Saturday, December 19, 2015

some meetingbrook words from years ago; still, for consideration

Considerations for a life -- a lay monastic meditation 
  • Be With God Alone. What we know of God is revealed by God’s creation, all of creation. Therefore, attend to creation.
  • Be wholeheartedly listening. God is nameless. Listen in silence for the sound and presence of God. Every voice, every sound, every face is our contemplation and attention of God.
  • Be still, and pray continuously, with each being and all creation. Receive grace and truth with simplicity and humility. Let the loving light and the compassionate attention of the Christ and the Bodhisattva surround and shine through.
  • Be gratefully with what is near. We suffer each other, and we love each other. Here is God’s home. Be what is here. Become God’s presence.
  • Be Alone With God. Solitude is how we engage What-Is-God. When with God we are with everyone.

life, for now, goes on

After turning temperature up in bookshed for morning practice.
St. John of the Cross...How to Attain Perfection
Fourth Counsel

The fourth counsel concerns solitude. St. John says:
“You should deem everything in the world as finished. Thus, when (for not being able to avoid it) you have to deal with some matter, do so in as detached a way as you would if it did not exist.
“Pay no heed to the things out in the world, for God has already withdrawn and released you from them. Do not handle any business yourself that you can do through a third person. It is very fitting for you to desire to see no one and that no one see you.
“And note carefully that if God will ask a strict account from all the faithful of every idle word, how much more will He ask it of the religious who has consecrated his entire life and all his works to Him. And God will demand all of this on the day of reckoning.”
This counsel on solitude is as basic as the previous three. It reminds us that the world is passing. We cannot make its goods exclusive. We must use them wisely as gifts but release our frantic grasp of them.
To be in the world but not of the world in an ex- clusive sense is to become more mindful of the need to take Father’s will into account as Jesus did.
(--from, spiritual life/ Online, continuation of spiritual life magazine Published 4 Times a Year, Winter 2015, Vol 1, No.4
White dog jumps up on bed.

Life, for now, goes on.

Friday, December 18, 2015


Saskia says she dreamt of her grandmother. 

At poetry today in Quarry Hill Walt read from book of poems he gave to Maggie in 1983 inscribed with his calligraphy.

Rose sat with daughter Tina content to just listen.

The yurt resident is selling his tools.

Sam might have spine surgery.

Susan shops with Marti in Rockland, stops at ABC for lunch.

Charissa might have another spine surgery.

In prison today a full house for meditation and conversation.

Light, disappearing this final week, will reappear in a few days as cosmos and sacred reality turn to origin and birth of Light.

Dustin, inmate, read his poem about fire in ice that does not melt.

Some people speak with the dead. Some barely speak to the living.

without mentioning God, who judy said, is ourself seeing ourselves

The future is what the present lets go into.

Now, now!

No need to look back at what will be -- you are the future of the cosmos 

Within this,


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Becoming what being is

God sees us.

We do not see God.

We are being-seen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

And he sees

Gary Snyder writes about axe handles.

How we go on.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Unafraid human beings suffer

Chris Hedges thinks a rebellion is coming.

He quotes Immanuel Kant: “If justice perishes, human life on earth has lost its meaning.”

Wikipedia adds the Latin, “Fiat justitia, ne pereant mundus” ( “Let justice be done lest the world perish.”)

The Argentine poet, Antonio Porchia, in one of his brief poems, wrote:
Suffering is above, not below. And everyone thinks that suffering is below. And everyone wants to rise. 
(p.29, poem, in Voices, by Antonio Porchia, translated by W.S. Merwin)
Justice and suffering.

When we rise to justice we will suffer more.

So we stay below justice, unwilling to ask for justice.
Full Definition of JUSTICE1
a  :  the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments 
b  :  judge
c  :  the administration of law; especially  :  the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity 2
a  :  the quality of being just, impartial, or fair 
(1)  :  the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2)  :  conformity to this principle or ideal :  righteousness
c  :  the quality of conforming to law 3
:  conformity to truth, fact, or reason :  correctness  
 We did not want to bring the perpetrators of a deceitful, cruel, and falsely waged war against Iraq in 2003 to justice.

We did not want to bring the money criminals of investment firms and mortgage banks of the last two decades to justice.

We are reluctant and slow to bring overzealous law enforcement and security forces to justice for killing and torturing people outside the propriety of protecting and serving.

We are afraid of justice. Afraid it would bring down institutions we’ve come to give wide berth to, suspicious of, but hesitant to hold accountable.

Moreover, we are unwilling to suffer.

To become compassionate means to suffer. To feel another’s pain is to suffer. To recognize the indignity and humiliation of individuals, races, nationalities, religions, and various forms of difference -- all invite suffering.

Rebels suffer. Redeemers suffer. Unafraid human beings suffer.

Justice demands.

Suffering is that demand.

I am concerned that in the absence of genuine justice and spiritual suffering the arrogant and uncaring powers will forward their agenda to cause unjust pain and torturous injustice against anyone they wish to target.

America is in a precarious teeter.

