Saturday, August 08, 2015

Friday, August 07, 2015

What the 99 year old woman (who we're fond of) choose to read today at poetry


I give a piece quite near away,
then another, one and two to three
and say good-bye with some dismay.

We might have been twins, I born in May
and she of the blistered January
colored like the vibrant cray-

on, clinging on to toys of the day,
as mine become that of history.
“Again,” she cries and I obey.

I hold the script of the gone by matinee:
before I ever found a scar, a yawn, a he;
past the years I’ve spun to macramé.

Soon I must go, and she will stay,
dwelling under the apple tree,
never to wander blind in first foray.

Sentient air, lead her not to disarray.
She flails. I walk. We are matching memory.
I have things she never will, a little say.
So I pull away and board the last ferry.

reject or accept; there is ... nothing other ... you can do

Reject nothing for some other life?
“When I have held and embraced who I am, how I am embodied, it has become a source of enlightenment, of freedom,” she said from a sunny corner window seat in her living room. Draped in a black monk’s jacket, she is a stark contrast to the white walls and white upholstery of the rest of the room. 
It is an idea that she unpacks in The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender, her second book of dharma, or Buddhist teachings, published in February by Wisdom Publications. In it, Manuel, who follows the Zen tradition, calls on Buddhists not to ignore those ways they may be different, whether it’s because of their color, gender, or sexual orientation. 
“These are the things you were born with,” she said, one hand resting on her chest. “Do you curl up and die or do you live with it?” 
This idea—which she and others call a “multiplicity of oneness”—is somewhat controversial within Buddhism, where the teachings have tended to focus on moving beyond the physical to find the spiritual. But Manuel and a handful of other Western Buddhists—including a number of African-American teachers—are embracing the idea as crucial to enlightenment, a state free from anxiety that is the ultimate goal of Buddhism. 
“There are two truths in Buddhism; one is relative and one is absolute,” Manuel said. “We tend to want to be in the absolute, where we are all the same, we are all one. But that is not where our suffering lies. Our suffering lies in the relative truth, in how we are embodied. So we have to acknowledge and explore these bodies to experience the absolute truth, the truth that we are one from the source of life. We can’t skip it.”Jan Willis, a religion scholar and author of Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist, said Manuel’s teachings might be considered controversial in mainstream Buddhism but cannot be ignored. 
“Within the United States (Buddhist community), and especially from male convert practitioners, you hear, ‘You are making too much of that body and if you are really a Buddhist you have to transcend that,'” Willis said. “She is calling them on that. She is saying you have to deal with this first. And you do. When a black female lesbian body sits on a cushion, that is where her practice starts from, and you better take that into account." 
(--Black, Bisexual, and BuddhistZenju Earthlyn Manuel is not afraid to embrace who she is; by Kimberly Winston, Tricycle)
Receive everything as this life!

We dwell inside the reality of mind and consciousness and manifestation.

There's nothing outside this realization.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

quia benedixerit mihi pater peccavi

Hiroshima -- on this double feast: of The Disfiguration; of The Transfiguration

Four Haiku by Santoka Taneda (1882-1940)
. . .


Nothing else I can do
I’ll just keep on walking

Tsubaki hiraite haka ga aru

. . .


The owl, being an owl,
and I, being me,
can’t sleep

Fukurou wa fukurou de watashi wa watashi de nemurenai

. . .


Whatever you wish for
blows away in the wind
. . .


The moon rises
A flower blooming
Before my eyes

. . .

(Hope? -- photos, wfh)

Finally, a fifth:

No matter how I think 
it’s all the same 
I step on dead leaves 
and walk on

Nambo kangaete mo onnaji koto no ochiba fumi aruku
. . .     . . .     . . .

--Haiku from: Santoka: Grass and Tree Cairn by Taneda Santôka. Translations by Hiroaki Sato; illustrations by Stephen Addiss, Winchester, Va.: Red Moon Press, 2002, xxii + 74 pages, [230 haiku]

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

嘆く ( lament )

The ugliness of America dropping Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima has no limit.

The sorrow of decent people everywhere lament the horror of such a terrible choice.

