Saturday, April 25, 2020

what’s mu


That’s all.



We could say an idea is something to see through.

The question arises, ”What do you see?”

This morning, listening to Benedictines in France chanting office of prime,

Panta keeps watch of dooryard, looking through screened window.
Thomas Merton, writing of his brother’s visit to Gethsemani, wrote:
He had heard something about the Holy Trinity at the Choir School of St. John the Divine. So I just said that the father was the Father and the Son was the Father’s idea of Himself and the Holy Ghost was the love of the Father for the Son, and that these Three were One nature, and that nevertheless they were Three Persons—and they dwelt within us by faith.     (—Excerpt from: "The Seven Storey Mountain" by Thomas Merton. Scribd)  
The word idea comes from Greek δέα idea "form, pattern," from the root of δεν idein, "to see." [3] (Wikipedia)

There is a an activity that is available to us, at every moment and each place, during this claustrating time. It is a passing through of each being and each thing and each phantasm in our purview.

Can you see through your self?

Passing through?

And is Merton suggesting a way of being (a way of theology and spirituality) wherein we are a passing-through of that which is seen as an activity of trust, faith, and (yes) love?

Are we this activity of seeing? Of seeing through?

Until there is only seeing.

All-encompassing, no object, pure expressive throughness.

Where all appears as it is. And disappears into itself. 

Leaving, as Dogen pointed out, no trace.

So much 



what we are 

looking at, 

looking as, and 

looking through 

these days.

This time of claustration is one of returning to ourselves as each one of us sees what is returning to itself with the gift of through-sight.

Friday, April 24, 2020

roseate morning revelation

I am not
Looking for

God cannot be



Would you

Tell me



Words —
I will



Thursday, April 23, 2020

life support

Curiously, during this time, these thoughts:
In "The Time of the End is the Time of No Room," he portrays the contemporary period as one in which humans have lost touch with their roots and are heading toward a kind of spiritual death. Of the contemporary world he writes:
We live in a time of no room, which is the time of the end. The time when everyone is obsessed with the lack of time, lack of space . . . projecting into time and space the anguish produced within them by the technological furies of size, volume, quantity, speed, number, price, power, and acceleration . .. . As the end approaches there is no room for nature. The cities crowd it off the face of the earth .. . There is no desire for living.The time of the end is the time when men call upon the mountains to fall upon them .... It is haunted by the demon of emptiness. And out of this unutterable void come the armies, the missiles, the weapons, the bombs, the racist murders, and all the other crimes of mass society. ("Time," pp. 70-71)
In such a world where the mechanized, "the technological furies" obscure the natural, Merton foresees humans confronting " not necessarily the end of the world, but a .. . point of no return, a climax of absolute finality ... in absurdity" ("Prologue," p. 4). In such a world, humans have no place, no purpose. 
(--from, THOMAS MERTON'S MYTH FOR MODERN TIMES: A Tale of the City, by Gloria Kitto Lewis) 
In my room, empty of anything or anyone other, it seems that everyone and everything is there.

Which is its own absurdity.

I suppose.
The many do not pay attention to what is right in front of their nose; and when these things are pointed out to themthey do not take note of them though they think they do.They are estranged from that with which they are always in contact.The waking have one common worldbut the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own  ("Herakleitos," p. 96, ibid)
Elsewhere, in a review about Merton's The Behavior of Titans, these opening quotes:
St. Justin Martyr refers to Herakleitos, along with Socrates, as a “Saint” of pre-Christian paganism…the logos of Herakleitos seems to have much in common with the Tao of Lao-tse as well as with the Word of St. John.  (Thomas Merton)       
Fools, when they do hear, are like the deaf: of them does the saying bear witness that they are absent when present. (Herakleitos) 
He that is awake lights up from sleeping. (Herakleitos)   
There is a kind of self-fulfillment that fulfills nothing but your illusory self. (Br. Steindl-Rast)     
(from, Thomas Merton's, The Behavior of Titans -- 50 Year Review by Ron Dart, in Journal of Religion, Peace, and Justice, August, 2011)
 And these concluding words:
We live in an age and ethos driven by false notions of the self that lead from one illusion to another. How do we find the ‘immortal diamond’ within and allow such a diamond to shine forth? Merton has offered us a variety of titans in The Behavior of Titans. There are titans such as Hesiod-Homer’s Zeus-Prometheus, the Fat Man, indulgent and cynical intellectuals and mediocre people are present but absent. There are titans such as the Prometheus of Aeschylus, Atlas, Hera and Herakleitos that can massage our soul into health and healing. Much hinges on the titan we choose to hear, heed and follow.            (--ibid
So much hinges on being present.

what is, dharma combat, without mu

Practitioner writes yesterday:
Today's translation of the P[rajna] Paramita -- 
release thinking 
release thinking 
completely release thinking 
what’s happening? 
relax and respond! 

