Saturday, November 19, 2016


'At the end of the day' -- a phrase used dozens of times in conversation from many states away.

Today, at the end of the day, I recall a memorial service was held in New Haven Connecticut for an old friend.

I was in Maine.

Still, a distant closeness.

It was the nature of our friendship.

Friday, November 18, 2016

so one comic walks into a bar

"Elections have consequences." That's the phrase they like to say.

The winner gets to appoint or nominate anyone.

The current winner of the 11/9 election is picking his people.

Many are waiting for him to get serious.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

you are the story; tell me a story that is not you

About the New Testament story of Judas and his thirty pieces of silver betrayal -- what resonance and narrative precedence can be found here?
But I began to dislike the sheep, and they equally detested me. I then said, ‘I am going to pasture you no longer; let those that wish to die, die; let those that wish to perish, perish; and let those that are left devour each other’s flesh!’ I then took my staff, Goodwill, and broke it in half, to break the covenant the Lord had made with all the peoples. When it was broken, that day the dealers, who were watching me, realised that this had been a word of the Lord. I then said to them, ‘If you think it right, give me my wages; if not, never mind.’ And they weighed out my wages: thirty shekels of silver. But the Lord told me, ‘Throw it into the treasury, this princely sum at which they have valued me.’ Taking the thirty shekels of silver, I threw them into the Temple of the Lord, into the treasury. I then broke my second staff, Union, in half, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.(--from First ReadingZechariah 11:4-12:8 ©. Office of Readings. Feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary) 
Perhaps most stories are stories told about other stories by storytellers who want a story believed.

We enter a curious age when what is said is neither true nor false -- only a series of words wrapped in circumstance, opportunity, ambition, persuasion, agenda, and prospects of gullibility.

We don't know what or what or who to believe.

That's probably good.


But good.

preces meae non sunt dignae*

The writer wonders if he will see his dog in heaven. The responder answers yes, he will.

I wonder -- what is each one of us looking at right now?
If you would learn more, ask the cattle,Seek information from the birds of the air.The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,And the fishes of the sea will tell you all.There is not a single creature that does not knowThat everything is of God’s making. God holds in power the soul of every living thing,And the breath of every human body.—Book of Job 12:7-10 [1]

After a 24 hour rain, moonlight and star shine.
Asking for nothing but this.
. . .
(* worthless are my prayers and sighing)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Buddha and Christ were walking down 5th avenue.

Passing Trump Tower, the former said to the latter:

“Did you hear the one about the guy who walked

into a bar and said, ‘Can I have a glass of water?’”

“No,” said the latter.

“Right,” said the former.

And they walked on shaking their heads.

not yet light

Listening to dawn rain

An uneasiness hovers

Birds to seed ready

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

there, you are

Ignore them, they’ll go away.

That’s always interesting advice.

It’s true too.

Maybe before they go away they’ll cause chaos, and pain.

But they will go away.

Everything does.

It’s the great promise of existence: things don’t stay, not for long.

So, here we are. And there you go. Just like always.

No one can touch the real you.

You are safe. You are free. You are well within your true home.

And, there, you are, or will be, happy.



That election is done.

What’s next?

Let’s see:

feed cats,

walk dog,

pay car loan, and ...

learn to live in the

wilderness of the spirit.

Monday, November 14, 2016

where’s the ground

A fellow practitioner writes: 
“you know bill, as we grieve this election, one of the most relevant teachings is [ho’oponopono]… take back our projections….and own them….and apologize for projecting them…”
He’s right, of course.

Still, I respond:
"As much as I love ho'oponopono, I’m unsure right now that resisting the rise of a dangerous movement toward political, moral, or corporate fascism is a figment or projection of our individual imagination or depth psychology — or, perhaps it is exactly what we desire.  
Sometimes hateful tendencies are actually hateful tendencies, whether they arise from without or from within. 
I’m keeping a wary eye on both.  
Watching, watching.  
Even if the world is a subjective or solipsistic projection, I’m skeptical — given the fractious rupture of the so-called political, media, or any inclusive cultural sensibilities — that a technique that was said to be effective in a psychiatric setting will extend itself to 120+ million (out of 2012’s 218,959,000 +/- eligible) voters (out of a U.S.A. population of 318.9 million, in 2014), who felt that they were casting a vote for a way of life they passionately believed in. Our cross-projections are, perhaps, the new field of battle. 
(Where’s Arjuna and Krishna this November? )
Like you, I suspect I carry an unbelief that those who voted differently than I did were doing so with full intelligent, feeling, and honorable haruspication of the results they championed.  
Intentions yield variably unintended outcomes.  
Nor do all of us want to be forgiven. We want to be right. (Me? Who knows? I’ll soon be done with this polemical election residue.)  
As Mercutio uttered three times as he was dying in Romeo & Juliet, we seem, rather, to hear it said to one another from one another: “A pox on both your houses!”    
I am open to Morrnah Simeona and Hew Len’s gracious assistance as we go forward. 
ps: I hope I’m wrong about everything I write. It would be a great mistake to think otherwise. The new age belief that the individual is the cause of the universe is a burden; and the neoliberal belief that government should advance the common good is an equal burden.  
I’d rather we lay our burdens down. Our Christian friends say to give them to Jesus. The Korean zen master says don’t give them to anyone, don’t believe anything about them, just put them down.  
There they are. Where’s the ground? 
I’m going straight. I don’t know shit!”

Chien meets Chien, or, George Washington looks into mirror

When is a zen koan not a zen koan?
When 9/11 gazes at 11/9.
Andrew Sullivan writes:
I will leave you with these words about what has now happened to America. Someone saw it coming a long time ago: 
   The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of       revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. 
That was George Washington’s Farewell Address. 
A country designed to resist tyranny has now embraced it. A constitution designed to prevent democracy taking over everything has now succumbed to it. A country once defined by self-government has openly, clearly, enthusiastically delivered its fate into the hands of one man to do as he sees fit. After 240 years, an idea that once inspired the world has finally repealed itself. We the people did it. 
--(from, The Republic Repeals Itself, by Andrew Sullivan, in New York Magazine 11/9/16)
At the season finale of Real Time with Bill Maher, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called the election a moral 9/11.
At practice Sunday evening, reading from Upside-Down Zen by Susan Murphy, in the koan, Chien met Chien, ending the split and restoring wholeness from a serrated six years, an Eros of reality rejoining.
How long will we be sleeping through the repeal?
Time to awaken a new practice.
Time for our own koan study. 
(Cf. WHO IS THE TRUE CHIEN? And Other Ghost Stories About Our Lives, by James Ishmael Ford, 3 January 2010, in Patheos,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

worth and worthless

I've been thinking about the election.

Not much.

Not not much thinking.

But there's not thinking much about it.

As when punched in stomach one does not decide not to feel but to think about the matter.

No, the body blow takes thought out of consideration.

There's only "oompfh" and "aargh" and  "Oh shit"!

Then we pick ourselves up, dust ourself off, and start all over again.

No justification of anyone's vote or non-vote holds any currency.

We are bankrupt.