Thursday, December 01, 2022

we are one, in the field, of emptiness

all die

some wrote songs

friend in prison


is telling

he tried to take

his life


when life is insane

you exhale

come closer to death


but

didn't

die


lives 

now telling 

me

to be a person of one’s word

Count me in

Brook flowing strong

Bridge remains unreassembled

Still, we cross to other side

nur einmal bitte

 I know why

We do not see

Transcendent God


We are not

Looking

Really


Looking with

Everything at

Itself


Take this to

Heart — there

Unseeing apprehends


Nothing other

Once being

Only one

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

every pain and warning sign

 Michelob ultra empty can

Marlboro mint empty pack

Roadside on Barnestown

Thrown, no doubt, from cars

The profligacy of mindless tossing

Who are these people

From littering alcohol and tobacco

To polluting rivers, lakes, and oceans

To pornography of the mind and spirit

To power sluttiness of corporate profits —

I pick them up

And put one in redemption bag

One in trash for dump

Cast my vote for decency and sanity

Then sit in silence and stillness breathing

Noting every pain and warning sign

De-escalation and defenestration

As ground rises to stop the falling

Ending what we cannot sustain or fix

We disappear

Not to be

Seen nor

Heard

From

Again

the ability to keep their leaves yearlong and with special healing powers

Co-monastic brings sprig of  green into room down from mountain during zoom class with student at Charleston Correctional Facility as we talk about Carl Gustave Jung, Keiji Nishitani, Jean Gebser, and Juan Ramon Jimenez. 

It was a day of responses to challenges that determine the staying power on democracy, civilization, and decency in our midst. 

We look for light to move through darkness.

 While the jury was handing down its verdict in the case of Stewart Rhodes, who said on tape that he would “hang f*ckin’ Pelosi from the lamppost,” Speaker Pelosi was lighting the Capitol Christmas tree with fourth-grader Catcuce Micco Tiger, who is a citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and has ancestry from the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. 

Tiger won the role of youth tree lighter with an essay sharing the Cherokee origin story for evergreen trees. “After creating all plants and animals,” Pelosi explained, “our Creator asked them to fast, pray, and stay awake for seven nights. But at the end, only a few were awake. The trees that stayed awake were rewarded with the ability to keep their leaves yearlong and with special healing powers. It is a story of faith and gratitude—of hope enduring through the dark night.”

“And,” Pelosi added, “it is hope that we celebrate each holiday season—that through the cold and dark winter, spring will someday come.”  

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who defended the Capitol against the Oath Keepers on January 6, heard the jury’s verdict, then watched the tree lighting.

Heather Cox Richardson, 29nov2022  

As dawn quietly presents itself for our consideration.

One inch at a time. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

nothing else is

 “Trust no one,” is what the incarcerated man said.

A zen practitioner might say, “Trust? MU! One.”

Only One Is; “nothing else” is.

There is so much to unlearn.

Monday, November 28, 2022

i am this one

 Three poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez, first two translated by Robert Bly:

1.

Oceans

  I have a feeling that my boat
has struck, down there in the depths,
against a great thing.
                    And nothing
happens! Nothing...Silence...Waves...

    --Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?


2.

I Am Not I

I am not I.
              I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
the one who remains silent while I talk,
the one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
the one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
the one who will remain standing when I die.

 

 3


New Voice

Whose is this voice? Whence sounds
this voice, celestial and silvery,
which with delicate leaf pierces lightly
the iron silence of my pain!

   Tell me, blue whiteness of the lily,
tell me, light of the morning star,
tell me, coolness of water flowing at evening,
what do you know of this good and simple voice?

   …Voice that bids me turn my eyes, sad
and joyful, upon what golden crystal of glory
in which the angel sings his alleluia!

   …That is from no mouth or lute that there is,
that has come from out of no story…
Whose, whose are you, voice that are not your own?


(Poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez, 1881-1958)

Sunday, November 27, 2022

προανάκρουσμα είναι διαχρονικό*

 What are you doing?

      I’m waiting.


Waiting for what?

      I don’t know.


Well, look out for yourself.

      I am.


(Looking precedes

essence and existence)


Will I see you again?

      No! 


*(prelude is 

timeless)

Saturday, November 26, 2022

τι είναι αυτό (what is this)

 Consider this! It is always as it is, this is.


This is who I am. And where I am.


This is What Is appearing in the world.


Imagine this! 

Begin again, here with this!


