Saturday, May 14, 2011

At dawn and dusk today, there, where prayer alone suffices, I sit in cabin on cushion with silence.
It is proper to doubt. Do not be led by holy scriptures, or by mere logic or inference, or by appearances, or by the authority of religious leaders. But when you realize that something is unwholesome an bad for you, give it up. And when you realize that something is wholesome and good for you, do it.
- Buddha

Prayer -- silence alone or with words. -- releases us from the noise of negativity and positivity.

In the awe-full nearness to nothing, that which we call by many names turns with immeasurable patience to us waiting as we do when nothing seems to make sense.

Remember this -- and only this.

There's nothing else.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Don't go for the bait. Don't bite the hook. There are always those wanting to reel you in, own you, sell you off.

There's much to learn about becoming free.
When a buddha appears in the world
And expounds various teachings
According to people's inclinations,
All of the teachings are expedients,
Just for the purpose of breaking through
Obsessions, doubts, intellectual interpretations,
And egocentric ideas.
If there were no such false consciousness
And false views, there would be no need
For buddhas to appear
And expound so many teachings
- Yuan wu (1063-1135)
Heidegger says that world worlds and things thing.

If that's not clear, imagine this -- the world is not what we think it is. The world is itself. The world does not stand out from itself. The world, thus, does not exist.

We are looking for someone to encourage our learning.
Finding a Teacher

In the woods I came on an old friend fishing
and I asked him a question
and he said Wait

fish were rising in the deep stream
but his line was not stirring
but I waited
it was a question about the sun

about my two eyes
my ears my mouth
my heart the earth with its four seasons
my feet where I was standing
where I was going

it slipped through my hands
as though it were water
into the river
it flowed under the trees
it sank under hulls far away
and was gone without me
then where I stood night fell

I no longer knew what to ask
I could tell that his line had no hook
I understood that I was to stay and eat with him

(--Poem by W.S. Merwin)

It flows away, without me, no question, unhooked.

The tuna melt and spinach salad with Saskia is delicious.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It matters. The war matters. Assassinations matter. The mind that conceives of war and assassinations -- that mind matters.

No matter how deluded.

There are certain facts. Irrefutable realities.
The Department of Defense has identified 1,555 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations. It recently confirmed the death of the following American:
SPAULDING, Riley S., 21, Specialist, Army; Sheridan, Tex.; Second Squadron, Second Stryker Cavalry.

(10May2011, NYTimes)
I cannot explain the feeling of grief. Nor do I take solace in jingoistic exclamation of accomplishment. Yes, Osama bin Laden is dead. Still, I cannot abide it being called 'justice.' Justice might no longer be a useful concept, "More honour'd in the breach than the observance." (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

He is dead as is the past the past.
High School Reunion

I didn’t go.
What’s changed over fifty years since graduation?

Faces smile into apertures, they are happy
they remember something I don’t from those years

the glide following final report card
cleats returned to property room

administration recording names and notes
filed in drawers and mostly forgotten

But the smiling faces look through time --
I only recognize three faces -- Joe who became

a Franciscan, Bob who played baseball, and Terry
(unmistakable visage), he played football

I stayed in Maine away from the beer and hail
fellows well met a long commute from those days.

I sent haiku but got no response. No medallion,
no recalling events manufactured in a fog

The classical music station times off in the middle of The Cakewalk Suite by Gottschalk. There is sudden quiet.

It's hard to imagine the silliness of our quest for and articulation of meaning and reality. The thought passes through and I realize how absurd I am. This cheers. Nothing more than a passing breath, a fleeting glimpse, a moment giving itself up for what is now next.
There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We think that there is something hiding our reality and that it must be destroyed before reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now.
- Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)
Dust and echoes.

Good companions.

En route.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Stephen Hawking wonders about space aliens.

Hell, we're the aliens. The cosmos is the only natural expression of itself. Hawking thinks the contact has been made.

I listen to the oddities of communication parried back and forth between humans and I am certain that intelligent life continues to ignore us.
Mahaprajnaparamita is a Sanskrit
Word which means "the great
Wisdom which enables one to reach
The other shore." This should
Be performed by the mind and has
Nothing to do with verbal
Verbal repetition without using
The mind is like an illusion,
A transformation, dew and
Lightning; but verbal repetition
Coupled with use of the mind,
Will ensure a union of mind and mouth
- Altar Sutra
I read students' final essays in philosophy. They're no aliens.

They are the beginning phonemes of phenomenological manifestation.

The conversation wants to continue.
"A" you're adorable. "B" you're so beautiful. "C" you're a cutie full of charms. (from the Alphabet Love Song)
We need to sing more.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The wonderful thing about being nobody in this society, culture, and existence is the practice it provides for that which we call 'death' when the body as we know it will lay itself down and be no more.

Do both prospects seem undesirable?

No matter. Pay it no mind.
Over the course of centuries,
Zen has branched out into different schools
With individual methods,
But the purpose is still the same-
To point directly to the human mind.

- Yuan wu (1063-1135)
We have the opportunity to practice here, in this society, this culture, and this existence that which will assist us in the occasions of life and death.
(A Meditation by Anthony de Mello, SJ)

"Every word, every image
used for God is a distortion
more than a description."
"Then how does one speak of God?"

"Through Silence."

"Why, then, do you speak in words?"

At that, the Master
laughed uproariously.
He said, "When I speak, you
mustn't listen to the words, my dear.
Listen to the Silence."

Whenever the feeling experience of being a stranger arises it is an opportunity to return to the practice.

What is the practice? If I told you I would break it. But when it is felt/experienced by us, it becomes itself whole again.

The Silence Itself.

The silence of God, the silent mind, the mere and simple presence of one another to each other.

Here we are.

As we are.