Saturday, January 17, 2015



Walking, I wonder

Will this step be the last one--

Or one before that

our original unity

In America Magazine, as Thomas Merton’s 100th birthday approaches, an article by Daniel Horan titled Merton (Still) Matters” reminds that a broader perspective encompasses greater inclusion and understanding.
In October 1968, near the end of his life, Merton concluded a talk to a group of monks in Calcutta and with these now famous lines: “My dear brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” 
There is nothing in Merton’s published works, nor in his private journals and correspondence, that would indicate interest in leaving the Catholic Church. In his 1966 book, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Merton wrote:
The more I am able to affirm others, to say “yes” to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am.... I will be a better Catholic, not if I can refute every shade of Protestantism [or other faiths], but if I can affirm the truth in it and still go further.
The Dalai Lama wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times in 2010, “While preserving faith toward one’s own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.” He went on to explain that it was none other than Thomas Merton, with whom he met personally in 1968, who offered him this insight. “Merton told me he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity, yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism. The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist learning from the world’s other great religions.” For Merton then, as for the Dalai Lama today, compassion for and personal encounter with people of other faiths does not diminish one’s own religious convictions—if anything, it strengthens them. Merton shows us as much by living out what he came to realize was his “vocation of unity,” to borrow a phrase from the Merton scholar Christine Bochen.
(--from America Magazine, Merton (Still) Matters, January 19-26, 2015 Issue, by Daniel P. HoranHow the Trappist monk and author speaks to millennials)
 The problem for Catholics is separative belief. Inclusive belief allows other beliefs to be other beliefs. “Other” need not be separate. The resolution to what the mind considers dualistic, (i.e. same and different, self and other, subject and object, right and wrong,  my faith and your faith), is to no longer consider them as dualistic (e.g. same/different, self/other, subject/object,  right/wrong, our faiths). A change in thinking would emerge and allow each and every thing to be what it is. And what each thing is involves everything else, what it is doing, used for, and what it means.

Call this zen. Zen doesn’t know. It doesn’t know same. It doesn’t know different. Zen sees. Zen listens. Zen presences.

A stopping, looking, and listening that extends itself as itself stopping, itself looking, and itself listening.

It is faulty thinking that opposes and excludes. Right thinking composes and includes.

Merton helps us see this, saying, “...we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”

We like him for this.

after inviting wood to waterford 103, Night Practice (bis jetzt -- up to now)

bis jetzt

middle Night

over squeeky snow,

footstepping to Merton Retreat

the heavens!

elevate thermostat

for morning



up to now

Mitte Nacht 
über squeeky Schnee, 
footstepping Merton Retreat 
den Himmel! 
erheben Thermostat 
für Morgen 

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's a beginning

Isha Upanishad 
Translation by Swami Nikhilananda

Om. That is full; this is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness. Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!
1) All this—whatever exists in this changing universe—should be covered by the Lord. Protect the Self by renunciation. Lust not after any man's wealth.
2) If a man wishes to live a hundred years on this earth, he should live performing action. For you, who cherish such a desire and regard yourself as a man, there is no other way by which you can keep work from clinging to you.
3) Verily, those worlds of the asuras are enveloped in blind darkness; and thereto they all repair after death who are slayers of Atman.
4) That non—dual Atman, though never stirring, is swifter than the mind. The senses cannot reach It, for It moves ever in front. Though standing still, It overtakes others who are running. Because of Atman, Vayu, the World Soul apportions the activities of all.
5) It moves and moves not; It is far and likewise near. It is inside all this and It is outside all this.
6) The wise man beholds all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings; for that reason he does not hate anyone.
7) To the seer, all things have verily become the Self: what delusion, what sorrow, can there be for him who beholds that oneness?
8) It is He who pervades all—He who is bright and bodiless, without scar or sinews, pure and by evil unpierced; who is the Seer, omniscient, transcendent and uncreated. He has duly allotted to the eternal World—Creators their respective duties.
9) Into a blind darkness they enter who are devoted to ignorance (rituals); but into a greater darkness they enter who engage in knowledge of a deity alone. 
10) One thing, they say, is obtained from knowledge; another, they say, from ignorance. Thus we have heard from the wise who have taught us this.
11) He who is aware that both knowledge and ignorance should be pursued together, overcomes death through ignorance and obtains immortality through knowledge.
12) Into a blind darkness they enter who worship only the unmanifested prakriti; but into a greater darkness they enter who worship the manifested Hiranyagarbha.
13) One thing, they say, is obtained from the worship of the manifested; another, they say, from the worship of the unmanifested. Thus we have heard from the wise who taught us this.
14) He who knows that both the unmanifested prakriti and the manifested Hiranyagarbha should be worshipped together, overcomes death by the worship of Hiranyagarbha and obtains immortality through devotion to prakriti. 
15) The door of the Truth is covered by a golden disc. Open it, O Nourisher! Remove it so that I who have been worshipping the Truth may behold It.
16) O Nourisher, lone Traveller of the sky! Controller! O Sun, Offspring of Prajapati! Gather Your rays; withdraw Your light. I would see, through Your grace, that form of Yours which is the fairest. I am indeed He, that Purusha, who dwells there.
17) Now may my breath return to the all—pervading, immortal Prana! May this body be burnt to ashes! Om. O mind, remember, remember all that I have done.
18) O Fire, lead us by the good path for the enjoyment of the fruit of our action. You know, O god, all our deeds. Destroy our sin of deceit. We offer, by words, our salutations to you.
End of Isa Upanishad 
The Peace Chant:
Om. That is full; this is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!

orange ball on white snow

Susan Sontag's continuation day. I bought her book the title of her essay the year it came out.
She wrote another essay that year called "Against Interpretation" (1964), in which she argues that people should stop trying to analyze and interpret art and just enjoy the experience on a spiritual and sensual level. She wrote: "Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world - in order to set up a shadow world of meanings.”  (--from, The Writer’s Almanac,

Morning orange reaches dooryard before sun disappears behind gray clouds. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Look away.

