Saturday, November 18, 2023

scalpel school of discord

 All is good.

It’s when we sever things into discard and dislike

We part from good.

then there is this

The thing about non-dual consciousness is you must hear everything with a mind that is able to hear everything.  

 The repeating Israeli airstrikes on the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza are beyond my own comprehension.  For at least 10 of the last 40 days, missiles have rained down on the most densely populated refugee camp in all of Gaza. 


And it is not just the days; it is also the nights. The bombing is done in the dark, when the power is off and the only light is from the fires that burn. It is done when the internet is cut, when the journalists are shot dead, to hide their crimes, the burning of children. 


I have a long history and strong connection to the people in this camp. My friends, former coworkers, patients, and people I have known for decades through my work as a doctor at Gaza’s Al-Awda hospital are living in this camp.

(--From Gaza with Rage: You Must Stop the Genocide, by Mona El-Farra, 18nov2023) 

That is, with compassion and courage.

As if your life depended on it. 

they shot at everything that moved

We think we know courage.

Look here:

Truck dashcam footage shows farmer dodging bullets as he saved 120 from music festival 

in response to m.d.'s opinion piece re j.b.'s age

As someone coming up to 80, I can't imagine why anyone would want to be so active surrounded by so many crazy problems.

On the other hand, The Republican frontrunner is truly off his rocker and wandering the desolate hallways of spooky ideology and mega-lomaniac fantasy.

If Biden is the only one to put the other guy away as he did last time, I say go. 

He will be the wounded lawman in the not-ok corral sequel who we suspect isn't going to make it to the end of the film, but who got rid of the bad guys threatening the people and the peace.

America will carry on. It's what we have to do. It's a vote for decency while we still can.

sound of one rainfall

 No need for 

Religious chants

This rainfall

Says it all

With unencumbered


three words: poet, monk, nun

How well they sit together. 

His reputation for gentleness was sometimes carried to comical extremes. A tale is told that, one day when Ryokan returned to his hut he discovered a robber who had broken in and was in the process of stealing the impoverished monk's few possessions. In the thief's haste to leave, he left behind a cushion. Ryokan grabbed the cushion and ran after the thief to give it to him. This event prompted Ryokan to compose one of his best known poems:

The thief left it behind:
the moon
at my window

When Ryokan was 70 and nearing the end of his life, he met a young nun and poet named Teishin. Though Teishin was only 28, they fell in love. They exchanged several beautiful love poems. 

As Ryokan was dying, Teishin came to him and held him at his moment of death. It was Teishin who collected and published Ryokan's poetry after his death.

RyokanJapan (1758 - 1831) 

Once the phrase “ monastics of no other” (m.o.n.o.) seemed to capture the gist of why bother waking up in the morning —  along with the appellation “dottore nulla e niente” as an academic credential. But now I am an old man with nothing to show and still less I actually know. 

All that remains is faint sound drifting across small distances as we converse with one another again and again like tenured archeologists and insouciant degree candidates brushing off dirt from articulated exploration of deeply hidden remnants of our true self with several others attending the dig with their own trawls and two inch paint brushes.

Today, Royokan is uncovered and swept clean and makes himself clear:

This world

by Ryokan

English version by John Stevens
Original Language Japanese

This world
A fading
Mountain echo
Void and

A light snow
Three Thousand Realms
Within those realms
Light snow falls

As the snow
Engulfs my hut
At dusk
My heart, too
Is completely consumed

-- from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan, Translated by John Stevens


And Teishin (1798-1873)

distant waves

Distant waves
seem to come
seem to go
So I have lived my life
leaving everything to the blowing wind.


  (Believed to be her last poem written before she died in 1873)

when words good and thanks are their own spirituality

 Wood-drop yesterday,

Finish covering boat — good

 prison circle — thanks

Friday, November 17, 2023


 Too tired to care.

the price of chains and slavery

Give me liberty — and, give me death. ‘Or’ no longer seems to apply. Choice is merely delay. War is coming. Which way to turn?

 I trust you, my Mind.

Though the body is filled
To the full by you,
The ten thousand things
Have become light.
Roaming in the universe,
In and out of mountain forests,
Why should I admire the beauty
Of red and purple robes?
I seek only that which
Frost and snow cannot harm.

