Saturday, November 24, 2012

What is only real

Goldstein and Kornfield say the balance is between wisdom and service. The path of the heart travels the middle way between what occurs within the individual and what occurs in the greater within of community, society, the whole population.
Elisha: If you were sitting across the table from a person who was experiencing deep emotional suffering in their life right now, what advice or suggestions would you give them. 
Jack: Very little advice to start with. I believe the most important thing I can do is to be fully present as I sit with them and not to try and advise them. To sit and be present, even to hold their hand or if they were not open to it, hold them in my heart and let my own experience resonate with theirs. To bring myself to their experience with as much compassion and care and perspective and deep breath and love as I could. To start with words I’d be curious, what is your suffering, and what are your tears and anguish and trauma? I’d want to know and not impose any advice, without first clearly hearing what they knew and where they were and what they were looking for. 
And then perhaps from this shared capacity to be present I’d want to communicate a deep trust that we can open to it all and move through the experience of suffering. I’d want them to know that their experience is part of their humanity, part of the difficulty and the gift of human incarnation and we are all called upon to bear our sorrows as well as our joys, and that we can bear them and they’re not the end of the story. That our sufferings don’t define us and we don’t have to be so loyal to our suffering that we don’t see that there is a greater mysterious majestic dance that we’re a part of so that the communication of trust as well as the capacity to be present is there. 
Because it is as William Blake says that in the minute particulars that goodness is transmitted, not in the general or the ideological, but actually in the presence itself. 
(--from Mindfulness and Psychotherapy: An Interview with Jark Kornfield, by Elsha Goldstein, PH.D)
Here's what Blake said: "He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: general Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, for Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars."
(--William Blake, 1757-1827)

In the Merton Bookshed we sit is silence a brief while. We listen to the Book of the Hours, Saturday Dusk. We sound bell at end, three times in darkened candle shadow. Dogs go barking into dooryard. We come through barn into house.

I meet people who live in fear. I listen. I watch. I ask if I can help.

Others' pain sometimes blinds them to the suffering they attempt to inflict on the human objects of their dissatisfaction. There's not much else to do with that but let it be the starting point of deep meditation and simple service in response going forward.

There's no healing the past. There is only the present extending itself in every direction until there is only the present clarified with compassion surrounding everything and everyone with a wise heart without opposition.

We have so many teachers trying to get our attention focusing on what is the next step, the emerging truth, the changing of perception, the release of our selves from themselves.

The recognition of what is only real.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Dark, dark my light, and darker still... desire." (Says poet Roethke)

Buy nothing today?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

And in the end...

No one act is good or bad. It is the continuity that is to be looked at.
"God" is in the act of truth stepping into and after whatever preceded it.
It is the moving and the actual wherein what-we-call-God emerges.

In the end, there is never anyone there. In the end, one is always emerging here.

Around Curtis Island

As sun slants from west.
Home again.
Panta Rhea purrs.

After brunch

Bald Mountain and Ragged.
Across from Megunticook Mtn.
Our brook.

Thanksgiving morning

Silence knows my name.

It gazes around.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Muse of form

That's what emptiness is. Form.
“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say "It is yet more difficult than you thought." This is the muse of form. It may be, then, that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and, that when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. the mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.
(--Wendall Berry, Poetry and Marriage: The Use of Older Forms, Coevolution Quarterly, Winter, 1982.)
That's what form is. Emptiness.

The handwriting is on the wall!

Time to make the pilgrimage to meditation bookshed cushion

In twilight dawn sound of passing vehicle. I imagine death to be listening silence mind finally realizing no need making comment on what passes by and away.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday, before brushing teeth

Single candle at window pane
No intention, no significance
Sees itself
simply shining there


Two weeks ago Freda told me she liked the stories of ... (What was her name?)

We talked a while that Sunday morning as she looked out over the bay.

She died yesterday. At 83. After, the notice said, a long illness. Sweet woman!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The only thing we know is we don't.

At hospice training in spirituality this afternoon we look at poems by Whyte, Oliver, Hafiz, Rumi, Walcott, Cohen, and Browne. At ourselves. Not knowing. But present.