Saturday, October 23, 2021

is wisdom sole province of carbon-based humanity

 Piss-poor, he said last night, our ability to convene a society both equal and equanimous.

No “ ism” will usher it in.

Rather, profundity of heart and depth of mind will assist the transformation needed to arrive at humanitarian value and spiritual largesse.

Or, we can just allow the AI community full leeway to replace humans via the singularity.

Friday, October 22, 2021

what it once filled


One hundred twelve years ago he was born on the East streets shoehorned between Flatbush and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn. Today’s his birthday.

There are moments we return to, now and always. Family is like water — it has a memory of what it once filled, always trying to get back to the original stream. 

(-p.57, Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann)

 That stream has disappeared into river, into ocean, into cycle of rainfall, thunder, puddles, and whooshing spray from passing tires.


He was a good man pummeled by demands of alarm clock, subway car, church societies, Rheingold and Schaffer, family history, along with loving attempts to hold together centrifugal forces of everyday whirling drip, drip, drip.

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height


this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if (so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm 


(-from e.e.cummings poem my father moved through dooms of love)


I light candle in his honor.


I burn incense stick.


I am grateful for the rain and flow through time to dripping eaves outside my window.

nothing remains

 There are times language

Fails to tell what’s happening —

Nothing remains here

Thursday, October 21, 2021

perception

 Moonlight soaks mountain

Every animal knows what

Is before their eyes

on second thought

 The Irish writer

Thought he had some poems in him,

Putting pen down, slept

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

each plays a part

 Hunter’s moon, on pond 

in trees, at window, lighting

fields for swooping owl

wordless silent attention

On poet Gregory Corso's (3mar1930-17jan2001) gravestone at the non-Catholic cemetery for foreigners at Via Caio Cestio in Rome Italy, there is written::

  Spirit


  is life


 it flows thru


  the death of me


  endlessly


  like a river


  unafraid


  of becoming


  the sea

(Excerpt from: "One Bird, One Stone: 108 Contemporary Zen Stories" by Sean Murphy. Scribd.)

Thinking of my sister, Patricia, today, anniversary of her death in 1999. 

Wondering if life, (not thoughts about, nor experiences of), is it’s own  nameless wholeness only realized in (wordless silent attention) looking, (at and as), nothing passing one another through (here and now) a glistening autumn morning in Maine (this 19th/20th of October).

(PantaRhea at window shikantaza)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

within the hour

 Twenty two years go

by tonight my sister died —

As I dozed, waking

Monday, October 18, 2021

a short distance from myself

 That space between memory and imagination, that space — look for me there.

It’s an empty space.

Where I’ll be.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

presence, in and of, itself

 Something we do not yet recognize surrounds and informs all which is, whether seen or unseen, felt or unfelt, thought or unthought.

 “The presence of inherent value in a natural object is independent of any awareness, interest, or appreciation of it by a conscious being.”

(—Tom Regan, “The Nature and Possibility of an Environmental Ethic,” Environmental Ethics 3 (1881), pp. 19–34)

We’re unsure what it is, what it is called, or how it does or might arise in our awareness.

But until it does, we remain poor passing facts and strangers to one, another, that which is below our feet, above our head, within and without, us. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

charged with untold and untellable wisdom

Chris from Augusta sends Whitman:

Of The Terrible Doubt Of Appearances
                                  by Walt Whitman

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable
     only,
May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills,
     shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be
     these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and
     the real something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me
     and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows,
     aught of them,)

May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they

     indeed but seem) as from my present point of view, and
     might prove (as of course they would) nought of what
     they appear, or nought anyhow, from entirely changed
     points of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer'd by
     my lovers, my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while
     holding me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and
     reason hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am
     silent, I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances or that of
     identity beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.
 

"Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances" by Walt Whitman. Public domain)

Such a timely arrival, having just finished the Mike Flanigan limited series on Netflix.

The horror and "terrible doubt of appearances," of what we do and what we think about what cannot be grasped.

no call to become special

 Tweet by Joan Halifax, 7:40pm, 10/15/2021

How can one meditate & not meditate at the same time? By leaving behind complicated notions of what we are doing on the cushion. In Zen, there is no call to become special. Instead, there is tacit consent to accept our experience of the moment & drop the project of enlightenment.

