Saturday, August 06, 2016

A bright cloud covering them. The gospel of Hiroshima, the bombing of Christ

A woman calls from Maryland. Says there's no Gideon Bible in her hotel room. We think about this. Surely, some revelation is at hand!
Matthew 17New International Version (NIV) The Transfiguration 
17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
 She says she'll go digital. From words on paper to words in pixels.

Christianity died on 6Aug1945. What took its place was mickey/mouse (military industrial complex killing everything, you,  / misplacing original understanding, sympathy & equanimity)

The supposedly Christian nation of the United States chose to blow civilians of Japan to smithereens in order to show Russia the new toy on the planet. This had nothing to do with ending Japanese fighting recalcitrance.

Christ wept.

Is yet weeping.

Transfiguring into a more peaceful host body, a more tranquil feeling heart.

As the United States tries to ignore its actions, it tries to pretend its two children attempting to gain control of its nuclear trigger aren't, in their own ways, damaged by the sublimated horror of their childhood household.

Domestic violence against human family.

The children are disturbed.

Like Elijah or John, those who've come to show us the way through our insanity, are not recognized.

Jesus is saying 'transfigure.'

We answer with ignorance, 'disfigure.'

Friday, August 05, 2016

considering the choice

"One may be optimistic, but one can't exactly be joyful at the prospect before us."  (Kenneth Clark, final sentence, Civilization)

Sentiment, exactly, about upcoming election.

Buddha lived, Christ lived, and, for now, we live

The audio loop plays om mane padme hum. It is Friday morning. Prison day.

Accustom yourself to believing that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply the capacity for sensation, and death is the privation of all sentience; therefore a correct understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life a limitless time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly understood that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer. 
(--from Letter to Menoeceus, by Epicurus, 341-270 bce)

It seems simple to me. You live until you die. 

Gregorian chant now plays from wohnkuche. 

It is something we do, life. 

When we don't do it any more, it is done.

Why not love what we do?

Thursday, August 04, 2016

caw, caw, caw; what is 'to be'


Soon, sun above hill.

From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the lord is 

to be


Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Forty eight years ago I was 24 and my lottery number was 48.

I was in graduate school studying Lao Tzu, the Upanishads, Tolstoy, Berdyaev, Jesus, Gandhi, and the troubling war meditation, the Bhagavad Gita.

1968 had been heartbreaking -- the murders of King and Kennedy, a good buddy's death there by land mine, the 16,899 American deaths in Vietnam, the highest year-count (, and the un-body-counted civilian and soldier deaths of the Vietnamese which was a factor of so many more.

The psychological toll on the American psyche was deep and disturbing.

A rift in fabric of American culture was jagged and unmendable.

And there we remained.

Whatever happened and whoever caused it, September 11th 2001 became the new reissue of the book of Genesis this time called the look of genocide. The Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq, black young men and women, become the enemies of a new wave of cleansing what we don't understand from the landscape. Done in the name of freedom and decency, democracy, law and order, militaristic forces fight back against whatever happened and whoever caused it with unrelenting pride and power seeking to purify the world of different opinions as to whom the world actually belongs.

It is, as the phrase so often used today suggests, not surprising. It seems no one is surprised anymore, about anything. "I knew that," is the PhD mantra of every person told anything. We know everything. 

Here's what I don't know: where is justice hiding?

Without justice there's no peace. Without peace there's no freedom. Without freedom there's no hope, no faith, no love.

And there we are, back at the starting gate, high-spirited dogs ready to dash in circles chasing mechanical bait toward a finish line where betting frantic people wage on winners to fatten wallets and feed their appetites. It's corporations, banks, and defense contractors lining up at payoff window to be counted in dollar by millions of dollars for doing the hard work of speculating whose exhaustive labored will yield the biggest payday.

But wait. Wait!

Off to the side, thousands of thoughts and millions of miles away, there are a few people who are... (what? praying?)

(Is this your pivot? From mendacity and militarism -- to meditation and mendicancy?) 

They pray for justice, peace, freedom, hope, faith and love. And their prayer is action so quiet and unnoticed that not even they hear or know that what they are doing is what is being done.

The gap between knowledge and action is erased in their very being, not that they know or that they have done it.

No, what is happening is beyond intentional accomplishment. Beyond plan or initiative. Beyond anything that can be conceived of or speculated about.