There is nothing worse than rationalized and justified horror and ugliness.

I bow my head for the people of Japan.

If this is prayer, I am praying.

. . .

(lament the senselessness of war)

never born...never die

Conferences I missed:
Beginning, then, with the assumption that Ever-Present Origin’s non-treatment of the question of birth represents in these terms a significant form of spiritual refusal or silent negation of birth, my paper investigates the aperspectival structure of the phenomenon of birth by bringing Gebser’s thought into dialogue with more traditional concepts of mystical becoming, in particular those found in the writings of Meister Eckhart and Meher Baba,  according to which spiritual evolution follows the pattern of more radically singular self/world-negation and individualized salvation or God-realization. As birth is a ‘ready-made’ aperspectival and four-dimensional truth par excellence—subjective, objective, both, and neither—so is it precisely the (w)hole one’s leap into which is the next mutation of human consciousness.   
 (—From program description of GEBSER 2014, CRISIS AND MUTATION, NEVER BORN ... NEVER DIE: INDIVIDUATION, MUTATION, AND MYSTICAL BIRTH,  by Nicola Masciandaro PhD,  Keynote Presentation, Forty-Fourth Annual International Jean Gebser Society Conference 17-18 OCTOBER 2014, JUDSON MEMORIAL ASSEMBLY HALL, NEW YORK, NY)
But might have enjoyed.

There’s also a volume I might enjoy:

       Diaphany: A Journal and Nocturne


DIAPHANY is an international peer-reviewed volume dedicated to the living confluence of poetic, phenomenological, and empirical perceptions of reality. Drinking deeply from both the arts and the sciences, and then dissolving their boundaries, Diaphany weds the vital, experiential dimension of reality to rigorous, source-based research. By embracing the principle of qualitative presence, Diaphany seeks to breathe life into the academic logos in a way that infuses philosophical gravitas with a sweeping, visionary leaven. 
The concept of diaphany is drawn from the work of German poet and Kulturphilosoph, Jean Gebser. For Gebser, transparency (Durchsichtigkeit) is that which renders both darkness and light present. Diaphany is designed accordingly as both a journal (from French jour, ‘day’) and a nocturne—a hymn to the night. Diaphany thus conceived is a matrix not only for the rational structures of consciousness (wakeful logos and light) but also for the pre-rational structures of consciousness (myth, dream, darkness).  
Drawing on the romantic, integral, and phenomenological traditions in European philosophy, we use the word diaphany to evoke the process by which the nature of the whole shines through its parts; how, like the facets of a diamond, phenomenal surfaces are revealed as unique, living expressions of the deeper, holarchical reality from which they draw their life.  
While strictly peer-reviewed, and while upholding the highest standards of academic research—including an unwavering fidelity to source materials—Diaphany is not a conventional academic journal. That is, Diaphany is not interested in so-called ‘objective’, ‘dispassionate’, or ‘impersonal’ inquiry for its own sake. Rather, Diaphany seeks work that is tempered in the fires of genuine wisdom rather than mere information; work that unveils the metaphysics of beauty through nondualistic perception; and work that emerges as much from a fervent, personal quest as it does from the perception of inexorable, impersonal realities.  
Above all, Diaphany seeks to dissolve the artifical boundaries between philosophy, science, and art. It seeks philosophers in the strict sense—lovers of wisdom (sophia) whose work does not end in criticism for the sake of criticism, but in cultivating the life of the psychē in preparation for death (meletē thanaou); scientists sensitive to the Goethean ideal of ‘delicate empiricism’ (zarte Empirie), in which the harmonic structures of the cosmos are both poetically and pragmatically revealed; and artists of poēsis and presence who make the invisible visible and the eternal tangible according to a Kandinskian ‘inner necessity’ (innere Notwendigkeit).
 -- Aaron Cheak, PhD  
Edited by Aaron Cheak, PhD, Sabrina Dalla Valle, MA, and Jennifer Zahrt, PhD. 
 Here’s to delicate empiricism! 

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Octave of Damoclean devastation

The octave of devastation is upon us. 