I’m good with this. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

into your bones

"May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." 


(— Theresa of Avila, 28 March 1515 —15 October 1582)

it’s not looking good

 There are things to beware.

 October 15 at 10:20 AM ET
 LONDON —  A British lawmaker from the Conservative Party died after being stabbed multiple times in an attack Friday in his home district in southeast England.
Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and recovering a knife and said it was not seeking anyone else.
David Amess, who represented Southend West in Essex, was meeting with constituents when he was assaulted. 

John Lamb, chairman of the local Conservative party told Reuters before the reports of his death that “it’s not looking good” and said emergency workers were trying to stabilize him before moving him from the church auxillary where he was meeting with people from his district.

(—from, British lawmaker dies after being stabbed multiple times while meeting constituents, Washington Post)

Sentinel keeps watch as tide goes out.

A new courage is required.

A new time is revealing new dangers.

A new consciousness is now, and exquisitely, necessary. 

no reason to change anything

 Heart doc says recent echocardiogram says everything is ok.

A perfect time to keel over with heart failure.

Isn’t that the way things go?

This contrarian existence!

and justice wears latex gloves

 No reason to expect justice will prevail in holding accountable the former administration for crimes against decency and democracy. 

Such ability to flaunt laws and ethics is, to some, what makes great this ambivalent country.

Tough call. On one hand, reprobates are reprobates. On the other hand, prison sucks.

I come down squarely on the side of law-abiding populace. 

But the impotence of justice to hold reprobates accountable is astounding.

Justice works best against the poor, minorities, or anyone not an elected office-holder with huge fundraising schemes.

Cheer up, mr former chief executive, they’ll never touch you. 

You’re untouchable.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

showering koan

 Life is waiting

on death;

Death is no

longer waiting

on life

till we come to a hard bottom

 Where to begin?

Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downwards through the mud and slush of opinion and tradition, and pride and prejudice, appearance and delusion, through the alluvium which covers the globe, through poetry and philosophy and religion, through church and state, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, till we come to a hard bottom that rocks in place which we can call reality and say, This is, and no mistake…

(—Henry David Thoreau)

This is 

A good place.

que dieu nous aide

Increasingly, threats are levied against town councils, school boards, hospital personnel, police, and emt’s in the context of COVID-19 protective measures intended to forestall and minimize harm caused by the virus and its mutations.

It is hard to ignore the stringent rhetoric and overt threats.

Elected figures exacerbate the dangerous tone and menacing innuendo in such a way that is difficult to discern their complicity or acceleration of potential violence and undermining of public good.

It is a curious and uncertain time.

More than that, it is a prefiguring of what is on the horizon for uncivil discourse edging toward national unrest and overt public danger.

No amount or personal or private meditation or practice toward equanimity will shield any individual from the threatening eventuality of menace and misuse of power.

Something dangerous and evil this way comes. 

Que Dieu nous aide!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

in an undertone

Sometimes, sitting still and wondering is all one can do. 

The  is the centerpiece of the daily morning and evening prayer services and is considered by some the most essential prayer in all of Judaism. An affirmation of God’s singularity and kingship, its daily recitation is regarded by traditionally observant Jews as a biblical commandment. 

Structure

The first verse of the Shema, from the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, is among the best-known in all of Jewish liturgy. It is recited at the climactic moment of the final prayer of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, and traditionally as the last words before death. Traditionally, it is recited with the hand placed over the eyes.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד

She-ma yisrael,  eloheinu, adonai echad

Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One

This verse is followed by one line of text that is traditionally recited in an undertone:

בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

Baruch shem kavod malchuto l’olam va-ed

Blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever

The remainder of the Shema prayer is taken from three biblical sources:

Deuteronomy 6:5-9:

וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽך
וְהָי֞וּ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם עַל־לְבָבֶֽךָ
וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ
וּקְשַׁרְתָּ֥ם לְא֖וֹת עַל־יָדֶ֑ךָ וְהָי֥וּ לְטֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין עֵינֶֽיךָ
וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזוּזֹ֥ת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead, inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-shema/ 

At other times, sitting still and wondering is all that needs be done.

so what does the one who is say -- (ש)

 Think of it this way:

He who causes to be is

who I am, as is --

what else can I tell you? if

you want more, write a letter

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

just a convenient designation

What we are called is not what we are. 

