Saturday, February 12, 2011

When I feared death, death was far way. Closer now, I can't imagine why I would fear something so ordinary.
The gates to the Way are manifold;
Each is profound and effective.
But deepest and finer
Is the sky beyond the sky, that,
Understood, corresponds to the
Tao of heaven.

- Loy Ching-Yuen (1873-1960)
What is beyond sky and beyond even that?

You are.

I am.

We shall be.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Maybe we are the unknown made visible.

This is why God loves us.

He doesn't know any better.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What do you think?
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts. If a person speaks or acts with an evil thought, suffering follows him, as the wheel follow the hoof of and beast that draws the wagon.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a person speaks or acts with a good thought, happiness follow him like a shadow that never leaves him.

- Dhammapada
Me and my shadow, strolling through this curious world.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Falling into.
Come to grips with this without falling into oblivion, thousands and thousands of times. If you are like this without interruption, then naturally your work will become pure and ripe and your body ad mind will be clear and content, like the crisp air of autumn.
- T'aego

Monday, February 07, 2011

We're all monks now.

Some monastics are hermits.

There are burglars in the neighborhood. I'll have to leave out my good pants.
All beings
are words of G
His music, His
Sacred books we are, for the infinite camps
in our
Every act reveals God and expands His being.
I know that may be hard
to comprehend.
All creatures are doing their best
to help God in His birth
of Himself.
Enough talk for the night.
He is laboring in me;
I need to be silent
for a while,
worlds are forming
in my heart.

-Meister Eckhart
Now Lord you may dismiss your servant.

In peace.

Wordless and watching.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Rough winds pass through bare branches, nothing to hold on to, winter morning first light. Snow plow passes up Barnestown Road. Maine Coon cat paws at my arm, climbs to chest, probably wants to be let out. Settles to stare at bedroom door.

We appear and disappear.
There is a net of three dimensions, vast and wide stretching in all four directions throughout the universe. At each point that a string meets another point of the net there is a jewel, and this jewel reflects in it all the other jewels of the entire net, and further that reflection too is reflected in all the facets of all the other jewels.

No single part of the net can be independent of the rest; a single movement of the net in one place will affect, in some way, the most distant part of the net or universe. The all is reflected in the one, the one in the all.

- The Avatamsaka Sutra, in Dailyzen
We have the desire to say: 'I have been here.' It is difficult to embrace the desire to: 'Leave no trace.'

The signature of the wind through branches is a shudder submitting to following silence.
Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind--
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me:
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.

- Han-Shan, circa 630
(in, The Enlightened Heart, edited by Stephen Mitchell, p. 30)
I'm no longer attracted by anything other than this -- this feeling, this thought, this sound, this place, this person, this question. This question asks:"What is this?"
Woodman’s interest in self-presentation—and self-preservation—emerges even in a note written around the time of her first suicide attempt. “I finally managed,” she explains, “to try to do away with myself, as neatly and concisely as possible…. I would rather die young leaving various accomplishments, some work, my friendship with you, and some other artifacts intact, instead of pell-mell erasing all of these delicate things.” Woodman reverses the traditional terms of the arrangement: death, like photography, is simply a series of chemical reactions. Living is “erasing”; dying a way of ensuring that what was will continue to be, of fixing certain things in place. When Woodman died, she left behind an unpublished artist’s book, a set of five images, called Portrait of a Reputation.

In churches and mosques, temples and monasteries the ancient prayers and rituals are carefully observed. I'm glad of this. In this room at foot of two mountains the observation is of what is here.

We will go to Merton Retreat, sit in silence, chant psalms, listen to words weaving through bare attention, finally to shudder and submit to moving through the next thing we do as what we are in the passage.

Snow plow returns down valley sluice. Clouds part and parse nascent sunlight, close again, converse with wind.

If love is all with all in all, I am in the sound of the birds chipping at ice on roof outside window.

I am in the sound of what we call...God.