Saturday, August 04, 2018

Friday, August 03, 2018

it’s nice to remember

What does it mean to say — if it doesn’t hurt it’s not love?

Perhaps — love means the dismantling of what is not love within us.

And that hurts.
Deep in December, it's nice to remember, / A lthough you know the snow will follow. / Deep in December, it's nice to remember, / Without a hurt the heart is hollow.
(—from song Try to Remember, from the Fantastics) 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

within and without

Here’s Tolle’s words:
Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. — Eckhart Tolle
Here’s how I translate om mane padme hum:
Behold what is within without. (—wfh)
Here’s the thing: the inside is the outside.

If we want to see a sane and kind world, we have to be within ourselves what will be without ourselves.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

becoming originally human -- between dogen and francis

Two men. Different.

Dogen Zenji, Zen Buddhist master.
From Genjo Koan When we see objects and hear voices with all our body and mind-and grasp them intimately-it is not a phenomenon like a mirror reflecting form or like a moon reflected on water. When we understand one side, the other side remains in darkness. To study Buddhism is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to be free from attachment to the body and mind of one's self and of others. It means wiping out even attachment to satori. Wiping out attachment to Satori, we must enter actual society. When man first recognizes the true law, he unequivocally frees himself from the border of truth. He who awakens the true law in him self immediately becomes the original man. If in riding a boat you look toward the shore, you erroneously think that the shore is moving. But upon looking carefully at the ship, you see that it is the ship that is actually moving. Similarly, seeing all things through a misconception of your body and mind gives rise to the mistake that this mind and substance are eternal. If you live truly and return to the source, it is clear that all things have no substance. Burning logs become ashes - and cannot return again to logs. There for you should not view ashes as after and logs as before. You must understand that a burning log - as a burning log - has before and after. But although it has past and future, it is cut off from past and future. Ashes as ashes have after and before. Just as ashes do not become logs again after becoming ashes, man does not live again after death. So not to say that life becomes death is a natural standpoint of Buddhism. So this is called no-life. 
(—from Genjo koan, by Dogen Zenji, 1233)
Francis of Assisi, Christian mystic:

    The Canticle of Brother Sun or The Praises of the Creatures

    Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

    Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

    Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.

    Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.

    Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

    Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

    Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

    Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.

    Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them. 
    Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility.

And in their difference, a dwelling.  

Between them, a way to live and practice that is useful, humble, precious, and pure. 

Becoming originally human.


 Only fragments capture all of it.
And You’ll miss me more as the narrowing weeks wing by: Someday duly, oneday truly, twosday newly, till whensday.(—James Joyce, Finnegans Wake)
Scourge of entertainment and entertainers replace what is more nourishing.

White dog snoozes at top of stairs.

Duly. Truly. Newly.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

circling steps

Outside park basketball, street wonders, shoot eyes out, leap too high, my my, they good!
Outside the temple,  
Already I know how fine 
The mountain must be; 
Clear cool shade detains me. 
I sit by the circling steps. 
On newly opened leaves I see 
Insect inscriptions, 
Wonder if they’re from Han-shan’s brush, 
The ink not yet dried        
         (— Feng of Pei-shan) (daily zen) 
Not every brush stroke hits paper perfectly. But image after image is just what it is — there, and no other place.

Watching documentaries on basketball legends never played in the bigs: Ryan (nyc); Mitchell (oakland). 

I remember Sammy from night rec at ps205 (brooklyn) at 5’5” a wizard of skill to my skinny dribble-off-my-foot at side basket.

The art is the practice. And practice doesn’t make perfect, practice is perfect.

Our biographies are never complete, not even after we’ve fallen out of the game.

We exist in the between. In that place in medio after release and before arriving. Like an arcing shot. A thrown pitch. A meditating breath. A pouring coffee.

I’d like to think that Ignatius of Loyola’s ad maijorum Dei gloriam, as well as meaning for the greater glory of God also suggests a kind of ‘let go and let God.’ Echos of que sera, sera — whatever will be, will be. A movement out from origin and toward where origin will be once move is made.

Whatever is becomes what will be as we respond to the original call asking us to step into love with love, freedom with freedom, kindness with kindness.

It is a step with no apparent ground. A stepping with no guarantee of solid landing.

This is called foolishness.

It once was called faith.

Monday, July 30, 2018

unmaking delusion

 If views are let go, if my held opinions are unhanded, if  I merely look upon each thing as the distinct reality they are, then — would I be looking at the truth right there before me?
How marvelous, how wonderful! / All sentient beings are perfect without flaw. / It is only due to delusive attachments / That the truth cannot be seen.  (-- Buddha; daily zen)
I don’t make the world.

But can I unmake delusion?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

sometimes I wonder

A human being can be seen as the embodied consciousness of creation.

Matter speaks through articulating awareness.

Sometimes in language.

What is creation saying now?

no audience, no one to perform for; taking no notice of itself

Some words about Christopher Thomas Knight, the man called ‘the north pond hermit.’
Solitude bestows an increase in something valuable,” he mused. “I can’t dismiss that idea. Solitude increased my perception. But here’s the tricky thing: when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. There was no audience, no one to perform for. There was no need to define myself. I became irrelevant.”  
“My desires dropped away. I didn’t long for anything. I didn’t even have a name. To put it romantically, I was completely free.”  
No longer was he Christopher Thomas Knight. He was earth. He was boulder. He was lake. He was sky. He was his shadow and a shadow of his former self.                                    
     (—from Direct Expose, the outside world)
Twenty seven years in solitude in the woods.

George Berkeley 1685-1753, was Bishop of Coyne, and a philosopher.
… I am content to put the whole upon this issue; if you can but conceive it possible for one extended moveable substance, or in general, for any one idea or any thing like an idea, to exist otherwise than in a mind perceiving it, I shall readily give up the cause…. But say you, surely there is nothing easier than to imagine trees, for instance, in a park, or books existing in a closet, and no body by to perceive them. I answer, you may so, there is no difficulty in it: but what is all this, I beseech you, more than framing in your mind certain ideas which you call books and trees, and at the same time omitting to frame the idea of any one that may perceive them? But do not you your self perceive or think of them all the while? This therefore is nothing to the purpose: it only shows you have the power of imagining or forming ideas in your mind; but it doth not shew that you can conceive it possible, the objects of your thought may exist without the mind: to make out this, it is necessary that you conceive them existing unconceived or unthought of, which is a manifest repugnancy. When we do our utmost to conceive the existence of external bodies, we are all the while only contemplating our own ideas. But the mind taking no notice of itself, is deluded to think it can and doth conceive bodies existing unthought of or without the mind; though at the same time they are apprehended by or exist in it self.  
(PHK 22–23)  Of the Principles of Human Knowledge: Part1
Taking no notice of itself.


our long breath

 It is a dizzying project trying to glean who we’ve been or who we’ll be throughout history.
Our lives are not our own.
We are bound to others,
past and present,
and by each crime
and every kindness,
we birth our future.
    —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
This much is known: nothing.

And this nothing is what we lean upon to base the story we tell about what we understand about our long breath of appearance and disappearance.

Keep your balance as best you can.