In the first century Buddhist text the Milinda Pañha, the Indo-Greek king Menander I meets a Buddhist sage and asks his name. The monk replies that his name is Nāgasena, but quickly adds that this is just “a convenient designation, a mere name, this Nāgasena, for there is no self here to be found”.

Menander is bewildered, yet this is in fact a core Buddhist teaching: the doctrine of anatta, ‘no-self ’. The idea here is that selves are, at best, a sort of mere convention. We call each other by the names we’ve been given or chosen, but these names don’t refer to anything substantial. Nāgasena gives the example of the chariot Menander has ridden to the meeting. You can certainly point to, name, and ride a chariot, yet strip each part away, and there is nothing left.There’s no enduring ‘core’ or essence to the chariot. It’s the same, we’re told, with selves.

Scepticism about selves also crops up in western philosophy, starting from David Hume – who claimed that whenever he turned his focus to his own thoughts, “I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception.” No self, just thoughts.

There are two ways to think about these no-self claims. One is to see them as a form of reductionism. Selves exist, but only in the way a flock of birds or a football team does. You could list each individual bird or player instead of referring to the whole without losing anything except convenience. Eliminativism is a stronger claim. If reductionists think selves a sort of useful fiction, eliminativists think the self is illusory, a sort of trick played on us by experience or language.

Perhaps that’s a distinction without a difference though. After all, for Buddhists like Nāgasena at least, the whole point is just not to get hung up on the self at all. 

(There Are No Selves, in New Philosopher, ISSUE 33 - SEPTEMBER/NOVEMBER 2021)

If I am no-self, perhaps I belong to the self-at-all. 

the importance of intervention

Slavoj Žižek debating Jordan Peterson references André Glucksmann. I look up Glucksmann:

In his book Dostoyevsky in Manhattan, Glucksmann asserts that nihilism, particularly as depicted by Dostoyevsky in his novels Demons and The Brothers Karamazov, is the 'characteristic form' of modern terrorism. Drawing on Ivan Karamazov's dictum that "If there is no God, everything is permitted", Glucksmann argues that:

The inner nature of nihilistic terrorism is that everything is permissible, whether because God exists and I am his representative, or because God does not exist and I take his place.

His 2006 book Une rage d’enfant is an autobiography which talks about how his experiences as a young Jew in occupied France led to his interest in philosophy and his belief in the importance of intervention:

My style of thinking is to compare what happens on the TV, in the news and so on, and then extract what I can from books of philosophers to understand it. Philosophy for me is like subtitles. The problem comes from current events but the answer is supplied by philosophy.

Glucksmann criticises the notion that Islamic terrorism is a product of the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, arguing that the first victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims:

Why do the 200,000 slaughtered Muslims of Darfur not arouse even half a quarter of the fury caused by 200-times fewer dead in Lebanon? Must we deduce that Muslims killed by other Muslims don’t count – whether in the eyes of Muslim authorities or viewed through the bad conscience of the West?

(—Wikipedia

We are meant to think about thought, not to be swallowed by it.

(The sound of a burp is heard.)

Excuse me!

No! 

not to completely feel is thinking (e.e.cummings)

 Attached to thinking

Today’s  humans trace ideas

Not feeling itself —

There is nothing in thinking

Better expressed by feeling

Monday, October 11, 2021

how one sentence says so much

 "If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal."

   (from, A Universe Not Made For Us {Carl Sagan on religion}).             

to canadian friends

Joyeux Action de Graces!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

living name

 This, on stargazerslounge, after book I’m reading seemed to have a flawed number in preface about how long ago the supposed Big Bang took place.

