Saturday, March 30, 2024

brief shikantaza following walk

sitting in chapel

incense and candle

late afternoon silence

final bow, walk to house

windward dooryard

 junco on branch

red squirrel on cut wood

cat inside glass door

silence hears no thoughts

one undivided person

Long felt there’s more in this piece of writing than we have realized. A prolegomena of pleroma, an instantiation of inchoate incarnation of originary and transcendent consciousness. 

So was conversation in prison Friday morning.

From an Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday (c.2nd century A.D.) 

“Something strange is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. 

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son. 

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. 

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise. 

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person. 

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden. 

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image. 

‘See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one. 

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you. 

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God. 

“The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages.”

One of the men, just back and recovering from 5x heart bypass surgery, an Odinist (for the time being, as each is, glancing through a perspective, at this time/being here), reminded me that twenty years ago, in 2004, at a meetingbrook conversation, we spoke about not being wed to any belief. (What were we, then? What are we, now?) 

Is there a continually new reality? Fondly attentive, respectfully responsive, companionable travelers, like Alice & Jack {cf. PBS}, a hypostasis, curiously in love, profoundly connected, but ur-wed in a singular différance?)

We sit together, still, courting awareness of revelatory and manifesting real reality as it moves through each living space changing itself changing us as we encircle, fondly, what is, presented, in our midst.

It was Good Friday morning.

Now, Holy Saturday, after days of  rain, a whooshing wind through surprising sun.

Friday, March 29, 2024

into the dark night

 I can't fathom 

a thing.

Can you?

The wind howls

snow blows

trees sway.

They say

someone good

has died.

I don't

know what the

story means.

propter hoc, ergo, post hoc

 All he had

to do

was live

All he had

to do

was die

All you have

to do

is live

All you have

to do

is die








Him at




Courage &


After which

Because of



No fallacy

Thursday, March 28, 2024

the danger of spiritual practice

Some people are half raised up: they practice one virtue but not

 another. Some, ignoble by nature, covet riches. Others of a nobler 

nature care nothing for possessions but are bent on honor.  

German Sermon 25 *


bread is body 


wine is blood


body is dropped


mind falls away


walking through


saying nothing more

. . .

       * (cf. p.15, in Dangerous Mystic, Meister Eckhart's Path To The God Within, by Joel Harrington, c.2018)

at (no/mu) bottom

 It is Holy Week

pause and reflect 

can anyone become human

and if so experience god

today sit and eat with me

tomorrow stand and die with me

can you let go, can you let be

empty, empty, empty, empty

when one becomes oneself

falling through illusion and decoy

there is at (no/mu) bottom, source --

that which is love, truth, being, yes

opening day

Oil your glove

Tar your bat

Shine your spikes

Get mustard for the stadium dogs

Baseball season begins today

Take the first pitch

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

rain and wind, say our native brothers and sisters

Heraclitus said, “Nature rests by changing.”

How about that!

God is resting now.

cracked-open, heart, taking breath away

gray squirrel lifts seeds to mouth 

cardinal on wood-walk surveys drop

bluejays arrive with attitude

eaves drip through muted afternoon

seeming silence sits on vacant chairs

I cannot imagine how we stay alive

the felony of peripetetic nomadic circles

 as a university lecturer

I had nothing to say

nor did I say it well

so I stopped teaching

and just sit to converse

with community of nobodies

several times a week

in two prisons and boxy zooms

the rare joy of encircling grace

bright upon my face

With Ryonen: 

In the autumn of my sixty sixth year,
I’ve already lived a long time
The intense moonlight
Is bright upon my face.
There’s no need to discuss
The principles of koan study;
Just listen carefully to the wind
Outside the pines and cedars.

Ryonen (1646-1711)

After Ryonen: 

In the spring of my seventy ninth year

far, far longer than I could have imagined

The cold rainy morning

drips and drips on last week's snow.

There's no need to go to monastery

for Holy Week retreat with the Trappists;

Just walk through hermitage as if kinhin through

sleeping buddha snoozing christ reality itself.

--wfh (1944--anytime now)

If there are any questions, there will be a panel to hear them once we find out who's responsible for creating then clarifying mysteries both sacred and secular. 

from all the borders of itself

 He showed up in dream last night

The newly dead, I’m told, will do that

Walking through door to my left

Cheerful, disheveled, tousled 

I walk over to him, welcoming

As if nothing has changed, recalling

Rilke: for here there is no place 

that does not see you. 

