Saturday, March 07, 2020


She held the doll folded upside down. She laughed looking over at me.

Gospel music on tv. Trees swaying outside.

She is teaching me how to sit with someone barely there without words — the way some disease might take your mind and memories.

The lesson is over. I go down to hospital to pick up individual meals and provisions, eggs, ice cream, gravy, Swiss cheese.

I put two face masks in jacket pocket.

Someone else helps her with supper.

I have to practice the lesson — being with


Unspeaking, and

About to lose an hour of my life because

Two AM thieves

Will make off with it

Friday, March 06, 2020

mistaken identity

This, for perspective:
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.  
(—Wei Wu Wei*, in Part One : The Crossroads, p. 7, Ask the Awakened: the Negative Way, 1963)
These are four additional things he said:
  • What is your trouble? Mistaken identity.
  • Realisation is a matter of becoming conscious of that which is already realised.
  • All the evil in the world, and all the unhappiness, comes from the I-concept.
  • One must know that one is not in order to be able to understand that we are.
What is here, whatever it is called, I don’t know, bears silent witness to all that arises and appears, all that falls and disappears, this singular awareness, where nothing that happens is not (as is said) the revelation of god, the will of god, at this moment, inviting whatever it is we are to see and respond, in this instant, as that creation and fall? Have we (of course) not grasped the disclosure and inconspicuous manifestation of fleeting truth passing through? Is our frightened quest for solidity, security, possession, and noisy proclamation of self-importance — our contemporary and perennial delusion — our not-getting-it — the mistake we make?

Dawn light
From hill

On floor, 
border collie 

...   ...   ...

Wei Wu Wei was the pen-name of Terence James Stannus Gray (14 September 1895 – 5 January 1986) an Irish-born interpreter of Buddhism (Wikiquote)

Thursday, March 05, 2020

winsome riband

Richard Kearney speaks of Anatheism. In Greek "ana" means again, or retrieval. He is speaking of something that precedes both theism and atheism.

What is this understanding of what-we-call-God that flows through, or takes place, before any belief or non-belief occupies our way of speaking about this primordial experience?

A friend sends an article about panpsychism and consciousness. It speaks to the debate taking place about whether or not consciousness (not thought) can be said to be part of non-sentient beings in a way that it is, differently, in sentient beings.
The experience of consciousness need not be continuous or maintained as an individual self or subject. Nor is it necessarily extinguished when the smaller constituents of matter combine to make more complex systems, like brains. The human sense of being a self, along with an experience of continuity over time through memory, may in fact be a very rare form of content. Is it possible that alongside the conscious experience of “me,” there is a much dimmer experience of each individual neuron, or of different collections of neurons and cells in my body and beyond? Could the universe literally be teeming with consciousness—with content flickering in and out, overlapping, combining, separating, flowing, in ways we can’t quite imagine—ruled by physical laws we don’t yet understand? 
Perhaps the term panpsychism, because of its history and associations, will continue to pose obstacles to progress in consciousness studies. We might need a new label for the work in which scientists and philosophers theorize about the possibility that consciousness is fundamental. However, we’re so far from having a working theory that it seems premature to label it with an “ism,” and perhaps it’s more helpful to simply give a name to this category of theories, such as “intrinsic nature theory” or “intrinsic field theory.” At the very least, it seems clear that the current incomplete picture gives us good reason to keep thinking creatively about consciousness—and specifically to continue entertaining the idea that it perhaps goes deeper than our intuitions have led us to believe.
(--from, Consciousness Isn’t Self-CenteredThink of consciousness like spacetime—a fundamental field that’s everywhere. BY ANNAKA HARRIS, FEBRUARY 27, 2020, in Nautilus)
Perhaps a working theory might center around awareness.

We might say that awareness is the ground of existence. But, even with that foundational root of existence, it doesn't mean that sentient beings awaken to that awareness. To realize the ground of being, to manifest the root of reality, seems to require an awakening to it, an awakening with it, an awakening as it.

But, we might say, awareness dwells as the ground of being/existence for both the sentient and the non-sentient. If such is so, everything is teaching its core reality by dint of existence as and in being.

