Saturday, April 20, 2019

beyond and gone

Since Fr. Robert's death sixteen months ago, there are no Good Friday poems exchanged.

Here's a Holy Saturday one:

no knock
floor waited Thursday
morning after vigil  
zazen in dark
getting up, leaving -- 
Friday morning, as four
slid into five, breathing 
sudden familiar
bam, bam on wood platform --
Saturday, having arrived
forty five minutes too early, 
after hearing lamentations, after
ancient homily -- not 
staying around to listen
getting up, beyond and gone --

Cheer up, Robert, things have gotten worse!

The gusty wind is a welcome howl.

by becoming them

Richard Rohr’s words while walking upper road at Trappist monastery:
I believe God loves things by becoming themGod loves things by uniting with them, not by excluding them. Through the act of creation, God manifested the eternally out-flowing Divine Presence into the physical and material world. Ordinary matter is the hiding place for Spirit and thus the very Body of God. Honestly, what else could it be, if we believe—as orthodox Jews, Christians, and Muslims do—that “one God created all things”? Since the very beginning of time, God’s Spirit has been revealing its glory and goodness through the physical creation. So many of the Psalms assert this, speaking of “rivers clapping their hands” and “mountains singing for joy.” When Paul wrote, “There is only Christ. He is everything and he is in everything” (Colossians 3:11), was he a naïve pantheist or did he really understand the full implication of the Gospel of Incarnation? 
God seems to have chosen to manifest the invisible in what we call the “visible,” so that all things visible are the revelation of God’s endlessly diffusive spiritual energy. Once a person recognizes that, it is hard to ever be lonely in this world again.
Disappearing into what is here.

something strange is happening

One doesn't tire of these words.
The Lord's descent into the underworld 
Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. 
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: "My Lord be with you all." Christ answered him: "And with your spirit." He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: "Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." 
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. 
Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden. 
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree. 
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you. 
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity. 
(From an ancient second century homily given on Holy Saturday by Bishop Melito of Sardis, read at vigils this morning at Trappist monastery)

Friday, April 19, 2019

reports and silence

It's not in the past.

It plays out continually --

Killing truth with impunity

a time to contemplate

When God stepped aside to make room for another, creation (our term for the unfolding of reality) entered a new movement of continuance.

When man -- this thinking, willing, feeling being -- came to emerge into the evolving reality, a mistake was made. Seeing so much diversity and difference, man decided to name that diversity and difference 'separation' and began excluding this from that and began to say 'this is good', 'that is bad', and 'some of us need to lord it over others so that some of us will benefit and others will not.'

This is a costly mistake, creating systemic separation, making of diversity and difference a commodity to buy and sell, punish and appropriate.

God, that is, the radical unity of all being and reality, seeing this, had to step into the evolving reality so as to restore the original wholeness that was of a piece and replete with what we have come to call 'love.'

So doing, being-nature becoming born-nature through woman into the creation, God lived, walked, taught, and finally, was punished for this teaching of wholeness, forgiveness, and love. He died. God, in Christ, died through the separation and illusion of man's beliefs and behaviors.

God, now dead to the separated and deluded world, moved through death, returning with wholeness into the creation, promising that this new reality will be the inner core of every being. That inner core of every being, holy breath, spirit of reawaken truth, protector of what is suffusive love deep in the inner life of each one -- is available to those who ask, seek, long for, and enact the face to face actions and trust that is once again our very nature.

It is Good Friday.

It is a time to contemplate. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

beyond word



is my body,

then, I am

where you are

and we are

where anything


once here, here

To embody



is to begin


something of


and cosmos

that does not


Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Let there



who I am in each -- (completely different/wholly another)

Spent six hours in Gatekeeper workshop sponsored by the Hospice Council of Maine and NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness). The presenter was skillful and knowledgeable. Attendees as well.

Toward end of day the words of David Whyte, from elsewhere, quoting the following kept returning to my thoughts:
"Why are you unhappy? 
Because 99.9 per cent 
Of everything you think, 
And of everything you do, 
Is for yourself —  
And there isn’t one.”  
 -- From “Ask The Awakened, The Negative Way” by Wei Wu Wei (Terence James Stannus Gray, 1885-1986)
 It occurred to me that (useless to this day's itinerary) we very ofter labor under an erroneous belief that we exist as separate, isolated beings -- the experience of which is full of pain, anxiety, and suffering.

What is often beyond our understanding is dependent co-origination, the very real interconnection and inter-relationality undergirding our being-in-the-world.

We feel one another's misunderstanding and apprehension often experienced as desolation, depression, and despair over uncertainty and futility in our individual, detached, and seemingly separate existence.

Richard Rohr points out that -- In the beginning was and is the Relationship.

If we forget the ground-reality of what and who we are, we fall into deluded belief in separate self. Ultimately that misunderstanding devours us.

What we are is one-another, a radical reciprocity that depends on what Raimon Pannikar calls a cosmotheandric spirituality -- one wherein divinity, cosmos, and the human come to live and dwell and have their being in a perichoresis of mutuality -- one for the other, one as the other, one within the other.

