive rhetoric insinuating violence, the duplicitous and feigned demure chagrin, is not cute nor kind, nor is it the better nature of this country.

I am livid with the false fanciful fomenting!

I sorrow the carnage in Arizona.

Friday, January 07, 2011

We begin The Rhythm of Being. Friday evenings we'll be reading the Gifford Lectures by Raimon Panikkar.

Panikkar is a wonderful companion.
Efface both mind and objects.

This means that when we are practicing, we initially make the external sense-objects void and calm and then annihilate the internal—the mind.

Since internal and external are both calmed, where can delusion arise? As Kuan-ch'I said, "In the ten directions there are no walls; at the four sides there are no gates. All is innocent, pure and undefiled."

- Chinul (1205)
It was good to get back to the prison after three weeks of closedown Fridays.

"Inspirational," says Saskia, of the evening, of the day, including poetry at the nursing home.

Plus the plenitude of Panikkar.

It is as she's said it.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Today is Epiphany.
All people fundamentally
Possess the wisdom of
If they cannot be
Awakened to it,
It is because their minds
Are under delusion.
You should know that
The Buddha nature of the
Ignorant and of the
Enlightened are the same,
The only difference being
That the former are deluded whereas
The latter are awakened to it.

- Altar Sutra
Epiphany, yes.


is what is


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

There are days when being a hermit demands being a hermit. No matter that you attend a faculty meeting and feel like a stranger in an unseen land, a point fallen off a periphery that has no edge.

Earlier in the day, finishing the reading of Borg's novel, I am easily distracted into meditation:
Who do I say
Jesus is?
I don't know.
That said, that which is
profoundly centered in the
depths of my being --
knows its source and origin.
I don't. I cannot (easily)
get past conditioning and
thought, emotions and history.
I am culturally consumed.
But there is within this space
of being (called my name) an
unknown and sustaining
presence of, I suspect, wisdom
and light, that resounds
the original sound of
creating kindness
touched with
mere joy!

I come across a proverb from the Irish:
Tá Dia láidir agus tá máthair mhaith aige.
(God is strong, and has a good mother)

(--from site on the Irish language)
There is a combination of new moon effect and sense of mortality that covers this early January. On Fresh Air with Terry Gross some Washington Post reporters are speaking about the NRA and guns used in US/Mexico border murders. It tells how US guns wind up in Mexico and how powerful the NRA has become. Guns are more powerful than any Gospel. Lobbying more efficient that preaching. Killing more American than kindness when money and power and guns are involved.
Earlier, I sit:
Sitting through
self to no-self
Living through
name to no-name --
There is something about
stillness and silence
and solitude that
lets fall, lets go

The longer I live the more I withdraw from the social, the political, and the customary. I look back...and shiver. There's a dearth that draws little to it.
I can't go back
I can't go back
-- Why not?
I've never left
I've never left
-- And so?
There's nowhere to go
I'm still there
-- What now?
I'm everywhere
I've only to dwell
where I am
knowing this


I put on ice-grippers and play ball with the dog. Afterwards, he is on the rug downstairs watching the driveway. He must sense the coming car returning from Portland. Stars are pin-bright. Gravel is frozen hard. Cars drift by up mountain pass. There is more to the night than I can see.
Four Haiku, Wednesday


The present

Not knowing if there

is a future, I wonder

about the present



What if nothing shows

up? Will the trip

be worthless?

Branch shade on white




Never satisfied

with words about him

I wait --

Birds drop to feeder



It never is what

we think it is. Better to

arrive first then look


I'm glad God is strong. I'm glad God has a good mother.

I'm uncertain guns should be sacred utensils sanctified by acolyte congress to hierarchy of National Rifle Episcopacy.

Our way of life, based on security for wealth and utmost protection of property, feels, today, to be untoward.

Today will pass...

Tomorrow will appear...

From within Itself --

A realizing instant.

Perhaps Epiphany is a Bewithing and Beloving mind!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Of course, the new moon. Thus, the torpor.

