Saturday, December 21, 2019

out of darkness

It is that time of Advent. It is that time of darkness pausing to allow return of light to shake itself and step into this coordinate of an infinite and indefinite cosmos.

In 1980, on a meditation retreat with a Carthusian monk and a priest from England, we were taught a mantra-ditty that began with the strains of a Tchaikovsky Vogel :

Out of darkness lead us to your light 

From illusion free us for your truth

Still our stormy mind

And calm all our striving

Present to us

With life 

Make us one
 It was a Buddhist--Christian Vipassana Liturgical intensive which culminated with an on-cushion sit from 4AM to noon with no getting up from cushion for any reason. So, reason gave up and something broke within, and time disappeared, and a piece of grapefruit like the eucharist itself was received into an uncomprehending mouth.

Today, darkness and light bow to each other, turn arm in arm, and dance through the room of vast unknowing in homage to what is arriving into an uncomprehending humanity in a perfectly balanced universe.

Friday, December 20, 2019

note to attendees at Friday evening conversation

I was wrong.

The lyric I tried to quote was not from “Golden Boy.” Rather, it is from Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass," 
¢ 5. Trope: ‘I Believe in God’ Three Soli and Street Chorus 
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Rock Singer

I believe in God, 
But does God believe in me?  
I’ll believe in any god
If any god there be. 
That’s a pact. 
Shake on that. 
No taking back. 

I believe in one God, 
But then I believe in three. 
 I’ll believe in twenty gods  
If they’ll believe in me.  
That’s a pact. 
Shake on that.  

I’ll believe in you and you and you 
And who... 
Who’ll believe in me? 

how many days and nights

In prison today

Men learning

The dynamics

A poem

Taking life

Within —


Thursday, December 19, 2019

who would dare to go nameless

Something by Thomas Merton:

Whoever is nowhere is nobody

A Stellar Shell. This massive bubble in space is the result of gas that is being 
shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. Called SNR 0509-67.5, 
the sphere is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion 
in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 
a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth.

There is no where in you a paradise that is no place
     and there
You do not enter except without a story.
To enter there is to become unnameable.

Whoever is there is homeless for he has no door     
and no identity
with which to go out and to come in. 

Whoever is nowhere is nobody, and therefore cannot exist     
except as unborn:
No disguise will avail him anything

Such a one is neither lost nor found.

But he who has an address is lost.

They fall, they fall into apartments and are     
     securely established!

They find themselves in streets.  
They are licensed
To proceed from place to place
They now know their own names
They can name several friends and know
Their own telephones must some time ring.

If all telephones ring at once, 
if all names are shouted at     
     once and
all cars crash at one crossing:
If all cities explode and fly away in dust
Yet identities refuse to be lost.  
There is a name and number     
     for everyone.

There is a definite place for bodies, there are pigeon holes     
     for ashes:
Such security can business buy!

Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.

They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn     
     flower of nothing:
This is the paradise tree.  
It must remain unseen until words     
     end and arguments are silent.

—Thomas Merton, "The Fall",  In the Dark Before Dawn, pp. 184-185 , in louie,louie

make no, mistake


In the soul


What is


And what

Is not,


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

and the opposite is also true

What happens now

Is anybody’s

Guess —

Handsome is

As handsome does

reading on impeachment day

It just seems that some descriptions fit. No judgment intended. Just descriptive. These from Fr. Alfred Delp. (In louie,louie)
"A Godless life is one delivered up to a vast army of kill-joys.   
"When man loses touch with the eternal truths he gets submerged in the weeds that sprout all over the garden of his life. They are senseless trivialities that assume an air of real importance. Though they pretend to have a purpose they are quite futile, and merely add obscurity and confusion to a life which is gradually engulfed in a sort of eternal twilight without light or direction. … 
"Hunted and driven, and bewitched he is no longer master of his own fate, no longer a free man.   
"It is hard enough to meet the ordinary hazards incidental to every existence; but the Godless man has no defenses and is delivered up, bound and disarmed. Left to cope with them in this defenseless fashion he falls back on the excuse that fate is against him and the world is all wrong.    
"He is a failure and it takes very little to keep him bogged down in depression and despair. The world becomes a cheerless place, not worth living in, although there seems to be no way out of it.   
"Or, on the other hand, he may persuade himself that a flippant attitude is the right one to adopt, and he seeks a cheap way out of his troubles by various forms of escapism.  The great illusion begins, the age of noise and mass mentality and organized animation - 'circuses' - for crowds.    
"Till at last the earth begins to quake and underground rumblings, which have been more or less effectively drowned by the surface uproar, imperatively assert themselves.   
"Thunder crashes proclaiming the day of judgement." (pp. 37-38)
- Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, “The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp”, 1963 Herder and Herder New York

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

feed on your dreams

Impeachment eve

Student feels beginning of civil war

I play “teach your children

We must have a code to live by

Monday, December 16, 2019

to a student

You point me to your phrase if God is the origin. 
Nor do I know what God wants, or criteria for (what we call) judging. But you suggest a hint. What is the origin of behavior? Why act, however we act, toward another? 
If God is (we’re just talking here!) — origin — then, how far are we from origin? By that I mean, can we begin to see what it is that is calling to us to respond to in any of our interactions? The source of our actions and responses, I think, must be the ground we stand on. We are at the origin of things every time we open our mouths to say anything, or lift our hand to do anything.
If that is so, and if your observation about origin is so, then — we just might know what God is thinking — because it will be what we are thinking. 
If we make no attempt to separate God from us, or us from God, nor any other kind of dualistic cutting away — then a new view of who we are where we are emerges for us.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

welcome max-manjushri to meetingbrook

Three year old from new england border collie rescue brought up to hermitage Saturday 14dec19 from foster home in gray maine on a rainy day.

Rokie keeps eye on him

Yes, the world could be other-wise. 

So much wisdom and compassion in the eyes and faces of brother-sister earth, animals, and humans.

Thank you, Virginia and Tod, for your care and handoff of Max.

We are delighted to have this gentle glory bodhisattva as our new teacher and confidant!

bobbing for leaves under water at Hosmer Pond (in our back yard)
 exploring foot of Ragged Mtn where early snow making has battled two torrential days of rain (in our back yard)

so much mountain, so much life to be sniffed and categorized, and wondered at

hosmer brook tumbling down ragged mountain with new eyes ears and nose on duty.