Saturday, December 13, 2014

as snow gently falls

Morning light under cloudy skies, the ritual of placing oneself in prayer.
Notre Père qui es aux cieux, que Ton nom soit sanctifié, que Ton règne vienne, que Ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel. Donne-nous aujourd'hui notre pain de ce jour, pardonne-nous nos offenses comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés ; et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation mais délivre-nous du mal par le Christ, Jésus notre Seigneur, car à Toi appartiennent le règne, la puissance et la gloire, à jamais. Amen
Zafu in merton retreat will serve as that place at 7:30am.

Emptiness of everything -- surround and infuse -- with silence.

With everyone.

And everything.

Within, and, 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Nuestra Señora -- Tan vacío de todo

I can imagine Juan Diego thanking the Aztec woman for the cape and the lovely flowers.


De nada, she says.

De nadait's nothing, says Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,


Ah, what happened in that trusting engagement of beneficial outcome for them and for many in their surround?

Nothing? Si!

Nothing? Hola!

Nothing? Yo creo!

Tan lleno de nada. Tan vacio de todo.  So full of nothing. So empty all.

The new world ...

of faith.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I bet Michael Brown would have paid back the cost of cigarillos taken.
I bet Eric Garner would have paid back taxes on the “loosies” he’d sold.
Would that all were given the consideration to pay back what they (allegedly) took.
Would that justice were non-violent, non-punitive, and rooted in compassion.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

simplicity, integrity, faithful engagement

We renew our promises as meetingbrook monastics: contemplation, conversation, correspondence.

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.”
― Thomas MertonLove and Living

we meet you there

Maria writes: “Tom is in his final days -- as far as we know. Maybe God has other plans, but we are prepared for his departure to God’s loving arms.”

We write:

maria and tom in cosmos             
and our hearts

we speak by listening; 
we love by quiet 

Our prayer & practice these days is silent sitting with both Quaker Friends & Zen Buddhist Companions. 

It is the silence.           We meet you there.

“Ashes do not come back to firewood.’ If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do.” 
(Dogen Zenji) 

Dogen suggested we “Leave no trace.” We leave to the other, completely, one-self.

And so, we sit in silence with you, Maria, and Tom, with your love, and ours. 

This is what we offer one another. 

This traceless presence.

at long last

Catching up on reading.
The C.I.A. and some members of the President George W. Bush’s administration claimed these brutal acts were necessary to deal with “ticking time bomb” threats and that they were effective. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, an avid promoter of “enhanced interrogation,” still makes that claim. 
But “at no time” did the C.I.A.’s torture program produce intelligence that averted a terrorism threat, the report said. All of the information that the C.I.A. attributed to its “enhanced interrogation techniques” was obtained before the brutal interrogations took place, actually came from another source, or was a lie invented by the torture victims — a prospect that the C.I.A. had determined long ago was the likely result of torture. 
 (--from, NYTimes, The Senate Report on the C.I.A.’s Torture and Lies,

Tuesday, December 09, 2014


We are a storied people. We live in a story. And in that story there is good and there is bad. There are benevolent actors and there are malevolent actors. It’s both.

If we did not have a storied existence, we would be storyless. A storyless existence would have no experience nor awareness of others. No ego.

And while the notion of egolessness seems a desirable way of nonjudgmental being-in-the-world, there are considerations to be made that recognize the necessity of being storied and having an ego in this realm of story and ego wherein we dwell.

But, we are not the story. Even if we are used to saying, ’This is my story,’ you and I are not the story.

Living in a story, and being that story, are not the same thing.

Alan Watts relates how in a play or drama the actors come forward after the performance has concluded, and bow to the audience. The hero and the evil agent, the protagonist and antagonist, the good gal and the bad gal -- bow together to audience and each other.

It has been a play. Actors acting. Drama performed, and ended.

A story. Told and felt. Something to think about.

At end of theatrical story, we exit our characters and stage and return to ordinary stories in everyday settings with improvisational responses to unrehearsed questions.

In effect, until we die we are part of ongoing character development and performance expectation and perfecting.

Hinter-denken” a thinking in the back of the mind, an awareness beyond thinking, haunts us. It suggests to us that while we are performers and spectators with regard to the stories wherein we dwell, we are not the stories, the characters, nor the acting itself.

Who then, or what, are we?

Behind everything, beyond everything, who are we?

retiring; words

Each poet's death is finishing line that, still, contemplates revision.

Claudia Emerson, Pulitzer-winning poet who illuminated divorce and death, dies at 57
PUBLISHED: DEC 8, 2014, 5:46 AM
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2014, 5:46 AM

Claudia Emerson, a former mail carrier who turned to writing in middle age and received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for her book “Late Wife,” an elegiac collection of verses illuminating the complex legacies wrought by divorce and death, died Dec. 4 at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She was 57.

And then:

By Claudia Emerson

The word itself: prim, retired, its artifact 
her portrait above the fireplace, on her face 
the boredom she abhorred, then perfected, 
her hands held upward—their emptiness 
a revision, cigarette and brandy snifter 
painted, intolerably, out, to leave her this 
lesser gesture: What next? or shrugged Whatever.
From the waist down she was never there. 

(--Source: Poetry, June 2012).

Monday, December 08, 2014

Unusual three, of a day

Siddhartha, Mary, and John 
this 8Dec.
Aware and clear. Imagine!

the prelude and proleptic of practice and prayer

Why sit? Why pray? At practices this weekend these questions arise. During final circle teisho these words come up for reflection response:

Silent sitting invites us to become a place where creation/universe has the opportunity to look at itself for the duration.

Prayer is an occurance for creation and the universe to have a time and place to pray within and through you for the duration of your presentation in prayer.

No matter if the time you sit or pray is turmoil and distraction. The world is most often troubled and in turmoil. Let its looking and its prayer take place in your surround. And if there be occasions of quiet and peace, let this prelude and proleptic take place in your surround for the benefit of all beings in all realms through all time.

Silent sitting, with Quakers or during zazen, is not meant to be a personal bettering accomplishment. If that occurs it is only part of the fruit tasted by creation and universe in and through you, your effort or non-effort, and your practice, your prayer.

So, practice. Pray. Be silent. Become mindful. Enter the place of inclusion, compassion, patience, and nascent wisdom. 

Let the umwelt of your being ready the radical unfolding of the true nature of circumincessional interpenetration. Become a perichoresis of practice! And if you preface God in your gathering into stillness, there God will attend with openness.

{sounding bell}

Sunday, December 07, 2014

laughter? or, if nothing else is heard, last word?

“‘Ashes do not come back to firewood.’ If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do.” (Dogen Zenji)

Leave no trace, it is said, is the task.

Give everything away.

Word it all into emptiness.

Return to silence.