Just before birthday the insane choice to drop atomic bomb on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. Such a birthday, surrounded by world horror, defines us.
“Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.” (— President John F. Kennedy)
 Walking mountain with white dog, listening to Democracy Now segment of the assassination of five people in Mexico:
In Mexico City, thousands of protesters are continuing to denounce the murder of photojournalist Rubén Espinosa. Espinosa, who worked for the leading newsmagazine Proceso, was killed by gunmen alongside human rights activist Nadia Vera and three other women in an apartment in Mexico City Friday. Both Espinosa and Vera had been working in the southern state of Veracruz, which has seen increasingly deadly violence against journalists and activists. According to human rights groups, Espinosa’s murder signals a new level of violence against Mexican journalists, as he may be the first to be killed while in exile in Mexico City. 
Nuclear bombs are too big for individuals or small groups to carry or detonate, so criminals and protectors of property, legally or illegally constituted, carry guns to ensure no one deprives them of their belongings -- whether real or personnel -- anywhere they wish to exercise their opinion that they own something and you don’t.

Do you still think that there is a way of life different from an anarchist life of prayer and practice?

The Curé d’Ars thought not:

Second reading
From the catechetical instructions by Saint John Mary Vianney, priest
The glorious duty of man: to pray and to love

My little children, reflect on these words: the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven. Our thoughts, then, ought to be directed to where our treasure is. This is the glorious duty of man: to pray and to love. If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies.
Prayer is nothing else but union with God. When one has a heart that is pure and united with God, he is given a kind of serenity and sweetness that makes him ecstatic, a light that surrounds him with marvelous brightness. In this intimate union, God and the soul are fused together like two bits of wax that no one can ever pull apart. This union of God with a tiny creature is a lovely thing. It is a happiness beyond understanding.
We had become unworthy to pray, but God in his goodness allowed us to speak with him. Our prayer is incense that gives him the greatest pleasure.
My little children, your hearts are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us. Prayer never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey that flows into the soul and makes all things sweet. When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.
Prayer also makes time pass very quickly and with such great delight that one does not notice its length. Listen: Once when I was a purveyor in Bresse and most of my companions were ill, I had to make a long journey. I prayed to the good God, and, believe me, the time did not seem long.
Some men immerse themselves as deeply in prayer as fish in water, because they give themselves totally to God. There is no division in their hearts. O, how I love these noble souls! Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Colette used to see our Lord and talk to him just as we talk to one another.
How unlike them we are! How often we come to church with no idea of what to do or what to ask for. And yet, whenever we go to any human being, we know well enough why we go. And still worse, there are some who seem to speak to God like this: “I will only say a couple of things to you, and then I will be rid of you.” I often think that when we come to adore the Lord, we would receive everything we ask for, if we would ask with living faith and with a pure heart.

While I am not currently fond of the phrasing “the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven,”  I appreciate the sense of frustration with the decorum of our societal/cultural mentality toward eliminating or maiming anyone not interested in our usurious and heavy-handed neck-grip on those not cooperating with our program (however you interpret the “our” usage in this sentence).

There’s much to appreciate viewing of dog after hike swimming with stick in mouth through refreshing pond.

Back in cell, drying afterward, we meditate on the ways earth passes time being itself with no thought of possession or patriotism or perfecting or partitioning or privating. 

Just this.

And this, I submit, is itself. 

And we are part of itself, not owners of it.


Only a self can hold an opinion. 

When free of self, free of opinion. 

"Is that your opinion," someone asked?

It was then nothing occurred.

* (from Ancient Greek ἄσκησις,“exercise or training”)

Monday, August 03, 2015

the difficulty reading; the work becoming


Joshua Oppenheimer’s two films The Act of Killing (2012), The Look of Silence (2014), are about the troubles in Indonesia in the 1960’s and following -- Sukarno and Suharto, the slayings, the ‘communist’ rationale for slaughter, the complicity of the US, the corporate bonanza.

This kind of imperial colonial corporate behavior is rife in history. How about the Opium Wars?

