Sunday, December 31, 2023

walking through, meditation



come and go.


let them.

(Poem by Robert Creeley, in Pieces, p.6, c1969)

i don’t know…what you are…talking about


I’d like to say…


…as Roland Barthes writes:

All of Zen...appears as an enormous praxis destined to halt language.., perhaps what Zen calls satori.., is no more than a panic suspension of language, the blank which erases in us the reign of the Codes, the breach of that internal recitation which constitutes our person (Barthes: 74-75).

—in, Zen and Zen Philosophy of Language, by Jin Y Park




of Zen...appears as an enormous praxis destined to halt language.., perhaps what Zen calls satori.., is no more than a panic suspension olanguage, the blank which erases in us the reign of the Codes, the breach of that internal recitation which constitutes our person (Barthes: 74-75).

to focus attention on this

Seeds for birds and ground squirrels out in open and under yew tree the other side of this glass slider.

I have so much to learn about this . . .

If students really have the
Intention to seek to be sages,
Then they must seek to focus
Their attention on this.
This is the basis for becoming
A sage.

Zou Shouyi (1491-1562) daily zen

Cats have eaten. They dwell indoors. 

Half-hearted attempt to coax embers back into fire. 

Water boils.

Monks chant from France.

The year packs its satchel and checks bus schedule.

I want to say I love you to all this.

To every person whose face and words have neared mine.

To unseen neighbors who kindly live their lives back from road.

I want to say this is where I live.

I suddenly find that there's nothing I want, nothing I want to do, nothing at all, nothing and all.

I sense that every act of love has already changed and saved the world, the real world, not the artificial world of hype and huckster profit-n-lossing everything with ledgers.

Politics is the pig-sty of barnyard discontent. No one knows what to do with the slop.

The monks wind down.

Morning's silence looks back in from dooryard.

I'll say it.

No one is listening.

I won't make a sound, but I'll say it:

I love you, each one of you.

There, here, this is what I want to say.

This is what I'd like to be.

And this:

  • Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. 


  • שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד׃  (Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad 

  •  بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْم.       Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.  

  • भूर्भुवः स्वः.       तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं.      भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि.      धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ।। - ऋग्वेद

Earth, atmosphere, heaven

We meditate upon that luminous source

So that it may guide our minds to move higher

Om bhur bhuvah svaha

Tat Savitur varainyam

Bhargo devasya dheemahi

Dhiyo yo nah prachodayaat.              (Gayatri Mantra) 

O Karma, Dharma, pudding & pie,
gimme a break before I die: 
grant me wisdom, will, & wit, 
purity, probity, pluck, & grit. 
Trustworthy, helpful, friendly, kind, 
gimme great abs and a steel-trap mind. 
And forgive, Ye Gods, some humble advice - 
these little blessings would suffice 
to beget an earthly paradise: 
make the bad people good 
and the good people nice, 
and before our world goes over the brink, 
teach the believers how to think. 

don’t worry

 about a thing

‘cause every little thing

gonna be alright

(Thanks, brother Marley )

Saturday, December 30, 2023

abscondita est vita

 I disappear

not to be   (seem)

thank you for your kindness

for everything

If you should sight me

no need to    (say hello)

you can, if you want

say a small prayer

for all of us the disappeared

In death in life    (in birth)

Friday, December 29, 2023

universe blinks on and off at more than 1 trillion cycles every second

 Friday morning prison

with billy collins poem

our ordinary loveliness

speaking instant reality 

as it comes and goes  

passing into mythos

Thursday, December 28, 2023



I have long

wondered about God --

now I wander within God

finding myself nowhere


I figure I only have

a few days to live --

what a grand success

to have lived until now


where is the inside where

the outside --

(don't ask ...where)

reside now...


be outrageous

it beats

the heart's


one red brick beside gray stone

 brown squirrel under yew bush

there's nothing there for you

yesterday I moved your cousin

off the road, smashed and bloodied

one lives one dies one walks road

snow bowl closed in the rain

the world is imagination

we seldom use it well

only soundless diaphanous haecceity

  the gaze 

soundless language 

only watchful 



can see through 

a hermeneutic 

without detection 

or meaning 

only diaphaneity 

only haecceity 

cat food and international task

 they think

I follow


the cats

go down 


their complaints


each other

for peace 

in world

I'll follow

then fly

to gaza/israel

and ukraine/russia

it will

be a busy


opening tins

and satisfying


ecce esse

Christus natus est 

    what does it mean to say

    Christ is born

Latin word for "to be"

    is esse

"Is" born

the word for "behold"

    is ecce

And so --

    ecce esse

    behold being

Christ is

    being born

Sit with


a while


    what is



Wednesday, December 27, 2023

the getting out, or, moving through with

We trend toward being-with-out.