It is grace, the grace of existence itself bypassing mind and might, effort and mission statement, congratulations and awards.

grace1— noun 
  1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomeness, fluidity. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness. 
  2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: He lacked the manly graces. 
  3. favor or goodwill. Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension. 
  4. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavor. 
  5. mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve. Antonyms: harshness. 
  6. favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity. 
  7. an allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable granted to the debtor before suit can be brought against him or her or a penalty applied: The life insurance premium is due today, but we have 31 days' grace before the policy lapses. Compare grace period
  1.   the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. 
  2. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them. 
  3. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces. 
  4. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God's favor or one of the elect. 
  5. moral strength: the grace to perform a duty. 
  6. a short prayer before or after a meal, in which a blessing is asked and thanks are given: Grandfather will now say grace. 
  7. usually initial capital letter ) a formal title used in addressing or mentioning a duke, duchess, or archbishop, and formerly also a sovereign (usually preceded by your, his, etc.). 
  8. Graces, Classical Mythology . the goddesses of beauty, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, worshiped in Greece as the Charities and in Rome as the Gratiae. 
  Music. grace note
— verb (used with object), graced, gracing. 

  1. to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced the rooms of the house. Synonyms: embellish, beautify, deck, decorate, ornament; enhance, honor. Antonyms: disfigure, desecrate, demean. 
  2. to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one's presence. Synonyms: glorify, elevate, exalt. Antonyms: disrespect, dishonor. 
— Idioms  
  • but for the grace of God, under less fortunate circumstances: But for the grace of God, the brick that just fell from the roof would have hit me on the head!   
  • by the grace of God, thankfully; fortunately: By the grace of God, I won't have to deal with tax returns for another year.  
  • fall from grace, 
  • Theology . to relapse into sin or disfavor.  b to lose favor; be discredited: He fell from grace when the boss found out he had lied.   
  • have the grace to, to be so kind as to: Would you have the grace to help, please?  -- in someone's good / bad graces, regarded with favor (or disfavor) by someone: It is a wonder that I have managed to stay in her good graces this long.  
  • with bad grace, reluctantly; grudgingly: He apologized, but did so with bad grace. 
  • Also, with a bad grace.  -- with good grace, willingly; ungrudgingly: She took on the extra work with good grace.            ( 

What else is this grace?

It is being given.

It is being received.

No giver; no receiver.

Nothing given; nothing received.

It is nothing else. 

An eloquent expressive silence dwelling in moving stillness surrounding invisible breath, a susurrus of intimate awaring presence, pure gaze full of feeling, nothing else.

. . .

* A soft murmur or rustling sound; whisper.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

as birds sing

(From Saint of the day: Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Priest

Saint Peter Julian Eymund

Also known as

• Peter Julian Eymard
• Pierre-Julien Eymard


Peter grew up in a poor family during the anti-clerical, anti-Catholic aftermath of the French Revolution. His first attempt at the priesthood, against his family's wishes, ended when he had to withdraw from seminary due to illness; he never completely recovered his health. He returned, however, and was ordained on 20 July 1834 in the diocese of Grenoble, France. Joined the Marist Fathers on 20 August 1839. Friend of Saint John Mary Vianney. Provincial superior of the Society of Mary in 1845.

Peter had a strong Marian devotion, and travelled to the assorted Marian shrines and apparition sites in France. Organized lay societies under the direction of the Marists, preached and taught, and worked for Eucharistic devotion. He felt a call to found a new religious society, and founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1856, and the lay Servants of the Blessed Sacrament in 1858. His work encountered a series of setbacks, including have to close his nascent houses and move twice, and the houses not being able to support themselves financially. However, his vision of priests, deacons, sisters, and lay people dedicated to the spiritual values celebrated in the Mass and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament anticipated many of the renewals brought about by Vatican Councils I and II.

Late in life, during a lengthy retreat in Rome, he became more mystical as he came in closer communion with the love of Christ. Six volumes of his personal letters, and nine volumes of his meditations have been printed in English.


4 February 1811 at La Mure, France


1 August 1868 at La Mure, Isère, France following a stroke


22 June 1922 by Pope Pius XI (decree of heroic virtues)


12 July 1925 by Pope Pius XI


9 December 1962 by Pope John XXIII


We believe in the love of God for us. To believe in love is everything. It is not enough to believe in the Truth. We must believe in Love and Love is our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. That is the faith that makes our Lord loved. Ask for this pure and simple faith in the Eucharist. Men will teach you; but only Jesus will give you the grace to believe in Him. You have the Eucharist. What more do you want? - Saint Peter Julian Eymund

If the love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament does not win our hearts, Jesus is vanquished! Our ingratitude is greater than His Goodness our malice is more powerful than His Charity. - Saint Peter Julian Eymund

Every time we come into the presence of the Eucharist we may say: This precious Testament cost Jesus Christ His life. For the Eucharist is a testament, a legacy which becomes valid only at the death of the testator. Our Lord thereby shows us His boundless love, for He Himself said there is no greater proof of love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. - Saint Peter Julian Eymard

The Holy Eucharist is the perfect expression of the love of Jesus Christ for man, since It is the quintessence of all the mysteries of His Life. - Saint Peter Julian Eymard

He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant. - Saint Peter Julian Eymard

How kind is our Sacramental Jesus! He welcomes you at any hour of the day or night. His Love never knows rest. He is always most gentle towards you. When you visit Him, He forgets your sins and speaks only of His joy, His tenderness, and His Love. By the reception He gives to you, one would think He has need of you to make Him happy. - Saint Peter Julian Eymard

surely a koan


As dawn slowly awakens.