This, this, is, the Only One


Showing Itself ten thousand ways

Friday, November 25, 2022

if you want to practice fourth noble truth

The Noble Eightfold Path

  1. Right understanding (Samma ditthi)
  2. Right thought (Samma sankappa)
  3. Right speech (Samma vaca)
  4. Right action (Samma kammanta)
  5. Right livelihood (Samma ajiva)
  6. Right effort (Samma vayama)
  7. Right mindfulness (Samma sati)
  8. Right concentration (Samma samadhi)
  9.                      https://tricycle.org/magazine/noble-eightfold-path/

he's gonna get himself an ass-kicking

Tillie has something to say: 

 I don't know who God is but if I meet him anytime soon I'm going to get Him in the corner until he tells me the truth.

    I'm going to slap him stupid and push Him around until he can't run away. Until He's looking up at me and then I'll get Him to tell me why He's done what He done to me and what He done to Corrie and why do all the good ones die and where is Jazzlyn now and why she ended up there and how He allowed me to do what I done to her.

    He's going to come along on His pretty white cloud with all His pretty little angel's flapping their pretty white wings and I'm gonna out and say it formal. Why the fuck did you let me do it, God?

    And He's gonna drop His eyes and look to the ground and answer me. And if He says Jazz ain't in heaven, if He says she didn't make it through, He's gonna get himself an ass-kicking. That's what He's gonna get.

    An ass-kicking like none He ever got before.

(p.230, Let The Great World Spin, novel by Colum McCann)

 McCann doesn't capitalize the 'h' in himself in penultimate paragraph. What to make of that? And Tillie as character having all those references to He and Him and His. 

How quaint to want to box God's ears, force a confession, a relenting admission of errancy and lack of consideration, refusal to script an idyllic pasture for bucolic wandering. 

Rather, Tillie worked the stroll under the Major Deegan.

She's got enough of God to know how to give the what-for to the who's-that.

Something to think about when we're not sure what to think.

third

 There's a way through suffering.

Right? 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

pills taken

 In the end, washing up, Apfelkuchen with whipped cream, all retire.

Gratefully.

the first

 Yes, there is suffering in the world.

Be kind.

It could help someone through.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

the second

 If you want someone to be other than they are, you suffer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

aliis laetus, sibi sapiens

With a student at the Charleston Correctional Facility, during class on Jung and Philosophy, after Alain de Botton’s video on Nietzsche, “How to Find Yourself (Existentialism)”, we glance at Nietzsche on Schopenhauer as Educator:

 Schopenhauer has a second quality in common with Montaigne, as well as honesty: a cheerfulness that really cheers. Aliis laetus, sibi sapiens [cheerful for others, wise for himself]. For there are two very different kinds of cheerfulness. The true thinker always cheers and refreshes, whether he is being serious or humorous, expressing his human insight or his divine forbearance; without peevish gesturing, trembling hands, tear-filled eyes, but with certainty and simplicity, courage and strength, perhaps a little harshly and valiantly but in any case as a victor: and this it is—to behold the victorious god with all the monsters he has created—that cheers one most profoundly. The cheerfulness one sometimes encounters in mediocre writers and bluff and abrupt thinkers, on the other hand, makes us feel miserable when we read it: the effect produced upon me, for example, by David Strauss' cheerfulness. One feels downright ashamed to have such cheerful contemporaries, because they compromise our time and the people in it before posterity. This kind of cheerful thinker simply does not see the sufferings and the monsters he purports to see and combat; and his cheerfulness is vexing because he is deceiving us: he wants to make us believe that a victory has been fought and won. For at bottom there is cheerfulness only when there is a victory; and this applies to the works of true thinkers just as much as it does to any work of art. Let its content be as dreadful and as serious as the problem of life itself: the work will produce a depressing and painful effect only if the semi-thinker and semi-artist has exhaled over it the vapor of his inadequacy; while nothing better or happier can befall a man than to be in the proximity of one of those victors who, precisely because they have thought most deeply, must love what is most living and, as sages, incline in the end to the beautiful. They speak truly, they do not stammer, and do not chatter about what they have heard; they are active and live truly and not the uncanny masquerade men are accustomed to live: which is why in their proximity we for once feel human and natural and might exclaim with Goethe: "How glorious and precious a living thing is! how well adapted to the conditions it lives in, how true, how full of being!" [Goethe: Italienische Reise, Oct. 9, 1786.]