On 03/02/2013 at 05:27, chiltonstar said: 

IMO, flawed, but the best we have at the moment. The "point of origin" is surely anywhere/everywhere because the Universe was extremely small at the time - we were part of that as is everything else (matter, once it had condensed anyway) in the observable Universe. Chris 

All the sub-atomic particles and later atoms in my body were present in a pinhead singularity right here at the origin of the Big Bang 13.6 billion years ago and in that intervening time everything has expanded away from me. The same applies to you and everything else in the universe - everything once occupied that singularity  :rolleyes:

If so, then the reality is we are expanded from our origin, not separated from it. 

Belief in separation, with subsequent acts of antagonistic violence exemplifying that belief, is what our mythic religions call “ sin.”

But what if blinky-eyed smiley emoji is right, and we are extensions of original singularity, grown diverse and different — but not detached — in our current and contemporary manifestation of existence/essence, as we entropically dim remembrance and recollection of our true nature, true origin, and true inchoate integral relationality within all being?

Does wisdom wait behind recalcitrant knowledge for our arrival at its hospitality?

“We are poor passing facts.
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.”

(― Robert Lowell, in poem “Epilogue”)

Richard Hugo began his poem “Villager” with the words:

“What's wrong will always be wrong.  I've seen him lean

against the house hours and glare at the sea.  His eyes say

no boat will come.”

I love Lowell and Hugo — their words.

I think, off on the squint horizon, there is a boat coming. There is a living name sounding.

We wait on wharves, restless with anticipation, for this sighting and resonance to appear.

no, it is a word

 The impertinent 

Footling politicians think

They own emptiness —

I despair of this culture

Where wisdom cannot be found

shot-blocking the scholarship guy practice

 Sixty years ago

Walk-on college freshman team —

Still have hoop game socks

dream of bill ferris’ watch

 Never belonging

I walk each periphery

Cat's claws on cardboard —

He ran so fast he threw up

No track coach could retain him

Saturday, October 09, 2021

what do you seek

 A religious life

Is one lived recognizing

Evil is not good

It might stand by the cruel

But it will never be good

waka on woe-some prospects

 The science fiction

novel just finished concludes

humans immature

not ready for wisdom to

advance to next level life

Friday, October 08, 2021

a trinity of ones

 appearing one by

one at door emergency

room welcomes each one

tack

 Do you thank the ground

for holding you up, then for 

covering over

Thursday, October 07, 2021

de nada

Sometimes there is

nothing to say

How fortunate

here’s the whole of it

 From Center for Action and Contemplation, Fr. Richard Rohr writes:

“Ensouled” Animals

Readers of the Daily Meditations may be familiar with the theological and scientific work of Ilia Delio. Today we share a reflection that honors both her Franciscan theology and her personal relationship with a beloved pet. 

It is almost a week since our beloved cat, Mango, was put to sleep. . . 

We had rescued Mango a little more than eight years earlier. . . . He liked to sleep in the chapel and often joined us for prayer in the evening. Mango was real presence. And it is his presence that was sorely missed.

Recent questions in ecology and theology have focused on animal life. Do animals have souls? Do animals go to heaven? Without becoming entangled in theological discourse, I want to say quite clearly that Mango was ensouled. His soul was a core constitutive beingness, a particularity of life that was completely unique, with his own personality and mannerisms. To use the language of [Franciscan philosopher] Duns Scotus, Mango revealed a haecceitas, his own “thisness.” Scotus placed a great emphasis on the inherent dignity of each and every thing that exists. . . .

Each living being gives glory to God by its unique, core constitutive being. . . . To be a creature of God is to be brought into relationship in such a way that the divine mystery is expressed in each concrete existence. Soul is the mirror of creaturely relatedness that reflects the vitality of divine Love.

I did not have to wonder whether or not Mango had a soul. I knew it implicitly by the way he listened to me talking or thinking aloud, the way he sat on my office chair waiting for me to finish writing so he could eat, or simply the way he looked at me—eye to eye—in the early morning, at the start of a new day. Soul existence is expressed in the language of love. . . .

Love makes us something; it makes us alive and draws us in to the dynamism of life, sustaining life’s flow despite many layers of sufferings and disappointments. . . . If God is love, then the vitality of love, even the love of a furry creature, is the dynamic presence of God. . . .

