Saturday, March 16, 2019

by truth


says the president.

I don't like him

saying this.

He should go away

he is evasion itself

The way to deal

with lies

is to stand by truth

an undetermined story

Religion? The new religion is technology.

It’s scripture? We’ve got something to sell you.

Our mythology? We have none. We are an interim point in an unfolding story that narrates toward an answer go the question: what will replace us?

It is an interesting time to be in the middle of a yet undetermined story.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

stillness is called return to life

There is something I like to learn.
Attain the center of emptiness,
Preserve the utmost quiet;
As myriad things act in concert,
I thereby observe the return.
Things flourish,
Then each returns to its root.
Returning to the root
Is called stillness:
Stillness is called return to Life,
Return to Life is called the constant;
Knowing the constant is called enlightenment.
- Tao-te Ching
It has to do with returning.

get mr orwell on the phone

If you are watching, you can see that lying is the new truth.

Straight up, bald face, no shame, no kidding -- lying is the new truth.

We have a truthful set of leaders in the nation's capital.

Up is down. In is out. Believe what is told you, not what you see.

Now we have to figure out what a lie is.

So much to do!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

which nothing can add to or diminish

Now that morning light has been delayed an hour after clocks moved ahead an hour due to some wisdom of calculation beyond my understanding, a different case history arises for my reading before setting out to Lewiston with coffee in cup, muffin in hand, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation audio book in ear

Link opens in new windoby Richard Rohr

Link opens in new windowaudio book in ear
To see how different Zen really is from Taoism, consider the famous story of Zhuang Zhou and the butterfly. Here are Zhuang Zhou’s words:
Once upon a time, I, Zhuang Zhou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering here and there, enjoying myself fully and not knowing I was Zhuang Zhou. Suddenly I awoke, and came to myself, Zhuang Zhou. But now I do not know whether it was then I dreamt I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
Zhuang Zhou uses this story to illustrate that reality is always relative to our particular perspective. There’s no point asking which was real— Zhuang Zhou or the butterfly. 
When Zhuang Zhou is awake, the butterfly becomes the dreamhis dream. And from the standpoint of the butterfly, Zhuang Zhou becomes the dream, not the reality. Each of us lives in our own reality, and everything else is merely a feature of our personal dream. 
But Linji says no. None of us is the dreamer, he would insist, because all of us are dream. And for this reason, there’s no getting out. Even when we think we’re out, we’re not. 
As soon we awaken from one dream, we’ll simply find ourselves in another one. Zhuang Zhou or the butterflytake your pickboth are dreams. It’s just as Wansong says in his commentary:
Delusion and enlightenment are two sides of the same coin. . . . . It’s hopeless—the mud and sand can’t be cleared away.
At first, these words might make us feel trapped and panicky. If every reality is a kind of dream, what kind of enlightenment is possible? Wansong himself asks this very question:
When breaking earth, separating reeds, how do you discern the master?
Linji’s answer is quite specific: stop trying to awaken from the dream and start paying attention to the Dreamer. Stop looking at the spectacle before your eyes and look instead at the workings of your own mindwhich Linji often calls the solitary brightness.” It’s not solitary because, as we might think, its alone in isolation from everything else. It’s solitary because it’s the source of everything we experience, especially the self. The True Person in Zen is not a highly evolved sage, the Buddhist version of the Taoist Heavenly man. The True Person of No Rank is your own mind. Here’s Linji:
Greatly Virtuous Ones, your ancestors knew that the fundamental Person who receives and plays with light and shadow is the root source of all the Buddhas and that every place is a lodging for Wanderers in the Way to return to You yourself are the solitary brightness, which nothing can add to or diminish. It makes no distinctions because itsource of “dark” as well as “light”. . . . . 
Followers of the Way, as I look at it, we’re no different from Shakyamuni. In all our various activities each day, is there anything we lack? The wonderful light of the six senses has never for a moment ceased to shine. If you could just look at it this way, then you’d be the kind of person who has nothing to do for the rest of your life. . . . If you want to be no different from the ancestors and buddhas, then never look for something outside yourselves. A moment of pure light in your mind – that is the Dharmakaya, the Essence-body of the Buddha lodged in you.
The Buddha is “lodged in you,” Linji says. But the Buddha is not the self. It’s something deeper, something all of us have in common. This is a radical equality that far surpasses anything the Taoists imagined.
(--from, A Teisho (Dharma Talk) On Rinzai ZenBook of Serenity Case 38A version of this teisho was delivered on third day of the Cold Mountain Sangha’s 2016Winter Sesshin, Kankan Roshi, Cold Mountain Zen, Rutgers NJ)  
You gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get the morning! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

pesence embraces absence and brings it home.

I concede that anger at points of view and style of leadership different from mine is rife and rampant in the United States these days. My anger and others' anger. Anger is the winter, cold and stiff, that resides in the psyche throughout the year.

