Saturday, November 17, 2018

saturday morning practice

God is the profound and intimate connection between all beings.

Then, two quotes from Rohr’s blog:
In Thich Nhat Hanh’s words, “Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realizes that it is water. At that moment, all fear of death disappears.” [1] 
And in Stephen Levine’s:
But water is water, no matter what its shape or form. The solidity of ice imagines itself to be its edges and density. Melting, it remembers; evaporating, it ascends. [2] 
So do not be afraid. Death to false self and the end of human life is simply a return to our Ground of Being, to God, to Love. Life doesn’t truly end; it simply changes form and continues evolving into ever new shapes and beauty.
(—Friday, 16nov18, Richard Rohr)
So too, the voice and ear from Maryland attends with us today this practice.

urge for going

The lyric, as sung by Joni Mitchell or Tom Rush said: I get the the urge for going. Here, Richard Rohr quotes Kathleen Dowling Singh:
I have come to believe that the time of dying effects a transformation from perceived tragedy to experienced grace. Beyond that, I think this transformation is a universal process. Although relatively unexamined, the Nearing Death Experience has profound implications. Dying offers the possibility of entering the radiance, the vastness, of our Essential Nature, at least for a few precious moments. . . . 
The Nearing Death Experience implies a natural and conscious remerging with the Ground of Being from which we have all once unconsciously emerged. A transformation occurs from the point of terror at the contemplation of the loss of our separate, personal self to a merging into the deep, nurturing, ineffable experience of Unity. 
My experience is that most people who are dying have no conscious desire for transcendence; most of us do not live at the level of depth where such a longing is a conscious priority. And, yet, everyone does seem to enter a transcendent and transformed level of consciousness in the Nearing Death Experience. . . . It is rather profound and encouraging to contemplate these indications that the life and death of a human being is so exquisitely calibrated as to automatically produce union with Spirit.  
Reference:Kathleen Dowling Singh, The Grace in Dying: A Message of Hope, Comfort, and Spiritual Transformation(HarperOne: 2000), 14, 15. (From Richard Rohr 12nov18
The lyric muses that although we get the urge for going — returning, while alive, to the ground of being — we never seem to go.

Friday, November 16, 2018

snow, here

In maximum security prison, of a Thursday, we read and speak of Berry’s poem:

        by Wendell Berry

Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest. 

Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight. 

                            The sky
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
not quite. 

                      What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.

(“VII" by Wendell Berry from This Day. © Counterpoint Press, 2013) 
Even in me, carrying wood in from barn, the echoes of Schubert’s Ave Maria. I am thinking of the lad who will travel back to Vermont through the storm in a few hours.

I am thinking of the man whose hospice room I left, his family gathered, no longer struggling to say the simplest phrase, nearing his death.

Here is what has always been.

And here is what will always be.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

no, really



no names


what is


no more than this

 From St Joseph’s Abbey blog:
I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. 
Whatever you may do, I thank you: 
I am ready for all, I accept all. 
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. 
I wish no more than this, O Lord. 
Into your hands I commend my soul; 
I offer it to you 
with all the love of my heart, 
for I love you, Lord, 
and so need to give myself, 
to surrender myself into your hands, 
without reserve, 
and with boundless confidence, 
for you are my Father.
It is 14° degrees outside.

I chant into frigid air at barn door a blessing of name and loving kindness.

I bow to the possibility — the already here and yet to be.

I bring wood in for firebox.

“We are poor passing facts” — wrote Robert Lowell.

We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name. 
(—from poem, Epilogue)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

outside barn at dawn

This from louie, louie, beth cioffoletti’s blog:
Meister Eckhart, the German philosopher, mystic and theologian said, “There is nothing in the world that resembles God as much as silence.”
In essence, Eckhart is saying this: Silence is a privileged entry into the realm of God and into eternal life.  There is a huge silence inside each of us that beckons us into itself, and the recovery of our own silence can begin to teach us the language of heaven.
What is meant by this?
Silence is a language that is infinitely deeper, more far-reaching, more understanding, more compassionate, and more eternal than any other language. In heaven, it seems, there will be no languages, no words. Silence will speak. We will wholly, intimately, and ecstatically hold each other in silence, in perfect understanding.
Words, for all their value, are part of the reason why we can’t do this already. They divide as much as they unite. There is a deeper connection available in silence. Lovers already know this, as do the Quakers whose liturgy tries to imitate the silence of heaven, and as do those who practice contemplative prayer. John of the Cross expresses this in a wonderfully cryptic line: “Learn to understand more by not understanding than by understanding.”
Silence does speak louder than words, and more deeply. We experience this already now in different ways: When we are separated by distance or death from loved ones, we can still be with them in silence; when we are divided from other sincere persons through misunderstanding, silence can provide the place where we can still be together; when we stand helpless before another’s suffering, silence can be the best way of expressing our empathy; and when we have sinned and have no words to restore things to their previous wholeness, in silence a deeper word can speak and let us know that, in the end, all will be well and every manner of being will be well.
“There is nothing in the world that resembles God as much as silence.” It’s the language of heaven and it is already deep inside of us, beckoning us, inviting us to deeper intimacy with everything.
-- Ron Rolheiser OMI,
Silent trees listen to morning chant outside barn at dawn this Wednesday morning as logs are carried in for wood stove.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

where begin where end

white dog
climbs stairs
end of day —
each breath 

the joy of 4am



the sound

of it

Monday, November 12, 2018

thank you veterans

wood stove


Panikkar kitchen

this cold night


first light

easterly turnng

beyond bamboo

Sunday, November 11, 2018

jamais plus la guerre

War is never the answer.

Soldiers, Airfolk, Sailors, Coastguards, and Marines — they all know this.

The wrong questions by the wrong people with the wrong motives are tossed like political confetti over the right questions and the lives of our armed forces.

No more!

Jamais plus la guerre!