Saturday, October 04, 2014

ask no questions; tell no lies.


I have enough.

What’s that?

Yamada Roshi once asked one of his students who was a Catholic sister, "" What is the relation between Emptiness and God?" Without the least sign of trepidation she answered, "Emptiness is God. God cannot be thought of as other than emptiness."" 3 
(--Arraj, James (2012-01-14). Christianity in the Crucible of East-West Dialogue / God, Zen and the Intuition of Being (2 Volumes in 1) (Kindle Locations 145-147). Inner Growth Books and Videos, LLC. Kindle Edition.) 

There’s nothing to it. 

Friday, October 03, 2014

Deano carved a cross for us

Some say Francis mirrored Christ.

Some say Christ mirrored God.

Some say God mirrors nothing but Teshuvah returning to source itself.

Transitus of Francis.

Eve of Yom Kippur.

Rokie’s birthday tomorrow.

Each is alone.

God is the Alone.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

a dialogue with a student

"...both speakers were focused primarily on there Here and Now. I am, I think, incurably oriented toward the Hereafter..."([sic] from student's paper)
You raise one of my favorite topics, namely, the investigation into the terms "time" and "eternity" as well as "here" and "now."
I have changed my perspective. Part of my association with thinkers such as Ramon Panikkar, Teilhard de Chardin, Jean Gebser, and various Zen figures (e.g.Dogen Zenji Eihei) -- has been to collapse the ordinary distinctions and view now as then, time as a concretion of eternity, and hereafter as the pleroma (i.e. fullness) of now. [As we say in New York: "We're just talkin', right?"] And so, what is here and now is the partial seeking wholeness. Our inability to see things whole, or, if when seeing things whole our unwillingness to give credence or active respect to what we've experienced, leads us to enshrine the partial, protect it, and hunker down in it. 
The partial is a temporary dwelling. What we call the "intellect, will, soul", seeks the whole when they are not fearful or so self-involved that to move toward the whole would be deemed unprofitable. My attitude toward the partial is becoming believing in it and respectful of it. It is the oak seed, insight, and current habits that, of their own, will grow toward maturity and ripen. The phrase "of their own" suggests to me an inner guidance that, if heeded, sustains, nurtures, and thrives. (Of course, we are always dealing with those whose partiality would siphon off, eradicate, embellish, distract, deaden, fix, and/or dismiss those whose partiality does not gibe with theirs.)
Eternity, the word, contrary to common usage, does not mean "endless time." It means no time. 
But enough about me. Below is 1) definition from; and, 2) an interesting physician's commencement talk that speaks from his perspective. 



[ih-tur-nl] Spell Syllables adjective   

without beginning or end; lasting forever; always existing (opposed to temporal ): 
eternal life.
perpetual; ceaseless; endless:
eternal quarreling; eternal chatter.
enduring; immutable:
eternal principles.
Metaphysics. existing outside all relations of time; not subject tochange.
something that is eternal.
the Eternal, God.
2) Found the below talk in PMC,  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Healtha service of NCBI. The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
The talk is titled, "From Here and Now to Infinity and Eternity: A Message to New Medical Doctors*" by José Florencio F. Lapeña, Jr., B.A. (Hons), M.A., M.D., FPCS, FPSOHNS, FPAHNS**

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

What is required

October reminds me of catholic heritage. Therese, Angels, Francis, on into the month.

So much seems so fading. I'm a write in for next years Holy Week at Trappists. That's something to notice. Each year I think, that's it. Like long time monks who don't know if they believe in God, we find that belief is a silly descriptive.

Habit of mind, activity of body, sight of intuition -- these seem more appropriate.

Churches no longer attract. Scripture seems banal. The rituals have floated free of tether.

Firewood is stacked. Locker is emptied of blue jacket. Tuna fish with sauerkraut and cheese on pita bread suffices for evening meal.

The ineffable requires silence.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vulgate, for we common people

Jerome sent his Biblical Commentary into prison. It visited our table once or twice. Well, he didn't exactly write it. Some folks in the 20th century put it together. In his name.

Much like the Bible itself. In God's name. Who some of the men thought was sociopathic in the old days. Worse, these men could not understand the unread interpretation given the scriptures by the "saved" behind bars. Hard to like God if God's friends were arrogant know-it-alls who, like similar fundamentalist Muslims, blithely sent to hell anyone not down with their particular (peculiar?) interpretation of what the words say.

