Saturday, May 16, 2015

not-yet awareness

Of course.
The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be
(--opening lyrics of "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen)
 Nothing like it.


Monastic chanting fellow creatures.

Life is profound if you’re awake to see it. It’s one thing to draw from culture, it’s another thing to be drawn so deeply into the culture that your true nature disappears. Wisdom is not merely something to be gained with old age. One can be wise in every stage of one’s life. To manifest wisdom means simply to step back and see—to reflect, inquire, be aware, be disciplined, and be focused not once in a while, but all of the time, moment to moment. This life is precious and fleeting. Pay attention.
(--from, The Examined Life, An English professor and Zen monk addresses his students at the end of the semester. BySeido Ray Ronci)
(Arrives day after posting grades.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

What are poets for

We do not all live in the same world. We live in different world spaces. That's what the guy at library giving talk on postmodern philosophy said last night,

He might be right. 

Living in different worlds asks for passports of a kind unthought of yet.

We wonder -- is there life in different worlds?

If we get to different world, would we be able to find way home?

We come in peace. Bring us to your leader.

Stop carefully.

This is holy ground.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Karma is the reverberation of nonduality

What's that sound?

It's nothing.

Pay no mind.

Who shall I say you are? Tell them I am gone. An ascension haiku

Incidence invites co-incidence. Four of us in Panikkar Conversation Wohnkuche for tea yesterday afternoon. Jory will fly to France today. Sarah in DownEast Maine for light of morning lauds. And at meetingbrook a quiet reflection on who anyone is ... becoming, on this feast of ascending Christic emptiness, a silent gaze, an appearing disappearance within name unpronounced.
Antra spoke about how relationship is the ground of love and becoming, and I whooped in agreement! Yes, relationship is the Holy Between where humanity, creation and divinity meet. I shared the image of a painting that I have behind my studio computer in Northampton, one that I bought from a Tlingit artist on Vancouver Island years ago. It features a man/eagle, whose face is man on the right and eagle on the left. Behind him is a dark British Columbian forest, standing silently beneath a full moon. The four of us shared this vision, that if humans are to survive the current devastation of nature, we must morph into one another and morph into the living presence of other creatures. We are all just who we are, in particular, and as we become more and more who we are, we are becoming each other :-) 
(--Robert A. Jonas, from, Radiant Light, A CaringBridge Journal,  in "The Empty Bell", 2014,
Is this the resonance of ascension? That we are lifted out of separation (viz, death) and sounded into resplendent yet unfathomable life? Where all specificity remains specific, and attachment detaches and drifts off into resting seeing what is there as what is there?

We begin again.

Form finding oneself morphing into formless Itself.

Chickadee on cut roof wire, temporarily, hanging outside window.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

From 1st Vespers, Feast of the Ascension

GoneGone. Gone beyond.

Ant. 3 
No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven, alleluia.


Today’s violence, yesterday

The headline:

MOVE Bombing at 30: "Barbaric" 1985 Philadelphia Police Attack Killed 11 & Burned a Neighborhood

13th of month, 3 children, Portugal

What happened there?
Our Lady of Fátima
This feast commemorates the visions of Our Lady seen near Fátima in Portugal in 1917 by three shepherd children, Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The visions occurred on the 13th day of each month from May to October, and by October huge crowds were gathering at the site of the visions and reporting visions and miraculous occurrences themselves.
    Pope John Paul II was devoted to Our Lady of Fátima and attributed his survival of an assassin’s bullet on 13 May 1981 to her intervention. Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who died in the great Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919-20, were beatified on 13 May
(--from Universalis)
How do we look at what we look at now?  

What new sense

Yes. Something from Thomas Merton's poetry:

On the Contemplative Vocation

Why do you fly from the drowned shores of Galilee, 
From the sands and the lavender water? 
Why do you leave the ordinary world, Virgin of Nazareth, 
The yellow fishing boats, the farms, 
The winesmelling yards and low cellars 
Or the oilpress, and the women by the well? 
Why do you fly those markets, 
Those suburban gardens, 
The trumpets of the jealous lilies, 
Leaving them all, lovely among the lemon trees?

You have trusted no town 
With the news behind your eyes. 
You have drowned Gabriel's word in thoughts like seas 
And turned toward the stone mountain 
To the treeless places. 
Virgin of God, why are your clothes like sails?