I am describing nothing but the first, as it were physiological, impression Schopenhauer produced upon me, that magical outpouring of the inner strength of one natural creature on to another that follows the first and most fleeting encounter; and when I subsequently analyze that impression I discover it to be compounded of three elements, the elements of his honesty, his cheerfulness and his steadfastness. He is honest because he speaks and writes to himself and for himself, cheerful because he has conquered the hardest task by thinking, and steadfast because he has to be. His strength rises straight and calmly upwards like a flame when there is no wind, imperturbably, without restless wavering. He finds his way every time before we have so much noticed that he has been seeking it; as though compelled by a law of gravity he runs on ahead,

Untimely Meditations, Third Part 1874 Schopenhauer as Educator* (Selected Text) by Friedrich Nietzsche, https://la.utexas.edu/users/hcleaver/330T/350kPEENietzscheSchopenTable.pdf


Honesty, cheerfulness, and steadfast imperturbability -- the law of gravity bringing us to poetry as we read Ellen Bass poem:

The Thing Is



to love life, to love it even

when you have no stomach for it

and everything you’ve held dear

crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,

your throat filled with the silt of it.

When grief sits with you, its tropical heat

thickening the air, heavy as water

more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you down like your own flesh

only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, How can a body withstand this?

Then you hold life like a face

between your palms, a plain face,

no charming smile, no violet eyes,

and you say, yes, I will take you

I will love you, again.



- Poem by Ellen Bass

From Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems 

Then, talking about Nietzsche's Amor fati,  we finish with poem by Mary Oliver:

When Death Comes


     by Mary Oliver

When death comes 
like the hungry bear in autumn; 
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut; 
when death comes 
like the measle-pox

when death comes 
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: 
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything 
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, 
and I look upon time as no more than an idea, 
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common 
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth, 
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something 
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life 
I was a bride married to amazement. 
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder 
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened, 
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

( Poem by Mary Oliver)

We think about Buddha's first Noble Truth, that there is suffering.

We also think about Jesus' taking on suffering, not eliminating it.

And we're grateful to think about all this together.

Cheerfulness and wisdom. for ourselves, for others, this week of gratefulness! 

Monday, November 21, 2022

a collaborator, an accomplice

Reading discussion with Prison Education Partnership Fellows.

"If we really wish to know how justice is administered," James Baldwin tells us in No Name in the Street, we must "go to the unprotected-those, precisely, who need the law's protection most!-and listen to their testimony.... Ask the wretched how they fare in the halls of justice," he writes, "and then you will know, not whether or not the country is just, but whether or not it has any love for justice, or any concept of it."   (in Halfway Home, Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, by Reuben Jonathan Miller

We must become creators of personal story.

Because the story being sold these days by sorry narrators telling bad stories is too discouraging to live by.    

 It's not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yoursel£ You become a collaborator, an accomplice of your own murderersbecause you believe the same things they do.      (-James Baldwin, Dialogue)


Haiku

        (for conversation)

    

Tell me

        a story


worth hearing

        full of wonder


where each

        is Itself

Sunday, November 20, 2022

only one

If someone says, “You are the ‘only one’ for me,” what have we heard?

“Only One” as a universal, and “only one” as a particular, might come closer for me to clarify this final celebration of the liturgical year in the Christian calendar which is called Christ the King, a designation I’ve not (as yet) warmed to, the notion of king making no impression on my metaphoric sensibilities which feel drawn more to “Only One” in its place.

Richard Kearney writes about Abhishiktananda (Henri le Saux) and his sense of inclusion and (in my words) undifferentiated suchness.

But there is more. As death approaches, Abhi’s interreligious convictions become even clearer. He has moved from being a Christian guest to his Hindu host to becoming a host in his own right. In the Spirit, guest and host become interchangeable. he timeless I AM of Christ and Purusha traverse historical divisions. On February 17, 1973, he claims that:

The mythos of the Purusha (Spirit) is wider than that of Christos; not only does it include the cosmic and metacosmic aspect of the mystery, but it is also free from the attachment to time entailed by the mythos of Christ. Rather it recognizes all the symbolic value contained in the mystery of Time, but refuses to compress the absolute separately into a particular point of time.

