Saturday, April 09, 2022

each and all

 Cosmos is creation. Creation is Christic. Christ is human. Human is coming to be. Coming to be is God. God is cosmos.

To be any one of these is to be each of them.

Can you, can I, hear this?

here, listening

 having no preferences 

but to allow truth to appear

I listen to the world breaking

hearts, breaking bodies

some say -- you can do nothing

stop listening, be happy

Still, I listen. I am not partial

to happiness. I reckon truth will

give itself whether I prefer it

or not.  At times, I cry

at times, I smile. When bell rings

I breathe 

I cannot tell you how things will

turn out

but for now I sit, 

here, listening

if you hear anything new

please, tell me

Friday, April 08, 2022

still, the anger, in others

 “He always gets away with it.” The guest on the cable morning show sums up the frustration that amid blatant criminality and felonious acts the former president cannot be touched and will not cease his deplorable example of lying, cheating, and attempting to overthrow democracy.

In other news, torrential rain drenches Maine.

School bus passes house.

From nowhere, this appears as text message from Kathy:


Outside everyone’s house is a great force that will someday attack. Many have been carried off, held for some kind of ransom, mortally wounded, or made crazed. Who would raise a child and not prepare him for such an imminent battle? Who would ever write a book and not in some way make you aware of a strong opponent you will meet? A sword is most effective if it is never raised, but can turn radiant in its sheath and reflect a light onto your face that can still the anger in others.


Perhaps we do not yet understand the battle.

So, we make coffee. Cry for all the injustice and suffering in Europe, Africa, prisons, and psyches tortured by inequity and brutal dystopian dissonance.

Coffee, yes. 

Look over kitchen.

Out window to dooryard.

There’s much here I cannot comprehend.

Something, I am, not,


All day long, 

In the sound of rain dripping 

From the eaves,

I sat patiently,

Listening with my eyes;

Now I raise the thin blinds

Onto the western foothills

And the single green 

Of a thousand pines.            - Koken Myokai (d. 1390) (dailyzen)

What, am I, not,


Thursday, April 07, 2022

apparently, not actually

Yes, I see. 

 "An apparent world comes into existence when consciousness takes the form of perception. But no actual independently existing world comes into existence."                                                

(--from, Objects Don't Have Existence; Existence Has Objects Rupert Spira, you tube, Sep 26, 2014

(Don't I?) 

roll up the blinds

When in doubt, listen.

Hódie, si vocem Dómini audiéritis, 

Nolíte obduráre corda vestra.

If today you hear the voice of God

Harden not your hearts

(—from Invitatory, Matins)

When in despair, watch.

Quadragínta annis próximus fui generatióni huic, et dixi:

Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said:  

Semper hi errant corde.

These always err in heart.  

Ipsi vero non cognovérunt vias meas:

And these men have not known my ways:  

quibus jurávi in ira mea:                                                                                                                   so I swore in my wrath 

Si introíbunt in réquiem meam.»                                                                                                  that they shall not enter into my rest.


The language of God is immutable silence.

The sight of God is undetectable stillness.

I ask you:

What has changed?

Why are we so tired?

Cold Night

The moon illumines a thousand peaks

With the brilliance of daylight,

The sound of the bell falls

On my pillow of old friends' poems;

In my thin monk's robes,

Unafraid of the frost's harshness,

I rise, roll up the blinds,

Sit in the depths of night. 

- Tesshu Tokusai (d. 1366) (Daily Zen)

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

there’s some news

 In forty two billion years the cosmos will run out of space and rip.

Don’t wait up for me.

a good long sleep; and splendid absurdity

At Tuesday Evening Conversation Tina shared a poem by a woman we recognize from our bookshop/bakery days -- Connie Chandler-Ward. She died in a car accident a few years back. This poem, Tina said, was on her desk, at her house, found afterwards.

cf. “To Let It Go” in memory of Connie Chandler-Ward, by Peter Bloch

We also read a second poem. This one by Stevie Edwards. Fascinating and thought-provoking their complementarity. 


                                BY STEVIE EDWARDS 


When my mother was young, she feared

she was such a good Christian girl

God might grow his new son inside her

like we plop seeds into the garden

without asking the soil its thoughts

on plumping up pumpkins & peas.

& who would believe her? Sister

of the town’s worst poison-headed

hooligans, she tried to do enough

good to make up for their transgressions:

joined a church that forbade dancing

finished her homework, said her prayers

as if a family’s fate balanced on a seesaw

& she could keep her brothers from

flinging off through the stratosphere

& never returning to her on earth

from ether’s heights. In New England

Aquarium, an anaconda has borne fruit

of only her making. No contact with males—

her body wanted a child & made one.