"Ana" is a turning and a returning, says Kearney, back to something after the event. It is a returning to something before theism or atheism, but that which precedes the choice between them. It is the moment of choice, he says, the hovering, the wondering, marveling, prefacing any deciding.

Jean Gebser, in ch.1 of his The Ever-Present Origin, gives his perspective of what it is we might be looking at/as/for:
Our concern is with a new reality - a reality functioning and effectual integrally, in which intensity and action, the effective and the effect co-exist; one where origin, by virtue of „presentiation,“ blossoms forth anew; and one in which the present is all-encompassing and entire. Integral reality is the world‘s transpar-ency, a perceiving of the world as truth: a mutual perceiving and imparting of truth of the world and of man and of all that transluces both.  (--final paragraph, Part 1, Ch 1)
Due to the way we concretize time, giving it spatial distance and memory reference, we choose to lop it into a triadic past, present, and future.

Rather, things arise and withdraw at the same time. This present, this undifferentiated instant of manifestation and disappearance, is the now that has no fixed abode.
But a more detailed look at Buddhist teachings on impermanence, especially Mahāyāna teachings, changes the initial impression. Impermanence, it becomes clear, doesn’t mean that things last for a while then pass away: things arise and pass away at the same time. That is, things don’t exist as we imagine they do. Much of our experience of reality is illusory. And this is why we suffer.  
In effect, what these teachings are telling us is that impermanence is time itself, being itself, and that time and being are not at all as we imagine them to be, they are utterly otherwise. To really understand and fully embrace this point is to live in a radically different world — a world of awakening, inclusion, and love. Time is the lock — and the key! — to Buddhist teachings, and our lives. 
(—from Foreward by Norman Fischer, in  Being-Time, A Practitioner’s Guide to Dōgen’s Shōbōgenzō Uji, by Shinshu Roberts, 2018)
What then are we looking at?

That which originates and that which obviates is the self-same (or, selfless-same) appearance/disappearance underlying immediate experience of existence and (what we consider to be) the going beyond (some say, loss) of that very immediate experience of interchange.

And awareness?

Awareness is winsome riband.

       Winsome: What is./ now / simultaneously / origin / manifesting / eternity.
       Riband:     Recollecting / interchange / before / after / no / difference. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

pressed against an image, it holds a chimera

"Work is what I do to feel bad. Why should anyone feel good?" (Character in Mao II by Don DeLllo)

I know the feeling. It happens whenever there's a course to be taught. Or talk to be given. Or anything public that takes me from this room.

Keeping track of the errancy called politics. The opinions and theories that add up to dollars and nonsense.

Foolishness feeling its way along facts until an edge appears, graspable, ready to morph into something made from silly putty.



What is



To us



What is



out from within

 Perhaps we read in order to become that which is written.
Friend, it is really enough. 
In case you more desire to read,  
Then go and become yourself  
the writing and yourself the thing (to read).       
      --Angelus Silesius 

We prefer to believe that what is here is not enough, that something else awaits.
Eternity is time And time eternity,  
Except when we ourselves  
Would make them different be.       
     --Angelus Silesius 

How phrase it: To want nothing? Or, not to want anything? 
O Man, as long as you exist, know, have, and cherish,  
You have not been delivered, believe me, of your burden.            
           (--Angelus Silesius *)
* Angelus Silesius is the monastic name of Johannes Scheffler. Johannes Scheffler was born into a noble Polish Lutheran family. He received a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Padua and became a physician.  
As a young man he was drawn to the writings of the German mystic Jacob Boehme. Scheffler's growing mysticism didn't sit well with the dogmatic forms of German Lutheranism of the time and, in 1653, he converted to Catholicism. He took the name Angelus, adding the surname Silesius, meaning "from Silesia."  
During this time, Selisius was briefly named physician to Emperor Ferdinand III, but he soon renounced his profession and, in 1661, he was ordained a priest and retired to monastic life in Breslau. He gave his family fortune away to charities.  
He published two books of poetry: The Soul's Spiritual Delight and The Cherubinic Pilgrim. Several of his poems are today used as religious hymns in both Catholic and Protestant churches. 
Angelus Silesius was often engaged in public controversy with both the Lutheran Church he had left and also with his adopted Catholic faith. His poetry hinted at a quietest mysticism which asserts that the soul, when it attains deep quiet, can experience God directly -- a notion neither institution has been too fond of.  
 (--from, Poetry Chaikhana, Sacred Poetry from Around the World)