I realize.

There is nothing outside. Or inside.  To rely on.


What is here. This, here.

Nor is there someone to realize this.

And, as aunt Ronnie often said telling a story in Bensonhurst, "There I remained." 

Surely a koan.

Slender gray cat runs up stairs. Claws boxes in hall. Announces herself with thin squeak.. Tries to engage white dog in doorway. Wanders off, down hallway, reluctantly, unsuccessful.

And there I remained!

What is this koan "There I remained"?

It is empty.

No there. No I. Nothing remains.

It is morning.

For now.

Monday, August 01, 2016

be still a bit

If, to you, God is omnipotent, and all knowing, and always right, all you have to possess are God’s words that tell you that whoever doesn’t accord themselves with those words...should die, be killed, cease to exist.
Both Islam and Christianity claim to be revealed religions, holding that their teachings are truths that God himself has conveyed to us and wants everyone to accept. They were, from the start, missionary religions. A religion charged with bringing God’s truth to the world faces the question of how to deal with people who refuse to accept it. To what extent should it tolerate religious error? At certain points in their histories, both Christianity and Islam have been intolerant of other religions, often of each other, even to the point of violence. 
This was not inevitable, but neither was it an accident. The potential for intolerance lies in the logic of religions like Christianity and Islam that say their teaching derive from a divine revelation. For them, the truth that God has revealed is the most important truth there is; therefore, denying or doubting this truth is extremely dangerous, both for nonbelievers, who lack this essential truth, and for believers, who may well be misled by the denials and doubts of nonbelievers. Given these assumptions, it’s easy to conclude that even extreme steps are warranted to eliminate nonbelief.
(--from, The Stone, How Religion Can Lead to Violence, Gary Gutting, 1Aug2016, NYTimes)
The Dalai Lama often says that his religion is simple, his religion is kindness. Others might say theirs is simple as well, be it attention, or awareness, or attenuation of ignorance.

The God thing is disturbing. Not God Itself, but what organized appropriation of God does with God. Namely, making God a cudgel for their particular point of view.

God as cudgel goes a long way back. From smite and smote to fires of hell, from burning at the stake to beheading or blowing up, the seriously addicted to certainty and/or power have always found ways to inflict misery and pain on anyone unfaithful to their narrow opinions.

So...what is there to do?

Perhaps attention, or awareness, or attenuation of ignorance needs more thought as alternative to scripture, sura, dogma, hadith, commandment, or oath of affiliation. Special garb, vestment, robes, or distinctive habit have served to highlight the separateness of people who’ve given themselves over to specific interpretations of received revelation in contradistinction to others who fall outside the flock, ummah, congregation, fellowship, sangha, temple, mosque, or church.

Something very basic is changing.

Since Nietzsche (1844-1900) has suggested that God is dead -- or at least the conception we’ve had of God for upwards of 2000+ years is no longer feasible or functional to an evolved consciousness mediated by science and philosophical reasoning based on experience and facticity -- we have been witnessing a slow and gradual diminishment of unquestioning allegiance to certain stalwart beliefs coupled with a rankling dominant minority who insist on preserving the old ways that took the place of the old old ways and do so with a combination of psychological persuasiveness or violent antipathy.

An interregnum is in place.

We’re uncertain whether to turn the former power of God over to governments and tyrants, or, try something new.

Like what, you ask?

It’s worth a think.

What would that something new look like?

I’ll sit a bit in the chapel/zendo with all the remnants of insights and inspiration that have not been usurped and soiled by ravaging minds intent on saving us from...from...their ideas of what we had to be saved from.

In that shattered space of broken opinions I’ll sit and be still a bit.

With my crippled ego and falling away understanding I’ll sit and listen to the only thing not yet compromised nor caught in concatenation of murderous certitude set on eliminating enemies or destroying opposition.

And what is that only thing?

Listen . . .

Sunday, July 31, 2016

modifying the modifier

Cynthia once said to a large group at memorial service in Damariscotta, "I'm a Catholic Buddhist."

Told of this, the Jesuit Zen master Catholic priest wasn't sure he liked the phrase.

I did. 

Does Buddhist Catholic put it in right order?

Inseparable, no matter what modifies what.



1491 at Loyola, Guipuzcoa, Spain as Inigo Lopez de Loyola


31 July 1556 at Rome, Italy of fever