Saturday, January 20, 2024

por tu e la tua famiglia

A lot of us arrive. A lot of us depart. Some dwell in an uncharted realm of profound question.

We dwell in the meantime.

Meantime is that time of curiosity trying to discern if there is meaning in life. 

There were 61 million people who died in 2023.

Combined with the fact that 134 million babies were born in 2023, the world population increased by 73 million people in 2023 (134 million births – 61 million deaths = 73 million more people; a net increase of 0.91%).

We need one another to look at and see the world, to see this existence. 

As long as thinking is useful, we need to learn to think together. 

“When looking at the cup, you see it with your eyes, from your angle, and with your vision, while I see it with my eyes, from my angle, and with my power of vision. There is no possibility of exchanging even our separate ways of looking at a cup. None of your personal experiences can ever be the same as anyone else’s. More so, then, is your way of thinking bound to be different from everyone else’s. When you are born, your world is born with you, and when you die, so dies your entire world. Your true Self includes the entire world you live in, and in this world there is no possibility of exchange.”

― Dōgen, How to Cook Your Life: From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment

Finished reading a New Yorker article that was intriguing and fascinating as well as troubling and thought-provoking.

What Does It Mean to Die?

When Jahi McMath was declared brain-dead by the hospital, her family disagreed. Her case challenges the very nature of existence.

Bio-ethics and philosophy, human concern and medical liability, a mother's staunch deliberation and a question whether breath means life, even if artificially administered.

Chickadee, Nuthatch, Finch, Junco, Titmouse, Sparrow, Bluejay, and Cardinal find new yellow feeder this Saturday morning. I watch from blue chair. I am able to make it downstairs with walking stick after wrenching back two days ago. I am absolved of chores because of pain and poor mobility. 

We are asked to pray for the deceased. We do. It is not up to us to determine how prayer benefits. It is up to us to pray.

Eternal Rest Prayer

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer for Our Departed

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Like the seed buried in the ground, you have produced the harvest of eternal life for us; make us always dead to sin and alive to God. Amen.

Don't ask about the meaning of 'Lord' and 'God'. Ask rather what kind of reality you envision from which emerge kindness and care, love and compassion, peace and good will.

Such I ask.

Hence I pray.

Por tu e la tua famiglia.

Friday, January 19, 2024

this no-trace, “just the right amount” (oryoki) of effort

Happy Birthday, Dōgen Zenji! 

The Japanese Buddhist teacher Dogen (1200–1253) is perhaps best known as the founder of the Soto school of Zen, which promotes the practice of single-minded, unremitting seated meditation (zazen), also referred to as “just sitting” (shikantaza). Soto Zen remains one of the largest denominations in Japan today, with nearly fourteen thousand temples throughout the country and two head temples: Eiheiji, founded by Dogen in the deep mountains north of Kyoto, and Sojiji, based on the lineage of fourth patriarch Keizan, which relocated from northwest Japan to Yokohama in the early twentieth century.

Dogen is also celebrated as one of the greatest representatives of East Asian Buddhist philosophy, and Buddhist thought more broadly. Since the end of World War II, when his teachings began to be widely disseminated in the West, with some of his main works now translated in several versions into English and various European languages, Dogen’s reputation has been expanding internationally. His exacting approach to sustained meditation, along with a strict adherence to the minimalism and diligent discipline of traditional monastic life, sometimes referred to as the attitude of making “just the right amount” (oryoki) of effort, has greatly influenced a multitude of zazen meditators and other contemplatives and spiritual seekers in America and elsewhere.


“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.” 

― Dogen

“A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.” 

― Dōgen, How to Cook Your Life: From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment 

Thursday, January 18, 2024


 120 degrees before dawn

Cold God clearing air

We don’t, do we,

Know what is love —

See through us as we

See through you

desert mind, ‘αντώνιος

Anthony the hermit-monk yesterday 

Good father of monasticism

Ταυ ascetic desert Egyptian holy man

I hide in your heritage

A forgotten son of the unforgettable 

we can’t see love, we see through love

 Open eyes

Look through love

See nothing other


Looking through love

At each as all

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

night prayer

 Cold winter air

Night white snow on ground

Firewood for stove

one seed at a time

 Chickadees find

 new feeder —

Vigil done

and it came to pass

15o degrees at 6AM

Plow-guy arrives to move yesterday’s not-deep snow

Lincoln Project releases ”So God Made a Dictator

Donald Trump runs and runs around his followers


 New yellow feeder

Not yet discovered

Snow on cap

Above red squirrel

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

making one’s way through

 My takeaway from Tuesday evening conversation:

  • Love is moving through what is real. 
  • Love is reality-landscape
  • Compassion is beneficent feeling activity towards and with another
  • It is our task to make our way through this reality, this being, this love.