Every creature is born out of the love of God, sustained in love, and transformed in love. Every sparrow that falls to the ground is known and loved by God (cf. Matthew 10:29); the Spirit of God is present in love to each creature here and now so that all creaturely life shares in cosmic communion. . . .

As I reflect on Mango’s death, his haecceitas, and the mystery of love, I have no doubt that his core love-energy will endure. His life has been inscribed on mine; the memory of his life is entangled with my own. My heart grieves for Brother Mango, my faithful companion, but I believe we shall be reunited in God’s eternal embrace.

https://email.cac.org/t/ViewEmail/d/006EA8015EDC48B12540EF23F30FEDED/F62860CEBA66D37F4BD7C9066BE4161D

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

nothing to see here

Bruno’s empty cell


Chartreuse solitude, bells sound


through vacant selfless

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

forcing me to over 65 side of table

 flu-shot, no balloon

no lollie-pop, just smiling

nurse saying I'm done

Monday, October 04, 2021

oh felice giorno

A good day!


Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God’s sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father’s children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(From a letter written to all the faithful by Saint Francis of Assisi)


A good meditation on a way of being-with-others that invites peace, goodness, service, and humility.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

cf 25march2021, late announciation

 Haiku 


                                         (for Tommy, on your death) 


Late have we learned this, 


master of three word phrases -- 


Fondness, for you, yes 


                                                             (wfh/3oct21)


Saturday, October 02, 2021

rēs ipsa loquitur

 I’m here — the phrase holds

Everything that could be said

Itself being true

rapprochement

 After zazen, the Heart Sutra and the Sandokai chants.

And, in colloquy, it seems a rapprochement arises between sandokai and catholic theology.

"Father" is the absolute.

"Son" is the relative.

Holy Spirit is the energetic wholeness encompassing and vivifying absolute/relative, father/son.

It is cosmotheandric complément.

Friday, October 01, 2021

to stave off the loneliness

 Sometimes a paragraph jumps out at you.

Corrigan told me once that Christ was quite easy to understand. He went where he was supposed to go. He stayed where he was needed. He took little or nothing along, a pair of sandals, a bit of a shirt, a few odds and ends to stave off the loneliness. He never rejected the world. If He had rejected it, He would have been rejecting mystery. And if He rejected mystery, He would have been rejecting faith.

(pg.20, from Let the Great World Spin, novel by Colum McCann, 2009)

As it applies to each human being. 

is good for the soul

 I know what’s missing ..

The grace of admission, un-

veiling the hidden

Revealing and bringing in

what longs to be the open

Thursday, September 30, 2021

pu trid

 Sometimes politics

Skunk smell everywhere, today

Is one of those days

sefer

 The records show names

the human race across years

adam, enosh, you

she was an elegant principal

 Owl at dawn wakes me

Reporter’s notebook jotting

Hoot research in dream

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

who is like god

 Celebration of 

Archangels — powers not

Understood —  surround 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

having the touch

Have we lost our sense of taste? 

Become tasteless?

 Central to the interpretation of embodied life is evaluation.

 The ancient term for wisdom, sapientia, comes from sapere, to taste. Sapere-savourer-savoir. This etymological line speaks legions, reminding us that our deepest knowing is tasting and touching. We first sound the world through the tips of our tongues, discerning between savory and unsavory.

Living well is a matter of “savvy,” as we say. Ordinary language knows this, and philosophical language is no more than an extrapolation of what we already know “deep down.” Wisdom, in the end, is about taste and tact. That’s what we mean, isn’t it, when we say that someone sensible is someone sensitive: they have “the touch,” as healer, teacher, artist, lover. They are attentive, careful, tentative. They get it. To have the right touch is to touch and be touched wisely. Touching well is living well.

Hermeneutics begins there: in the flesh.

(--from, What is Carnal HermeneuticsRichard Kearney, 2015, Academia) 

Perhaps we need to interpret our lives with less analysis and more imagination.

Wisdom invites imagination into its room to sit and speak.

What’s wrong isn’t that something is wrong. Rather, it is the unwillingness to say, yes, that’s wrong, and get on enacting what’s right without fear or remaining mired in shame.

“What’s wrong will always be wrong” (Richard Hugo) — but what’s right is each time created new.

Keep in touch.