Drizzly Wednesday.

"The universe is God in evolution. We are Christ in evolution. We are God's becoming."

    (--Ilia Delio, re Teilhard de Chardin's thought)

Or, as Robert Creeley wrote:

The Rain 

All night the sound had

come back again,

and again falls

this quiet, persistent rain.


What am I to myself

that must be remembered,

insisted upon

so often? Is it


that never the ease,

even the hardness,

of rain falling

will have for me


something other than this,

something not so insistent—

am I to be locked in this

final uneasiness.


Love, if you love me,

lie next to me.

Be for me, like rain,

the getting out


of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-

lust of intentional indifference.

Be wet 

with a decent happiness.  

             (--from Selected Poems of Robert Creeley by Robert Creeley, c.1991) 

May the glorious 


of God



outer world is our inner projection

 Tarping remaining

Ground drop wood as rain begins —

Monks in France chant Prime

This radical emptiness

Cannot last for much longer

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

slavery must end

 We’re on our own, no

reliance on external authority —

See your own way through

It’s all that’s left us

morning zazen


 everything is

part of it

nothing is

all of it


grooming mountain

snow made 


blowing machines

Ragged to 

welcome skiers



window open

breeze wavers banner of

symbols of faiths --

as eight auspices

swivels its hips

Monday, December 25, 2023


 Last thing this Christmas 

Strangely empty and serene

Just like God like Christ

on maroon zabuton

 Dead mouse resting smile

On back beside black zafu

My Christmas zazen

I take and place beside rock

Where God’s ground leaves — this small monk

beauty and value


by Gary DuBois*

. . . 

*"Over the course of working with stone from discarded scraps, I’ve come to see this work as a redemptive metaphor — beauty and value restored to the broken and rejected. In a society full of broken and hurting people the story of these stones reminds me that there is hope. Hope of redemption even for broken people, like me."

I wrote a poem once. It's titled "The Stones Speak, I am Silent" (Thomas, in film "Mindwalk")

You know, as Merlin once said to King Arthur... "Don't dishonor your feast by rejecting what's come to it". (Thomas, in film "Mindwalk" 1990)

Sunday, December 24, 2023

and so, it is thisness


There is no such thing as self-sufficiency.  

"Let there be light." (Genesis 1:3) 

Things are worded into appearance.

What is, who is, this worder?

What is, who is, this wonder?

Things cannot exist on their own, which means, in reality, they do not exist. (--in Philosophy of Nothingness and Love, by Kiyokazu Nakatomi) 

God, we might say, does not exist.

God, you might think, chose not to be on (t)his own, but to enter into a newly created relationality that (perhaps) there was no need for before because there was only the unexpressed being-of-God.

God, you might say, was (is) the nothingness out of which all that is comes to be.

But coming-to-be does not necessarily imply standing out from (ex-isting) that which is ground-of-being.

God, it might be said, is the ground-of-being.

And all that has been brought into being is part and parcel of that ground-of-being.

It is only when we believe we are separate from that ground, only when we act in such a way that indicates our actions are predicated on an ignorance of the reality, or belief that the core ground-of-being that is our nature is not our intrinsic and inchoate nature or true reality, that such illusory perception, such erroneous belief, takes on a working delusion so prevalent in our existing world with its preference of comparative merit, hierarchical privilege and superiority.

So it is, as some say, we are broken. 

"Who told you that you were naked?" (Genesis 3:11)

Broken away from root relationality with its concomitant impetus of compassionate interaction, helpful service, and loving humility. Scattered on earth's floor like broken branches after storm, aftermath of bad belief and odd ideology. "Let's be great again!" (Our odd pretense toward exclusionary dominance.)

God does not exist. We do not exist.

God is the invisible yet transparent clarity-presence of what we confusedly call 'control.'

When I first read (at then friend and poet John Maloney's insistence) Philip Whalen's book of poems fifty years ago On Bear's Head there was this piece that now reveals itself:

4:2-59 Take I

What I need is lots of money


What I need is somebody to love with unparalleled energy

and devotion for 24 hours and then goodbye

I can escape too easily from this time & this place

That isn’t the reason I’m here

What I need is where am I

Sometimes a bed of nails is really necessary to any man

Or a wall (Olson, in conversation, “That wall, it has to be there!”)

Where are my hands.

Where are my lungs.

All the lights are on in here I don’t see nothing.

I don’t admit that this is personality disintegration

My personality has a half-life of 10♾️ years; besides

I can put my toe in my mouth

If (CENSORED), then (CENSORED), something like

Plato his vision of the archetypal human being

Or the Gnostic Worm.

People see me; they like that . . .