"Be still, and know that I [am] God..." (Ps. 46:10, King James Bible)
Barnes' Notes on the Bible:
Be still - The word used here - from רפה râphâh - means properly to cast down; to let fall; to let hang down; then, to be relaxed, slackened, especially the hands: It is also employed in the sense of not making an effort; not putting forth exertion; and then would express the idea of leaving matters with God, or of being without anxiety about the issue. Compare Exodus 14:13, "Stand still, and see the salvation of God." In this place the word seems to be used as meaning that there was to be no anxiety; that there was to be a calm, confiding, trustful state of mind in view of the displays of the divine presence and power. The mind was to be calm, in view of the fact that God had interposed, and had shown that he was able to defend his people when surrounded by dangers. If this the divine interposition when Jerusalem was threatened by the armies of the Assyrians under Sennacherib, the force and beauty of the expression will be most clearly seen.
I am still.
When we are practicing, we do not think of either good or evil. As soon as any mental state arises, we rest; when meeting with conditions, we rest. The ancients said:

Be like a strip of unbleached silk cloth.
Be like cool, clear water,
Be like an incense burner in an old shrine.
Then you can cut through the spool of silk
And leave behind all discrimination.
Once you like the stupid and senseless,
You will have become partially united with it.

This is the method of extinguishing delusion through rest.

- Chinul (1205)
Earlier I listen to Ken Wilber laud William James (and Bertrand Russell) for "non-duplicity" or non-dual ideas as James presents radical empiricism. Later in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
In the deservedly famous chapter on “The Stream of Thought” James takes himself to be offering a richer account of experience than those of traditional empiricists such as Hume. He believes relations, vague fringes, and tendencies are experienced directly (a view he would later defend as part of his “radical empiricism.”) James finds consciousness to be a stream rather than a succession of “ideas.” Its waters blend, and our individual consciousness — or, as he prefers to call it sometimes, our “sciousness” — is “steeped and dyed” in the waters of sciousness or thought that surround it. Our psychic life has rhythm: it is a series of transitions and resting-places, of “flights and perchings” (PP 236). We rest when we remember the name we have been searching for; and we are off again when we hear a noise that might be the baby waking from her nap. (--William James, First published Thu Sep 7, 2000; substantive revision Fri Oct 23, 2009,
My mind is perched right now.

It is afternoon. I read Marcus J. Borg's novel, Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith in Merton Retreat. It is quiet. Water boils for tea.


A winter silence.

Being -- (cast down, letting fall) -- still.

Monday, January 03, 2011

One of the side-effects of starting the day at 4:30am reading is the inclination to rethink what you know into a different articulation.

Take the Christian notion of the Trinity:
The Beginning Becoming Being.
The Continuing Creating Consciousness.
The Advocating Activating Assistance.
Or, if Unitarian -- (with nod to Jean Gebser):
The Ever-Presenting Origin.
I don't think it is possible to exhaust the expressions of the ineffable.
All the explanations of past patriarchs about the practice of no-mind are unique. Now, I will give a synopsis of these different techniques and briefly describe ten of them.

One: attention. This means that when we are practicing, we should always cut off thoughts and guard against their arising. As soon as a thought arises we destroy it through attention. As a patriarch stated, "Do not fear the arising of thoughts; only be concerned lest your awareness of them be tardy." A gatha says, "There is no need to search for truth; you need only put all views to rest." This is the method of extinguishing delusion through attention.

- Chinul (1205)
Perhaps all notions of God might find expression as:
An Integrality Initiating Itself.
Otherwise, there's Arkansas to ponder:
Thousands of dead fish washed up last week on a 20 mile stretch along the Arkansas River between Ozark and Clarksville. On New Year's Eve thousands of red-winged blackbirds tumbled from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas.

According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, a tug boat operator noticed thousands of dead drum fish. Experts estimate somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 fish died.

"This is really getting kind of crazy with the fish and the birds and these tornadoes hitting during the winter," said Denise Dickerson, of Ozark.

(-- Mysterious Death of Birds, Fish Puzzle Arkansas Residents, KSPR TV, Mallory Cooke, Reporter, Springfield, MO,,0,41484.story)

Puzzling -- all of it.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

When bell sounded at end of sitting I was a resounding vibration.
Do not be concerned with who is
wise and who is stupid.
Do not discriminate the
sharp from the dull.
To practice whole-heartedly
is the true endeavor of the way.
Practice-realization is not
defiled with specialness;
it is a matter for every day.

- Dogen (1200-1253)
But that was then.

This is now.