Saturday, January 14, 2017

origin’s way of appearing

At Friday Evening Conversation a letter was read. In it, this line: “In a world in which the love of the living is missing, what love is due the unborn?” (BF)

It gave us pause. To think. About birth and non-birth.

I began to wonder whether the ayul (as yet unborn life) -- if not permitted to come to term in a particular woman’s body -- returns to its ayul status until it is borne again by another woman in a more opportune moment to come to life.

Life is not ended.

It is always beginning.

Emerging from origin.

This notion changes the way one might think about abortion.

For those who see the abortion issue in terms of murder, or see the issue in terms of a woman’s right to choose, there is a third option, namely, life is its own, and is always beginning, via the ayul process, or the end of life dying process, or any other variation of dualistic dichotomy our either/or mind creates.

Birth is origin’s way of appearing in existence, through and through. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

down from, again, up from

Koan: This morning at prison practice, two koans:
  • If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him
  • Jesus died on the cross
Comment: the zen prayer/warning:
  • Don’t make two
  • Don’t make one 
Final poem:
down from, again, up from 
no leaving, anything/anyone, out;
we are moving, hopefully, 
with one another 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

what you need to know

We’re uncertain about truth. We’ve stepped back from insisting that facts are facts and evidence is evidence. We are approaching, quickly, a time when might is right, loud voices carry an argument, and derision denigrates and decimates.
What makes us miserable, what causes us to be in conflict with one another, is our insistence on our particular view of things: our view of what we deserve or want, our view of right and wrong, our view of self, our view of other, our view of life, our view of death. But views are just views. They are not ultimate truth. 
—Norman Fischer, "Beyond Language"
Truth, the actual, the present -- these are devalued. What they are being replaced with is the false, the illusory, and the angry.
The genius of the biblical revelation is that we come to God through “the actual,” the here and now, or quite simply what is. The Bible moves us from sacred place (why the temple had to go), sacred actions (why the law had to be relativized), and mental belief systems (why Jesus has no check list in this regard)—to all space and time as sacredAt the close of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says: “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, NASB).  
Space, time, and patience reveal the patterns of grace. This is why it takes most of us a long time to be converted. As Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) prayed, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” [1] Our focus eventually moves from preoccupation with perfect actions of any type, to naked presence itself. The historical word for presence is simply “prayer.” Jesus often called it “vigilance,” “seeing,” or “being awake.” When you are fully present, you will know what you need to know in that moment. Really!   
(--Adapted from Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2008), 8, 15-16.)  
Not many say aloud they wish to lead a life of prayer.

Actual presence

Compassionate regard

Patiently suffering through

That which, with attention, dissolves (by and into) itself


I don’t subscribe to the opinion things are only getting worse and will get worse in the halls of power in Washington, DC, Wall Street, and boardrooms of corporations.

I don't.

I don't.

Not really.




(O Christ!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


No sense trying to figure out whether lies are being told.

They are.


What is worth trying to find out is whether truth matters any more in our current culture.

It doesn't.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

at the end of the day

Obama's farewell speech: terrific!

Trump's Russia problem: terrifying!

We'll miss the terrific.

imagine that

We often want back that which is no longer there.

Even if we no longer believe that what we want is worth having.

Still, the memory and residual desire points us toward the phantasm.

What to do?

There’s a woman who is unsure whether she should want something, which something doesn’t seem to want her.

(Funny, isn’t it, how we have no idea what we want and why we want what we don’t know we want?)

The zen master used to say, “Put it down; put it all down!”

I would tell her she’s trying to lug around too much.

That there are too many lugs around to lug around.

Put on your boots.

Walk out door.

It is winter.

A bright moon.

On ground snow.

Its a big universe.

And there are signals pulsing from a galaxy 3 billion light years away.

Imagine that!

Ain’t that something!

Monday, January 09, 2017

catching up breath

I've forgotten who Jesus was.

You've what?

I've forgotten Jesus.

What do you mean?

I mean there's nothing left in my memory to remind me who Jesus was or is.

I'm sorry.

Don't be. It doesn't matter. I'll be ok.

(Night with moonlight on frozen snow bitter cold air catching up breath.)



nothing, else

During walking

meditation in

Merton Bookshed Retreat

Winter Zendo

last night --

we walked

Sunday, January 08, 2017

the unknown itself

At practice Sunday evening, the thought: prayer is wandering into the unknown.

So many refuse to pray, are satisfied with either knowing or being ignorant.

But the unknown -- that's a place beyond both knowing and ignorance.

To choose to dwell near the unknown is to choose a life of prayer.

Prayer, in this way, changes us into the unknown itself.

uniquely separate

Someone at practice Saturday morning used the phrase "we are uniquely separate."

It feels like a new koan:
There is no separation; 
we are uniquely separate.
Something to sit with.