Saturday, April 18, 2015

not all are so fortunate

The secrets and spies of countries, their idiot compacts with weapons and torture.

(That's off my chest.)

It's a sick and cynical world of depraved wealth and noxious patriotism.

(C'mon mate, it ain't that bad.)

Yeah? Except when it is. So seldom does anyone learn of it.

Around the world. The cruelty. The monetizing of human worth for someone's passing pleasure or national payday.

Friday, April 17, 2015

where our spirit’s walk

Lockdown today in prison. So we go to Moody’s Diner. And we’d been on-time/early first time in long time. Timely doesn’t always pay.
Our original Buddha-Nature is, in highest truth, devoid of any atom of objectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy — and that is all. Enter deeply into it by awakening to it yourself. That which is before you is it, in all its fullness, utterly complete. There is naught beside.  
Even if you go through all the stages of a Bodhisattva's progress toward Buddhahood, one by one; when at last, in a single flash, you attain to full realization, you will only be realizing the Buddha-Nature which has been with you all the time; and by all the foregoing stages you will have added to it nothing at all.  
You will come to look upon all those eons of work and achievement as no better than unreal actions performed in a dream. That is why the Tathagata said, "I truly attained nothing from complete, unexcelled Enlightenment. Had there been anything attained, Dipamkara Buddha would not have made the prophecy concerning me." He also said, "This Dharma is absolutely without distinctions, neither high nor low, and its name is Bodhi."  
It is pure Mind, which is the source of everything and which, whether appearing as sentient beings or as Buddhas, as the rivers and mountains of the world which has form, as that which is formless, or as penetrating the whole universe absolutely without distinctions, there being no such entities as selfness and otherness. 
(--from Zen Teachings of Huang Po, - Huang Po (d. 850), Daily Zen)
At poetry today in Quarry Hill there were many A.S. Milne poems by Tina, Lydia, and Sheilah. They were cheerful. Walt read from his wife’s mother’s booklet of poems. And I read Jane Hirshfield.

One by Sheilah, reading Siegfried Sassoon, resonated:


"When I'm alone"—the words tripped off his tongue
As though to be alone were nothing strange.
“When I was young," he said; "when I was young..."

I thought of age, and loneliness, and change.
I thought how strange we grow when we're alone,
And how unlike the selves that meet and talk,
And blow the candles out, and say good night.

Alone... The word is life endured and known.
It is the stillness where our spirits walk
And all but inmost faith is overthrown.

Siegfried Sassoon

The question remains as institutions, lineages, denominations, and nations all fall apart or fail -- how will we move on into new expressions of beloved forms and familiar expressions?

Begin in your own way, I say.

Sip tea.

Know re-forming affection for one’s mates!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tat tvam asi -- you are that

There's nothing you can do.

What's gone is gone.

Then, do that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is that so; it is

In the film, well seasoned monk carries statue of Avalokiteśvara to top of mountain far above floating monastery.

Where she belongs.



wandering; wary

Spring jaunt finally free to walk Maine roads. 

Winter trudge, unconvinced, sits on barn chair eyeing sky for signs of lingering snowstorms.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

here we are, again: half and half and

Four lines by Paul Simon written for Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, which inaugurated the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC on Sept. 8, 1971:
(lyric by Paul Simon, for Leonard Bernstein’s 8Sept1971 Mass, A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers)
That’s the thing about poetry and art.

True then, true now.

Bernstein’s lifelong desire, [conductor Maurice] Peress said, “was to compose works — ‘hineh ma tov u ma naim’ — that all men should live as brothers.
Read more:
 Oremus, iterum!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sitting these days

Walking these days.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

one asks -- when have we three never met?

Orthodox Easter.

"Christ, the Pantocrator" by BJU Museum and Gallery. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 
благословенный Пасха

"Andrej Rublëv 001" by Andrei Rublev - The Yorck Project: Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

capable joy

It's the rare person who's never thought about it.

 I did. 

Suicide, as an idea, is common. As an actual attempt, not near the thought.

The thoughts promulgated by an intensely competitive and unfeeling way of life in contemporary times -- thoughts that suggest reality show stars, political cruelty, athletic celebrity, and Wall Street's excessive looting are the only ideals worth accomplishing -- cannot sustain a vital interest in the simple ordinary acts of attention to one another and humane kindness to all.

Perhaps a shift toward an attractive way of life, philosophy as a way of life -- thoughtful, playful, creative and contemplative  -- with shared interests in becoming liberated from deluded ambitions, freeing oneself and whole communities toward a capable joy. 

Enough already with failure-future thinking; we must find joyful-present feeling worth living and sharing.

( response to: “Best, Brightest — and Saddest?", Op Ed by Frank Bruni, 11April2015, NY Times)