Saturday, January 21, 2017

this helps

This is the best bit of writing for these two days. C.Y. from Augusta Maine sent this over two days. We took the first part when received to prison yesterday. The men gave it a lot of good reflection. Two women, later, at university found their perspective turned and lightened when they were given a copy.

It helps.
Draft for a ZEN journal 
Tomorrow will be Inauguration Day for DT.  I welcome this day as a day of transformation and am currently viewing DT as a difficult teacher, but an essential one.....perhaps a bodhisattva in a great disguise. Take a breath and remember our vows.
 He is the personification of greed, anger and ignorance. Tomorrow will be the beginning of the final embodiment of an egoic operating system (EOS). Only by presenting the apotheosis of this antiquated system can we truly begin the  transformation of consciousness that can be seen as a holistic operating system (HOS). We will now witness the reality of this, misogynistic, narcissistic, aggressive, hierarchical, patriarchal EOS which has shaped our contemporary culture and economy and is now fully empowered.  This will be our 'dark night of the soul' and an essential step in the liberation of the world.  Rilke taught us that the greatest teachings come to us from the "Harsh Angels" of our nature and we are about to encounter these angels in full regalia as billionaires and generals.  They have much to teach us about life and truth. They will provide our exit strategy from the EOS and make clear that only through a radical transformation of consciousness can we possibly manifest the Bodhisattva Vows in the world.
The three rules for continued suffering are: 1) Keep the illusion that you have control, 2) Argue with the way things are, and 3) Demand that they be different than the way they are. We certainly have opportunity to greatly expand our suffering or we can look beyond our own picking and choosing. I believe that the 'millennial' generation that is waiting for the reins of power to be passed will be the most engaged, disillusioned, and aware generation we have experienced.  We are entering the third axial age. A time of a change of consciousness that will effectively challenge the EOS and allow the human society to manifest the truths of interbeing. It will be difficult, bloody and terrifying, but we will be cleansed. In the 60s, we said, "come the revolution" it comes!!    
...the piece I neglected to include has to do with feminism.  Someone said that one of the most significant occurrences of the 20th century was the arrival of Buddhism in America.  I think another significant event was the (sadly) inevitable abuse by male Zen teachers. You give a guy power and too often he can't resist the money or the girls. I read about a micro finance project in Africa.  It provided Satellite Phones to remote villages to help them market their produce. The phones were only given to women. The funders knew that, if you gave them to men, the first thing most men would do is hire bodyguards and set up structures of power with themselves at the apex -- (Africa's notorious Big Man phenomenon). Women (happily) would be sure there was sharing and that everyone had a turn before anyone had two. As I watched the life at ZMM [Zen Mountain Monastery] for 25 years, I saw a steady rise of women monks and teachers.  They were much less seduced by authority and power  The Joanna Macys and Pema Chodrins of the Buddhist world are the future. So, Buddhism in America is not only living and growing in a world with religious freedom but also with the rise of truly empowered women. 
DT (45) will propel the awareness of this paradigm shift to the corners of the world and then many of us men can return to the cloister and the hermitage.........then perhaps the mature Yang can work with the mature Yin and the Kingdom of God will be revealed.   Love
(--by, C.Y., Augusta, Maine. thurs/fri, 20/21jan2017)

middle of night offers way through

Someone, in another room, is having a nightmare.

Someone else, walking down hall, wakes them.

Back in room, waking during nightmare is good action.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Well, here we are

Day is Done
                      (Peter, Paul, & Mary)

Tell me why you're crying, my son
I know you're frightened, like everyone
Is it the thunder in the distance you fear?
Will it help if I stay very near?
I am here
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done
Day is done, day is done, day is done, day is done
Do you ask why I'm sighing, my son?
You shall inherit what mankind has done
In a world filled with sorrow and woe
If you ask me why this is so, I really don't know
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done
Day is done, day is done, day is done, day is done
Tell me why you're smiling my son
Is there a secret you can tell everyone?
Do you know more than men that are wise?
Can you see what we all must disguise
Through your loving eyes?
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done
Day is done, day is done, day is done, day is done
The day is done, day is done, day is done, all of you singing
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well my son oh
If you take my hand my son
All will be well

Written by Peter Yarrow • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Thursday, January 19, 2017

after the pain

Tomorrow Barack Obama leaves office.