 Another practitioner responds;
I hear your translation as release-thinking. 
Not so much as release thinking. 
Release-thinking is a thinking that lets go (and “let’s go!”) in a constant act of release all we’ve been holding on to, moving us toward what is becoming more and more obviously ground and earth of what-is-truly-real. 
Happy earth day! 

coup, let’s congregate

Slows, everything
Turning head, noticing

The boy in Germany
By river with cake

Mom’s painting as tyke
Box of memorabilia

Shoulder to shoulder
At Oxford

Sitting in Brooklyn
Living room with present

On island beach
Picking shell from sand


There’s time
For it

Beret on desk
Candle lantern

Coffee can yoghurt
Plastic full of pens

Dusty books
Wrapper of crackers

Piles of papers from
Classes taught

Bamboo shades
Icon of Christ

And friend I loved
Not well but deeply

The children’s hands
Offering flower

One to the other
If it could be received

Slats of sunlight
On wall over bed

Bird song through
Open window

During stay at home
Solitude and surrender

Coming to end of Seven
Story Mountain

He has entered Gethsemani
Describing those first days

I have always been in
Monastery even while not

It is transfixion of life
Streams under melted ice

With spring remembering
The echo tumble over stones —

You cannot say ever again
One thing lost means gone

It goes on in a thousand
Branches of continuance

The thousands of lives
You’ve lived, in differing

Places, differing bodies
Differing others, all of a

Piece collecting itself
In a whole we visit in

The only reality

Everyone shares
Without distancing

Wednesday, April 22, 2020



1,1 : 1,1

My favorite time of anything.

you’ve got to; hand it to them





Are in the wardrobe changing their apparel.

In his hánd are the dépths of the éarth; *  
the héights of the móuntains are hís. 
To hím belongs the séa, for he máde it *  
and the drý land sháped by his hánds. 
(—from psalm 95)

And this:

In their hands are the depths of the earth, 
The heights of the mountains are theirs, 
To them belongs the sea, for they made it 
And the dry land shaped by their hands. 
        (—from psalm 95)

and God —

We’re all in


earth — all lose, whole find

There is nothing else for us
It is what we are


Even if we go to deep space
We are earth there

Trees grow from it
Food and water spring up

It is what Christ became
It is what God ordained


Ground of our being
Soil of sacrifice and solace

The poet —

one’s not half two. It’s two are halves of one: 
which halves reintegrating,shall occur 
no death and any quantity;but than 
all numerable mosts the actual more 

minds ignorant of stern miraculous 
this every truth-beware of heartless them 
(given the scalpel,they dissect a kiss; 
or,sold the reason,they undream a dream) 

one is the song which fiends and angels sing: 
all murdering lies by mortals told make two. 
Let liars wilt,repaying life they’re loaned; 
we(by a gift called dying born)must grow 

deep in dark least ourselves remembering 
love only rides his year.                                            
                                          All lose,whole find  

(—poem by e.e. cummings)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

make peace for all of us / with what is easy.

So many dying.

Is it easier to be angry at Trump and administration for their ineptitude and mendacity -- or to be sad and grieving at the many deaths that continue to ravage country and globe?

Anger and sorrow seem to be inseparable these days.

Before he died a year (or is it two) ago a man who practiced with us sent photo of his altar.   

It arose today from cache.

I think of him. He ended his life. He left the altar. The stones. The flowers. The feelings that linger.

Death is inevitable.

Life, as far as we know, changes from movement to stillness.

Just that.

Once his life moved. Now it is still.

Whenever we practice silence and stillness we are viewing life in its silence and stillness.

So we sit. Or we walk. We practice.

The stones. The wood. The floor.

The flowers, the water, the vase.

The window. The trees. The sky.

Do we notice anything? Does something become obvious? Are we becoming creation becoming itself?

It is easy to be angry.

It is easy to be sad.

And then there's the poem by Robert Creeley that always sets me pondering:
God give you pardon from gratitude
and other mild forms of servitude -- 
and make peace for all of us
with what is easy. 
     (in The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley: 1945-1975, By Robert Creeley, p.186; from, For Love)

It is a koan.

Is it God's gratitude that pardons? Is God the servant? Or, is what seems to be being said what is being said?

The second couplet stands on its own.

Which evokes this:
“From now on, Brother, everybody stands on his own feet,”1 proclaims Thomas Merton on the day of his death. He was quoting an abbot who gave this advice to the Tibetan monk, Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche, confronted with fleeing or staying in the face of an advancing Chinese communist army. Merton interprets this saying to be “an extremely important monastic statement” and asserts that “The time for relying on structures has disappeared” (AJ 338). 
(--Stand on Your Own Feet! Thomas Merton and the Monk without Vows or Walls, by Nass Cannon 
The new structure is no structure.

Our new ground is groundlessness.

Stand there.
The hermit, all day and all night, beats his head against a wall of doubt. That is his contemplation. . . . a kind of unknowing of his own self, a kind of doubt that questions the very roots of his existence, a doubt which undermines his very reasons for existing and for doing what he does. It is this doubt which reduces him finally to silence, and in the silence which ceases to ask questions, he receives the only certitude he knows: the presence of God in the midst of uncertainty and nothingness, as the only reality. (MJ 159)        (Ibid)
Stand here.

Monday, April 20, 2020

you're welcome

it was easter twice
the rising
morning light

and now bright
week, as many
tire of solitude

i propose 2 thousand
dollars a month for
everyone all year

adult US population of
209,128,094 times 24,000
equals 5,019,074,256,000

5 trillion a year
we can do that

money grows on trees
it is worthless currency
give it away

well, now, that's that
time to take a walk
solved poverty

and if you want more
money, take a job
make as much as

you want -- no one cares
if you have a 3 million
dollar house

as long as there's
enough money for
pretzels and coffee

yoghurt and peanut
butter, the risen Christ
and the face of God

Sunday, April 19, 2020

τι είναι ... что такое

What Is



What Is

is rising

in our




Truly What Is...




Πάσχα ... Páscha

It is Orthodox Christian Easter.

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! .. Πραγματικά ο Χριστός έχει αναστηθεί
CHRISTOS ANESTI! .. Pragmatiká o Christós échei anastitheí

Christ is Risen!  Truly Christ is Risen

православная пасха

Khristos voskrese!  Voistinu voskrese!

Христос воскрес, он действительно воскрес!

(Orthodox Easter service takes place without public at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow)