Saturday, September 30, 2017

Kol Nidre

Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement.

This from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

Form of Prayer.
Before sunset on the eve of the Day of Atonement, when the congregation has gathered in the synagogue, the Ark is opened and two rabbis, or two leading men in the community, take from it two Torah-scrolls. Then they take their places, one on each side of the ḥazzan, and the three recite in concert a formula beginning with the words  , which runs as follows:
"In the tribunal of heaven and the tribunal of earth, by the permission of God—blessed be He—and by the permission of this holy congregation, we hold it lawful to pray with the transgressors."
Thereupon the cantor chants the Aramaic prayer beginning with the words "Kol Nidre," with its marvelously plaintive and touching melody, and, gradually increasing in volume from pianissimo to fortissimo, repeats three times the following words:
"All vows [], obligations, oaths, and anathemas, whether called 'ḳonam,' 'ḳonas,' or by any other name, which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next (whose happy coming we await), we do repent. May they be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect; they shall not bind us nor have power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligatory; nor the oaths be oaths."
The leader and the congregation then say together:
(Num. xv. 26). 
"And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them, seeing all the people were in ignorance"

This also is repeated three times. The ḥazzan then closes with the benediction, : "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast preserved us and hast brought us to enjoy this season." In many congregations Num. xiv. 19-20 is recited before this benediction. After it the Torah-scrolls are replaced, and the customary evening service begins.

Friday, September 29, 2017

when the temptation is to make heaven and divine the desired reality, remember


Is what we are

All of it


Festival of strong will.

Defend us in battle!
Michael is a ... name that comes from מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל, derived from the question מי כאל mī kāʼēl, meaning "Who is like God?". (Wikipedia)
Good question.

Who is like God? 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Om Mani Padme Hum (see what-is here now within all)

Today I arrive at my translation:

see what-is here
now within all

The six syllables purify the six realms of existence in suffering.
For example, the syllable Om purifies the neurotic attachment to bliss and pride, which afflict the beings in the realm of the gods.

Samsaric Realm
bliss / pride
jealousy /
lust for entertainment
jealous gods
passion / desire
stupidity / prejudice
poverty / 
hungry ghost
aggression / hatred

"Behold! The jewel in the lotus!"

This phrase is often seen as a translation of the mantra. However, although some mantras are translatable, more or less, the Mani is not one of them; but while the phrase is incorrect as a translation, it does suggest an interesting way to think about the mantra, by considering the meanings of the individual words.
H.H. The Dalai Lama has provided just such an analysis, in a Web page The Meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum.
He concludes his discussion with this synopsis: "Thus the six syllables, Om Mani Padme Hum, mean that in dependence on the practice which is in indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech, and mind of a Buddha."


and this

An excerpt:
The Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum
The Mani mantra is the most widely used of all Buddhist mantras, and open to anyone who feels inspired to practice it -- it does not require prior initiation by a lama (meditation master).
The six syllables of the mantra, as it is often pronounced by Tibetans -- Om Mani Padme Hum -- are here written in the Tibetan alphabet: 
Reading from left to right the syllables are:
The vowel in the sylable Hu (is pronounced as in the English word 'book'. The final consonant in that syllable is often pronounced 'ng' as in 'song' -- Om Mani Padme Hung. There is one further complication: The syllable Pad is pronounced Pe (peh) by many Tibetans: Om Mani Peme Hung.
Here's the sound of the mantra,
chanted by a Tibetan refugee: 
Play Mantra
Windows .wav
Play Mantra
Real Audio
download player
The mantra originated in India; as it moved from India into Tibet, the pronunciation changed because some of the sounds in the Indian Sanskrit language were hard for Tibetans to pronounce.
Om Mani Padma Hum
mantra of Avalokiteshvara
Om Mani Peme Hung
mantra of Chenrezig

The True Sound of Truth
An old story speaks about a similar problem. A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching. The student's humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried. 
A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up. 
The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island. The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit. As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice. The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself. The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself -- but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified! 
"What's wrong?" asked the hermit. 
"I don't know what to say. I'm afraid you've wasted your whole life! You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!" 
"Oh, Dear! That is terrible. How should I say it?" 
The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away. On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit. 
"It's so fortunate that I came along. At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies." Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quite shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat. 
"Excuse me, please. I hate to bother you, but I've forgotten the correct pronunciation again. Would you please repeat it for me?" 
"You obviously don't need it," stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced. 
The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

it’s possible

everything’s failing

I think I’ll eat some worms

starting now

this from beth cioffoletti‘s blog, louie, louie

Poem: (from beth cioffoletti’s blog “louie, louie”)
When in the soul of the serene disciple
Posted: 26 Sep 2017 12:35 PM PDT
Photo by Thomas Merton

When in the soul of the serene disciple
With no more Fathers to imitate
Poverty is a success,
It is a small thing to say the roof is gone:
He has not even a house.

Stars, as well as friends,
Are angry with the noble ruin.
Saints depart in several directions.

Be still:
There is no longer any need of comment.
It was a lucky wind
That blew away his halo with his cares,
A lucky sea that drowned his reputation.

Here you will find
Neither a proverb nor a memorandum.
There are no ways,
No methods to admire
Where poverty is no achievement.
His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction.

What choice remains?
Well, to be ordinary is not a choice:
It is the usual freedom
Of men without visions.

~ Thomas Merton

beyond spelling

Do not write

About love

It does not


In words

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

a disadvantage

If what is wanted is destruction of current political class, it is happening.

If the pentagon suspects funding change or defense antipathy, they will react.

If bankers and stock mavens see any reduction of protection, measures will be taken to close down.

I no longer think we might be in danger of catastrophe, I think it is a slow-moving inevitability.

We are a little stupid. That’s not a flaw.

Just a disadvantage.

response to new york times dialogic opinion writers

A worry I have is how to communicate the genuine worry and distress felt about Mr. Trump without hair-pulling screams or darkly-sinister allusion. 

I understand the impetus to humor and satiric mockery of the man and his flawed excesses, but danger and division, solipsistic off-the-cuff foreign policy pronouncements and downright crude errant modeling for children and other impressionable types — beg new writing by sharp-eyed visionaries articulating an antidote to current absurdity and a path to mature representative leadership.

Write on!

Monday, September 25, 2017

wherein we dwell as impeccable truth

At table Sunday Evening Practice a woman said she wanted “impeccable truth”.

Thomas Merton wrote about “refusal” in reference to the “sin” of early Genesis.

Peccare  (from pecco, transgress or sin) roots impeccable.

Impeccable truth, then, suggests an unrefusing presence, i.e. not refusing to acknowledge that we are and who we are in every situation or circumstance.

Are we not what is to be done in each moment in each circumstance?

Does that make sin the refusal to be who, what, where, and how we are in each present and presence moment and every circumstance/situation wherein we dwell as it arises and reveals itself?

A new invitation — to become and be impeccably true?

Soften to this revelation, like candlelight in late September meditation cabin, as we chant Prajna Paramita as seasonal light dims, sounding with and remembering fondly, all our brothers and sisters, in all times and all places, not refusing them their being with us.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


This is my perennial name:


(And now I am here)

This is what, where, who, and how I am.