“The Purusha,” Abhi insists, “is simply there, like the Atman, Sat, Brahman, once the human being awakes to himself. ‘Before Abraham was, I am’.” In short, the mystery of the divine is greater than any particular confessional mythos in time, place, and history. It is transconfessional and transhistorical, without denying the indispensable need for symbolic, ritual instantiations. In the same entry, Abhi goes on to see the “symbols of Christ” as “bearers of universality” and ofers this explanation: “They radiate their Catholicity (ecumenism = universality). The hey exist ad (toward) the totality, pros (toward) the totality = sarvam prati!” And he follows this immediately with one of his most radical claims for interreligious communion—a key statement for my case: “A restricted Eucharist is false. ‘Leave your offering before the altar!’... Whoever ‘loves’ his brother has a right to the Eucharist.” To host the stranger from other religions has now become the ultimate meaning of the Communion Host.

These end-of-life insights into interconfessional hospitality were accompanied by some of Abhi’s most acute theological reflections. Several weeks later, struggling with illness as he prepared a series of lectures for the Jesuit faculty at Delhi (Vidyajyoti) on Christology, Abhi penned some extremely subtle journal entries on the question of the “unicity” and “uniqueness” of Christ. The singularity of Christ becomes the very basis of his university. In one particular entry, he suggests that the most elective “only one” contains the most expansive “only one.” The ostensible paradox, he insists, contains a sacred mystery, calling for a delicate balance between unique election and inclusive embrace. He offers the following articulation of this astonishing insight:

If Christ is the “only one” for me ... may I discover in him the glory of the Only One. And what does it matter if I discover the glory of the Only One in whatever created form there may be! For the glory of the Only One is in all one. his alone is important: that Christ should be Everything for me. ... Let every human being be the only one for me, my everything to whom I give myself totally. In this alone I will have the experience of the Only One. (March 22, 1973)

(pp 142-143 in Chapter 11 TOWARD AN OPEN EUCHARIST by Richard Kearney, from Ritual Participation and Interreligious Dialogue Boundaries, Transgressions and Innovations, Edited by Marianne Moyaert and Joris Geldhof, 2016

Just as the relationship between samsara and nirvana has a unicity about them, so too the relative and the absolute, as well as the particular and the whole.

As the earth turns, light returns. Light and dark are in one another. Our philology invites us to unfragment our mind and encircle what is presenting itself.

This, from  139 – Suchness: Awakening to the Preciousness of Things-As-It-Is! by  | Jun 22, 2020 | Buddhist Teachings:

. In the same way, everything we perceive has relative aspects, has time, space, causation, individuality, good and bad, but there’s another way to perceive reality. Reality has another aspect in which we recognize that all of these things, good and bad, the boundaries we draw between individuals, in a way these are all just ideas. When we let go of those ideas, we just see everything as one in its essential being. Sometimes I’ll say things like: in the absolute there is no good or bad; in the relative, there’s good and bad; in the absolute there’s no self or other good or bad. Sometimes saying in the absolute, in the relative, it sounds like there are two different places, and that most of the time I’m in the relative, but sometimes I’m in the absolute. The limitations of language definitely show up there.

Lately I’ve been testing a different way to describe it, which is: Reality has two natures, the particular versus the whole. The particular, of course, it’s true that reality has individuals and individuals interact. There are positive and negative repercussions of actions. This is the way that we usually experience reality. At the same time, reality is a seamless whole, if you will. It’s just as it is. When experienced that way, the particulars can be true, but they don’t ruin the wholeness. Everything is included. 

This is kind of a strange analogy, but I kind of imagine this is like if you were caught up in a drama and you were concerned about your well-being and who was doing what and what was going to happen next. It could be full of angst or excitement, but if you somehow realized that all of this was part of a movie or a novel and this novel or this movie has a point, has an artistic arc, and when you stood back, you could see it was just all part of the story. When we’re watching a movie, for instance, we don’t think, “Oh, no, how could that happen to that person?” The happening is just all just part of the story. It’s a very difficult concept to get across, but in any case, what we usually call the absolute aspect of reality, the essential, the wholeness, the things as it is, how we perceive things directly, when we’re not interpreting them through our mental map or our self interest, we just see things in this whole way

 https://zenstudiespodcast.com/suchness-things-as-it-is/

Perhaps, as so many suggest, it comes down to (or rises up to) only love.

Which version speaks best to us?

https://youtu.be/364qY0Oz-xs (Neil Young)

https://youtu.be/5J_QoDrNhNo (Gene Pitney)

Or is it easier to say

Having no preferences

Only One

Suffices

Saturday, November 19, 2022

and you, what do you think

 Yes?