Our difference is our unique participation in the coherence and compatibility of the ganz andere (completely different/wholly another).

We are not other.

There is no other.

At the hermitage we are monastics of no other (mono).

As the day ended in Augusta Maine yesterday, that is what I was thinking.

Thanks to all present, and those seemingly absent, I learned from each and all about suicide, its prevention, postvention, and who I am in each.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

辱める, komaraseru

I look forward to the time when we will once again not have to cringe when our president says anything anywhere.

Monday, April 15, 2019

standing outside, standing inside -- fire and thrownness

A man who knows philosophy stopped by with his wife this morning. He brought a gift, a limited edition of the Little Flowers of Saint Francis. He introduces me to the American philosopher Alphonso Lingis.

Just now, from Paris France, images of Notre Dame Cathedral burning. A horrendous fire engulfs.

A time of profound ekstasis and enstasis.

These are difficult times.
Ecstasy (from the Ancient Greek κστασις ekstasis, "to be or stand outside oneself, a removal to elsewhere" from ek- "out," and stasis "a stand, or a standoff of forces") is a term used in Ancient Greek, Christian and Existential philosophy. The different traditions using the concept have radically different perspectives.
The term is currently used in philosophy usually to mean "outside-itself". One's consciousness, for example, is not self-enclosed, as one can be conscious of an Other person, who falls well outside one's own self. In a sense consciousness is usually, "outside itself," in that its object (what it thinks about, or perceives) is not itself. This is in contrast to the term enstasis which means from "standing-within-oneself" which relates to contemplation from the perspective of a speculator.[1]  
This understanding of enstasis gives way to the example of the use of the "ecstasy" as that one can be "outside of oneself" with time. In temporalizing, each of the following: the past (the 'having-been'), the future (the 'not-yet') and the present (the 'making-present') are the "outside of itself" of each other. The term ecstasy (German: Ekstase) has been used in this sense by Martin Heidegger who, in his Being and Time of 1927, argued that our being-in-the-world is usually focused toward some person, task, or the past (see also existence and Dasein). Telling someone to "remain in the present" could then be self-contradictory, if the present only emerged as the "outside itself" of future possibilities (our projection; Entwurf) and past facts (our thrownness; Geworfenheit).[2]  
Emmanuel Levinas disagreed with Heidegger's position regarding ecstasy and existential temporality from the perspective of the experience of insomnia.[3] Levinas talked of the Other in terms of 'insomnia' and 'wakefulness'.[4] He emphasized the absolute otherness of the Other and established a social relationship between the Other and one's self.[5] 
Furthermore, he asserted that ecstasy, or exteriority toward the Other, forever remains beyond any attempt at full capture; this otherness is interminable or infinite.[6] This "infiniteness" of the Other would allow Levinas to derive other aspects of philosophy as secondary to this ethic. Levinas writes: 
The others that obsess me in the other do not affect me as examples of the same genus united with my neighbor by resemblance or common nature, individuations of the human race, or chips off the old block... The others concern me from the first. Here fraternity precedes the commonness of a genus. My relationship with the Other as neighbor gives meaning to my relations with all the others.[7] 
 [7] As existentialist scholar Alphonso Lingis writes: "Existential philosophy defined the new concepts of ecstasy or of transcendence to fix a distinct kind of being that is by casting itself out of its own given place and time, without dissipating, because at each moment it projects itself — or, more exactly, a variant of itself — into another place and time. Such a being is not ideality, defined as intuitable or reconstitutable anywhere and at any moment. Ex-istence, understood etymologically, is not so much a state or a stance as a movement, which is by conceiving a divergence from itself or a potentiality of itself and casting itself into that divergence with all that it is." —Lingis, Alphonso. "The Imperative," Indiana University Press, 1998. 
Last night at Sunday Evening Practice the words of Richard Kearney about Why remain Catholic? and The Guestbook Project.

I am caught by his observation that the same root word points to both hostility and hospitality. Also that unless there is included the new, the strange, and the different, no belief can thrive in place.

Can we learn to trust in that which stands out, that which stands in, that which appears face to face, changing and transforming, moment to moment? 

lining up

Watching the Masters final round yesterday.

Liked Brooks Koepke.

Can’t help delighting in Tiger Woods win.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


The thought occurs after Sunday Evening Practice: Don't diminish difference, acknowledge it.

It is no longer sufficient to say, "We all do it."  That diminishes difference.

Rather say, "Wasn't that different?"

So too with "Black lives matter."  It is insufficient to say, "All lives matter."

Sufficiency is particularity.

Generality is insufficiency.

Difference is difference, it is neither better nor worse.

We cannot perform uniqueness.

No-performance is singularity.

Performance is generic.

Lack of performance is specificity.

To be one's self is not a performance.

To be one's self is disappearance.

go on

Praise and disgrace are twin appearances. Be wary of either. They are not you.

What is you?

You are that which continues despite praise or disgrace.

You carry nothing forward other than the carrying forward of what you are.
Jesus got palms. The twin would follow.

We go on.

Not knowing why nearly the whole time.

We go on.

This is what you are --

We going on.