Saturday, November 04, 2023

the clearest scripture

Given a thought, we try to create a world.

No-thought might be worth considering.

Given silence, what we once called “God” becomes presence. 

Presence, pure and simple, is the only possession worth valuing. 

Wittgenstein’s “Don’t think, look!” might be the clearest scripture

never the twain, shall meet

 Between us

The gaze —

Cat wants breakfast

my one and only you

What am I waiting for? 

You tell me.

Autumn night, unable to sleep,

I leave my tiny cottage.
Fall insects cry under the rocks, and
The cold branches are sparsely covered.
Far away, from deep in the valley,
The sound of water.
The moon rises slowly over the highest peak;
I stand there quietly for a long time and
My robe becomes moist with dew.

Ryokan (1758-1831) dailyzen

Every minute passing itself with shrug of shoulders.

Itself saying nothing.

You tell me.

Friday, November 03, 2023

self-abnegating simplicity

 Not everyone wants fame and notereity.

Tao's autobiographical summary of several paragraphs, "Biography of the Gentleman of the Five Willows," written in the third person, is a stylized tour-de-force that does not reveal much but is infused with self-abnegating simplicity.

Quiet and of few words, he does not desire glory or profit. He delights in study but does not seek abstruse explanations. Whenever there is something of which he apprehends the meaning, then, in his happiness, he forgets to eat. ...

His house with surrounding walls only a few paces long is lonely and does not shelter him from wind and sun. His short coarse robe is torn and mended. His dishes and gourds are often empty, yet he is at peace. He constantly delights himself with writing in which he widely expresses his own ideals. He is unmindful of gain or loss, and thus he will be to the end.  

       --Tao Chien (Tao Yuan-ming), Poet of Reclusion

It's a big world.

Plenty of room for the small. 

Tao Chien has a profound affinity for the recluses and sages of the past:

Far off, I gaze at the white clouds,
I think deeply of the ancients ...
I think of you, recluses:
A thousand years after, I cherish your principles.
Searching their essence, I cannot exhaust it. ...
That the ancients cannot be with me
only I can know how sorely I regret it.

 Poet of Reclusion 

jetzt hier

 Is God still?

What does stillness look like?

If we were still, would we “know that I am God”?

The phrase reads: Be still and know that I am God.

I’m not sure we even begin to comprehend this pericope.

We ask: Is God still here? And the subtle multitudes of meaning elude considerations.

Still here.

We wonder whether and where God is.

We stumble upon the question: Is God still here?

And we run around the question picking up words and phrases, hermeneutical analyses and source archeology to shoehorn the phrasing into semiotic and cultural adhesion justifying stated concepts explaining a world view.

But what if God is still here?





Is that what medieval philosophers and theologians meant by their saying that God is the unmoved and unmoving mover?

Is the movement of God stillness?

Has the response of God to millennia of prayers been:




Here —



Still and

Know that





Thursday, November 02, 2023


 War seems to be the natural state of humankind. 

Taking from others, punishing them if they resist, annexing their land, taking their resources.

The thing about war is that cruelty and maiming is ok.

We are armed with weapons of war.

We are a cruel and maiming people.

Whatever country, territory, or faction you belong to — you are cruel, maiming, murdering and misanthropic.

So is your god, your savior, prophet, leaders, generals, and populace supporting the ugliness.

Tolstoy focuses on “Resist not evil.”

An impossible precept.

A ridiculous Christic proclamation.

No wonder they murdered the Christic proclaimer.

No wonder churches nominalize his anguish for their own benefit.

God surrenders.

What kind of strategy is that?

What do we do now?

where respiritualigion* steps into and through one-an-other, “onee-sama"

 Purring cat on brown blanket looks toward drops of water leaning at bottom of open window. It’s 26° outside. 

I listen to office of Prime from France. It is feast of All Souls.

I read E. Jean Carroll’s 1981 (repub. 31oct23) Outside Magazine piece “Cowgirls All the Way.”

Sun comes up far right in window frame highlighting water on pane. And, it is November, a thought that passes through me like sound of cars up and down mountain sluice with no guess to destination.

I consider I’ve died but my hearing notes with disinterest familiar sounds that no longer matter.

I thought it was today’s date, but it was yesterday, the first, that seven years ago my friend/soeur Jo-Ann died. She’d left her religious congregation, married a Cambridge University chemist, and spent last years, according to obituary he wrote, traveling, shopping, eating at fine establishments, teaching literature at local college, and entertaining at their near-water home. It’s what you do after religion. 

My birthday haiku to her seven years ago, two months prior to her death, sits in return to sender envelope over wohnküche doorway these seven years later because I sent it to their street address and the Madison Connecticut post office couldn’t be bothered to either deliver it or put it into their post office box.

*Respiritualigion (my gift to lexicon) {pronounced: re-spiri-túá-lig-ion} [you're welcome!] is the practice of the day. When in doubt, stay connected with yes! 

Yes is the threshhold coincidentia oppositorum expression of no. Right there, at juncture of antithesis, sic et non, we foray the middle way multiple significances of any word. 

Such as the word soeur.