You must change 

your life.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

sparrows keep forty nine day mantras

Dog pees in dooryard snow

Fine drizzle falls on black truck

A pall over mountain sitting vigil

ji ji mu ge *

what do you mean resurrection?

        don't ask

why not?

        you don't want to know

in the gym in Bensonhurst

louie (nicknamed 'bird') only

five foot five

had more shots than all of us

what did he know 

we didn't?

why do you ask?

        because the opera 

singer died, the guy

who lived over up the hill


        louie had this way about him

hooks and swoops, layups and feeds

the rest of us couldn't contain


        I don't know -- he came to mind

it was a small gym, a wall under hoop

we'd spend Saturday mornings there


        and, nothing, I guess --


between one thing 

and another thing

no barrier *


        and la risurrezione è 

la rivelazione

        di sé stessi

prison conversation observation

 To be





To be

In love

Monday, March 25, 2024

who will mimic richard burton at the drop of a dime now

down the road

up from pond 

up a ways, a house

where all is quiet

where Dean, basso profundo,

has died, a sudden silence

he will be, one said, 

missed, he will be

watchful sorrow of dogs

lamenting still applause of

recollecting audiences

his working voice --

decrescendo . . .


lascia che il pensiero muoia

 disproportionate justice

the lawyer says

he gets more privilege

than any of us

he is untouchable

he smiles

gets 3 to 6 billion bucks

from stupid social

platform merger sale --

some people are better

than others, he is better

than us, smarter, richer

more brazen, untouchable

more handsome, better golfer

prettier wife, more women

he's sexually assaulted

more indictments, more 

court cases against him

they claim he is Jesus for

our times, here to save 

himself from we the sinners

out to crucify him again

this Holy Week -- the poor 

sap will have to rise again

dance with brides at his hotel

give long ridiculous sermons

on his victimhood, this saint  

of lost decency, ascetic, holy

moley what a guy, we are

better for him, we learn a lot

all is all is all is all is all is

downright incomprehensible

Sunday, March 24, 2024

alienation or belonging

Something from Sunday Evening Practice: 

But "communion" is another one of those inflated words today. The perfect community is one of the most alluring mirages in our time. Well, what concerns us here is rather a deep sense of belonging .We may have that sense of belonging without ever finding its external expression in a closely knit community. What matters is our awareness that we belong. We are not aliens, outcasts, orphans in this world. 

Kabir, the great mystic poet says:

We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves Birds and animals and the ants— Perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you in your mother's womb. Is it logical you would be walking around entirely orphaned now?

Remember your life in the womb. Something put you together; something fashioned you there; something brought you out; something saw you through. Is it possible that that one would leave you orphaned now? That is the mystical insight of belonging. Before anything else, you belong. Is it imaginable that you should no longer belong? Is it imaginable that you should really be orphaned now? When you ask yourself that question and at least begin to doubt that you should be orphaned now, then you are moving from alienation to belonging. 

Belonging and alienation, that is the polarity about which we are talking. That polarity is the pivot of our spiritual life. One pole is alienation. We all know what that is. We know what it feels like: being cut off from everything, from ourselves, from anything that has meaning, from all others. And the opposite pole to alienation is belonging. All that ultimately matters in our life is movement from alienation to belonging, often with many setbacks. This has always been the essential struggle of spiritual life. But we need a vocabulary that makes sense to us today. 

Alienation is our contemporary word for what has been called sin and, therefore, the contemporary word for salvation is belonging. Sin and salvation have become jargon words, and we may as well declare a moratorium on them. I am only referring to these terms because we do not want to lose the connection with the way people have been speaking about the same realities in the past. For us, "sin" is not a helpful word because our notion of sin has become limited to "do's and don'ts." Originally, the term referred to alienation from self, from others, from the divine reality within and beyond us. For us, today the word alienation conveys precisely what tradition calls "sin." And if you think of "belonging" in its ultimate, fullest sense, then you also know what "salvation" means. That is what we long for, namely, belonging, wholeness, communion with our own true self, with all others, with the divine. 

(—David Steindl-Rast, from Thoughts on Mysticism as Frontier of Consciousness Evolution)

Reimagine history, theology, and mythology. 

Relanguage reality.

Rediscover origin.

sub speciebus aeternitatis

 What did  jesus know 

When did he know it

Let’s say he wasn’t god

No one is

Let’s look at the man

As snow and ice the earth

There’s no profit in prophet

Just arrival awaiting plow

Someone moving aside

What time would do of itself

The poet wrote “What’s wrong

will always be wrong”

The non-poet concluded

“But what’s right

is each time

created new”

Cold wind snaps

Icy limbs as birds

Happy for feeder seeds

Know nothing 

But arrive, pick

Crack open and 


To air


 No power

Just dawn

Cat in window

It’s funny

This sense

Death nearing


Everything is