This is where love and compassion converge.

Jesus didn’t take away sin for us.

Christ is incarnated love — so as to go through this reality with us.

Compañera / Compañero 

We can get through this together.

a little longer — and the wicked shall have gone

Trump claims to be chosen by God.

The psalmist points out a different scenario:

Psalm 37
The lot of the wicked and the good

Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not envy those who do evil:
for they wither quickly like grass
and fade like the green of the fields.

If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant your heart’s desire.

Commit your life to the Lord,
trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light,
your cause like the noon-day sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait in patience;
do not fret at the man who prospers;
a man who makes evil plots
to bring down the needy and the poor.

Calm your anger and forget your rage;
do not fret, it only leads to evil.
For those who do evil shall perish;
the patient shall inherit the land.

A little longer—and the wicked shall have gone.
Look at his place, he is not there.
But the humble shall own the land
and enjoy the fullness of peace.

            (--Psalm 37, 

Mr Trump, like all of us, suffers from a terminal condition.

Its name is "life."

As the zen master pointed out often, "soon dead."

And while there is time, there's still time to stop the stupidity.

I'll just sit here and await the transformation of our dull and deranged attachments. 

reading about kids away from home

 The sister, administrator, 


I was a nice man fifty years 

ago --

receiving kids from New York 


I was and I wasn't --

then, there, 

that puts things in 


ici n'est pas là, reste en moi pour toujours

 Here is

All i know

Of god 


God is

All i know

Here, and

That is



It is

Good for us

To be here

Monday, January 15, 2024


Sanity will prevail

Because insanity

Has already spent 

Everything on what

Is not itself

in friendship

happy birth-

day Martin

thank you, and


voir ne plus vouloir

 If you want

To take a nap

Take a nap 

If you want

To see God

Look as God

If you see

Anything at all

You have seen God

If you see

What you want

Lucky, lucky you

Sunday, January 14, 2024

principal, migrants, a murder/suicide, test animals

Tea candle still burns

From earlier practice, a

Request — pray for dead

perhaps, at caucus tomorrow, someone will find their voice, find their heart

This news. 

Iowa principal dies from injuries sustained in school shooting 

(Reuters) - The principal of a school in a small Iowa town who was injured during a shooting on campus at the beginning of the month died on Sunday, his family said. 

Dan Marburger, had been principal at Perry High School since 1995, suffered serious injuries on Jan. 4 as he helped pupils and staff exit the school after a 17-year-old student opened fire, killing a sixth-grader and wounding five people, including Marburger.  

(14jan24 )

With regret. 

ma petite prière

 A little over

Two months

‘Til Spring

A little under

Ten months

‘Til anarchy

I have (little)

Hope Christ-Nature

Will timely emerge

a woman and two children drowned

It isn’t difficult to imagine Texas beginning a civil war against Illinois. Add, then, Florida against New York, Arizona against Pennsylvania, and on and on.

 Last night a woman and two children drowned in the Rio Grande that marks the border between the U.S. and Mexico near Eagle Pass, Texas. 

… The Texas forces have denied United States Border Patrol officials entry into the park to perform their duties, asserting that Texas officials have power over U.S. officials. 

… On December 18, Abbott signed into law S.B. 4, a measure that attempts to take into state hands the power over immigration the Constitution gives to the federal government. Courts have repeatedly reinforced that immigration is the responsibility of federal, not state, government, but now, according to Uriel J. García of the Texas Tribune, “some Texas Republicans have said they hope the new law will push the issue back before a U.S. Supreme Court that is more conservative since three appointees of former President Donald Trump joined it.”

… Yesterday, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker wrote to Abbott, calling him out for choosing “to sow chaos in an attempt to score political points.” Pritzker noted that Abbott is “sending asylum seekers from Texas to the Upper Midwest in the middle of winter—many without coats, without shoes to protect them from the snow—to a city whose shelters are already overfilled with migrants you sent here.” Chicago’s temperatures are set to drop below zero this weekend, Pritzker wrote, and he “strongly urge[d]” Abbott to stop sending people to Illinois in these conditions. “You are dropping off asylum seekers without alerting us to their arrivals, at improper locations at all hours of the night.”

(—Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, Jan.13, 2024)

North vs South. California against Kansas and Oklahoma.

Ideological authoritarianism up against pragmatic humanism.

Right wing militancy bucks left-leaning social democracy.

The migrants drown.

Death in the family.

War will be our riven heart and asphyxiated sorrow.

The stupid ways of stupid ignorance.