Jerome (347-420) had his own battles.

St. Jerome was a Biblical scholar in the fourth century. He studied and was baptized in Rome, then returned to his native Aquileia where he lived an ascetic life. Around 374, he headed for Palestine, but was delayed in Antioch, where he heard the lectures of Apollinarius and decided to live as a hermit in the Syrian desert. He learned Hebrew, returned to Antioch and was ordained. He spent time in Constantinople and then returned to Rome, where he became secretary to Pope Damasus. After the Pope’s death, he visited Egypt, Palestine, and Antioch, before settling in Bethlehem. There he founded a new men’s monastery, and continued his scholar work. St. Jerome was involved in many theological controversies of the time including those regarding Arianism, the virginity of Mary, and the teachings of Origen. Some of St. Jerome’s greatest scholarly achievements are his translations of most of the Bible into Latin, a bibliography of the ecclesiastical writers, and translations of the works of Eusebius, Origen, and Didymus. Also, he wrote many Biblical commentaries where he infused topography and linguistics into his discussions. St. Jerome is one of the four original doctors of the Western Church.       (Written by Sarah Ciotti)
Words are so interesting.

What they say is even more interesting.

And the context, say, prison, among the skeptics.

Refreshingly complex and perplexing!

Monday, September 29, 2014


beyond reason

can you imagine

being delivered

such a message


Sunday, September 28, 2014

no, one; at all

It’s hard not to read about state governors who are variably described as odd, off, or awful. So few of us would acknowledge such appellation fit personal appraisal of ourselves.

Unless you were comfortable with such awkward designation.

Signs of such perplexity could be helpful.
Zen does not teach concentration, so much as it teaches you how to give yourself perplexity as a way of controlling your mind. It teaches that you must inevitably experience the complexities and sorrows of human life. Obviously, knowing perplexity and suffering need not take the form of Zazen meditation or the Koan; there are plenty of things in daily life that will provide chances to have this kind of Zen experience. 
People who are deeply experienced in Zen meditation are rarely solemn or saintly in the conventional way. On the contrary they are people who are filled with bright interest in their surroundings. They are easily surprised. They laugh easily. And even people who have less Zen experience than advanced priests say that , after a session of meditation, they see and hear everything with greeter clarity and vividness.  
(pp.54-55, in Zen Meditation Therapy, by Tomio Hirai MD, c.1975)
These Days of Awe! 
The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance. This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.   
One of the ongoing themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that G-d has "books" that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the Days of Awe can alter G-d's decree. The actions that change the decree are "teshuvah, tefilah and tzedakah," repentance, prayer, good deeds (usually, charity). These "books" are sealed on Yom Kippur. This concept of writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time is "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."  
Among the customs of this time, it is common to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year. The Talmud maintains that Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible.            
(Judaism 101), 
I’ve not righted much in my life. It is unfortunate. This is clear to me. It is vivid. It sorrows.
Probably I am an ordinary middle-class  
believer in individual rights, the word 
"freedom" is simple to me, it doesn't mean 
the freedom of any class in particular.  
Politically naive, with an average  
education (brief moments of clear vision  
are its main nourishment), I remember 
the blazing appeal of that fire which parches  
the lips of the thirsty crowd and burns  
books and chars the skin of cities. I used to sing  
those songs and I know how great it is 
 to run with others; later, by myself,  
with the taste of ashes in my mouth, I heard  
the lie's ironic voice and the choir screaming  
and when I touched my head I could feel  
the arched skull of my country, its hard edge.   
(--Poem, Fire, by Adam Zagajewski; Translated by Renata Gorczynski)
I dislike suppression of dissent as much as I dislike idiocy of bizarre theories that distract from intelligently coming to terms with complexity.  

I dislike authoritative dismissal of concerns about governance as much as I dislike lazy, self-serving patriotism and elitism found in pablum or halls of power.

I dislike trappings of holiness and ex-officio appropriation of the sacred as much as I dislike blithe blithering about abstract and insubstantial miasma.
Along this road  
Goes no one;  
This autumn evening. 
No one

at            all

Going away



is not