Saturday, October 21, 2023


There are two things inhibiting compassionate living and holiness of spirit.

One is belief in the separation of self from other.

Two is the belief that things are mine even if they belong to you.

  1. Delusion obscuring the oneness and wholeness of creation and being.
  2. Greed and the lust to own what belongs to itself.
(Have you watched The American Buffalo by Ken Burns?)

As a species, culture, and civilization we are lost and dying because of delusion and greed. 

Add to that a bitter anger at not having what delusion and greed entice us to erroneously believe, and we have death warrant and divorce papers of unhappiness and desolation at our doorstep.

It is our fate.


the remainder and the absence here

What do the seers see?

What do listeners hear?

There is a difference among us. The seers and listeners know incompleteness and long for, actively seeking, wholeness. 

I’ve noticed along the way that some people are much better at seeing people than others are. In any collection of humans, there are diminishers and there are illuminators. Diminishers are so into themselves, they make others feel insignificant. They stereotype and label. If they learn one thing about you, they proceed to make a series of assumptions about who you must be.

Illuminators, on the other hand, have a persistent curiosity about other people. They have been trained or have trained themselves in the craft of understanding others. They know how to ask the right questions at the right times — so that they can see things, at least a bit, from another’s point of view. They shine the brightness of their care on people and make them feel bigger, respected, lit up.

Illuminators are a joy to be around. A biographer of the novelist E.M. Forster wrote, “To speak with him was to be seduced by an inverse charisma, a sense of being listened to with such intensity that you had to be your most honest, sharpest, and best self.” Imagine how good it would be to offer people that kind of hospitality.

(—from The Essential Skills for Being Human, by David Brooks, opinion piece, NYTimes, 19oct2023)

Once you’ve been heard you begin to become seen.

Once you’ve been seen you begin to become heard.

The karma-yogic or practical-mystic experience of becoming seen and heard is to understand absence in its divine cloaking function. 

Chris and Doris brought something to ponder at Tuesday Evening Conversation. It revolved around Chinese Chan and God’s absence. Is the absence of God necessary and creative to the existence of anything, anyone, in what we call existence?

Mother Teresa, Abbot Thomas Keating, and prominent others such as Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross have notably experienced the absence of God in their lives. Can we add a long list of self-proclaimed atheists whose erudition and depth of discourse about there-being no-God resonates an honest engagement with absence and emptiness?

In the Gospel of Thomas, this:
27 [22]. Jesus saw some children who were taking the breast: he said to his disciples: "These little ones who suck are like those who enter the Kingdom." They said to him: "If we are little, shall we enter the Kingdom?" Jesus says to them: "When you make the two <become> one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the upper like the lower! And if you make the male and female one, so that the male is no longer male and the female no longer female, and when you put eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in the place of a hand, and a foot in the place of a foot, and an image in the place of an image, then you will enter [the Kingdom!"] 

What math is it when considering that 2 minus 1 is the absence of one?

There is interest in transcending duality. What does non-duality and Advaita Vedanta do within both consciousness and existence? 

What is the absence of one in the simple subtraction formula of two minus one?

Is God both the remainder and the absence here?

Is the absence of God, (some prefer “withdrawal”), the very origin of creation with its particular complement of things and beings and whatnot?

Someone once wrote that absence does not make the heart grow fonder — it makes the heart forget, which is kinder.

Is this forgetting our double-edged condition in contemporary culture? 

Have we forgotten the glorious surround of absence?

Have we, as Heidegger suggested, forgotten Being?

It is an historical query of humankind, namely, Why am I here?

Is “here” empty of anything other?

Is God “Here” — the replete and complete absence of “Other?”

Let’s fail the koan at this ending: 

       Q:   What is here other than absence?

        A:   MU! or WU! (or) Don’t ask!

. . .   . . .    . . .

Some English translation equivalents of  or mu are:

  • "no", "not", "nothing", or "without"[4]
  • "nothing", "not", "nothingness", "un-", "is not", "has not", "not any"[5]
    1. Pure awareness, prior to experience or knowledge. This meaning is used especially by the Chan school of Buddhism.
    2. A negative.
    3. Caused to be nonexistent.
    4. Impossible; lacking reason or cause.
    5. Nonexistence; nonbeing; not having; a lack of, without.
    6. The "original nonbeing" from which being is produced in the Tao Te Ching.[6]

In modern Chinese, Japanese and Korean it is commonly used in combination words as a negative prefix to indicate the absence of something (no ..., without ..., un- prefix), e.g., Chinese无-线pinyinwú-xiàn/mu-sen (無-線)/mu-seon (무-선) for "wireless".[7] In Classical Chinese, it is an impersonal existential verb meaning "not have".[8]

The same character is also used in Classical Chinese as a prohibitive particle, though in this case it is more properly written Chinesepinyin.[9]


believing her, in her

 Listening to voice

Of Sinėid O’Connor — cowards

Boo her in Garden

Friday, October 20, 2023

an inmate, whose birthday was yesterday, wanted a blessing

 One of the men wanted 

to talk about prayer.