Monday, September 27, 2021

listening to the news

 Are you worried about the COVID variant?

Do you think the right wing Republicans are really out to cripple all government?

Is it inevitable a militant violent few will begin to execute politicians outside their narrow ideology?


It is, it seems, a dark time.

The worry, the thought, the inevitability all seem a depressing reality on the horizon.

Short term and long term prognoses fail the test of imagination.


A collective deflation of hope.

Those who pray are losing faith.

The rabid nihilists abandon charity.

powód bycia

Doris, our elder, sends her Monday poem.

Today the final two lines catch my attention:

I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility 
that existence has its own reason for being.

              (—from poem, Possibilities” by Wislawa Szymborska)

Raison d’être! 

Such an intriguing phrase. 

Such a ponderable possibility.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

when one’s name is its reality

 Alone-with,

God

just this

 Resurrection is

The realization of 

the True Self — just this

oremus pro invicem

 Sunday morning pray-

er, oh god, make us your own

sheer, invisible

Nothing to cling to, nothing

To let go — merely what is

Saturday, September 25, 2021

why even mention it

 There is something be-

yond this. This is fine. Still, there 

is something beyond

this. I have no idea what 

it is. I cannot grasp it. 

where do you think I am

 God is

Nothing

Out of

The ordinary

Friday, September 24, 2021

alarming mendacity

 Let’s not kid ourselves

some very bad people are

Trying to hurt us

by destroying confidence

in valid voting results 

where we live these days

 The war is on truth

The lie is there is no truth

There’s no future there

Thursday, September 23, 2021

qui tacet consentiri

 the foolish mystic

said nothing to clarify

foggy emptiness

something beyond us

 Is there a space where

Nothing we understand hides

What we cannot know

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

to live is to die unto

It’s what he said as he was dying, what he was about:

 “To die unto God and hope for the best,” (Marcus Borg, 2015)

I’ll sit with that.

plus ca change

 Thanks summer, goodbye

Hey autumn, glad to see you —

That’s that, off for walk

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

why democracy is so slow to find its feet

 Reading Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, written by Sarah Chayes.

The corruption rife in countries that is stronger than any administration attempting to govern.

Suggests why shariah law feels plausible response.

The brazen blatantness of it.

The ethical work needing to be done.

shipwrecks of judgment and chance

 It’s not about what happened.

It’s about what washes up on shore.

 We spend our lives trying to discern where we end and the rest of the world begins. We snatch our freeze-frame of life from the simultaneity of existence by holding on to illusions of permanence, congruence, and linearity; of static selves and lives that unfold in sensical narratives. All the while, we mistake chance for choice, our labels and models of things for the things themselves, our records for our history. History is not what happened, but what survives the shipwrecks of judgment and chance.

(-Maria Popova, from Figuring prelude, in brainpickings

If we are to see clearly truth and wise reality we must learn to swim the troubled waters of illusion through that which is untrue. 

Be buoyant with imagination.

Arrive happy, safe, free, and come to dwell in your true home!

pa gen okenn antre pou soufrans lan *

 Yes, cool crispness ends

summer, clear september air —

pray for each other

Haitians cross the Rio Grande 

horsemen whip them with no love

….  …   …

* there is no entry for the suffering, (Haitian Creole)

Monday, September 20, 2021

monk’s samue (作務衣) covering nothing

sitting zazen gives 

shape to working emptiness 

mind enters, looks, leaves

Sunday, September 19, 2021

seng-ts’an, third zen patriarch

 Have no preferences

Annoying zen master says

As if possible

He wants us to see what is

Here, engage, and be transformed

non-violence and bene-volence

No harm and good willing spirit.

Come in. Sit down. Tea? 

According to the Buddha, the highest dimension of genuine well-being, which never diminishes, stems from knowing the ultimate nature of reality. Such wisdom can be gained only by cultivating superbly discerning capacities of the mind. This includes rigorous training in mindfulness and introspection. A high degree of mental balance and stability is needed to sustain the kind of insight that can radically transform one’s entire being. Moreover, any such mental training must be rooted in the purest levels of ethical discipline that come to permeate every aspect of one’s life. Buddhist ethics essentially boils down to the twin pillars of non-violence and benevolence. These are the indispensable foundations of all Buddhist practice. The Buddha summarized his teachings as a whole like this: “Do not engage in evil behavior of any kind. Devote yourself to a bounty of virtue. Completely subdue your own mind. This is the teaching of the Buddha.”

