Saturday, January 06, 2024

stacking done before first snow

 Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection.”

Yup, he’s right.

hagia phota

 Seeing Things Through

             Neumz mailing says "...the Epiphany is called in the East: Hagia phota, that is, the holy light."

Saturday morning sun

washing machine clicks off

will hang laundry on cold porch

where sunlight is the surprise

tell me, what did you come to see

Missa - Communio

06 January, 2024


Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriénte,

We have seen his star in the East,

et vénimus cum munéribus

and we have come with our gifts,

adoráre Dóminum.

to worship the Lord.


Friday, January 05, 2024

journeying god --- at epiphany

O God,
who am I now?
Once, I was secure

in familiar territory
in my sense of belonging

unquestioning of 

the norms of my culture
the assumptions built into my language
the values shared by my society.

But now you have called me out and away from home
and I do not know where you are leading.
I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.
I have only a beckoning star to follow.

Journeying God,
pitch your tent with mine
so that I may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make

toward a wealth not dependent on possessions
toward a wisdom not based on books
toward a strength not bolstered by might
toward a God not confined to heaven

but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognized…

Help me find myself
as I walk in others’ shoes.

Kate Compston, England, 1990
From Bread of Tomorrow: Prayers for the Church Year

a place-holding name is now transparent

 with epiphany

arrives word-as-revelation

an intuition of integrity

dying self releasing nothing

what we once called 'god'

now is what-is seen through

Thursday, January 04, 2024

the state of our culture

trump trump trump

All day all night

How he has devoured

This country’s attention

Like a nauseating drunk

Demanding attention in alley

night in its swift course was now half-gone

Once upon a time

the world is worded

filling everything with 

what-is pronouncing itself


For while gentle silence enveloped all things

and night in its swift course was now half-gone,


your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne,

into the midst of the land that was doomed,

a stern warrior


carrying the sharp sword of your authentic command,

and stood and filled all things with death

and touched heaven while standing on the earth.

--Wisdom of Solomon, 18:14-16 (NSRV)

For those of us

remaining here 

we are filled with death

which is not-yet-itself

What has happened?

The touching of heaven

while standing on earth

A new realization

Birth-word and death-word

stare into new silence

enveloping (what-was) half-gone

second by second (now) all-gone

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

what is given


Follow the truth of the Way.
Reflect on it. Make it your own.
Live it.
It will always sustain you.
Do not turn away what is given you,
Nor reach out for what is given to others,
Lest you disturb your quietness. 

 —Buddha, The Dhammapada

Where sound goes to be itself. 

vamos, nos vamos de aquí

Stop wanting to be enlightened.

In fact, stop wanting to be...anything.

Try forgetting your dreams and ambitions.

Get lost. 

Bernadette Roberts describes the importance of the unitive state for the spiritual path. This much is hardly new, though her precision and detail are illuminating. She then describes what lies beyond this egoless or unitive state. Here lies the real significance of her work, for what so many have taken as the end of the road turns out to be more or less the midpoint on the total spiritual path. And this is shown with remarkable clarity. First, with a description of what she calls the Christian passage, then through a frank confession of her own contemplative struggle—not through mere professions of faith, dogma or speculation.  

What is the real end of any spiritual path, if not the end of the self that walks it? No beating around the bush here: “The search for truth must go on until there is nothing left to doubt and no questions left to ask” (p. 77). Elsewhere she puts it in more traditional terms: “Union with God then, is not complete until there is nothing left to be united” (The Experience of No-Self, p. 178). This is so much more—and less—than mystical union or ecstasy. It undercuts, in one fell swoop, any self-preoccupation or fixation with so-called enlightenment experiences. 

(--in Foreword by Jeff Shore, in book What Is Self? A Study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of Consciousness, by BERNADETTE ROBERTS  

The annoying thing about living what has euphemistically been called a spiritual life is that the spirit, actually, the breath, is not the body nor the mind. Breath, spirit, is what passes through body and mind as electricity might pass through wires and filament on its way to itself -- that is, luminosity. Or, in the case of breath, however undetectable, animated movement.