What then is to be done?
"Class" may be passé in academic circles, yet the catalogue of cruelty Davis has unearthed is jaw-dropping. A friend to whom I lent the book was reduced to tears by it. Late Victorian Holocausts is as ugly as it is compelling. But, as Conrad's Marlow said in Heart of Darkness : "The conquest of the earth, which means the taking away from those who have a different complexion and slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look at it too much." 
(--from Hunger Strike, Sukhdev Sandhu on Late Victorian Holocausts - the famines that fed the empire, by Mike Davis.

There is something about us, we humans, that does seem flawed and deluded.

The narratives formed and stories told that we cling to are suspect and need to be looked at listened to   prayed over seen through rethought and re-imagined into a mythology more fair, equitable, compassionate, and (let’s say it) completely changed so as to allow life on earth to be ideology-free, cant-free, fascist-free, enslavement-free, ism-free, stupid-free, patronizing-free, insanity-free, know-it-all-free, and exceptionalism-free.
Darwin told us we are cousins of the apes, not the angels. Later on, we learned we emerged from Africa’s jungle and that no stork ever carried us from Paris. And not long ago we discovered that our genes are almost identical to those of mice. 
Now we can’t tell if we are God’s masterpiece or the devil’s bad joke. We puny humans: 
exterminators of everything, 
hunters of our own, 
creators of the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and the neutron bomb, which is the healthiest of all bombs since it vaporizes people and leaves objects intact, 
we, the only animals who invent machines, 
the only ones who live at the service of the machines they invent, 
the only ones who devour their own home, 
the only ones who poison the water they drink and the earth that feeds them, 
the only ones capable of renting or selling themselves, or renting or selling their fellow humans, 
the only ones who kill for fun, 
the only ones who torture, 
the only ones who rape. 
And also 
the only ones who laugh, 
the only ones who daydream, 
the ones who make silk from the spit of a worm, 
the ones who find beauty in rubbish, 
the ones who discover colors beyond the rainbow, 
the ones who furnish the voices of the world with new music, 
and who create words so that neither reality nor memory will be mute.
Eduardo Galeano was one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers, the author of a three-volume history of the Americas, Memory of Fire, and most recently, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History. He was the recipient of many international prizes, including the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, the Casa de las Américas Prize, and the First Distinguished Citizen of the region by the countries of Mercosur. He died on April 13, 2015. These excerpts are taken from his history of humanity, Mirrors, translated by Mark Fried.
(--from, God’s Masterpiece or the Devil’s Bad Joke? Barbarians and Apes -- from the Opium Wars to the Origin of the Species, By Eduardo Galeano 
Can we do it? Live sanely in mind and body?

Will we do it? See an Ultimate Reality that posits its truth as unadulterated love?

Should we do it? Work to become what we really are -- fearless, free, and formidable -- people without pretense who reverently practice gentle and abiding kindness toward one another?

We are not alone; but we are solitudes.
Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.                   (--Rainer Maria Rilke)
I’d like to try.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

in prison

Friday morning, Doug, in Buddhist group, says: “I’ve been angry at nothing for no reason.”

Time to get out!

merely; here

Do we ever want others to see us as we are?

Or is a polished image preferable?

Is this why “no images” arose in some religions?
(A rendering of the Sepher Yitzerah) 
Ten channels of sacred variety --
living conversations with
the Limitless Eternal Void,
the Holy No-thing-ness:
one is the Breathing of
the Living One and Many,
acting in all worlds to
do, move, manifest, create.
This Breath is blessing itself,
and, in being blessed,
the name and vibrating light of the
Ever-Living Life of the worlds
approaches and kneels within all
levels, forms, systems, thing-ness.
In sound, with the first beginning.
In breath, stirring the Great Deep.
In word, engraving theFirst Light,
This is the Holy Breath,
the point and crown of existence,
creating sacred space around itself
without boundary or border, 
There is only One Holy Breath:
the next breath.
Blessed be the Vibration, Sound,
           and Name
of the Living One resounding through
all levels of our existence. 
(--from pp,140,141, The Genesis Meditations, A Shared Practice of Peace for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, by Neil Douglas Klotz, c.2003)
If we show up as we are, who we are, where we are, when we are there -- that is the only image of God allowed.

No image.

Face facing faceless.