Tonight a vigil mourning what follows him -- decency, intellect, dignity.

Then it is time to learn how to survive his successor.

This new teacher embodying what to transcend after the pain.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

knock knock; who's there

Obama said that only the end of the world is the end of the world.

I like that.

Then there's this:
The Myth of Sisyphus is a deeply humanistic book. Even though the word ‘fate' appears several times, it is meant in terms of fear: fear of a (wrong) decision, a situation or a life – in short, representations of the absurd. Since this is no solid soil for an individual to grow on, this state of fear is only overcome by faith in the self. Camus' essay is a celebration of the individual without falling into self-indulgence or egotism. Nonetheless, Camus puts special emphasis on the community as shown in his later works like La peste or Les justes. A strong individual creates a strong community and can change the world. This change does not have to literally move mountains from A to B but can simply be caused by a change in perception, a paradigm shift.  
This is where I leave you with Camus and Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. Sisyphus, or his type later which Camus names ‘the absurd man', is the master of his own fate. It is an inner strength not comparable to today's self-help hallway books telling you how to resist biscuits. It is an attitude, an inner change that cannot be possessed, taught or bought, but achieved only through revolt, the revolt of the inner self against the absurd.
The absurd arrives at our doorstep.
Revolt is inside that door.
Comes a change of perception.
Comes a paradigm shift.
A hand reaches for doorknob.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

excavating life, unearthing and earthing our lives

Revisit Camus. We read and seem to understand his words in The Myth of Sisyphus,
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.   (--from, Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus; translated from the French by Justin O’Brien (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1975), p. 11.
Revisit and ask -- Is there another exploration, another investigation, emerging out from within his words? If words are living, they continue to reveal, disclose, unveil what is not yet unconcealed. This invites us to practice being an archeologist of aletheia
Aletheia (Ancient Greek: ἀλήθεια) is truth or disclosure in philosophy. It was used in Ancient Greek philosophy and revived in the 20th century by Martin Heidegger. It is a Greek word variously translated as "unclosedness", "unconcealedness", "disclosure" or "truth".
 Say it -- it is our contemplation and meditation to dwell with words in such a way that we allow them, and us, to assume our nature as ourself 

In his poem, LOVE, poet Charles Olson wrote:


to my soul: 
                         assume your nature as yourself                           
                         for the love of God
                                                             not even good enough     

                           the possibility                                                       
                                                                      of discrete                                                                                          
There is no intelligence 
the equal of
the situation  

There are only 
                                  two ways:
                                  create the situation
                                                                     (and this is love)
                                  or avoid it.
                                                         This also can be

As archeologists of aletheia we excavate the bottomless depth and boundless horizon of what it means, to be, human.

There is, really, no end to it.

Like the sign says that we found in the Good Will store, now hanging on a beam in the hermitage wohnkuche (Raimon Panikkar Conversation Kitchen):
The bend in the road is not the end of the road, 
unless you refuse to take the turn.

So we look, we read, we converse, we meditate, we contemplate, we consider carefully what is found before us. And we fall into our excellence, our strength, our virtue, our faith, the truth that surrounds us -- even as we experience our doubts, our vulnerability, our feelings of inadequacy, our sense of personal failings and stupidity, and our participation in the ignorance that stands before our faces and smiles its belief in its own control and arrogance.

We attempt in our journey to take the turn whenever it happens.

From the Gospel writings of Luke:
NIRV  What is hidden will be seen. And what is out of sight will be brought into the open and made known.  
NIV For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.    
(We might also read each of the 55 translations of Luke 8:17
This is a way to live one’s life.

I’ve often thought that suicide, or thought of suicide,  is a veiled undisclosed desire to live one’s life free from the pain of separation. 