       I think so.

Good.

        Yes!

I, too, think so.

dark with sky filled stars.

Co-monastic sends Saturday morning meditation: 

 The Sacred Pulse of Night and Day

“Dark and light work in a reciprocal relationship to affirm true nature… the divine darkness may be our greatest ally rather than a danger to be feared.”

– Deborah Eden Tull

Words she finds in Dewdrop, 17nov22.

“In the dark, the activity of the conscious mind was composted and what remained was a vast empty expanse for integration, regeneration, serenity, and other forms of knowing.”

The monastery in the Sierras was fully removed from society and city lights, so once again the night sky confirmed my tiny place in the vast universe. I was completely alone in the night, accompanied by only the spirit of darkness and my own thoughts. In the nocturnal darkness, there was nothing to do but be in open space. At first, I had to face my tendency to fill this empty space with thought, as in sitting meditation, I gradually began to let that go, however, and surrender to empty space. In the dark, the activity of the conscious mind was composted and what remained was a vast empty expanse for integration, regeneration, serenity, and other forms of knowing. I became keenly aware of my dream activity and the gestation and deeper communication that seemed to occur in the solitude of the night. 

(xcerpt from D. Tull's book! Luminous Darkness: An Engaged Buddhist Approach to Embracing the Unknown.)

An added couplet completes:

awakening early these days this speaks volumes.
and walking dog late in day now dark with sky filled stars.
(/s)

Friday, November 18, 2022

when metaphors sit with hands on face

 Light, the

Obvious

Showing the

Oblivious

acknowledgment — anerkennung

Reading proposal from MSP resident for course on Existentialism and Aletheia (disclosure/truth)

He left the book selection for Hegel unfinished. 

 Like Kant, Hegel thinks that one’s capacity to be conscious of some external object as something distinct from oneself requires the reflexivity of self-consciousness, that is, it requires one’s awareness of oneself as a subject for whom something distinct, the object, is presented as known (a result emerging in Chapter 3). Hegel goes beyond Kant, however, and expanding on an idea found in Fichte, makes this requirement dependent on one’s recognition (or acknowledgment—Anerkennungof other self-conscious subjects as self-conscious subjects for whom any object of consciousness will be thought as also existing. One’s self-consciousness, in fact, will be dependent on one’s recognition of those others as similarly recognizing oneself as a self-conscious subject. Such complex patterns of mutual recognition constituting objective spirit thereby provide the social matrix within which individual self-consciousnesses can exist as such. It is in this way that the Phenomenology can change course, the earlier tracking of shapes of individual consciousness and self-consciousness effectively coming to be replaced by the tracking of distinct patterns of mutual recognition between subjects—shapes of spirit—that forms the ground for the existence of those individual consciousnesses/self-consciousnesses.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hegel/

 Perhaps Phenomenology of Spirit (1806).


Consciousness and Spirit -- worthy of investigation.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

some good writing here

Michael Gerson,  (May 15, 1964 – November 17, 2022) (Rest in Peace)


Speechwriter and Washington Post Opinion writer. He gave a talk in 2019.


Here’s his talk at the National Cathedral: February 17, 2019: Sunday Sermon by Michael Gerson, National Cathedral

https://youtu.be/xYu4xKGRi8Q

impossibility of becoming what you think you are

 Become your self? But

There is no separate self

Become no other

No need to cultivate what

Cannot stand in for Itself

η σοφία είναι το έδαφος kαι nα εισαι αυτό κάθε αυτό*

                    * wisdom is the ground of existence and Being Itself  

 All sapience here

Obvious to everyone

An open clear source 

Any mind could see and grasp

Direct, unveiled, revealing 

                     η σοφία είναι το έδαφος και είσαι όλο αυτό**

                      **wisdom is the ground and you are all of it    


(*+**/wfh)

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

on the one hand

I'd like to say thank you to the decent and kind living in our midst.


You make life a little bit more accommodating and peaceful.


Something to look forward to.


I suspect we’ll be entering the time of irrelevant theatrics and posturing political harlequins with the new house majority.

Too bad.

It would be a great time to ensure service and protection to a decent, yet uneasy, populace. 

who are you

 I am not now

Nor ever have I been

A member of 

Anything demanding

I relinquish (yes) you

the operation was a success, but our patience is dying

Some would say that to know what is good you have to know what is not good.


I’m glad to listen to the political crazies as they announce this and that, warp truth, and rail at reality.


