Saturday, February 12, 2022


 He was president —

such dangerous deluded 

shadows in the dark

saturday colloquy

Do you think we are

happy? (No pause) — Yes, we are —

Then the fence, complete

no abandonment, no attainment, no annihilation, no eternality, no cessation, no arising.

The words of the song  We Don’t Need Another Hero”

Was not familiar with lyrics. Had not seen film. And yet, even in non-apocalyptic present day, so much oppression and terror.

In a forum, asked and answered:

What does life beyond the Thunderdome mean?

"There's gotta be something better OUT THERE." (i.e. Beyond thunderdome.) Out there is beyond the dome of the our world of oppression and terror. So, they are doomed to vain hopes of something better that could be located beyond their thunderdome.       Feb 19, 2012 (

We’ve had heros We have heros. Our histories, poems, and myths are replete with them. 

What is wanted is release from that which arises and passes. Here’s Nagarjuna:

Nagarjuna on Nirvana 
from: Mulamadhyamakakarikah 
Chapter 25: On Nirvana 

(An opponent argues)

1. If everything is empty, there can be no arising or passing away; Therefore, by what abandonment, by what cessation can nirvana be expected?

(Nagarjuna replies:)

2. (It is only) if everything is not empty that there can be no arising or passing away (and that one can ask): by what abandonment, by what cessation can nirvana be expected? 
3. This is said about nirvana: no abandonment, no attainment, no annihilation, no eternality, no cessation, no arising. 
4. Nirvana is not a thing, for then it would be characterized by old age and death, for no thing is free from old age and death. 
5. And if nirvana were a thing, then it would be karmically for no thing anywhere has ever been found not to be karmically constituted. 
6. And if nirvana were a thing, how could it not be dependent on other things, for no independent thing has ever been found. 
7. If nirvana is not a thing, can it be that it is a "nonthing"?  (No, because) wherever there is no thing, neither can there be a nonthing. 
8. And if nirvana were a nonthing, how could it not be dependent on other things, for no independent nonthing has ever been found. 
9. The state of moving restlessly to and fro (in samsara) is dependent and conditioned; independent and unconditioned, it is said to be nirvana. 
10. The Buddha said that both existence and freedom from existence are abandoned.  Therefore is is fitting to say that nivana is not a thing and not a nonthing. 
11. If nirvana were both a thing and a nonthing, liberation would also be both a thing and a nonthing, but that does not make sense. 
12. If nirvana were both a thing and a nonthing, it would not be independent (of other things), for both (things and nonthings) are dependent. 
13. And how could nirvana be both a thing and a nonthing?  Nirvana is not karmically constituted, but things and nonthings are. 
14. (And anyhow), how could nirvana be both a thing and a nonthing?  Like light and darkness, these two are opposites and cannot both exist in the same place. 
15. Only if things and nonthings are established can the proposition "Nirvana is neither a thing nor a nonthing" be established. 
16. But how could it be asserted that nirvana was found to be "neither a thing nor a nonthing"? 
17. It is not asserted that the Blessed One exists after his passing away; nor is it asserted that he does not exist, both exists and does not exist, or neither exists nor does not exist. 
18. Even while he is living, it is not asserted that the Blessed One exists; nor is it asserted that he does not exist, both exists and does not exist, or neither exists nor does not exist. 
19. There is no distinction whatsoever between samsara and nirvana; and there is no distinction whatsoever between nirvana and samsara. 
20. The limit of nirvana and the limit of samsara: one cannot even find the slightest difference between them. 
21. Views about such things as the finitude or infinitude of the state coming after death, are related to the issue of nirvana having beginning and ending limits. 
22. Given that all elements of reality are empty, what is infinite?  What is finite?  What is both finite and infinite?  What is neither finite nor infinite? 
23. What is just this?  What is that other?  What is eternal?  What is noneternal?  What is both eternal and noneternal?  What is neother eternal nor noneternal? 
24. Ceasing to fancy everything and falsely to imagine it as real is good; nowhere did the Buddha ever teach any such element of reality. 

Source: The Experience of Buddhism: Sources and Interpretations  -- John S. Strong, 147ff.

Friday, February 11, 2022

arise and be gone

 What do we need? Not

another anything. Just

let us be. Let go


 Speak into Being

Each word reveals what is real —

Anything to say?