Prayer is a call to presence.

As god is presence itself

So prayer, so the requester, 

so us

Presencing within presence


right here is where presence dwells

When someone dies they

Step into no-time, reside

at edge of right here

Thursday, October 19, 2023

recalling that time

 In the night she died

Twenty four years ago, soeur

Patricia, bon nuit

tierce, merci

 Bells from France — monks feet

choir stalls, thumping on wood

Their chant a sweet sound


If you must know who you are, there are three things you might do.

I can’t remember what they are. 

A Dent in a Bucket

                  BY GARY SNYDER

Hammering a dent out of a bucket

      a woodpecker

               answers from the woods

(-Gary Snyder, “A Dent in a Bucket” from Danger on Peaks. Copyright © 2004)

Every call is a challenge.

Every response, a 公案 gōng'àn.

谢谢 (xiè.xiè) — thank you!

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

no desert until you end war

 War means chaos — so

much pain and heartache, Ukraine,

Russia, Middle East 

if formless emptiness is actual absence

Heaven, earth, emerge

How our christian friends will wonder —

Be unborn again

planetary society intro

 A mendicant wandering through poetry, philosophy, and the cosmos.


now arriving here / 

looking around to see you / 

where else could I be

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

and that is much like this

 Stand aside, let go

Fall backwards into the dark —

Joy is much like that

yes, this world seems very nice, i’ll take it

 Here’s my prediction:

Chaos and anarchy will

Look around and stay

“now expected today”

 Tracking notice from

 philosophical vendor —

no time on its way

not yet not yet


Trapped between borders look for

Some humanity

Monday, October 16, 2023

you’ve not seen me much

sorry for absence

solitude reveals itself —

(love you) — À plus tard

back from prison and moody’s diner

 Looking through rain drops

grey mist foggy chill outside —

straightening blanket

Sunday, October 15, 2023

incalculable, my dear

 How many more days?

Ridiculous. I am not

yet alive, not dead

the absence of nothing

Teresa of Ávila (28 March 1515 – 4 or 15 October 1582), a Carmelite visionary, is noted today. 

More and more aware of the presence of God.

Which is a thing-in-itself, the presence of God. 

"Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things are passing away, God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone suffices." --St. Teresa of Ávila, (cf St. Teresa of Avila — Let Nothing Disturb You, by Shashi Dubey) 



lack, noun

deficiency or absence of something needed, desirable, or customary: 

lack of money; lack of skill.

something missing or needed: 


verb (used with object)

to be without or deficient in: 

to lack ability; to lack the necessities of life.

to fall short in respect of: 

He lacks three votes to win. 


verb (used without object)

to be absent or missing, as something needed or desirable: 

Three votes are lacking to make a majority. 


Verb Phrases

lack in,  to be short of or deficient in: 



This definition, "to be without or deficient in" attracts. 


If I am without and deficient within I am nexus of inter-connection, a betweening-being, Janus-looking, sighting ambient presence, lacking nothing, merely there. 

Her way of prayer is described best in the book she wrote in 1577, The Interior Castle. In her words: “I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many mansions.” She takes the reader on a journey from the first room, where humility is acquired, all the way to the seventh, the room where transformation is complete. She called this seventh room the room of Spiritual Marriage, where “two lighted candles join and become one; the falling rain becomes merged in the river.” It is a book drawn from her own experiences, and is as popular today as it was 500 years ago.

Psychiatrist Karl Stern wrote, "All being is nuptial." 

For Teresa, this participatory realization is "Spiritual Marriage."

For my investigation, it words as "Behold what is within without" (my approximating translation of Om mane padme hum.)

For all of us -- whether known or unknown, realized or unrealized -- it is this present moment. 

Without fanfare.

As we live through ... that which is ... passing with ... delight.

Here, a poem by Richard Crashawc.1612-1649

Upon the Book and Picture of the Seraphical Saint Teresa

O THOU undaunted daughter of desires!

By all thy dower of lights and fires;

By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;

By all thy lives and deaths of love;

By thy large draughts of intellectual day,

And by thy thirsts of love more large than they;

By all thy brim-fill'd bowls of fierce desire,

By thy last morning's draught of liquid fire;

By the full kingdom of that final kiss

That seized thy parting soul, and seal'd thee His;

By all the Heav'n thou hast in Him

(Fair sister of the seraphim!);

By all of Him we have in thee;

Leave nothing of myself in me.

Let me so read thy life, that I

Unto all life of mine may die! 

                                        -- poem by Richard Crashawc.1612-1649