Whereas, what is really true is that suicide, the act of it, would perhaps better not be acted on. 

Rather a course of action be engaged in that looks into, digs deeper, excavates wider, and takes long looks at what hides behind appearance, what is longing to present itself to, for, as ourself, as ourselves with one another.

The philosopher/poet John Lennon wrote and sang:
Well we all shine on  Like the moon and the stars and the sun  Yeah we all shine on  On and on and on on and on               (Read more:  John Lennon - Instant Karma Lyrics | MetroLyrics )
In Greek, the word όν (pronounced “on”) means “Being.”

Martin Heidegger, 20th century German philosopher, said that “we have forgotten Being.”
According to Heidegger, the question of the meaning of Being, and thus Being as such, has been forgotten by ‘the tradition’ (roughly, Western philosophy from Plato onwards). Heidegger means by this that the history of Western thought has failed to heed the ontological difference, and so has articulated Being precisely as a kind of ultimate being, as evidenced by a series of namings of Being, for example as idea, energeia, substance, monad or will to power. In this way Being as such has been forgotten.   (-- Heidegger, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
If so, if we have forgotten Being, we are less inclined to ask the question, “What does it mean ’to be’?” Without that inquiry, the temptation ‘not to be’ (Camus’ serious philosophical question) does not receive a fair hearing.

Let’s turn a light -- (our light?) -- on this.

Doing so, we seek the intelligence of the situation wherein we find ourselves, dwelling.

This experience -- the experience of this -- is longing, to be, disclosed.

As Raimon Panikkar so beautifully points out in his Metaphor of the Window, this speaking to and through one another, listening to and through one another, is one of the ways dialogue and the archeology of aletheia goes “down/to my soul” -- and beyond, unconcealing the open, both within and surrounding us. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

there's still time

Exit well

Enter well



President --

With our






   (for cousin Susan)

young, we thought God meant 

habit or cowl, then God be-

came face nearest us

                                                     —wfh, 16jan17

green cover against 11° cold

Barn creaks walking diagonal to door where iron circle holds half full load of wood. Standing like rural Franciscan rabbi with Baffin boots tan scarf and brown zucchetto in light of moon, looking up at galaxies 3 billion light years away seeing what I cannot see as catspaw dinghy continues zazen in front of winter zendo wearing green cover against 11° cold along its back.

At Sunday Evening Practice we read Chögyam Trungpa on the bodhisattva vow. Our small gathering was represented by Georgia. Alabama. Tennessee, New Jersey, Toronto, and Brooklyn -- a decidedly southern school,
In the Sōtō school of Zen, meditation with no objects, anchors, or content, is the primary form of practice. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference. Considerable textual, philosophical, and phenomenological justification of this practice can be found throughout Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō, as for example in the "Principles of Zazen"[web 2] and the "Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen".[web 3] In the Japanese language, this practice is called Shikantaza.
There are few glowing embers in wood stove and I place some sticks atop preferring to see if any teaching has enough residue to communicate to new generation without outside match influence.

We seldom know who will show up for practice. All are welcome. There's room for 12 in zendo -- no problem -- we generally fluctuate between 5 and 8 arriving for 6pm bell. No need to call ahead -- we're derelict in prefatory etiquette but welcoming of presenting persons.

I suspect that has to do with being a hermitage rather than a retreat or meditation center. When someone passes through the gate, soup pot is already simmering in kitchen for table practice, zafus are ready in winter zendo, incense smoke bows to their arrival. And when practice is over, metta-blessing spoken, candles at table blown out, gate readies its bow to departing guest who turn onto barnestown road for return home.

Practice, wrote Dōgen, is enlightenment -- and, enlightenment, practice.

Nothing more.

None the less.

Just this.

(Thanks, Chris, for sending the Trungpa article on breath of shakuhachi notes!)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

where love and hate go once they see themselves

    (after eckhart tolle)

once presence arrives

love and hate walk winter road

no longer alone