We disagree. But we have to make our way through every disagreement so as to commonly dwell with one another.
And yet people fight incessantly. Even though war is blessedly absent in most countries today, these are deeply polarized times. Words too often are delivered with contempt; philosophical differences are likened to warfare; those who simply disagree with another are deemed “enemies.” Often it is on the Internet — which was launched as a forum for unity — where people attack one another, under the cloak of anonymity. 
This state of constant conflict is a major source of stress and unhappiness for millions of people. Is there a solution? 
We believe that the answer is yes. Further, as is the case with all big problems, within this crisis lies an opportunity. Polarization contains the seeds for personal excellence and spiritual advancement. 
To begin with, the solution is not for people simply to agree with each other, or to prevent disagreements from occurring. There is nothing wrong or inherently destructive about having ideas that differ from those of others. On the contrary, disagreement is necessary in a pluralistic society to find the best solutions to problems. The ability to disagree freely is one of the great blessings of modern democracy. 
The solution — and the opportunity for each of us — lies not in disagreeing less, but in understanding the appropriate way to disagree with others, even when we are treated with hatred. A valuable clue can be found in the words of the 8th-century Indian Buddhist master Shantideva in his text “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life”: “Unruly beings are as unlimited as space / They cannot possibly all be overcome, / But if I overcome thoughts of anger alone / This will be equivalent to vanquishing all foes.”
(--from, The Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks: All of us can break the cycle of hatred,  The Washington Post, 3/11/19 
I apologize for my bellicosity and arrogance against, especially, men like Trump, McConnell, Ryan, Jordan, the majority of Republican pragmatists unwilling to bite the hand that feeds them, and the news agencies and radio commentators that feed the minds that control the hands that feed the cadre of true believers so as to attract advertisers that fund the generous salaries of the prognosticators and prevaricators.

We are becoming takers, more and more. It only counts if you "have" -- read "take". The have-nots are considered expendable.
"The takers are those who know good and evil; and the leavers are those who live in the hands of the gods." (--Daniel Quinn, Ishmael)
Quinn suggests that the world doesn't belong to us but that we belong to the world. By "world" I hear universe, earth, nature.

And by "gods" I hear the nascent interior goodness within everything urging emergence into the outer world.

We don't own that which we are part of -- we only believe we own that which is not us. I don't own my hand, my leg, my ear. It is our profound illusion that we own land, things, other people, that which we call "possessions."

We don't.

Never will.

We only share existence with everything.

Respected, and worthy.
Consider the relationship between dignity and conflict described by Donna Hicks, a Harvard conflict–resolution expert who has worked on the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians and in Northern Ireland and Colombia. Over decades in the field, Hicks saw a repeating pattern: conflicts came about when people felt they were being disrespected and treated as worthless. “We long to look good in the eyes of others, to feel good about ourselves, to be worthy of others’ care and attention,” Hicks writes. When people are treated as if we don’t matter or aren’t due respect, we become vindictive, tribalistic and vengeful. “Research suggests that we are just as programmed to sense a threat to our dignity as we are to a physical threat,” Hicks writes. “Neuroscientists have found that a psychological injury such as being excluded stimulates the same part of the brain as a physical wound.”
(--The Internet Can Make Us Feel Awful. It Doesn't Have to Be That Way,  BY ELI PARISER JANUARY 17, 2019, Time) 

Try presencing.

There is kindness. 

And there is the absence of kindness.

If we choose kindness, we are present.

Presence embraces absence and brings it home.

do I pray


To pray is to sing silence.

pass him by

A commentator used the expression tonight and wikipedia defined it: 
De minimis is a Latin expression meaning "about minimal things", normally in the locutions de minimis non curat praetor ("The praetor does not concern himself with trifles") or de minimis non curat lex ("The law does not concern itself with trifles") a legal doctrine by which a court refuses to consider trifling ...
The speaker of the house said recently that the president is not worth it, namely, the effort to impeach.

He isn’t.

He is de minimis.

A trifle.

One that will pass.

To pass over, pass by, as one would a reprehensible liar and bully with a weapon who has a self inflicted wound slowly falling to knee while screaming at the wind that he is the best, there is no better than which, not anybody anywhere at anytime in history,

If he doesn’t end history with an ignorant dense stupidity, then, history will view him merely as another ignorant and disturbed anomaly who brought indignity, consternation, and suffering to a played and traumatized people.

Maybe he will just go away long before the next election which might send him away.

(O God, wait — I’m only talking about myself, aren’t I? Aren't we always and only talking about ourselves whenever we speak?)

Still -- when I slur another, when I refuse to acknowledge any truth that interferes with my agenda for things, when I become small and mean and vengeful, when I mock and belittle any and everybody because I can -- I am a disappointment and lack grace, and should recuse myself from matters that demand fairness, equanimity, and trust. I have work ahead of me.

Monday, March 11, 2019

message -- on not going to the service

Don’t bother coming 

home to 

pick me up for Betty’s 


I’ll be staying here, 

lighting a candle, 

and meditating 

on who’s going to come to 

my memorial gathering -- 

which, I suspect, will take 

place in 

the cabin 

with three people, 

two cats, two dogs, 

and a box of donuts.

freeing up

Immigration is a serious concern for many in this country.

Too many trying to get in?

It's getting too crowded?

I can help.

When I die there will be an open space.

I give it to someone wishing to immigrate.

Along with my hiking sticks.

Use them well.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

neutrinos permeating


Down to