Saturday, January 15, 2022

when thinking goes, bad

 Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil.” (― Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)

listening to House

Republican (so-called) lead-

no-shift,  no thinking 

no one woke me

after all night watch

reading and writing I dozed —

eleven thirty

zero minus searing windchill

 ice inside windows

orange sun through cedar tree

furnace, wood stove, puff

loosening our grip on it all

 Can I tell you a story?

(Isn’t that all that I does?)

Buddhism’s critical insight, though, is that those personal stories are just stories, as opposed to nonnegotiable, objective reality; that the selves to which they occur are much less substantial than we tend to assume — and that freedom lies ultimately not in understanding what happened to us, but in loosening our grip on it all, so that “things that feel fixed, set, permanent and unchanging” can start to shift. The goal, in a refreshing counterpoint to the excesses of a certain way of thinking about therapy, isn’t to reach the state of feeling glowingly positive about yourself and your life. It’s to become less entangled with that whole question, so that you get to spend your time on more meaningful things instead.  

(—from,What Unites Buddhism and Psychotherapy? One Therapist Has the Answer,Jan. 11, 2022 nytimes)

If you disentangle a length of line, you’ve done a great deal for what it will, eventually, tie together down the road.

longevity has its place

 Yes, Martin, yes we

can love one another, watch

us, ninety three years

Friday, January 14, 2022

he was, she says, a gentle man

 Blows cold night wind through

zero degrees wood stove holds fire

as friend’s dad leaves life


 Are things collapsing around us? David Brooks asks.

Yep! I respond.

Jean Gebser (1905-1973) called this kind of destabilized structure of rational wobbliness "deficient mental consciousness." It signals the collapse of the structure of consciousness marked by duality, oppositional binary thinking, and elimination of anyone/anything perceived as foreign or enemy. We are clearly there now. The only escape is to allow a change of consciousness. Sort of a herd-community-alterity. (wfh)

There it is.

A newly lettered project.


Herd Community Alterity.

Don't wait for me to sign up.

I'm off somewhere in an irreparable solitude where nothing matters as much as mutated consciousness and a shunyata of absolute nihility suffused with compassionate inclusivity within eremetic spirituality.

Worn with a grouchy gaze in hooded sweatshirt under brown watch cap.

invite a story

 Their hearts gone astray

(Is God’s great love without end?)

No entering rest

from a sangha heard

 Some keep faith, propose

Prayers for Buddhist liturgy —

Refreshing to hear

the day j’accuse thrives

 Hypocrisy is 

Full bore in senate, Mitch, Krys,

Joe, republicans —

The divide is permanent

The cynicism complete

Thursday, January 13, 2022

plato today in conversation

 forget poetry

phenomenology is

how we see things through

η ίδια η αναπνοή*

 breath itself* is, yes,

sufficient, yes, this moment

Yes, this one itself

Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Whose earth is it? And how serious is the belief you can own the ground, buy and sell parcels, shoot and kill someone trespassing?

And will there begin a tax-mapping of the air, the sky, the heavens, deep space?

…Europe and the UK seem to have settled on “a narrow strip of ground.” One proposed name for the next top official of UK Migration is “President for Protecting Our Way of Life,” and the EU commissioner speaks of the need for a “Europe That Defends and Protects”—referring, of course, to the protection of existing members of the European Community, not to migrants who seek refuge there. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was even less equivocal about immigrants in his defense of a little England for Little Englanders. And the America that Trump wished to make “great again” was one that excluded what he called Mexican “rapists and murders” and Africans from “shithole countries.”

(Excerpt from: "Radical Hospitality: From Thought to Action" by Richard Kearney. Scribd.)

Reading book (The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future, by Stephen Marche) about the de-facto divorce and soon-enough sovereignty-secessions within the United States. How our divisions are beyond healing and the political antagonisms becoming bloodthirsty threats loading their guns and manipulating voting systems, burning down birth-control clinics, spraying swastikas on synagogues, refusing to accept legitimate elections, and cultivating obdurate obtuseness over civility and dialogue.

What does it mean to be host (hôte) to one another?

Has hospitality been abdicated and given over to the renting-rooms industry?

Can we receive 'communion' as if it were some human sacrament?

Has our ability to welcome been worn out?