Some feel there is no longer a healthy trust of elected leaders, mammoth banking and corporate powers, or religious institutions. This is a precarious and diminished trust.

If prayer helped, we should pray. If non-cooperation made sense, we should resist. If things continue to slide into dearth of confidence and active mistrust of anything proffered by executive, legislative, or judicial -- then, we are fallen into the hands of tyrants, mercenaries, terrorists, and opportunists.

Can we find another way?

Or is Jesus in his sealed tomb, Buddha fast asleep far from Banyan tree, Moses languished in Egyptian prison, Mohammad desiccated in Arabian desert, Lao Tzu gone by wall without writing anything to leave behind?

Have all words of poets and philosophers been taken and burnt in the furnace of deficient and decadent cant and hypocrisy, ashes scattered over open graves?

Leaving us, alone, mute, and frightened?

Or, is there something else, as Porchia says:
In my silence only my voice is lacking. (p.32) 
Human suffering, while it is asleep, is shapeless.
If it is wakened it takes the form of the waker.

Gratefully, let God go.

The thought of it!

 Let God go?
In the late 1980’s and early 90’s, when I was a theology student at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, I studied and prayed with the works of Meister Eckhart, a medieval Dominican monk.  His fundamental teaching, that we participate in the life of Christ via the process and practice of detachment, has enlivened my spiritual life and brought hope, peace and creativity in its wake.  Eckhart’s teaching is entirely consistent with an even older Christian tradition called the apophatic way, or the way of “negative” (not in the sense of bad) theology.  God is present to us always, but always in a way that is beyond our thoughts, feelings, images and sensations.  Whatever we think about God is NOT God.  God is always greater.  We can enter an ever-fresh arena of God’s presence by continually letting go of our ideas, thoughts and images of reality and of God.  Eckhart named this process, in his native German language, Gelassenheit.  I like the sound of it. 
(--from Robert Jonas blog, Bread for the Journey, forge institute: I-thou in meditation and prayer)
Gratefully, let God go.

What remains?

What remains is the open expanse of space, empty now, where, what we thought of God, once was, and where, what is to become of God, infinitely eludes conception.

Right there, in that silent stillness, pointing nowhere, once more, a letting go, breathing this present next revelation, also passing through, and away.

Monday, December 14, 2015

after troubles, light

"In the end, I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.” (Chris Hedges, in talk given at All Souls Unitarian Universalist, Kansas City, June 2015)
fascist |ˈfaSHəst|
an advocate or follower of the political philosophy or system of fascism: he went to Spain to fight against the fascists | Eastern European fascists could win power only with support from the Nazis
• a person who is extremely right-wing or authoritarian: fascists made death threats against immigrants and asylum seekers. 
• a person who is very intolerant or domineering in a particular area: I'm a bit of a spelling fascist, but still have blind spots over words like “privilege” or “separate” | if I were being a culinary fascist, I would possibly moan about the overdone cooked tomatoes
of or relating to fascism: a military coup threw out the old fascist regime.
early 20th cent.: Italian fascista, from fascio (see fascism).
(--from Dictionary, Apple inc) 
America is in trouble.

Not simply because more and more candidates for the right wing presidential nomination are outdoing each other to sound as outrageously reactionary as possible. The trouble comes in the acknowledgement that a greater majority of Americans are sidling toward such a point of view embracing racial, ethnic, economic, gender, and intellectual prejudice -- a bigotry that serves the dominant minority in the Arnold Toynbee sense.
Toynbee believes that the ideas and methods for meeting the challenges for a society come from a creative minority. The ideas and methods developed by the creative minority are copied by the majority. Thus there are two essential and separate steps in meeting a challenge: the generation of ideas and the imitation/adoption of those ideas by the majority. If either of those two processes ceases to function then the civilization breaks down.  
If the creative minority fails to command the respect of the majority through the brilliance and rightness of their solutions to the problems and challenges of the society then the minority becomes merely a dominant minority. In the breakdown of a civilization the society splits into three parts: the dominant minority, the internal proletariat (the working masses which are part of the civilization) and the external proletariat (the masses which are influenced by the civilization but are not controlled by it.
 The disintegration of a civilization involves a time of troubles, such as a time of wars between the nations which are parts of the civilization. This time of troubles is followed by the establishment of a universal state, an empire. The existence of a universal state such as the Roman Empire is evidence that the civilization has broken down.
Ultimately the universal state collapses and there follows an interregnum in which the internal proletariat creates a universal religion and the external proletariat becomes involved in a Volkerwanderung, a migration of peoples.
(--Arnold Toynbee on Civilizations and Religions, San Jose State, Thayer Watkins) 
 The migration is afoot.

The frightened backlash is apace.

The implications for chaos and militaristic control response is affrontive.

Insult and offense will result in violence and repression. Warfare will be waged on our streets and in backyards, in schools and in elevators of office buildings.

I would rather listen to rain falling and water dripping from eaves.

I would rather contemplate the potential enlightenment of everyone. And sign off saying ‘I told you so!’

Whereas everyone goes home and eats ice cream.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

the one who is to come

Monastic hour.

The flock he shepherds.

And they do not know my ways.