If you believe some-
thing you believe everything —
Don’t become confused
Three Promises: Meetingbrook m.o.n.o.
Contemplation, Conversation, Correspondence
...as held by Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage“m.o.n.o.”(monastics of no other).
Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage invites & welcomes individuals interested in the practice of these 3 promises in their life. Whether the interest is in conversing, praying, deepening, learning, or even holding these 3 promises, we invite you to enter the inquiry and stillness. May the loving light and the compassionate peace of the Christ and the Bodhisattva accompany and support the efforts of each one.
1. We are going to have to create a new language of prayer. (Thomas Merton, Calcutta 1968)
2. When you go apart to be alone for prayer…See that nothing remains in your conscious mind save a naked intent stretching out toward God. Leave it stripped of every particular idea about God (what he is like in himself or in his works) and keep only the awareness that he is as he is. Let him be thus, I pray you, and force him not to be otherwise. (from Chapter 1 of The Book of Privy Counseling. Anonymous)
3. I long for a great lake of ale. / I long for the men of heaven in my house. / I long for cheerfulness in their drinking. / And I long for Jesus to be there among them. (Brigid, Celtic saint)
4. It is not by closing your eyes that you see your own nature. On the contrary, you must open your eyes wide and wake up to the real situation in the world to see completely your whole Dharma Treasure, your whole Dharma Body. The bombs, the hunger, the pursuit of wealth and power - these are not separate from your nature….You will suffer, but your pain will not come from your own worries and fears. You will suffer because of your kinship with all beings, because you have the compassion of an awakened one, a Bodhisattva. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
5. He who truly attains awakening knows that deliverance is to be found right where he is. There is no need to retire to the mountain cave. If he is a fisherman he becomes a real fisherman. If he is a butcher he becomes a real butcher. The farmer becomes a real farmer and the merchant a real merchant. He lives his daily life in awakened awareness. His every act from morning to night is his religion. (Sokei-an)``
Prosit…May it be beneficial!
In his penultimate show at MSNBC, Brian Williams asks Aaron Sorkin: "What is more difficult for you to watch, when the inarticulate achieve great heights or when the articulate fail to live up to the moment?"
It was, and is, is a good question.
Sorkin chose the first option, saying, as well, how disappointing the second.
Both options to view are disheartening.
If you hear a wise voice, listen to it.
“The only spiritual life you need is not to react.” To be calm is the greatest asset in the world. It’s the greatest siddhi, the greatest power you can have. If you can only learn to be calm you will solve every problem. This is something you must remember. . There is nothing to worry about, nothing to fret over. This is also the meaning of the biblical saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” To be calm is to be still. The Only Spiritual Life You Need Is Not To React!
If you listen carefully, with luck, you will hear what is being said.
If you do -- please -- tell the rest of us.
We have a great longing to listen with the Bodhisattva of Compassion, with Miriam who, conceived and born with wholeness, will bring forth a Jewish Holy Prophet and Christian Anointed One.
Let us humbly and profoundly listen today to the sound of what is being said, deep within and surrounding without!
What some call ‘evil’ and others ‘wrong-headedness’ seems to be always with us. Connivance, conflict, and cynical maneuvering arise with our fellow dwellers and they strain hard to justify and rationalize the naivety of those not behaving in such a manner.
If you are lucky, or resolute in meditative/contemplative practice, you turn down such invitations to deficient expression of human ambiguation.
What is our obligation?
‘What is’ is our obligation.
Act as if things as-it-is, or perhaps, reality-itself, were to be the continuing creation of the world equally good and just with the shaping of your mind, hands, and heart for the benefit of all beings/creatures now and forever.
Be what is coming to be for the love of what-is-holy and true.
Be this — we long for this — let us see it through you.
Be such freedom.
With compassionate grace.
Ainsi soit-il . . .
Bene- fio, become well!
So may we benefit one another!
Here’s what he said, reflectively, during our conversation:
I just noticed
His white electric car quietly arrived and quietly departed as his words quietly revealed something reverberating with several readings and as many interpretations.
It’s a meditation I need to undergo.
Week Forty-Nine: Mystical Hope
The Theological Virtue of Hope
Mystical hope offers us an experience of trust that God’s presence, love, and mercy is in and all around us, regardless of circumstances or future outcome. Father Richard Rohr writes of such hope through our anticipation of Jesus’ coming during Advent:
“Come, Lord Jesus,” the Advent mantra, means that all of Christian history has to live out of a kind of deliberate emptiness, a kind of chosen non-fulfillment. Perfect fullness is always to come, and we do not need to demand it now. The theological virtue of hope keeps the field of life wide open and especially open to grace and to a future created by God rather than ourselves. This is exactly what it means to be “awake,” as the Gospel urges us! We can also use other a words for Advent: aware, alive, attentive, alert are all appropriate. Advent is, above all else, a call to full consciousness and also a forewarning about the high price of consciousness.
When we demand—or “hope for”—satisfaction from one another, when we demand any completion to history on our terms, when we demand that our anxiety or dissatisfaction be taken away, saying as it were, “Why weren’t you this for me? Why didn’t life do that for me?” we are refusing to say, “Come, Lord Jesus.” We are refusing to hold out for the full picture that is always still being given by God.
Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann views hope as trust in what God has done and will do, in spite of evidence to the contrary:
Hope in gospel faith is not just a vague feeling that things will work out, for it is evident that things will not just work out. Rather, hope is the conviction, against a great deal of data, that God is tenacious and persistent in overcoming the deathliness of the world, that God intends joy and peace. Christians find compelling evidence, in the story of Jesus, that Jesus, with great persistence and great vulnerability, everywhere he went, turned the enmity of society toward a new possibility, turned the sadness of the world toward joy, introduced a new regime where the dead are raised, the lost are found, and the displaced are brought home again. 
“Come, Lord Jesus” is a leap into the kind of freedom and surrender that is rightly called the virtue of hope. Hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without full closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves. We are able to trust that Christ will come again, just as Christ has come into our past, into our private dilemmas, and into our suffering world. Our Christian past then becomes our Christian prologue, and “Come, Lord Jesus” is not a cry of desperation but an assured shout of cosmic hope.
…. … …
 Walter Brueggemann, A Gospel of Hope, compiled by Richard Floyd (Westminster John Knox Press: 2018), 104–105.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent (Franciscan Media: 2008), 1–3.
Sitting in swept and folded-up chapel/zendo meditation cabin at twilight dusk last evening in the cold, two candles goldening the empty floor, stick of incense in front of Buddha under wood cross from Austria, sounds of Benedictine nones ending into deeper silence, bundled in shikantaza, until dog and woman monastic arrive following their mountain walk with dear Baptist woman who’d shown us her just-purchased house near Beth’s Farm. Ensō snouted my hands over and over for rubs and pats.
We chant end of day praise refrain, extinguish candles, bow, and step out that lovely space toward house and the making of Florentine spaghetti dish.
The ordinariness of advent.
Where hope is trust in what-is.