There are clouds. And wind through branches of trees outside window. Up and down sluice between two mountains the varied car or pickup passes. No sound, no noise mars silence dwelling amidst anything seemingly other than it. Everything is allowed to be. Just as it is. 
Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe  
And to love you  
All I need is the air that I breathe  
Yes to love you  
All I need is the air that I breathe  
        (--Albert Hammond, 1972,
Reality is the sounding/sight coming out from within.

Can you bear it?

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

we'd like it to count

Super Tuesday votes being counted

do we think it matters who wins

rain falls in Maine, dog frets

the only truth that matters

is the response

you give



hear me, here me, don't fear me

To care is

to think

to think is

to care

call of Being

human response


call and


thinking --

are we still


un buen hombre y poeta

Poet and revolutionary Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua died on 1mar20.
For Father Cardenal, the Sandinista revolution had failed. 
But he remained committed to his Marxist ideals. 
“I am a revolutionary,” Father Cardenal said in an interview with The New York Times published in January 2015. “Revolutionary means that I want to change the world.” 
He added: “The Bible is full of revolutions. The prophets are people with a message of revolution. Jesus of Nazareth takes the revolutionary message of the prophets. And we also will continue trying to change the world and make revolution. Those revolutions failed, but others will come.”

He’d been a novice with the Trappists with Thomas Merton as novice master. 

Un buen hombre y poeta!

Ernesto Cardenal's
 Translated from the Spanish
by Jonathan Cohen

What’s in a star? We are.
All the elements of our body and of the planet
were once in the belly of a star.
            We are stardust.
15,000,000,000 years ago we were a mass
of hydrogen floating in space, turning slowly, dancing.
            And the gas condensed more and more
            gaining increasingly more mass
            and mass became star and began to shine.
As they condensed they grew hot and bright.
Gravitation produced thermal energy: light and heat.
That is to say love.
                        Stars were born, grew, and died.
And the galaxy was taking the shape of a flower
the way it looks now on a starry night.
Our flesh and our bones come from other stars
and perhaps even from other galaxies,
we are universal,
and after death we will help to form other stars
and other galaxies.
            We come from the stars, and to them we shall return.


Three AM. Time of prayer for monastics. Closing time for taverns. Take your pick. The night is long and sometimes lonely. We’re uncertain which way to turn. Choir stall? Or lamppost? Be safe, happy, free, and find your true home!

you bet

If you have nothing
To lose —

Lose it
Before it becomes

You can’t be


Monday, March 02, 2020

noticing this seeing itself

Walking through tamaracks yesterday, stopping.

The silence.

360° round, sweep of quiet presence. No words. No complaints. No banter. No gossip. I am alone in this wordless surround. Nor is "I" a consideration. Just "this."
If speech has five marks, O monastics, it is well spoken, not badly spoken, blameless, and above reproach by the wise. What are these five marks? It is speech that is timely, true, gentle, purposeful, and spoken with a mind of lovingkindness.                                           (—the Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya
Seven Tips for Giving Up Gossip
1. Recognize that gossip doesn’t undo the situation you’re talking about. It only puts in motion another situation based on negative feelings.
2. Know that comparing yourself to others is useless. Everyone has his or her own talents. In this way, give up jealousy and the wish to put others down.
3. Be aware of and transform your own thoughts, words, and deeds rather than commenting on those of others.
4. Train your mind to see others’ positive qualities and discuss them. This will make you much happier than gossiping ever could.
5. Forgive, knowing that people do harmful things because they are unhappy. If you don’t make someone into an enemy, you won’t want to gossip about him.
6. Have a sense of humor about what you think, say, and do, and be able to laugh at all of the silly things we sentient beings carry out in our attempt to be happy. If you see the humor in our human predicament, you’ll be more patient.
7. Practice saying something kind to someone every day. Do this especially with people you don’t like. It gets easier with practice and bears surprisingly good results.            
(—The Truth About GossipIf you don’t have anything nice to say . . .  by Ven Thubten Chodron, Summer, 2006, Tricycle)
I have nothing to say about anyone. (Even if I think I might.)

