Saturday, March 25, 2023

practice is having no home

If you ask, "Where is your temple, zendo, where is your church?"

The response might be, "Nowhere."

Each moment, now here. Each place your feet or butt touches, now here. Each prayer to the God of the universe, now here.

Having no home has been a wonderful practice. It’s probably not an accident that one of my favorite 20th-century Japanese Zen Masters is Homeless Kodo. He had no temple. What binds us is sitting together no matter where or how. In addition to sitting, our main practice over the years has been group work, a talking practice we do, where we have learned to be completely open with one another. One evening last year, instead of our talking practice, we sat together in my roof garden for about an hour in total silence watching an amazing sunset over the Hudson River. A few weeks ago on a very icy morning three of us who had managed to get to Sheila’s Riverdale house for zazenkai ended up drinking tea in silence at 6:30 a.m. Eventually, we were joined by others who had successfully braved the ice. We just stayed in the kitchen, where we all had a silent breakfast together. Then we went into the living room, and without making it a zendo, we turned a motley collection of chairs around to face the river to watch the ice floes pass by.

(--from, Sitting Nowhere Leaving No Traces, A meditator learns that the zendo is wherever you sit. By Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker MAR 24, 2023, Tricycle)

 Try this.

This is where we are.

Wherever you are.

This is where you are.

Where you are is where we are.

As is, everyone.

i promise myself to treat myself / and visit a nearby tower

 I know you want to

Tell me Jesus rose from death

I appreciate

Your enthusiasm — I’d

Rather watch cat watching dawn

impossible retrieval of lost connection

 In the dream a bus —

Stepping off onto street — he

Is looking for friend

In middle of city all 

Alone at intersections

Friday, March 24, 2023

cross as intersecting intimacy

 In prison this morning one man gives tutorial on NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). 

Another is skeptical about any formal intervention. (Nor does he cotton to popes, priests, politicians, or police.)

We are talking about amenities, civil discourse, pleasantries, niceties, politeness, communications veering from hostility, belittlement, and confrontation.

One man is saying there's no justice in prison. If someone is jumped and beaten in his cell he doesn't go to the guards complaining of the matter. Then, in prison code, he'd be a "rat." Nor might he want to "throw the switch" and enter full retaliation response with whomever might align themselves and have his back.

Which ushers in new complications

It's a hard reality. One they understand. As a civilian I can hear it, sympathize with the plight.

One man says he'd just prayed with someone unnerved by such a recent experience. Prayer, he said, introduced to the man that, throughout his ordeal, he is not alone. Which prospect, however undiminishing of the lingering turmoil, puts a different perspective in view. One which he can hope to be true, however immanently unsatisfying, but ultimately, intriguing.

Conversant in morning circle shares excerpt of Life is Worth Living | Episode 7 | Loneliness | Fulton Sheen.

He is intrigued that he was led to bump into traumatized man, paused a minute, listened to him, then offered a prayer, then resumed his place in meetingbrook conversation to punctuate the topic at hand -- our loneliness in the desert of justice.

Each week a seminar on reality.

Each person a voice from the wilderness asking -- How alone am I?

We sit in a circle of loneliness together.

Accompanying one another.

As morning fades and evening approaches.

The sixth day.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

even if you don’t understand, listen

 The dying don’t want to be entertained, they want to be accompanied.

the landscape, within/without, undivided

 If you find within

You what is without you, 

Do not fear, be glad

When boundaries fall away

Borders are crossed not knowing

no . . . one’s . . . breath

It is said that no one has ever seen God. 

When I recently asked a nurse's aide if I might go in and sit with a woman who'd just died in hospice an hour before, she said "But there's no one there." Family had left, funeral folks not yet arrived.

“If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.”

― Swami Vivekananda, Meditation And Its Method

We smiled at each other in the hallway and I went into her room. 

She was right, no one was there.

Since that moment I realized that "no one" is God.

I saw God in that room. I perceived that woman's soul in the room, her last breath floating somewhere around us.

Zen Buddhists will exclaim, "MU!" Contemplative Christians will say breath-spirit is holy and inspiring.

Our practice asks: 

What say you?

What see you?

What silence and stillness are you?



(sees) --



Wednesday, March 22, 2023


 Forgive me, you know

How I have hurt you — take my

Sorrow with you — all

Of you, near and far — there is

No way I can follow you

found to be

One thing becoming-another. 

In the union of form and emptiness, our bodies and minds and the whole phenomenal world are not rejected but rather are found to be direct expressions of the sacred. 

Aura Glaser, “Into the Demon’s Mouth”. Tricycle


How becoming you are! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

nothing doing what shunyata itself does

 Mind is not a thing

Nor is the real a thing — they

Are no-thing feeling

A pervasive awareness

Arising and passing through

just to make clear

I say this because the snow pushed up driveway is melting today as it should in spring before this coming Saturday night's 3-5" snowfall.

I know it's only Tuesday.

That God is in (its) heaven, and all is not (quite) well in the world.

But, some say, poets dig words out of mud and toss them into forms to harden into bricks for building a terrace to hold flowers that itch to show themselves when snow trickles off the mountain. 


whatever you have to say, leave 


the roots on, let them 




And the dirt 


Just to make clear 


where they come from

 (-poem by Charles Olson) 

If you want to tell me anything about God, show me, like math in high school, the work done before the answer you've found. And what you've surrounded that answer with, whether safety deposit box or broken heart, whether gold plated door arches or tattered jacket with buttons missing.

Mud season has been early. Tire tracks indent weary stones sunk into ground. Pools of melted snow-water hang out by wood gate closed to the road. Mail delivery put into box by utility pole.

So many limbs down from last week's nor'easter. 

God is stillness and silence deep in earth and far in cosmos -- waiting for creatures, slowly emerging from soil, to feel their way into the Sound of Being Here.


and dirt


Monday, March 20, 2023

ただ 完全に一人*

 I have

No reason

To trust


I have

No reason

Not to trust


I have 


Reason . . .


Is the






* Just




 Self itself

No self


What else









Because of


as winter disembarks

Some remnant considerations


    "In the very end, civilizations perish because they listen to their politicians and not to their poets. 

     (-Jonas Mekas) 


 “The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.”   

(--from The Beast God Forgot to Invent)

(-Poet Jim Harrison) 


    “Society, in general, maintains such a vested interest in its cozy habits and solidified belief systems that it had rather die — or kill — than entertain change.”  


(-Tom Robbins) 

blank mirror

 Looking up at stars

With dog in dooryard by barn

Universe looks back

sad, but dangerous

 The mentally ill

Ranting from Florida warns

Us — be on alert

Sunday, March 19, 2023

sometimes, darkness

all, this

 So much political turmoil

It seems up is down and in is out

Quantum physicists are laughing --

“They’re finally beginning to understand,” they say.

I no longer believe in dissembling

What is is what is, it is

Time to sit zazen

No time for dissembled reality

Thank you for your interest in (all) this