The day Our Lady, full of Christ, 
Entered the dooryard of her relative 
Did not her steps, light steps, lay on the paving leaves 
like gold?
Did not her eyes as grey as doves 
Alight like the peace of a new world upon that house, upon 
miraculous Elizabeth?

Her salutation 
Sings in the stone valley like a Charterhouse bell: 
And the unborn saint John 
Wakes in his mother's body, 
Bounds with the echoes of discovery.

Sing in your cell, small anchorite! 
How did you see her in the eyeless dark? 
What secret syllable 
Woke your young faith to the mad truth 
That an unborn baby could be washed in the Spirit of God?
Oh burning joy!

What seas of life were planted by that voice! 
With what new sense 
Did your wise heart receive her Sacrament, 
And know her cloistered Christ?

You need no eloquence, wild bairn, 
Exulting in your hermitage. 
Your ecstasy is your apostolate, 
For whom to kick is contemplata tradere
Your joy is the vocation of Mother Church's hidden children - 
Those who by vow lie buried in the cloister or the hermitage; 
The speechless Trappist, or the grey, granite Carthusian, 
The quiet Carmelite, the barefoot Clare, Planted in the night of 
contemplation, Sealed in the dark and waiting to be born.

Night is our diocese and silence is our ministry 
Poverty our charity and helplessness our tongue-tied 
Beyond the scope of sight or sound we dwell upon the air 
Seeking the world's gain in an unthinkable experience. 
We are exiles in the far end of solitude, living as listeners 
With hearts attending to the skies we cannot understand: 
Waiting upon the first far drums of Christ the Conqueror, 
Planted like sentinels upon the world's frontier.

But in the days, rare days, when our Theotokos 
Flying the prosperous world 
Appears upon our mountain with her clothes like sails, 
Then, like the wise, wild baby, 
The unborn John who could not see a thing 
We wake and know the Virgin Presence 
Receive her Christ into our night 
With stabs of an intelligence as white as lightning.

Cooled in the flame of God's dark fire 
Washed in His gladness like a vesture of new flame 
We burn like eagles in His invincible awareness 
And bound and bounce with happiness, 
Leap in the womb, our cloud, our faith, our element, 
Our contemplation, our anticipated heaven 
Till Mother Church sings like an Evangelist.

(--Poem by Thomas Merton)

I recall Daniel Berrigan saying Merton needed a good editor. We all do. But it's the raw stuff, unpolished, that points out what is close to sense before mind.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shunryu Suzuki on Zazen

See what you might come across!
“What is true zazen? What do you mean by Zen becomes Zen and you become you? You become you is a very important point. You become you. When you become you, even though you are in bed, you may not be you most of the time. Even though you are sitting here, I wonder whether you are you in its true sense. So to be you is zazen.” 
“So it is not a matter of whether it is possible to attain Buddhahood, or if it is possible to make a tile a jewel. But just to work, just to live in this world with this understanding is the most important point, and that is our practice. That is true zazen.” 
“So I say, ‘Oh, I am sorry but soon you will see the bright sunrise every morning and beautiful sunset in the evening, every evening, but right now perhaps you…under your situation it may be impossible to see the beautiful sunset or bright sunrise, or beautiful flower in your garden, and it is impossible to take care of your garden, but soon you will see the beauty of the flowers and you will cut some flowers for your room.’ When you start to do this kind of thing you are alright. Don’t worry a bit. It means when you become you, yourself, and when you see things as they are, and when you become at one with your surrounding, in its true sense, there is true self.” 
(--found on The Daily Zen site,
Even as first Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) greets day.

Twenty billion habitable worlds in the universe, suggests astronomer Chris Impey (author of "Beyond")

atop Mt Battie
two days gone
as is fog
by now

Monday, May 11, 2015

wary trust

All the slings forces of long pressing snow
Could not dissuade these tulips from spring's annual show

Like warriors hidden as oppressive weight fell
Emerging from tunnel their hibernating tale tell

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Seven bells.

The day with morning practice and evening practice bookending turkey dinner meetingbrook-style with harmonica and flute following, was summer hot ending with Longmire episodes at end.

I sat in pickup topping Mt Battie reading final essays from course as fog slid over surface water on Penobscot Bay between Camden and Lincolnville.

We read from Mother Prajnaparamita at table.

Phoebes build nest over chapel/zendo window above wooden walkway,