I might have something to say to someone. But nothing about someone.

And in that nothing, there is no one remaining to say anything.

Just this, noticing itself.

A playful humor -- noticing this seeing itself.

Sunday, March 01, 2020 here

 I don’t know if we have all been here before , but I sense it is a major accomplishment/realization to be here now.

So many attempts to catch our attention.

So simple a Gospel of kindness. A Dhammapada of attentive presence. A Koran of devotion. A Tanakh of justice. A Tao Te Ching of harmony. An Analects of benevolence. A Bhagavad-Gita of duty. A Upanishad Vedanta of non-duality.
Moksha is the liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth known as samsara. As such, moksha is the ultimate goal of Hindu religious practice. The believer achieves moksha through self-realization. According to the Advaita (non-dual) school of Hindu thought, this self-realization comes through the recognition that one’s atman (self) is one and the same as Brahman—the pure, absolute reality comprising the entire universe. In the Dvaita (dualistic) school of thought, true self-realization comes through attaining a loving union with the Supreme Being, often manifested in the form of a god such as Vishnu, while maintaining one’s own existential uniqueness. Advaita Hindus emphasize meditation and thoughtful action in achieving moksha, while Dvaita Hindus emphasize loving worship and devotion to a deity. 
As the goal of all existence, moksha is the ultimate purpose behind Hindu religious beliefs and practices and is conceptually a form of Hindu salvation/liberation. Moksha is an important element in all faith traditions of Indian origin. The Buddhist view of nirvana, the state of liberation from suffering, is similar to moksha, and Hindus view nirvana as the state a person enters into after achieving moksha. Jainism shares the Hindu view of moksha with the caveat that all karmas, even good, must be annihilated prior to attaining moksha since karma necessitates consequences. In Sikhism, moksha is known as mukti and is largely similar to the Hindu Dvaita conception of moksha.
(—The Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University, Moksha)
We are invited to be here-with. If not, we become there-without.

Perhaps this is the call of Being inviting our Human response -- to care.

It is Lent in the Christian metaphor.

Do we care?

non dimenticar

If I die from the covid19 virus, I’d dedicate my body to the president. Science, of course, is false. The president would know what to do with my lifeless remains.

I feel confident this administration has the pandemic under control. By keeping Mexicans in Mexico the United States defeats moral turpitude and pesky death.

In this comic book age of parody personalities we are blest to have a genuine faux-presidency no comedy writer could have created. Know-nothing but expert-in-everything, bluster and braggadocio spread over every inch of the country’s goofy attention span.

And the faithful? The singing choir of daily communicants at the altar of inaccuracy and blatant lies, these red-hatted congregations attend rally after rally cheering inanity and insanity with a fervor once reserved for mob attendance at crucifixions and lynchings.

It doesn’t bother me that depravity masquerades as loyalty and perversity preaches self-delusion to audiences of rabid cultists who willingly sip poison to prove their undying devotion to a self-admitted charlatan pretending to be president in his own delusional reality show.

I like this man.

He is everything I experienced in Bensonhurst schoolyards and pool halls and beer joints and sandlots. Arrogance backed by fists and pomposity propped by backup crews holding some poor fish while the tough guy pummeled him without fear of reprisal.

Cheap mastery without achieving anything.

But enough about me.

I wonder how the king is doing tonight.

There is nothing I can say about another that isn’t also true about me.

I am embarrassed, profoundly.

I will not publish this.

Who would be so foolish?

Surely such guilty admissions cannot stand the light of day!

Do not forget me. I won’t forget you.