Saturday, October 13, 2018

hovering over the surface

They go through the doors, the visitors attending loved ones

To where the dying keep on their way to their dying

Sometimes pushing the door open with elbow, a brownie in one hand, ginger ale in another

Walking left down corridor to second room on right October darkness at patio window

Friday, October 12, 2018

that which is known by not-knowing

This, from Richard Rohr:
No matter how sacred, no thought can ever promise to help you in the work of contemplative prayer, because only love—not knowledge—can help us reach God. . . . 
Become blind during contemplative prayer and cut yourself off from needing to know things. Knowledge hinders, not helps you in contemplation. Be content feeling moved in a delightful, loving way by something mysterious and unknown, leaving you focused entirely on God, with no other thought than of [God] alone. Let your naked desire rest there. . . . 
It doesn’t matter how much profound wisdom we possess about created spiritual beings; our understanding cannot help us gain knowledge about any uncreated spiritual being, who is God alone. But the failure of our understanding can help us. When we reach the end of what we know, that’s where we find God. That’s why St. Dionysius [5th/6th century] said that the best, most divine knowledge of God is that which is known by not-knowing. 
Friends, you just received a post graduate course in Christian spirituality, a course which very few are ever taught.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

What will no reveal

If you are looking 

for God

Look no further

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

are we evolved enough to trustworthily feel

In dialogue with a student’s writing, I ask this question: Are we evolved enough to trustworthily feel?

Feeling first, prior to opinion, judgment, calculating thought, or categorizing analysis.

Building on E.E. Cummings’ words: “Not to completely feel is thinking.” (—from nonlecture five)

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

ipse dixit

Buddhism is Buddhism. Christianity is Christianity. As is Judaism Judaism, Islam Islam, Hinduism Hinduism, Taoism Taoism, Paganism Paganism, Humanism Humanism, and Phenomenology Phenomenology.

It’s all about appearances and hermeneutics.

What you see and what you say about it.

As a practitioner of zen, it is direct experience that interests me.

If something, something. If nothing, nothing.

Just that. Just this.

And the breeze of an October night.

ainsi soit-il

Three Bells, Three Bells. Three Bells!

Are we listening?

Monks chant

Morning is called into being

Nothing else appears

now I lay me down to sleep

I pray, O Lord, my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I’ll come right back

To correct that mistake

Monday, October 08, 2018

no fooling

Knowing has little to do with knowledge.

 What did Jeremiah (1:5 NIV) mean by “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”?

Is there a knowing that means a new intimacy of incarnate relationality that recognizes nothing is unattached from anything else — a Buddhist understanding that my “self” is where I am, what I am looking at, what is taking place? This knowing is unknowing. 
Strangely enough, this unknowing is a new kind of understanding. We do have a word for it: the old word faith. Faith is a kind of knowing that doesn’t need to know for certain and yet doesn’t dismiss knowledge either. With faith, we don’t need to obtain or hold all knowledge because we know that we are being held inside a Much Larger Frame and Perspective. As Paul puts it, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known myself” (1 Corinthians 13:12). It is a knowing by participation with—instead of an observation of from a position of separation. It is knowing subject to subject instead of subject to object.  
It took me years to understand this, even though this is straight from the Franciscan school of philosophy. Love must always precede knowledge. The mind alone cannot get us there (which is the great arrogance of most Western religion). Prayer in my later years has become letting myself be nakedly known, exactly as I am, in all my ordinariness and shadow, face to face, without any masks or religious makeup. Such nakedness is a falling into the unified field underneath reality, what Thomas Merton called “a hidden wholeness,” [2] where we know in a different way and from a different source. This is the contemplative’s unique access point: knowing by union with a thing, where we can enjoy an intuitive grasp of wholeness, a truth beyond words, beyond any need or capacity to prove anything right or wrong. This is the contemplative mind which religion should have directly taught, but which it largely lost.
(—from, Richard Rohr, Week Forty-one, Unknowing  Knowing that We Don't Know, Monday, October 8, 2018
This contemplative mind sees no-other.
“Do not be concerned with the faults of other persons. Do not see others' faults with a hateful mind. There is an old saying that if you stop seeing others' faults, then naturally seniors are venerated and juniors are revered. Do not imitate others' faults; just cultivate virtue. Buddha prohibited unwholesome actions, but did not tell us to hate those who practice unwholesome actions.” Zen Master Dogen
Something new and  unfathomable is encroaching our epistemology with an unknowing simplicity.
“A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.” Dōgen, How to Cook Your Life: From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment
In a time of fools, in a time when bombastic belief in the foolish tenets that winning is everything and losers are ludicrous, the experience of non-separation and sympathetic joy recommends our undiluted attentiveness into new dimensions of integrity and wholeness.

We are being invited to be born into a profound yet troubling intimacy of not-knowing.

No fooling!

becoming one, another

All things are empty

We share the emptiness between us when we reach out with attention to another

That relationslity is our connective interstice

Christians call it kenotic love

Buddhists, shared shunyata

The emptiness between us is the love between us

Step out from where you were, enter into where you become one another

Sunday, October 07, 2018

sent to ms. Collins of maine

Disappointed with your speech and vote.
But a person, I suspect, has got to provide for their future.
I wish you well in the private sector.
Now I will trust a more ingenuous person will take your place in the senate from our lovely state.

this is enough

I have nothing bad to say about religion. Some of my best friends (if I had any) are religious.
Religion, in the accepted sense of that word, has now become a matter of propaganda, of vested interest, with much property, with a great hierarchical, bureaucratic system of `spirituality. Religion has become a matter of dogma, belief and ritual, something which is totally divorced from daily living. You may, or you may not, believe in God, but that belief has very little meaning in daily life, where you cheat, where you destroy, are ambitious, greedy, jealous, violent. You believe in God or in a saviour, or in some guru, yet keep that far away so that it does not actually touch your daily life. 
Religion, as it is now, has become an extraordinary phenomenon which has no validity at all. The Christian, for the last two thousand years, has been conditioned to believe. Please observe in yourself, not criticizing, not condemning, just observing. One may not like it, but one must face the fact that one is, if one is a Christian, as conditioned as the Communist or the atheist. The believer and the non-believer are both conditioned by the culture of their time, by society, by the extraordinary process of propaganda. It has also been going on in Asia for thousands of years.
 (—from, Krishnamurti: On Religion
When I think of religion, and if someone asks me if I am religious, my response these days is, “ I only have this to say.”

This is my thought. This is my body. This is my blood.

The interrogatory “What is this?” is both question and responsorial descriptive at the same time.

This is what is.

Our engaged response and present awareness of what is taking place is the contemporary religious sense of life most interesting to me.

May we observe well! Be well observing.

Becoming observant to this as it reveals itself is spirituality incarnational and transformative filled with humility and nescience.

This is enough!