(—from, A New Paradigm for Science and Religion in the Twenty-First Century (By embracing a new open-mindedness, we may begin to explore the potentials of consciousness, and investigate the powerful role of the mind in the natural world.) By Alan Wallace SEPT 13, 2021 Tricycle)

Don’t mind me.

I’ll be

Sitting

Just

Here.

one and other in(terre)carnated

Six bells Yes ring

Two cars rush toward town coastline

Watched Jesus: His Life

As it is (in/is) heaven

Our father (is/in) heaven

Saturday, September 18, 2021

sie sagt für dich ich bin

 nothing more than tea

farina yogurt berries —

gift apple muffin

five a.m. — two bells

 she wants to pull back

from news, reinstate long view,

hear lamb mom low bleat

Friday, September 17, 2021

αναίσθητος, anaisthetos — "insensate, without feeling"

 Days since surgery

Body rests and mind retires

After deep nothing

shhh

 Zen robe still sitting

Astride wood dining room chair —

Nobody inside, schweig 

not something to reach out hand for

 Being — what we’ve got

Non-Being — what we don’t get —

God is both and none

What we call God is what we 

Long for. What if no grasping?

Thursday, September 16, 2021

renunciation is not an end in itself

 First feel.

Then, see through.

Finally, be what you are going through. 

Transparent presence. 

The first step in the interior life, nowadays, is not, as some might imagine, learning not to see and taste and hear and feel things. On the contrary, what we must do is begin by unlearning our wrong ways of seeing, tasting, feeling, and so forth, and acquire a few of the right ones.

For asceticism is not merely a matter of renouncing television, cigarettes, and gin. Before we can begin to be ascetics, we first have to learn to see life as if it were something more than a hypnotizing telecast. And we must be able to taste something besides tobacco and alcohol: we must perhaps even be able to taste these luxuries themselves as if they too were good. 

How can our conscience tell us whether or not we are renouncing things unless it first of all tells us that we know how to use them properly? For renunciation is not an end in itself: it helps us to use things better. It helps us to give them away. If reality revolts us, if we merely turn away from it in disgust, to whom shall we sacrifice it? How shall we consecrate it? How shall we make of it a gift to God and to men?

In an aesthetic experience, in the creation or the contemplation of a work of art, the psychological conscience is able to attain some of its highest and most perfect fulfillments. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. The mind that responds to the intellectual and spiritual values that lie hidden in a poem, a painting, or a piece of music, discovers a spiritual vitality that lifts it above itself, takes it out of itself, and makes it present to itself on a level of being that it did not know it could ever achieve.

(-from, Reality, Art, & Prayer, in Commonweal Magazine, March 25, 1955, excerpt from Father Merton's ,No Man Is an Island by Harcourt, Brace)

Thomas Merton, like Leonard Cohen, showed us ways of going through.

As did that difficult teacher Robert Lowell.

So many delusions to face and flow through.

Poets call up the second great vow of the bodhisattva, Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to transform them.

Going through and getting through this feeling form with art.

אני

 Place atonement near

All vows extinguishable—

Take me as I am

(詩/诗)

 Shih (poetry) sound

Chinese mountain hermits sip

Tea with clouds passing

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

a gentle man writing songs and poems

 Our Lady of Sorrows and, at sunset, Yom Kippur. 

In mailbox today, Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing (c.2006).

This from Wikipedia:

Cohen was involved with Buddhism beginning in the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist priest in 1996; he continued to consider himself Jewish: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism."[174] Beginning in the late 1970s, Cohen was associated with Buddhist monk and rōshi (venerable teacher) Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, regularly visiting him at Mount Baldy Zen Centerand serving him as personal assistant during Cohen's period of reclusion at Mount Baldy monastery in the 1990s. Sasaki appears as a regular motif or addressee in Cohen's poetry, especially in his Book of Longing, and took part in a 1997 documentary about Cohen's monastery years, Leonard Cohen: Spring 1996. Cohen's 2001 album Ten New Songs is dedicated to Joshu Sasaki. 