They will invite, unintentionally, the good to be known.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

forks in sink until tomorrow

 Apple-blueberry 

Pie box folded into bag

To be recycled

Like criminal former guy

Scamming another payday

don't throw it out, own it

shadow work is this:

to undivide by owning 

everything there -- you

Monday, November 14, 2022

podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrá detener la primavera. (pablo neruda)

There is a faith deeper than any religion's.

It dwells in the experience of poetry.

Which, in itself, is neither aesthetic nor literary.

Rather, ontologically sensible, neurologically ecstatic, deathly revealing.

As we face our own era of rising authoritarianism and new sets of complexities and injustices to resist, the question remains: Does poetry have the power to effect change? We can write “drop poetry not bombs” on fliers, but the hard truth is that one poem alone cannot protect dreamers from being deported or restrain an unfit president. And yet, Neruda illuminates how poetry’s poignant nature—its unique power of distillation—can create change through a cumulative, collective effort: one by one, like gathering drops, each time a poem comes into contact with a person’s consciousness—whether read by a 1930’s Spanish Republican soldier or heard on the radio or penned afresh—it incites the possibility for a shift in perspective or an urge toward action. Poetry can energize, inform, and inspire. This alone won’t stop bombs, but when taken together with all the direct actions of a social movement—marches, relentless grassroots organizing, seven thousand shoes placed on the U.S. Capitol lawn—Neruda has shown us how poetry can be an emotionally potent ingredient in the greater transformative efforts of resistance.

The effectiveness of Neruda’s poetry is proven by its endurance, how often people reach for and evoke his works as a tool to galvanize, to awaken, to sustain. In San Francisco, during the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Neruda’s words were draped on banners over the streets: “Tyranny cuts off the head that sings, but the voice at the bottom of the well returns to the secret springs of the earth and out of the darkness rises up through the mouth of the people.” Nearly a decade later, the Egyptian art historian Bahia Shehab spray-painted Neruda’s words on the streets of Cairo during the Arab Spring: “You can cut all the flowers, but you can’t stop spring.” Five years later, during the January 2017 Women’s March, those same words of Neruda that had appeared in Cairo would grace posters bearing the original Spanish:“Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrá detener la primavera.

Instances of social injustice, war, and the los of liberal democracy call us off the sidelines and into action. Neruda drastically adapted his poetry in response to crisis. At the start of the Spanish Civil War, he abandoned his desolate, introverted experimental poetry in favor of a decisive style, one that would compel others into action.

Whether we’re poets, teachers, readers, activists, or ordinary citizens who care about the world, we, too, can transform the way we express ourselves. In the era of social media, we don’t need to make pulp out of flags to transmit our message to the troops of resistance. We can all speak. We can all be part of the dialogue. And poetry can be part of the collective way we, in Neruda’s words, “explain some things.” From Neruda and others we can see how the act of expressing ourselves, and the act of hearing, are core components of resistance—and of poetry’s unique, enduring power.

(--from, What We Can Learn from Neruda’s Poetry of Resistanceby  , The Paris Review, March 26, 2018)

Many people I know dislike poetry

Or they patronize it

Like collectors of tusk or horn from large slaughtered beasts

They have not found poetry in the darkness of their unknowing sleep

Or in unforgiven protestations of an innocence that does not belong to them

No...

Poetry

has not yet

slit their throat

slaying separative

distance from one's own true word

cat, in from cold porch, settles on lap

 It is too dark too soon

this middle november

too cold of a sudden

late afternoon drear


i want to climb into bed

fall asleep under comforter

Instead, vespers from France

by way of tune-in on old mac


this hermitage of splayed 

imagination where medieval

consciousness senses hut

with cookfire tomato soup


monk meditating on mysteries

too subtle for his intelligence

an inner voice too indecipherable

an understanding far too obvious


one by one they drop away

interests in anything outside

leaving me inside everything

where nothing is its own


completely so

and anything not nothing

cannot sustain externality

falling back into nothing there  

Sunday, November 13, 2022

inside, out

 God 

Is not

Outside


You


Are 

inside

God


(As it

were, as 

You are)

Saturday, November 12, 2022

the lying sleeps tonight

               (a celebratory haiku)

 Blue skies overhead

Even in the darkest night 

Nothing but blue skies

practice means making one’s way through

 An old man is one

Knowing death walks slow and close

Foggy morning trees

la nuit, porcupine

 The bright flashing lights

The single shot at roadside

Rainy night Friday 

Friday, November 11, 2022

remembrance day, veteran’s day

 Thank you!

if you want to go where no one has gone

 The not divided

Individual is one

With no two, just this

Thursday, November 10, 2022

still within/upon us

There’s something about the “O”. Whether it is seen as the letter “O” — round, whole, exclamatory, implorative — or as the number “0” (zero) — emptiness, nothingness, adding nothing, taking nothing away — there is a full theology of God for us to consider.