When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. (--Ps.146:4)

We don't want to live a spiritual life. We want to say we are living a spiritual life. To live a spiritual life is not to be here any longer. That's what's queer about the unitive life supposedly at the apex of one's spiritual life -- it isn't there any more.


Vamos, nos vamos de aquí.. (Come on, let's get out of here)

Nothing left to doubt.

And no question left to ask.


parrhesia* and dépouillement

I'm readying to die. I have no terminal diagnosis from the medical community. But one knows. 

It's not just the pains and failures of the body, not just the deterioration of the mind nor the loss of patience with mostly everything. It is the recognizably slow and creepy way everything packs up and moves out. The way interest in former things steps off the window ledge and makes no sound as it drops thirty stories to an unheard conclusion.

And while a sadness visits,  so too does a calm indifference. It doesn't matter. If it wasn't such a thorny phrase, I'd say I don't care. Don't care, that is, I don't care to continue living. Nor does death alarm. Should whatever choose to flare up as the near proximate threat to my continuing to live, I would not contest it, not 'fight' it or do everything to beat it back so I could continue on living.

I've been dying ever since I first heard the phrase here described by St. Elizabeth of the Trinity: 

“Quotidie morior.”42 “I die daily.” I decrease,43 I renounce self more each day so that Christ may increase in me and be exalted; I “remain” very little “in the depths of my poverty.” I see “my nothingness, my misery, my weakness; I perceive that I am incapable of progress, of perseverance; I see the multitude of my shortcomings, my defects; I appear in my indigence.” “I fall down in my misery, confessing my distress, and I display it before the mercy”44 of my Master.”  --goodreads

― Elizabeth of the Trinity, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity, vol. 1 (featuring a General Introduction and Major Spiritual Writings)

Or the Buddha in the Dhammapada: 

People forget that their lives will end soon. For those who remember, quarrels come to an end. 

We while the time between birth and death wondering whether there are such things as birth and death, really, and not just in our minds and bodies. 

One of our cats, Panta, is a demolition practitioner demolishing wood doorframes and cardboard boxes of old papers, poems, and letters. She harbingers the condition of the world's entropy. I protest her unravelling activity but know deep within she is an angel of haruspication.

I'm adjusting to my diagnosis-less deterioration and psychological deconstruction.

Put differently, Simone Weil writes of decreation.

The French makes more clear the connection between attention (l’attention) and waiting (attente). For Weil the problem with searching, instead of waiting en hupomene (δἰ ὑπομονῆς), is precisely that one is eager to fill the void characterizing attente. As a result, one settles too quickly on some-thing: a counterfeit, falsity, idol. Because in searching or willing the imagination fills the void (le vide), it is crucial that attention be characterized by suspension and detachment. Indeed, the void by definition is empty (vide)—of idols, futural self-projections, consolations that compensate un-thinking, and attachments of collective and personal prestige. As such, its acceptance marks individual fragility and destructibility, that is, mortality. But this acceptance of death is the condition for the possibility of the reception of grace. (As explained below in regard to her religious philosophy, Weil’s concept for the disposition characterized by these features of attention, with obvious theological resonances, is “decreation”.) 

In attention one renounces one’s ego in order to receive the world without the interference of one’s limited and consumptive perspective. This posture of self-emptying, a stripping away of the “I” (dépouillement)—ultimately for Weil an imitatio Christi in its kenosis—allows for an impersonal but intersubjective ethics. Indeed, if the primary orientation of attention is toward a mysterious and unknown God (often experienced as a desire for the Good), the secondary disposition is toward another person or persons, especially toward those going through affliction. 