Dómine, lábia mea apéries.
 Et os meum annuntiábit laudem tuam.


O Lord, open thou my lips.
And my mouth will declare thy praise.

try not to forget

Yes, of course we love

It is the only thing we are —

Think, nothing else, is

Thursday, February 10, 2022

astray in our sentiments

Can sentiments be old?

Sixty two years ago Monica Vitti starred in Antonioni's film L'Avventura She died last week at ninety in Rome. 

Antonioni wrote that the film was "expressed through images in which I hope to show not the birth of an erroneous sentiment, but rather the way in which we go astray in our sentiments. Because as I have said, our moral values are old. Our myths and conventions are old. And everyone knows that they are indeed old and outmoded. Yet we respect them."[12]

(--from Wikipedia article on L'Avventura (English: "The Adventure") is a 1960 Italian drama film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

 Whether erroneous or astray, our sentiments* arise and often govern our behavior.

*("a view of or attitude toward a situation or event; an opinion"; "exaggerated and self-indulgent feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia'; "ORIGIN: late Middle English (in the senses ‘personal experience’ and ‘physical feeling, sensation’): from Old French sentement, from medieval Latin sentimentum, from Latin sentire ‘feel’. (

I turn to Fyodor Dostoevsky. I begin with Notes From The Underground. Then (I'm thinking) Crime and Punishment. Then The Idiot. Then The Demons. Then The Brothers Karamazov. I should be ten years older by then, given my attention span and    s l o w n e s s. Who remembers how much of Dostoevsky I've read, the joy of aging is forgetting. Besides, he's good company.

I tire of myself and my opinions. 

I'd prefer to be able to think without thought. To be free of dogma and wandering through data. To make no judgment before its time, recognizing there is no time, only succession of nows on a plane (plain?) of emptiness.

I read Peter Singer's Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter (2016).

The film felt like ennui with poses. 

I wish to stop posing.

At least I filled the feeders with seed.

It’s middle February. 

Snow has lost its way.

Ice is unsure of itself. 

from priory to hermitage seventeen centuries

 Benedict’s sister

Scholastica’s rain thunder —

simply family

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

under night sky

 Get out of the house

Walk among trees and trails, do 

what you have to…live

tug boat across river styx

                              (for B.D)

Historian dies

at ninety seven — this once

student —  myths we were

what we are experiencing is no experience

 Death is not an ex-

perience.  Life is the ex-

perience of pass-

ing through this and this and this.

Death is us moving through life.

saying nothing, nothing is heard

Chitta the cat seems to have nothing to say.

Rather, she is what is being said before words became habit with us.

She’s here as night breaks itself into utterance, dark eases atmosphere with its breath.

Chitta cat sitting zazen in Wrinkled Blanket Zendo

From Academia: 

 In the second essay “Modern and Contemporary Cycles of Apophasis,” Franke wants to ensure that his reader does not get the wrong idea about modern responses to the apophatic condition. He is careful to point out in the preface to the second volume that even in the modern period, “apophaticism is not nihilism.” He explains:

The apophatic allows for belief before any determinate belief, and for passion before any object of passion can be individuated: all definitions are only relative, approximate delimitations of what is not as such any object that can be defined. Apophatic thought thus relativizes every verbal-conceptual formulation and orients us toward the unformulated non-concept, no-word that is always already believed in with in(de)finite passion in every defined, finite confession of belief. (II, p. 3).

While the fact of Franke’s warning may be obvious to many who have considered negative theology and apophatic discourse carefully, pointing out this unavoidable starting point for readers of such an anthology, however, directs their reading in profound ways. This insight along with the narrative of modern apophatic discourse provided by the introductory essay alerts readers to precisely the conceptual thread that holds together such seemingly disparate voices as those brought together in this volume. It also acknowledges the inescapable reality of what George Steiner describes in Real Presences as hospitality for the divine visitation; in his words:

In natural and unbounded discourse God has no demonstrable lodging....Negative theology, this is to say the postulate of His non-being, is as legitimate in respect of word and proposition as is the dogma of His presence. Hence the symmetrical abyss within genuine faith and genuine denial; hence the potential anarchy of spirit on either side of the free spaces of utterance” (Steiner, p. 57-8).