Deus, in adiutórium meum inténde.

 Dómine, ad adiuvándum me festína.

O God, come to our aid.

 O Lord, make haste to help us.

In an age of fantasy superheroes, God is not that.

I don’t know what God is. So, let’s start there. Or, rather, let’s start here.

Perhaps God is “what-is here.” 

What-is

Here.

For a Thursday morning, it’s enough for now. 

“Now”, which is, it is said, the only consistent and constant reality/time.

Here/Now.

Or,

Now/Here.

Outside my window, night is still upon us.

Still within us.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

until there’s enough information, or, a drop of wisdom

 I’m tired of the perseverating 

explanations of the elections.

I have no conclusions.— hence,

Creativity turns and bows

votes count

Politics is messy.

At times it’s hard to locate anything on your desk


It’s not a problem.

What is lost is only lost.

Find out what matters.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

or italiano bagel with veggie cream cheese

Scripture Reading! Isaiah 55:1

Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;

though you have no money, come!

Buy corn without money, and eat,

and, at no cost, wine and milk.

election day

 Choose well! 

Heaven is kindness and loving concern.

Hell is divisive animosity and small minded cruelty.

Choose well…stay out of hell!

Monday, November 07, 2022

blue

I don’t think that insincere mistruthing has a future.

Truth and sincere leadership does.

This Election Day must begin an authentic future.

Else, I’d prefer not to imagine


Vote 


Because

Love

Understands

Everything 


Begin

Liberation

Uphold

Everyone

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Saturday, November 05, 2022

furtive deer crosses anchor drive as i leave

             (for brief friend sitting with him after his death)

 We are 

Still when

We are 

Dead


Grouse

Passes

Patio door


Right to left

Leaf

Falls to

Ground


Nothing

Going on

Within


Alive or dead

We

Sit with

One another


Let’s say

Prayer is

What 


Is 

Gathering 

Us

Together


          (wfh/5nov2022)

the nothing that concerns itself with us

The place from which we think we are departing, the place to which we think we are journeying, these places are nothing to be concerned with, nothing, that is, concerning, nothing that concerns itself with us.

What is the nothing that concerns itself with us?

Nishida Kitarō initiated his philosophy of place (basho 場所) in 1926 with the ontological premise that to be is to be implaced (Z3 415).1 Things are predicated upon the concrete place of their being. Initially this place was sought within and below the interior depths of consciousness as encompassing the subject and object of cognition. But through the 1930s Nishida turns his gaze outward to the socio-historical world (shakaiteki rekishiteki sekai 社会的歴史的世界) as the environing horizon of things. The further one inquires into the placial conditions of being whether internally or externally, however, the horizon recedes without provision of the ultimate why of beings. The metaphysical absolute in that sense, for Nishida, withdraws into the darkness of in- definition. The ultimate wherein of beings, undelimited and undifferentiated, thus proves to be a nothing(mu無). Nishida famously designated this t he“place of absolute nothing”(zettaimuno bahso 絶対無の場所). It is a place that eludes positive description at its most concrete level, and yet in its very no-thingness, opens the space for—and envelops—things in their mutual differentiations, delimitations, and oppositions. Now from the very inception of this theory of place, Nishida spoke of this dimension as the “religious” (shūkyōteki 宗教的). He meant this in the sense that one encounters therein one’s existential nullity via death that finitizes one’s being vis-à-vis the nothing. 

But by1945 Nishida has come to depict the other that finitizes one’s being in conspicuously religious terms, using both Buddhist and Christian concepts. By this time his characterization of this place of absolute nothing as “God” (kami 神) or “the absolute one” (zettaisha 絶対者) becomes pronounced and frequent 

)from, "Kenotic Chorology as A/theology in Nishida and Beyond", https://www.academia.edu/41396479/Kenotic_Chorology_as_A_theology_in_Nishida_and_Beyond_Risshō_University_June_2017, by John Krummel

There's nothing passing just now between this meditation cabin and the green yurt up by the brook. Yesterday five deer curled to the land next to hermitage and crossed Barnestown Road. It is hunting season. Shots can be heard.