Han-Shan Te-Ch’ing

At St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia, March  23, 1775Patrick Henry made his case for a Virginia militia, reconstructed here: 

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

 Source: Wirt, William. Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry . (Philadelphia) 1836, as reproduced in The World's Great Speeches, Lewis Copeland and Lawrence W. Lamm, eds., (New York) 1973.

 I’ve no firearm. Yet, a war is coming. Not from away. Closer. Something mean this way comes. It is cruel and unkind. Half the people want the other half gone. They are pests, they say. They do not savour the lust for dominance or control, they do not scam suckers for personal gain, nor denigrate those not agreeing with them, as is so blithely done.

We are warned, but we are asleep in the illusion of liberty and the love of Jesus who has been drafted into their propagandistic mob and remains silent.

Han Shan roams the universe. We are invited.

There’s no telling when, or if, the human mind will ever mature.

Frost and snow near.

We’ll see.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

start again

 What does it mean to be anti-rational?

I don’t know.

Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu 莊子 “Master Zhuang” late 4th century BC) is the pivotal figure in Classical Philosophical Daoism. The Zhuangzi is a compilation of his and others’ writings at the pinnacle of the philosophically subtle Classical period in China (5th–3rd century BC). The period was marked by humanist and naturalist reflections on normativity shaped by the metaphor of a dào—a social or a natural path. Traditional orthodoxy understood Zhuangzi as an anti-rational, credulous follower of a mystical Laozi. That traditional view dominated mainstream readings of the text. Recent archeological discoveries have largely laid that ancient orthodoxy to rest. 

Six centuries later, elements of Zhuangzi’s naturalism, along with themes found in the text attributed to Laozi helped shape Chan Buddhism (Japanese Zen)—a distinctively Chinese, naturalist blend of Daoism and Buddhism with its emphasis on focused engagement in our everyday ways of life. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

What does it mean to be mystical?

There’s no knowing.

Just everyday engagement.

bodies belong where words lead

 If we could feel, 

instead of thinking,

would atrocity stop?

If we said “no”

with body and soul in place,

would cruel ugliness cease?

Berrigan wrote: “Freedom 

consequent on the accepted necessity 

of walking where one’s word leads…

Bodies belong where words lead.” 

(From Daniel Berrigan’s poem, 

“September 27, 1971”)

Let’s go there, stand in Gaza,

place ourselves with love

and compassion

in harm’s


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

wholly spirit

 The spiritual life begins and ends with breath. 

Between breaths the activity of movement and thought occurs.

Be attentive.

Do well what you are doing.

One breath at a time.

koan be gone

 God is


God is

Now, Here

God is

What is







a huge, huge loss,


At least 102 workers from the largest United Nations agency in Gaza have been killed in five weeks of heavy Israeli bombing. Most did not die in the line of duty but instead while at home, often in strikes that also killed members of their families, U.N. officials said.

They were men and women. The largest number were teachers. Others included school principals, warehouse workers, engineers, a software developer, a gynecologist and a man in charge of staff safety. He was killed in his home along with his wife and their eight children, said Juliette Touma, the media coordinator for UNRWA, the agency that cares for Palestinian refugees and their descendants across the Middle East.

“It is a huge, huge loss,” Ms. Touma said. “Every day, we get more of these reports of our colleagues who were killed.”  

 (—With 102 Workers Killed, U.N. Agency in Gaza Struggles to Provide Aid, By Ben Hubbard , Published Nov. 14, 2023 Updated Nov. 15, 2023, 2:05 a.m. ET)

War . . .

It is a great failure of imagination, a great moment of failure and cruelty.

One can only guess what the mind of the terrorist and war-maker looks like. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

oy vey

 It seems ludicrous

The posturing and lies — there’s

Little sanity

Monday, November 13, 2023

nihil obstat

  What is


Said the





For us

all that’s left you


From “Bookends” by Simon and Garfunkel:

“Time it was and what a time it was it was, / A time of innocence a time of confidences.”  
“Long ago it must be, I have a photograph / Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.” 

Read that final phrase again, then read it again.

Now, what really is here? 

We looked at Rupert Spira last evening: How Does Evolution Exist If Time Is an Illusion?