In this way, Franke’s acknowledgement of the belief that precedes belief cautions his reader to leave open all possibilities when coming to engage apophatic discourse. The openness that the editor encourages here will serve the reader well when she comes across what is perhaps Franke’s greatest aporia regarding apophasis.

(pp.67-68, Worley, Taylor (2013) "Review of "On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and the Arts. Volumes 1 and 2."," Essays in Philosophy: Vol. 14: Iss. 1, Article 6.

We long to love. We must breathe. 

All we need is the air that we breathe, yes, to love. (cf. The Hollies

We watch and read the news with dread fascination because we want to know what threatens love, what will conceivably cease our ability to breathe, what looms on near horizon to stop the inhalation and exhalation of viable sustenance.

We don’t dislike the news because it contains so much ‘bad’ news. We don’t need more segments of ‘good’ news to cheer us up. (A phalanx of good news is a chancy optimism that fails to obviate lurking danger to our respiration.)

We love to dance. Even in stillness, we love to sway with the ghostly breeze, the ecstasy of dawning awareness that we love life, love living beings, love the disappeared, love everything that appears, love oneself and each of its manifestations.

Go ahead, say it.

Shikantaza into sunrise

Or don’t.

It’s still true.

And we know it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

the negation of this inwardly self-centered (insichseiend) ego [p.808]*

It's difficult to listen to or read the goings-on in Ottawa and throughout Canada. 

Is it the disruption? Is it the anarchy? Is it the ludicrousness of blaming governance for measures to safeguard the population?

In the United States 900,000 deaths related to COVID. Such loss!

I read book, Hegel's *Phenomenology of Mind. About history and the development of consciousness. And I think about rational thought, so recently disparaged, so needed now, not exclusively, but throughout.

To feel, yes.

To think, yes.

To remember, yes.

Heidegger's Das Man, ('They'), are idling rampant through Ottawa's streets, blasting horns, waving confederate and nazi flags, mimicking Trumpian United States. 

I concede to not knowing the depth of dissatisfaction to what is called freedom-denying measures. Will we do away with stop signs, drive-in-your-lane two-lane country road expectations, and no longer comply with driver's license or passport regulations? Will anti-roofie and anti-rape prohibitions become infringements on personal male freedom? 

It is a difficult time for mystics.

It's a difficult time for consciousness.

It's not the 1960's. It's not the 1930's. It's 2022 and there's a wave of discontent crossing state lines. There's not consensus about what to think or what to do about the dissatisfaction.

Buddhist philosophy slow-walks across suffering minds and sits in silence observing the passing trucks and recalcitrant aficionados of oppositional denial of election results, expectations of law, and what might once have passed as behaving civilly toward those of differing philosophies of governance and public comity.

I'm addled. I'm senescent. I'm in queue to board ferry with logo of Charon along hull. 

Incense smoke at window altar across from Bald Mountain scents remembrance of S's family member who on this date disappeared from body.

   On 28th year following her father's death

It is difficult to accurately assess where we are, collectively, with mind and consciousness.

Difficult to not consider the aberrancy of mind and thought slicing through the opinions and preferences of our everyday experiences. Cutting off from common benefice, choosing instead personal pique and mass victimhood.

This cat on lap knows nothing of the lament. She knows the remainder of kibbles in bowl. I get up, she steals my seat. I'm aware the cat doesn't care I'm uprooted. 

We're all easily dislodged.

My discouragement is a privileged suffering. I still have my limbs, am not in pain, can pay for heat keeping room warm, remember there's coffee in morning thermos in kitchen.

I'd like to think it is the suffering of the world that fills this melancholy. 

He knows. He comes up next to me. He's ok.

Eyes tell.

Every age thinks things are going to garbage.

There are yellow bags in barn for trip to town dump.


 Single candle on

rainy morning — can you see

through Toynbee ruin

It seems the crazies’ rule comes

Stepping over impotence 

Monday, February 07, 2022

sane no more

 Ottawa, Texas

Florida — times have gone south —

We are not the sane

a clean elsewhere

 flurries on mountain 

an old afternoon, monday 

word, novelist, word

the right to remain peculiar

 It’s easy when you 

don’t care, all belongs to some-

one else, is their fault

Sunday, February 06, 2022

arrives then departs my life

 Descending the stairs

Morning — the day — ascending

Time passes — comes night

any reason, why, not

 I will not attend

church today. (Do you ever?)

No, not today, no