Saturday, October 22, 2022

two men, 22 october

 They were two good men

My father, born this day, same

date, friend, David died

separate ways


That’s what Paul Tillich defined sin as. Estrangement.

Separation from that which is the source, the ground, of our being.

I listen to those who blurt nonsense and idiotic accusation against those who work for justice, truth, and service to the needy. It is absurd.

I am estranged from the estrangers.

Thus, a sinner. (Oh, the complicated calculus of culpability!)

Miserere mei!

Friday, October 21, 2022

the harsh teaching of non-duality

 If you take another’s life, is it now within you? Is this why so many who have murdered feel haunted?

You have taken their life. “Unforgivable,” says a man in prison.

Unless, I think, the process of forgiveness does not point to forgiveness coming from outside you.

It is a more intimate process.

You have taken a life. It is now yours. However you understand this, some new relational intimacy is going on within you.

Forgiveness is impossible from outside.

It is what is within you that can be the only experience of forgiveness you can find.

No one can forgive you. Only you as one with another can find forgiveness.

The echoing resonance of embodied understanding.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

surviving the contemporary hustle

Don’t believe;

Experience, or

Walk away

sacrare -- to consecrate

Spirituality is the practice of everyday activity with attentiveness and awareness, a practice allowing things to come, things to go with reverent welcome, gracious release -- assuming the responsibility of sacred watchfulness and intimate engagement.

Become both -- because both become -- a spiritual and religious person.

Leave distinctions to philosophers and politicians.

Choose holiness.

See everything.

Trust that what we call God is Creating Energy moving through both vast universe and individual heart  seeking to bring goodness and wholeness into and through each and all.  

To pray is to encourage the Energy, the Cosmos, and the Individual to abide courageously and confidently in practical, infinite, and eternal joy of Being, peaceful existence, and compassionate loving presence.

...   ...   ...

In addition, these:

Far, faraway, steep mountain paths,
Treacherous and narrow, ten thousand feet up;
Over boulders and bridges, lichens of green,
White clouds are often seen soaring,
A cascade suspends in mid-air like a bolt of silk;
The moon’s reflection falls on a deep pool, glittering.
I shall climb up the magnificent mountain peak,
To await the arrival of a solitary crane.

Shide (8th c.)


Ephesians 3:14-21 ©

A prayer that faithful may know the love of Christ

This is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
  Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

  Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.



these three exquisite poems by Sharon Olds:

        ENCORES: "Begin Again" with poet Sharon Olds (time, 11:56)

so many fallen, leaves

We don’t understand

Death, lifeless bodies no place 

no breath, gone so far

within, unheard unseen, still

As sun slants through October 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

there, can you see it

 We mostly walk on

surface, one step, two steps, feet

secure solid ground --

but there's another pathway

beyond clouds after thinking

good night, upon reflection, yes

              (A Waka for those once gathered, cara Patricia)

Once a year there comes

round a more intimate kind

Of recollection

As day moves into night, some

Twenty three years later — there 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


 tells us about her

bringing Christ into body

where opposites meet

is or are, two no longer two

 When are two not two?

When they are 

With and within



he thinks he’ll stay indoors shoeless

 Older man admits 

Going feeble in mind and 

body; companion 

says “no you’re not” then berates

him for not wiping wet soles

Monday, October 17, 2022

without surcease

 Some reading before dawn. 

Good friends, I know there are people who tell others to devote themselves to sitting and contemplating their minds on purity and not to move or think. Deluded people are unaware, so they turn things upside down with their attachments. There are hundreds of such people who teach the Way like this. But they are, you should know, greatly mistaken. 

Good friends, what are meditation and wisdom like? They’re like a lamp and its light. When there’s a lamp, there’s light. When there’s no lamp, there’s no light. The lamp is the light’s body, and light is the lamp’s function. They have two names but not two bodies. This teaching concerning meditation and wisdom is also like this. 

Good friends, the dharma isn’t direct or indirect. It’s people who are sharp or dull. For those who are deluded, there is indirect persuasion. For those who are aware, there is direct cultivation. Know your mind and see your nature. For those who are aware, there is basically no separation. For those who aren’t aware, there are infinite kalpas on the Wheel of Rebirth. 

Good friends, since ancient times, this dharma teaching of ours, both its direct and indirect versions, has proclaimed “no thought” as its doctrine, “no form” as its body, and “no attachment” as its foundation. 

(—from, One Practice Samadhi Part 2! Hui-neng (638-713), Daily Zen, ! October 17, 2022)

 We come to find ourselves, wonderfully lost and completely everywhere, at this dawning turn of light in a very large cosmos, surrounding and unsurceaseable.

one with one, not one itself, listening with what is being said

 They are not the one

Consciousness, they are one with

The one consciousness.

You are not god, you are god

With everything gathered in

Sunday, October 16, 2022

things...that make it distinctively hard to be a real human being,

 We worry about facts. One writer and a commentator worry about our fiction.

What's the alternative?

Jump ahead a few centuries to our “post-modern” age in which [David Foster] Wallace writes, and one can see that a rather predictable thing has happened. The reductionist view of the objective world leads ever more to a reductionist view of the subjective. If Cartesian man was alienated from the world, post-modern man is alienated from his self as well. In the age of neuroscience the self itself is reduced to a meaningless machine. And of course late-capitalism fragments and commodifies the subjective realm just as much as everything else (cf. the “industries” marketing “self-help” “relationships” etc.). Infinite Jest shows this disintegration of the subjective with consummate skill (analyzed quite well by Stephen Burn). And what it shows with particular clarity is how this alienation of the self aggravates the problem of the diversion to an extent never seen before. Late capitalist culture is obsessed with increasingly ubiquitous and addictive forms of “entertainment” which are designed to divert us from our inner emptiness, but end up eating us alive.

Wallace’s literary goal was to find a way out of this impasse. As he once said in an interview: 


Fiction’s about what it is to be a f***ing human being. If you operate, which most of us do, from the premise that there are things about the contemporary U.S. that make it distinctively hard to be a real human being, then maybe half of fiction’s job is to dramatize what it is that makes it tough. The other half is to dramatize the fact that we still “are” human beings, now. Or can be. 


The problem that he sees with post-modern literature is that it only does the first half of the job; the post-moderns literary giants are great at deconstructing the idols of the age, but they don’t show any alternative: 


We’ve all got this “literary” fiction that simply monotones that we’re all becoming less and less human, that presents characters without souls or love, characters who really are exhaustively describable in terms of what brands of stuff they wear, and we all buy the books and go like “Golly, what a mordantly effective commentary on contemporary materialism!” But we already “know” U.S. culture is materialistic. This diagnosis can be done in about two lines. It doesn’t engage anybody. What’s engaging and artistically real is, taking it as axiomatic that the present is grotesquely materialistic, how is it that we as human beings still have the capacity for joy, charity, genuine connections, for stuff that doesn’t have a price? And can these capacities be made to thrive? And if so, how, and if not why not? (Ibid.)


  ( from,  The Only Thing Worth Writing About, July 29, 2011 / Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist. )
I've only a smidgeon remaining to finish reading Infinite Jest. It's been years picking up and putting down.

Sometimes our way of loving is like that.

And the forgiveness of that is a practice of increasing capacity to thrive. 

sure, go ahead, you’re nothing but an old antithesis

 It’s a good thing to 

argue with god. Disagree. 

To keep words alive

To keep varied worlds astride

God will have to think again