Saturday, May 19, 2012

Unlearning what we think we know

Did you see a homeless person? Did it hurt?

Was there a sign that said, "Broke. Hungry"?

Such homelessness is sad. Such suffering is difficult.

What to do?
You deal with your shit in Zen by sitting with it. By breathing right into it. You don’t try and ignore it with pleasant thoughts or lofty ideas, and you don’t try and bury it with solutions. You deal with it, you work with it, one breath at a time. You hold it right there, in your breath. You don’t try and breathe it out; you don’t try and breathe it in. You keep it suspended in your diaphragm like a burning hot coin. Your problems won’t change; only you can change. That’s the point.
(- from, Growing Ground, by Steve Krieger),1
Go ahead, extend a fiver. Hand over a banana. Don't preach, judge, or ignore.

Suffer the indignity of the sign-carrier.

Be happy you feel what you feel. You could just as easily have scoffed, mocked, or laughed. Instead you brought both of you to Saturday Morning Practice and even shed tears.

It is maddening when our egos do not know how to respond, don't know what to do.

Sei stille, be silence, be calm, shush!

God is speaking to your heart/mind.

Listen with care.

You will learn.

To unlearn.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hold lightly if not at all what is at hand


Nowhere is it not.

Then, be there.

As it is, moving elsewhere.

Where you are, going.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


"Creation knows no opposite." (from lesson 138, A Course in Miracles)

Trappist Thomas Keating wrote in a slender volume that "God is existence."

When I see this, I will let you know.
What is sitting meditation?
To remove ourselves from
all external distractions and
quiet the mind is called "sitting."
To observe the inner nature
in perfect calmness is called "meditation."

- Hui-neng
Until then, find me in the cabin.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A transient transcript of trinitarian coursework

God is God. God is O! Good. Then, God is good.

Good itself is God's name. Do good! Be good! See good!

"Bad" is a misapprehension of "good." This happens a lot. Like a cup of coffee. First sip, the best. Next ten sips, Ok! Then, final dregs, cool and uninspiring sip, not so much!
T: You mentioned the use of retreat practice in Roman Catholicism. Does that feature the same combination of solitude and meditation practice? Or is the structured meditation in retreat the unique offering from Buddhism?

RR: Both Buddhism and Roman Catholicism employ structured “form” practices and the formless practices of working with awareness itself. Father Thomas Keating, who runs the Benedictine monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, teaches what he calls centering prayer. My understanding is that this is very much a mindfulness discipline, bringing the mind to a point and training it to be present, then allowing the inner wisdom to gradually unfold from that. If you look at the other contemplative orders in Roman Catholicism, I think you’ll see quite similar practices.
Perhaps an important difference between Buddhism and Christianity is that, within the Christian tradition, there is usually a subject you are contemplating, whereas in Buddhism, especially with the formless practices, you are really opening the mind in and of itself; you are not contemplating a particular subject or figure. Ultimately, we are looking to simply open the mind and lay bare its depths. In Christianity you find that as well, so it’s not an absolute difference but a difference in emphasis
(--From, INTERVIEW, The Power of Solitude, Shambhala Mountain Center's Reggie Ray talks to Tricycle's Ted Rose about the value of solitary retreat; by Ted Rose)
I mention to woman in Wohnkuche last night after meditation practice there is a trinity to serve as teacher for us: listen, don't judge, learn!

Stillness in Wohnkuche this morning. White Border Collie asleep on futon. Ticking of two clocks. Hum of refrigerator motor. Silence of books. Mere gaze of every wall hanging, pillow, dream, and forgotten detail. Everything that ever was is here, hidden or unbidden, on or under surface of appearance. It is, as they say, all good.

I listen.

I do not critique or judge.

I'm learning.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

of a tuesday morning

Spending time with students' papers. Margaret presents translation of Om Mani Padme Hum as: "Oh, but to see only through Wisdom's eye." It caught my attention.

What is "only through"...?

This morning, sitting in meditation cabin, a translation for Tuesday morning arises:
Looking in
to what is
shining through.
So, I wash last night's pots and plates, brew tea, and sit here to look into this.
Cleaning the bathroom or chopping the onions is no less important than sitting in deep meditation. Grasping this and acting on it is called waking up.
- Janet Jiryu Abels, "Participate Fully"
New green walking up to brook. White dog eyes sticks. Moist fragrance blossoms!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Drips water slowly dropping

Not much noise inside.

Toothbrush leans over rim looking at prone toothpaste.

Neither... nor mind... has anything to say.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Do don't say

Slow motion day. Polly's burial at Seaview. Attending Quaker Meeting.

Hoisting boxes to upper level of bookshed. Then Sunday Evening Practice.

It's the practice, not the narrative.