Sunday, November 12, 2023

a sandwich from scratch

Yes, of course, we are at the origin of everything that is. 

“To truly make a sandwich from scratch, you must first create the universe.” --Carl Sagan

The source of all, one might say, is the source at middle of each one of us.

We emerge through this source.

We might be inspired by what has emerged through another's source. But what we see from that emergence is similarly dwelling in and through our sluice of passage. 

Source is source each place of emergence and manifestation. 

From the Madyamaka (Middle Way) school, this:

There does not exist anything

That is not dependently arisen.

Therefore there does not exist anything

That is not empty.


To be empty in the Buddhist sense is to be wholly interconnected with the ten thousand things, or, as we might say, with all that is. To come to dwell in the center of things, in the center of one-self (or, one's self),  is to take up residence in center-seat where compassion and wisdom are most likely to reside.

Yesterday, sitting in room with the hurt and damaged in bodies and minds I was aware of my fate as non-different from my companions. It was Saturday morning. We were there together in designated wing for the no-place-other-to-go. And it occurs to me how apt that is for anyone meditating -- the stark and liberating realization that there is no-place-other-to-go. 

“Madhyamaka” is a Sanskrit word that simply means “middle way.” (The derivative form “Mādhyamika” literally means “of or relating to the middle,” and conventionally designates an adherent of the school, or qualifies some aspect of its thought.) Madhyamaka refers to the Indian Buddhist school of thought that develops in the form of commentaries on the works of Nāgārjuna, who flourished around 150 C.E. Nāgārjuna figures in the traditional accounts developed to authenticate the literature of the self-styled “Mahāyāna” stream of Buddhist thought. Arguing that sūtras known to have begun circulating only at the beginning of the first millennium could nevertheless represent the authentic teaching of the Buddha (buddhavacana), proponents of Mahāyāna invoked the characteristically Buddhist idea of “skill in means” (upāyakauśalya); they thus claimed that the Mahāyāna sūtras promulgate an advanced stage of the Buddha’s teaching such as would not have been appropriately taught to the earliest auditors of the Buddha, who, unprepared by the necessarily preparatory earlier teachings, might draw nihilistic conclusions from the sūtras. It is Nāgārjuna who is said first to have recovered and promulgated these sūtras, having retrieved the Prajñāpāramitā (“Perfection of Wisdom”) literature from the underwater kingdom of the “Nāgas,” or serpent kings. 

(--Madhyamaka Buddhist Philosophy) Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Perhaps the "skill in means" points us to the willingness to be where we are when we are there with all the compassion and wisdom available arising from where and when we are there. 

The Middle Way is where we might find ourselves sitting. Or walking. Or attending in conversation. (This is not "both-sides-ism" but, rather, "residing at source") -- finding out from where causes and conditions have obscured the source.

So, here we are, creating the universe with each breath, each activity, each looking.

(Uh oh, the eggs are ready.)

Time to make the sandwich.

use with caution

 Belief? In what?

Nah -- just meditative walking

silent sitting, empty looking

doing this, doing that, nothing else

Belief has become a swing

hanging from tired limb by

frayed ropes

at end of ability to hold

nada y nada, nada y nada otra vez

 Two trillion galaxies?

Universe 26.7 billion years old?

An infinite cosmos

An eternal span beyond time

Makes the pain in my back

Seem very small

I wonder if anything matters

Alas, purring thing on right arm!

I’m going to pray now — to whom

For what — I’ve no idea, none, nada

what james webb space telescope and author of paul’s hoax are reflecting

Lecturer proposes

Paul invented hoax

About Jesus 

Two thousand years ago


Maybe not

For Christ's sake

Scientists are saying

 There are galaxies 

Older than universe

Before the Big Bang —


“Jesus Christ” is

The name for

“I don’t know sh*t,

Do you?”

The JWST is out there

Looking around, as is

Down here author of

The Jesus Hoax says Paul

Did a trump and fooled the

World making things up

I don’t know — no big bang

No salvific resurrection

No Santa Claus, no ancient

Aliens — what’s next — no

Purring cat on right upper arm

No coffee beans to grind

I’m left on a wharf untying lines

Attached to no trawlers no containers

Just loosened dock lines

Hanging out over changing tide