The soul empties itself [se vide] of all its own contents in order to receive into itself the being it is looking at, just as he is, in all his truth. Only he who is capable of attention can do this. (WFG 65)

--Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Simone Weil 

Often, in the meditative community, the notion of non-self or no-self is the stuff of ambivalent interest. What does it mean? Are we really to think that what I call me is a temporizing construct treading water in deep ocean until some salvific rescue ship plucks me and sets me right on solid deck?

At Tuesday Evening Practice the conversation was about soul. E.E.Cummings final line of one of his poems was quoted: "All lose, whole find."

Lose what we think of as "self" and find the whole. Not, I suspect, an easy practice.

I am mostly unsubscribed.

I volunteer to unvolunteer, but for Monday and Friday mornings at the prison.

Now I'll stack some wood.

Keeping an eye out for this and that as it surrounds as community. (Umwelt)

...   ...   ...

*The earliest recorded use of the term parrhesia is by Euripides 
in the fifth century B.C.[2][3] Parrhesia means literally "to speak everything" 
and by extension "to speak freely", "to speak boldly", or "boldness".[4]     --wikipedia

light through bamboo shade

 Cancelling all subscriptions 

I have nothing now

To teach me

What i

Do not 


snowflake sutra haiku


He saw it

He said it

Outside my window
it keeps reciting itself—
the snowflake sutra. 

–Jan Häll,  tricycle

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

no license, no registration, no mobility

 There are no parking spaces 

in my mind.

No gas in the tank.

No car to my name.

No desire for conveyance.

Nor will i hitchhike.

eating too much and working too little

Where shall we begin? 

Twin Verses  


1 Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it. 


2 Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves. 


3 “He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” – those who dwell on such thoughts will never be free from hatred. 


4 “He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” – those who do not dwell on such thoughts will surely become free from hatred. 


5 For hatred can never put an end to hatred; love alone can. This is an unalterable law. 


6 People forget that their lives will end soon. For those who remember, quarrels come to an end. 


7 As a strong wind blows down a weak tree, Mara the Tempter overwhelms weak people who, eating too much and working too little, are caught in the frantic pursuit of pleasure. 


8 As the strongest wind cannot shake a mountain, Mara cannot shake those who are self-disciplined and full of faith. 


9 Those who put on the saffron robe without purifying the mind, who lack truthfulness and self-control, are not fit to wear the saffron robe. 


10 But those who have purified their minds, who are endowed with truth and self-control, are truly fit to wear the saffron robe. 

(--Twin Verses, 1-10, The Dhammapada, Sayings of The Buddha, trans. Eknath Eswaren, Everand

I don't think I've many quarrels remaining.

Nor do I think I am full of faith. 

Unless, by faith is meant trusting there is... what is... as it is.

If we become what we think, then I am allowing a chocolate donut alongside peanut butter and strawberry jam on toasted English near chai tea -- to become me as I become them.

Then, I become a woodpile lifted off ground into towers of cross-spaced stacking this first day of cold sunlight.

From other side of two books (The New Naked Poetry and God Is No More) eyes open for snoozing cat on brown blanket in hermit 's room. She stretches. Jumps off bed. 


how we g’on,e

 I have this breath

Oh, it’s gone

I have this breath

Oh, it’s gone

I have this breath

Oh, it’s gone

Monday, January 01, 2024

الله جيد, allah jayid*

 *God is good

Such a lovely thought

As is man good

(Ah yes, it is a prayer, no?)

crunching underfoot

 Over on mountain

Machines make snow through cold night

Dog pees near wood-walk 

où est allé dieu

 Little by little

World goes away

I am left here

ניו יאָר ס וויץ וואָס איז פאַקטיש, אָבער, אַנפאַני*

 Did you hear the one about the Rabbi, Priest, Imam, Zen Master, and Rishi who walked into a bar?

They each ordered nothing.

And they got it.

(* Yiddish for: New Year's joke that is real, but, unfunny.) (niu yor s vits vos iz faktish, ober, anfani*)

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.