In a 1993 interview entitled "I am the little Jew who wrote the Bible," he says, "at our best, we inhabit a biblical landscape, and this is where we should situate ourselves without apology. ... That biblical landscape is our urgent invitation ... Otherwise, it's really not worth saving or manifesting or redeeming or anything, unless we really take up that invitation to walk into that biblical landscape." 

Cohen showed an interest in Jesus as a universal figure, saying, "I'm very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who walked the face of this earth. Any guy who says 'Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek' has got to be a figure of unparalleled generosity and insight and madness ... A man who declared himself to stand among the thieves, the prostitutes and the homeless. His position cannot be comprehended. It is an inhuman generosity. A generosity that would overthrow the world if it was embraced because nothing would weather that compassion. I'm not trying to alter the Jewish view of Jesus Christ. But to me, in spite of what I know about the history of legal Christianity, the figure of the man has touched me."[175]

 In this recuperating bed reading Cohen’s poems, looking at YouTube interview on Scandinavian television  (Al Gore seated next to him), and an interview with David Remnik where he says, “The specific task of the Jew is to repair the face of G-d.”

And this from the book of poems:

ROSHI AT 89   

Roshi's very tired 

he's lying on his bed

He's been living with the living 

and dying with the dead

But now he wants another drink 

(will wonders never cease?)

He's making war on war  

and he's making war on peace

He's sitting in the throne-room 

on his great Original Face

and he's making war on Nothing 

that has something in its place

His stomach's very happy 

the prunes are working well

There's no one going to Heaven 

and there's no one left in Hell


Leonard Cohen

Mt Baldy, California, 1996 

Elsewhere he quotes Simone Weil’s question, “What are you going through?”

And we are given to ponder.

The quiet joy and holy celebration of someone worth listening to and having heard.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

the cross

suffering all four

directions, inner outer —

this earth this life, feel

wake up before dying, ah

In dreams or awake

where everything falls into 

itself, nothing gone

Monday, September 13, 2021

new charlatanism

 Cynicism, thy name…

republican governors,

seeking high office

what the hay

Twilight: After Haying

 

Yes, long shadows go out

from the bales; and yes, the soul

must part from the body:

what else could it do?

 

The men sprawl near the baler, 

too tired to leave the field.

They talk and smoke,

and the tips of their cigarettes

blaze like small roses 

in the night air. (It arrived

and settled among them

before they were aware.)

 

The moon comes 

to count the bales,

and the dispossessed--

Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will

--sings from the dusty stubble.

 

These things happen. . .the soul’s bliss

and suffering are bound together

like the grasses. . .

 

The last, sweet exhalations

of timothy and vetch

go out with the song of the bird; 

the ravaged field

grows wet with dew. 

 

(Jane Kenyon, 1947 - 1995, From Otherwise: New & Selected Poems by Jane Kenyon)

salutation

 What if this was one's final day on earth, final day in the body, final day alive?

What would you say?

Ha!

And thank you for the peanut butter and jam on toasted English muffin.

It has been a joy. 

perspective

From Twitter:

Postcards4USA

@postcards4USA



The September 11, 2001 attack in the United States killed 2977 people.


On September 11, 2021, COVID killed 4409 in the United States.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

no wait

 Here is a koan

(I’m waiting) — For what? (Koan)

Here is what it is

behold what is within without

 If God is inner

Life emptiness itself shapes

Everything outer

Saturday, September 11, 2021

passing through

 names names names names names

ears ears ears hearing these names —

no name no name stays

arriving sorrow

 Suddenly, surprise

Something happens — bang, boom, Oh

No — comes grief trailing

a great fall

The losses
Every day for twenty years
Lives, integrity, face —

War and deceptive character
Turn away a nation
Dishearten a people

Still, we remember the planes
The fires, the awful 
Death and destruction, and are sad

But the other — the cynical making of
Other, the lies and cruelty — America 
Turning on its integrity and itself —

Twenty years of smoke and dust
Making eyes burn and sight fade —
We have been broken, broken in half