This morning's practice held everyone close in gratitude and appreciation of love and compassion.

There is nothing between us and within us.

If you feel things should be other than they are, think nothing of it.

There are, and will be, for us, practices of allowing to be that which longs to be a place of repose, repair, and realization of the nothing within us and the nothing without.


Friday, November 04, 2022

the difference a day makes

I listen to him

breathing, the struggle, each breath

a harsh reminder

Thursday, November 03, 2022

w-here are you

 Here

What is here

Is the poem

Don’t go there

There’s no there there

Here is the sole reality

Here is w-here you are

You are the creativity of the cosmos

Here

And now

You are being written

You are the poem of what longs to be written real

Here’s the poem

Be what is here

The poem is being written

Learn to read

Every instant is the origin of learning

Here I am

(Lord)

Here I am

Double-you

Here w-e are

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

nuff said

Here’s a poem

prayer is becoming one’s own self

 I see you

Seeing me

Seeing you

To engage emptiness, that open space between organized religion and personal expressions of the sacred, we step into the mirror, or the “One Mirror.” What does it mean to step into the mirror? It means that all reflecting-of-other is done away with. It means that there is no you, no I, to be reflected back. This is not an eradicating or destruction of what we typically think of as “me” – rather, it is a recognition of our true identity, what Jung called the Selbstverwirklichung, “the Self realizing itself.” Jung wrote in “Conscious, Unconscious, and Individuation,” in theArchetypes and the Collective Unconsciousness, that:

Individuation means becoming a single, homogeneous being, and, in so far as “individuality” embraces our innermost, last, and incomparable uniqueness, it also implies becoming one’s own self. We could therefore translate individuation as “coming to selfhood” (zum eigen Selbst werden, “becoming one’s own Self”) or “self-realization” (Selbstverwirklichung, “the Self realizing itself”).

If stepping into the mirror were possible, would it be a desirable thing to do? And even if desirable, who would do it?

http://www.meetingbrook.org/tpr_engagingemptiness.htm

Seeing you

Is

Seeing me

Is

What

I am

Seeing 

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

just the same

 Saints, preserve and protect us!

 

                        

On Prayer

 

You ask me how to pray to someone who is not.


All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridge


And walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard.


Above landscapes the color of ripe gold


Transformed by a magic stopping of the sun.


The bridge leads to the shore of Reversal


Where everything is just the opposite and the word ”is”


Unveils a meaning we hardly envisioned.


Notice: I say we: there, every one, separately,


Feels compassion for others entangled in the flesh


And knows that if there is no other shore


We will walk the aerial bridge just the same.



 

Poem by Czeslaw Milosz

 

 We are wonderfully different, and just the same, all at once.

Monday, October 31, 2022

yes it is thinly understood

 In prison conversation he said in his tradition the 31st is a day not a day and a night not a night.

It is a between. Between time. Between place. Between end and beginning.

Then the wonderful ambiguous and varied phrasing: “It is all about me.”

Think of that phrase’s meaning traveling in many directions at once.

It is

All about

Me!

Sunday, October 30, 2022

nearby and worldwide

In “The Thin Place” of All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day, the worlds of the known and the unknown are only thinly separated.


It is a rare invitation to all integrity-loving people. 


Let’s take that time to reevaluate and reconstitute our commitment to living without separation and without exclusion with our familiars and vast families nearby and worldwide.


It’s a perfect time to clear and change our hearts.


Let’s!

conclusions they do not care about or watch

 Sometimes a poem inadvertantly captures the zeitgeist of a country and a time in such a way as to send shivers.

 POEM 


 

Form is the woods: the beast, 


a bobcat padding through red sumac, 


the pheasant in brake or goldenrod 


that he stalks—both rise to the flush, 


the brief low flutter and catch in air; 


and trees, rich green, the moving of boughs 


and the separate leaf, yield 


to conclusions they do not care about 


or watch—the dead, frayed bird, 


the beautiful plumage, 


the spoor of feathers 


and slight, pink bones.



Poem by Jim Harrison; (First poem in Jim Harrison: Complete Poems, 2021)

 

Perhaps a stark variation on "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" of the Heart Sutra. 


This is our self.


We might not see it.


Until the pounce.


Ours or an-other's.