I try to warn them that it’s really m

They don’t listen; afterwards they complain

About how I had no right to be really just that:

Invisible & in complete control of everything.

(pp. 26-27, On Bear's Head, by Philip Whalen, c.1960)


This might be what the feast we call Christmas really is about.

Christ-revelation as the embodiment of God realized as the Itself, (Ganz andere ohne andere = Wholly other without other.) 

Perhaps -- Thisness.

Realization of the Itself -- (that which we've come to call 'God') -- would be for us a liberation from illusion, a letting go of the loneliness of separation, a surrendering into the ground-of-being wherein all is recognizable as being what it is, namely, itself (Itself).

We have become so obsessively determined to make 'other', to create 'other', to dominate and eliminate 'other', to battle and denegrate 'other' -- that the fragmentation and destruction of ourselves and the world has become the primordial enterprise of individuals, governments, corporations, and nations.

We have forgotten who and what we are.

We have forgotten Being. 

We've tried to uproot ourselves from Ground.

We've sent ourselves on a fool's errand.

Zen Buddhists constantly ask: "What is this?" This, yes This -- What is This?



Something to ponder. Today, tonight, tomorrow, the next twelve days, for the rest of our lives.

And so this is Christmas. (Thanks John and Yoko!)

And so, it is Thisness.

May it be so, for each, for all!

shut down and sit up

 Of course there’s something

Wrong with this body, pains and 

odd irks, signaling

ends and uninteresting

Explanations going off

after three am

 There’s no words to paste

Listening to Fairy Tale

Of New York, sweet chant

Saturday, December 23, 2023

just an old fashioned love song

 In what way do you practice?

No way.

Is is effective?


Why do you bother?

No bother.

Yet you keep on?

I know no other way.

this relation itself

At times I think poets are the evangelists for contemporary diaspora unhoused and wandering far from true home.  It seems we are lost. And no amount of cajoling or rationalizing fits back together what has been smashed against undetectable intelligence, unreasonable self-indulgence, and arrogant uncaring. 

Still, there's no wiggle-room in a car's boot traveling the highway kidnapped from predictability and being taken to who-the-hell-knows-where just down from who-the-hell-cares. 

Except for the existentialist's curious feeling that possibly, ever so faintly possibly, they are loved, beyond all calculation, simply loved.

        [The ship] is slowly giving up her sentient life. 

        I cannot write about it.
                                       — Shackleton, diary

Next to where their ship went down

they pitched their linen tents.

You, mountain-climbing,


wearing your dead father’s flight jacket—

My scalp is alive,

love touched it. My eyes are open water.

Yours too.

Sitting in the dark Baltimore bar

drinking coke

with you with your inoperable cancer

with your meds

no tent

no care what we look like

what we say

Later that night, in my room

looking into the mirror, to tell the truth

I looked right through into nothing. 

I was loved.

                            (Poem by Jean Valentine) 

Damn mystics!

Epilogue become epigraph.

An obviate despondency snatched away, chickadee cracking open sunflower seed on yew branch, the world is nicer than I thought (as Raimon Panikkar says in Metaphor of the Window. The indecipherable urge to get on with it. Spit spot. Pack up pickup for the dump. Bring hiking sticks. It's officially winter and light is returning. Walk a while. Listen to a book.

A Catholic convert with strong Buddhist sympathies, a person

of prayer and of sitting meditation, Valentine draws deeply from

Christian theology and iconography, but her poems treat individ-

ual belief systems and religious symbols in a more syncretic way,

revealing or gesturing toward spiritual mysteries largely without re-

course to dogma (Interview, 16).1 Instead of relying on any one in-

stitution for power, her work depends on the paradoxes character-

istic of all mystical texts. Mystical paradox, as de Certeau defines it,

“cannot be reduced to either of the aspects that always comprise

[it]. It is held within their relation. It is undoubtedly this relation it-

self” (16; emphasis added). Thus mystics argue that “God is neither

personal nor impersonal,” as Bernadette Roberts writes in The Ex-

perience of No-Self, “neither within nor without, but everywhere in

general and nowhere in particular” and thus can be experienced as

both presence and absence (33).

(--from, BRIAN TEARE “The History of the World Without Words” Mysticism and Social Conscience in the Poetry of Jean Valentine)

Of course. God is both present and absent.

At the same time?

No doubt. Also (of course) no certainty.

Let it go, the image in the mirror. Or, go into it, through it.

There's probably nothing there.

Go ahead, step in.

Or, the selfsame activity, turn away, walk to the far edge of the room, out the door, into the afternoon breeze.

It's not that it's all the same.

More, it's completely different than we can imagine. Completely unimaginable.

Unsurpassibly so.