Saturday, August 12, 2017

motionless in a far corner

Hosea, the 8th century BC Hebrew  prophet, wrote, 
"...since what I want is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts." (Hosea 5)
A commentator added:
God did not seek sacrifices and holocausts, but faith, and obedience, and righteousness, for the sake of their salvation. As God said, teaching his will through Hosea the prophet, What I want is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts. Our Lord taught the same, saying If you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. Thus he bore witness to the truth of the prophets’ teachings while convicting the people of culpable folly. 
(--from, Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, Office of Readings, Saturday 12aug17)
We seem to be caught between sacrifice and holocaust. We seem estranged from mercy and knowledge.

"Mercy" is defined as "compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone it is within your power to punish or harm."

It is a time of the world when mercy seems scarce. Those in power, or those filching power by threatening the wellbeing of another with threat of violence, perhaps, feel it suggests weakness to promulgate peace and mercy.

Is this part of the evolution of understanding men have regarding God -- the movement from sacrificial death to compassionate life?

Sitting in a room with someone dying one does not think of punishment or harm. Rather, the wish for peaceful transition and arrival home -- however that translates into here into now.

In the novel The Sparrow by Mary Doris Russell, there is a description of a conversation following the question, "Do you experience God?"
 John responds, "Not directly. Not as a friend or a personality, I suppose." John examined himself. "Not, I think, even 'in a tiny whispering sound.'" He watched the flames for a while. "I would have to say that I find God in serving His children. 'For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you cared for me, imprisoned and you came to me.'" 
The words lingered in the air as the fire popped and hissed softly. Sandoz had stopped pacing and stood motionless in a far corner of the room, his face in shadows, firelight glittering on the metallic exoskeletons of his hands. "Don't hope for more than that, John," he said. "God will break your heart." And then he left.
(--p. 50)
Good words. Haunting words.

I leave hospice room with questions for God, uncertain where to pose them.

I bow to my companioned sister with whom I've sat these four hours -- diminishing energy sometimes restless, sometimes resting, now still and quiet at dusk.

I wonder how we have managed to formulate the inscrutably-beyond with such narrative certainty of nothing to hold on to.

Nothing, that is, but trust. And that trust? One steeped in unverifiable presence. Longing chastened by soundless stillness.

I drive in silence most of the way northeast. 

Saturday, 6:44am

Morning fog.  Softening gray. Unmoving green. Chickadee arcs.

no belief beyond belief


And absurd.

The belief

That belief



It's trust --

Just trust

Sustains us

In face of

Insanity and


Thursday, August 10, 2017

bye gones

Hold nothing.
So first, you must become one. If you can become one then slowly your eyes open, then ears, tongue, body, and mind open. Open mind is Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi. Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi means that the truth appears. Sky is blue, tree is green, dog is barking woof woof, floor is yellow, cushion is brown - everything is the truth. What is not the truth? Everything is the truth! Before nothing - attain nothing. Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing. Then next attain truth. If you attain the truth, then what? Then the Heart Sutra says: gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha. That means together action. Together action is to help all beings. And not only in this life; life, after life, after life continue to try, try, try. That's our direction. 
This world is stupid. If you watch television, or listen to the radio, you will hear politicians say, "I am this and this and this. You choose me and I will do this, I have this and this." But what do they really have? Ha ha. "I, I, I, I," then "I, I, I, I." Ha ha. That's stupid! "I, I, I, I." But we have no "I." Very important is to take away this "I." Then WOW, I understand my job! Only help all beings. 
Usually human beings are always checking: "I could become famous, I could have a lot of money." Then their "I, I, I, I" becomes stronger and stronger. That's a problem. Look at animals. Animals never help each other. Mother or father helps a little baby animal, but when they grow up, watch it! That's animal mind. A dog doesn't understand a cat's mind. A cat doesn't understand a snake's mind. A snake doesn't understand a bug's mind. They don't understand each other. It's like the Soviet Union: BOOM! it disappears. Then many countries appear with many countries fighting each other. Many problems. That's our human world: only my opinion, my condition and my situation. Only holding, holding, holding - many problems.  
(--from Kwan Seum Bosal’s Hat BY ZEN MASTER SEUNG SAHN, Closing talk at Mu Sang Sa temple for the 2000 Summer Kyol Che)
Put it all down.

That’s what the Zen Master would say.

Be gone.

Let the gones go.

Then, bye gones. 

when yes calls for no

Do I think things will get worse?

Am I becoming profoundly skeptical?

Is there reason to suspect the current crowd in Washington DC are dangerously unreliable?




Wednesday, August 09, 2017

disarmingly present -- a way through

Dropping nuclear bomb on Nagasaki is unforgivable.

As is stupidity of any kind done in name of egotism and solipsism.

We need a new sense of pragmatic prayer and personal wisdom.

Idiots will always be with us.

We need not to be either an idiot or stupid mindless sycophant.

We begin here and now an arriving home at radical truth and fearless love.

Christ ...

Let us pray!

night watch


and all



Tuesday, August 08, 2017

there's a shadow

The 9th of August, Nagasaki.

This immense, unnecessary, bomb.

Precedent for what the current president and North Korea portend.

The horror of the prospect!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Shadow on the Rock

by Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

At Hiroshima there’s a museum
and outside that museum there’s a rock,
and on that rock there’s a shadow.
That shadow is all that remains
of the human being who stood there on August 6, 1945
when the nuclear age began.
In the most real sense of the word,
that is the choice before us.
We shall either end war and the nuclear arms race now in this generation,
or we will become Shadows On the Rock.

(Image: “Human Shadow Etched in Stone,” relocated and preserved at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)
(--from, louie, louieExploring contemplative awareness in daily life, drawing from and with much discussion of the writings of Thomas Merton, aka “Father Louie”. 

three by angelus silesius

The rose is without 'why'; 
it blooms simply because it blooms. 
It pays no attention to itself, 
nor does it ask whether anyone sees it.

A monk asks: Is there anything 
more miraculous than the wonders of nature?
The master answers:Yes, 
your awareness of the wonders of nature.

Time is of your own making;
Its clock ticks in your head.
The moment you stop thought
Time too stops dead.

Angelus Silesius

(c. 1624 – 9 July 1677), born Johann Scheffler and also known as Johann Angelus Silesius, was a German Catholic priest and physician, known as a mystic and religious poet. Born and raised a Lutheran, he adopted the name Angelus (Latin for "angel" or "heavenly messenger") and the epithet Silesius ("Silesian") on converting to Catholicism in 1653.[1]

ohne warum

Funny story:

This man

was born




Monday, August 07, 2017

ama nescire, ama nesciri

Are you happy you were born?



I don't know why.

Are you worried about dying?


Why not?

I don't know why not.

because we have to

Buddhism by any other name.
“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” W. Somerset Maugham
Life by any other phrase.
   13. "So it goes" 
Unlike many of these quotes, the repeated refrain from Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhouse-Five isn't notable for its unique wording so much as for how much emotion—and dismissal of emotion—it packs into three simple, world-weary words that simultaneously accept and dismiss everything. There's a reason this quote graced practically every elegy written for Vonnegut over the past two weeks (yes, including ours): It neatly encompasses a whole way of life. More crudely put: "Shit happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to."  
(--from, 15 things Kurt Vonnegut said better than anyone else ever has or will,, By Scott Gordon , Josh Modell , Noel Murray , Tasha Robinson , and Kyle Ryan, Apr 24, 2007  4:20 AM
 Practice by any other room to room ritual.

The sick, the dying, the imprisoned by any other work of mercy.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

lens of hiroshima

Christ and Krishna


And we are left

To figure out

What we are

Looking through