The school uses the fictional sœur system where any second- or third-year student, the grande sœur ("big sister"), might pick a younger girl who will become her "sœur" (sister in French). The grande sœur gives her the petite sœur ("little sister") a rosary and promises to look after her and guide her. The basic etiquette demands the petite sœur to call her grande sœur "onee-sama" (older sister in Japanese). Aside from being used in prayer, the rosary is the instrument that certifies the sœur union and relationship between two students.[3] There is an implicit code of behavior between sœurs, especially in the Yamayuri Council—the student council of the school: quietness, measure and respect towards each other; values deeply attached to traditional Japanese education.œur_system

 She’d taught in Japan, and we corresponded faithfully, for ten years, while she was there. She tried to recruit me to go teach there. The small hand reaching out with small flower (in card she send and still on wall) that never passed into small hand open and stretched out remains in that coincidentia these sixty years extended and ungrasped. 

Soeur, mon cher ami, je te salue, avec amour!

It is what thresholds are for, as Rilke said, where two solitudes greet, touch, and protect each other.

It’s where respiritualigion steps into and through our lives, where our lives do the same with one-an-other.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

mendicant nonresisting

 Millions of leaves spread

Over mountain trail solo

Hike  — Tolstoy’s Kingdom

Of God is Within my ears

One step next step sounds the sound 

when no longer able to pray, embracing prayer itself

Buddhist prayer flags hang outside Wohnküche between yew tree and overhang. They are threadbare, wrinkled, creased, and overworked in the first of November breeze. 

They are my prayer.

The wind articulates them. bamboo wind chimes on either side give basso support to their silent dance. Sunlight tries to accentuate their once vibrant colors now drab and tired looking.

This is my prayer.

I have nothing to say. No-one to say it to. Nada. Nulla. Niente.

Still, deep memory and heartfelt longing gives urge and urgency to the archeological dig pleading along surface terrain for retrieval and new hermeneutic of lost civilizations of prayerful resonance.

(In background the catholic liturgy from Le Barroux, France begins to fade with organ solo after their liturgy for All Saints Day.)

I sit with this sound and sight of prayer flags, wind chimes, and cars passing on Barnestown Road. Cats fed, dog awaiting, coffee made, November here, temperature chilly, soul quiet, mind disturbed, a chocolate donut from Moody's Diner by breadbox.

It occurs to me, again, that we do not pray -- it is not I, me, you, we who pray -- that self-referential conceit is mere self-aggrandizing dualism affording upset when the (so-called) recipient of our prayer -- God -- does not respond in any manner recognizably in accord with our petition, praise, or petulant posturing.

Prayer is (these days) the stillness of deep reality.

It dwells undergirding the tumultuous comings and goings of opinion and belief besotting human beings. 

It seeps into the paws and pores of animals, birds, and the scales of fish as each traverses the contours of earth.

Prayer (I suspect) is other than our wants, our negligent premises, our negotiating promises, our suspicions as to what is good or best for our benefit and auspices. 

Prayer is (Itself).

It is as-it-is within (Itself).

Prayer prays (Itself), as-it-is, in every moment, at every place, through every dimension, for the sake of What-Is, as it comes to be, ever and anon. 

I do not pray.

I am prayer Itself as it surrounds and passes through what I blithely refer to as "me."

If I act as a barrier, boundary, or impediment to the natural emergence of what-is-coming-to-be, I (we) remain objects and statistics, casualties and hostile aggressors seeking to impose our will on the incalculable mystery of Life/Being, the cosmotheandric inclusion of (what used to be known as) Divine Presence or Reality.

So, I step(s) aside.

My calculating and assessing rationalizations as to the comparative worth of other species, races, nationalities, economic status, belief systems, and opinions -- all fade like the hues of colored flags, all of which are prayer allowing themselves to be moved.

I surrender.

To no-one there.

Feeling the feelings that arise.

Engaging, when possible, to possibly relieve suffering and encourage healing.

Living a life...

Of prayer.

an exceptional degree of (w)holiness

We need to experience saintliness today.

Can we feel it?

The (w)holiness of interrelational being…

The integrity of intrarelational existence

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

counting absurdity

 We say no innocents should be killed. It is a good rule. But like war itself, absurd.

Innocents are killed. The guilty are killed. Bombs destroy anything they touch.

Perhaps we should say something else. What would that be?

Monday, October 30, 2023


 Stop the world, “I” is getting off.

Everyone all at once is realizing the self-referencing ego has imprisoned our hearts and shriveled our minds.

Let the “I” go. 

Begin to live and start to love again.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

tell me about water, long green dry hull says

Dinghy back from sea

Now with canoe by cabin —

Pals for winter chats

something from sunday evening practice

We are, slowly, coming to an appreciation of what the phrase “All my relations” implies.

During these days of mass killings in American cities and Middle East locales, we contemplate with Native American recollection and contemporary musical reflection the invitation to remember and include, to move with one another into daylight.

With respect,


where ontology nihilizes theology


Bare attention

Nothing else



No need




The concept

Of god


No voices,

No manipulation



Bare attention


What is