Look away.
When enlightened Zen masters  
Set up teachings for a spiritual path,  
The only concern is to clarify  
The mind to arrive at its source.  
It is complete in everyone,  
Yet people turn away from this basic mind  
Because of their illusions.   
(- Yuanwu)
I wish I were in the land that cottoned to awakening.

deep is; calling on deep

Śhruti  (Have you heard?)

Smriti (Remember this.)

Sati  (Yes, be mindful.)

in hoc, signo


"The language of a people is its fate." (Amos Wilder)



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

rita. (lovely)

Now it begins.
Alternate titles: arta; ṛta
Rita, Sanskrit ṛta (“truth” or “order”),  in Indian religion and philosophy, the cosmic order mentioned in the Vedas, the ancient sacred scriptures of India. As Hinduism developed from the ancient Vedic religion, the concept of rita led to the doctrines of dharma (duty) and karma (accumulated effects of good and bad actions). Rita is the physical order of the universe, the order of the sacrifice, and the moral law of the world. Because of rita, the sun and moon pursue their daily journeys across the sky, and the seasons proceed in regular movement. Vedic religion features the belief that rita was guarded by Varuna, the god-sovereign, who was assisted by Mitra, the god of honour, and that the proper performance of sacrifices to the gods was necessary to guarantee its continuance. Violation (anrita) of the established order by incorrect or improper behaviour, even if unintentional, constituted sin and required careful expiation.
(--Encylopedia Brittanica)
          (Or wikipedia's:)
In the Vedic religion, Ṛta (Sanskrit ऋतं ṛtaṃ "that which is properly joined; order, rule; truth") is the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it.[1] In the hymns of the Vedas, Ṛta is described as that which is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of the natural, moral and sacrificial orders. Conceptually, it is closely allied to the injunctions and ordinances thought to uphold it, collectively referred to as Dharma, and the action of the individual in relation to those ordinances, referred to as Karma – two terms which eventually eclipsed Ṛta in importance as signifying natural, religious and moral order in later Hinduism.[2] Sanskrit scholar Maurice Bloomfield referred to Ṛta as "one of the most important religious conceptions of the Rig Veda", going on to note that, "from the point of view of the history of religious ideas we may, in fact we must, begin the history of Hindu religion at least with the history of this conception".[3] 
Ṛta is derived from the Sanskrit verb root ṛ- "to go, move, rise, tend upwards", and the derivative noun ṛtam is defined as "fixed or settled order, rule, divine law or truth".[4] As Mahony (1998) notes, however, the term can just as easily be translated literally as "that which has moved in a fitting manner", abstractly as "universal law" or "cosmic order", or simply as "truth".[5] The latter meaning dominates in the Avestan cognate to Ṛta, aša.[6]Ṛta
 I wonder when, oh when will it end

The big hurt
          (--cf. TONI FISHER, "The Big Hurt", 1959, Wayne Shanklin)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

brown blanket

I go as far as barn door. Been no further for five days.

Pick last sticks from brought-in wood. It is zero just now. Will drop to -8.

But there are no ticks, mosquitoes, or black flies.

And no rowboat to tend at harbor.

Syllabus almost done.
Tending Two Shops 
Don’t run around this world
looking for a hole to hide in, 
There are wild beasts in every cave!
If you live with mice,
the cat claws will find you. 
The only real rest comes
when you’re alone with God. 
Live in the nowhere that you came from,
even though you have an address here. 
You have eyes that see from that no where,
and eyes that judge distances,
how high and how low.
You own two shops,
and you run back and forth. 
Try to close the one that’s a fearful trap
getting always smaller, checkmate,
this way, checkmate that. 
Keep open the shop
where you’re not selling fishhooks anymore.
You are the free swimming fish. 
(– by Rumi, Ancient Sufi Mystic)
No more fishhooks.

Just swimming.

Through breath.

And sight.

Monday, January 12, 2015

we did not visit enough

 “It’s not the world that hurts you, it’s your own expectation.” (--Jacque Fresco)

Obituary notice today that Alden, husband of deceased friend Sylvia, died on Christmas morning.

A kind, capable, and thoughtful man. 


A good time. All 4s.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

if I should wake before I die

Dogs are let out. Dogs are let in. They receive biscuits.

We cough up and down stairs. Take Umcka and Sinusalia, vitamin d, c, multi, green juice, aspirin, 

Whatever else baptism is, it is being open to know God, the universe, and oneself.

Sometimes we think churches own baptism. That's not true. Physicists, philosophers, poets, and paupers are equally the diviners of desire to enter and become what is real.

Cats fuss downstairs. White dog feels called to intervene. I discourage him.

We don't have to follow every desire. Sometimes to wait and snooze is enough of the sacred for now.