I am not worthy to receive the guest love in this divisive state.

Say the word.

And I

shall be


epistasthai — "know how to do, understand,"

 If you want me dead

you’ll have to kill yourself first —

Then I die, you see

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

do the loving thing

 Sacred interstice

We dwell between ourselves, find

Mystery unveiled

to the things themselves

 realizing joy 

this being unrecognized --

poetry itself

feels like minus one

 feeding wood stove, cold

night grips hard ground ice clear stars

deep space flickering

Monday, January 10, 2022

sole or soul

 Even if you lie

and cheat — good for you, it is 

sole prayer I know

ten days in, a reminder

 Begin again. 

A New Year’s Blessing

The New Year is a powerful time in our lives, and by that I mean in our practice. Through no effort of our own, we arrive at a point of culmination. A moment of reflection and renewal. In this span between what we think of as the old and the new, regret can stir. We may be more aware of our stubborn habits and shortcomings, our losses and the never-ending ache of unfulfillment. Another year gone, and all those things we were going to do! All those changes we were going to make!

This recognition is a rare and momentous blessing, and one to be used. Recognition is all any of us needs to make a change.

My teacher Nyogen Roshi is fond of quoting his teacher, Maezumi Roshi, who said something like, “It is impossible not to do your best. You just don’t think it’s your best.” Every moment arises pure and perfect from conditions as they are. From you, as you are. Our judgment alone, our ego mind, distinguishes best from less, gain from loss and new from old. Judgment alone separates us from the fulfillment we think lies just beyond the precipice of time.

And so I seize this moment to wish you all the best.

I wish you less of what you can live without and more of what you’ve always wanted. Less anger, and less quickness to anger. Less greed, and more open-mindedness. Less judgment, doubt and cynicism, and less of the pain and confusion they create. Less hurry.

Less fear. More of the compassionate love that can only arise in the absence of fear.

I would wish you more time, but you already have it. It only takes a moment to transform your life. A moment of undefiled, nonjudgmental awareness. A moment of practice, and everything everywhere is new again.

Only you can make it so, but I will wish it just the same: your best new year


Well, said! 

Sunday, January 09, 2022

interbeing looks in right place

 Water drips from eaves

Sunday practice — the real, God,

dwelling between us

the shape of everything in the universe

What is the shape of God? 

Can our thinking change? 

 Christians believe that God is formlessness (the Father), God is form (the Son), and God is the very living and loving energy between those two (the Holy Spirit). The three do not cancel one another out. Instead, they do exactly the opposite. Recognizing the Trinity as relationship itself opens conversations with the world of science. This surprising insight names everything correctly at the core—from atoms, to ecosystems, to galaxies. The shape of God is the shape of everything in the universe! Everything is in relationship and nothing stands alone. The doctrine of the Trinity defeats the dualistic mind and invites us into nondual, holistic consciousness. It replaces the argumentative principle of two with the dynamic principle of three. It brings us inside the wonderfully open space of “not one, but not two either.” Sit stunned with that for a few moments.

(—from The Mystery of the Trinity,  Richard Rohr, CAC, 9jjan2022)

 And what did Wallace Stevens mean to convey in his poem?

The Good Man Has No Shape

Through centuries he lived in poverty.
God only was his only elegance.

Then generation by generation he grew
Stronger and freer, a little better off.

He lived each life because, if it was bad,
He said a good life would be possible.

At last the good life came, good sleep, bright fruit,
And Lazarus betrayed him to the rest,

Who killed him, sticking feathers in his flesh
To mock him. They placed with him in his grave

Sour wine to warn him, an empty book to read;
And over it they set a jagged sign,

Epitaphium to his death, which read,

The Good Man Has No Shape, as if they knew.              

        (—poem by Wallace Stevens

We wonder about the shape of things to come.

The Heart Sutra says “form is emptiness, emptiness is form.”

It is hard to hold on to what is (seemingly) not there, as it is equally difficult to hold on to what is (seemingly) there.

This is our practice.

Who would have it?

Who could do without it?

It is Sunday morning — an ungraspable incidence of nomenclature and imagination foraging memory and idea in a field of transience and ephemera.

And yet, and yet, and yet … here we are!

 Sit stunned with that for a few moments.