Wonder of wonders, a child with only her

DNA slithers into the world. I haven’t

conjured any miracles out of myself yet

in this lifetime. I fear I never will

be a witch or martyr. That I won’t be good

or bad enough to warrant progeny

or remembrance. I used to want to turn

my pain into wine stains & watercolors

but now I want it not to touch

anyone, to keep it from brushing

my love’s arm. What if all I want

is quiet, a dog at my feet, television

remote in hand, half a turkey sandwich

with light mayo & orange cheese—

who will sing for me? Often I hope

nobody will. I’d like a good long sleep. 


                           Source: Poetry (October 2021)                                                                                       

 There is a joy surrounding poetry, the variety of thoughts and emotions by those of us reading, especially when reflecting together in conversation. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

when stillness allows exquisite motion

As monastic, psalmody permeates imagination,

as hermit, solitude reveals everyone --

as zen practitioner. this and this alone --

The world is too much with us; late and soon, 
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;— 
Little we see in Nature that is ours; 
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

                                             (--from poem, The World Is too Much With Us, by William Wordsworth) 

I despair big salaries, exorbitant fees, and pretentious payouts

lament misunderstood metaphors of Buddha and Christ 

consoled by return 

to sight of gently waving limbs 

cedar tree in 

afternoon mudra Noh chant 

looking through

 Suffering is not illusion. 

An illusion isn’t there.

We are here.

As such, suffering is unfortunate truth.

Don’t look away.

The “Way” is to look until seeing takes place.

At that place, something solid comes to be.

Solidarity is the one place we can stand together.

We do not suffer god. 

We suffer with god suffering with us.

Buddhists say the truth is there is suffering in life.

The cessation of suffering is the path through it.

The Buddha began and ended his teaching career with a discussion of the eightfold path, guidelines for living ethically, training the mind, and cultivating wisdom that brings an end to the causes of suffering. He spoke of the path in his first sermon immediately after his awakening and in the last teaching he gave on his deathbed 45 years later. The eightfold path is the fourth noble truth, the way to awakening.

The Buddha is often described as a great physician or healer, and the eightfold path (also called the noble eightfold path, “noble” because following it can make us better people, like the Buddha) can be viewed as his prescription for relief. Suffering is the disease, and the eight steps are a course of treatment that can lead us to health and well-being; we avoid the extremes of self-indulgence on the one hand and total self-denial on the other. For this reason the Buddha called the path “the middle way.” The eight steps are: 

    1. Right view 
    2. Right intention 
    3. Right speech 
    4. Right action
    5. Right livelihood
    6. Right effort 
    7. Right mindfulness
    8. Right concentration                      ( —cf. What is the Eightfold Path, tricycle)
Suffering is neither christian nor buddhist.

Neither salvation nor enlightenment comes with it.

We are called to be-(t)-here. (Da-sein)

This call, this place, this presence — is Dasein.

Look at, look with, look through this presence!

Monday, April 04, 2022

hate and fear, kill, fear and hate

 He was thirty nine

An assassin's bullet killed

him ... dead ... dear Martin 

when you look for me, look at yourselves — weep first, then transform

 No one can look at the pictures of the dead, the tortured, the destruction in the streets of Bucha, and towns around Kyiv and not feel the sorrow, anguish, and anger evoked in the experience of cruelty, monstrous devastation, terror, and disheartening realization what fellow human beings can and will do to one another.

The impotence.

The standing and staring at the bodies of men, women, and children.

The world watches.

The pornography of power.


Some, more and more, ask “Where is God?”

I stand without speaking, looking at the questioners.

Then Doris sends Kabir:



Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. 

My shoulder is against yours. 

You will not find me in stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, not in synagogues, 

      nor in cathedrals: 

not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck,  

      not in eating nothing but vegetables. 

When you look for me, you will see me instantly – 

You will find me in the tiniest house of time. 

Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God? 

He is the breath inside the breath.



Translated by Robert Bly

It’s not God we’re looking for.

It’s each other we’re looking at. 

Until we can see 

     behind, below, and beyond, 

          into and through 

               that which we are 

                    needing to become.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

(the wind) conducts the activities of beings

 What do you think of God?

Where do you think God is?

4. Unmoving, It is one, faster than the mind. The senses cannot reach It, for It proceeds ahead. Remaining static It overtakes others that run. On account of Its presence, Matarsiva (the wind) conducts the activities of beings.

5. It moves; It moves not. It is far; It is near. It is within all; It is without all.

6. He who perceives all beings in the Self alone, and the Self in all beings, does not entertain any hatred on account of that perception.

(—from,  Isavasya Upanishad!Translated by Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli)

I look around.


What do I think?

A likely story.

an anthropology of being/said

 I was born


Before I had


To exist

At all

Is to be


I have

No religion

I am


Here on

Earth creation

Founding way



Earth (Christ)

As Buddha

Once (awake)