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October 2002

Theme: Conveying One Another Along a Footpath

October is Francis of Assisi. Francis found himself with Christ at radical core of creation. What footpath leads to that place?

Francis is known as the mirror of Christ. By stepping into the mirror, Francis saw leper and animal, nature and celestial bodies, all forms of existence, every person and each event of daily life – saw it all in Christ, all as Christ emerging with us.

You ask why I live in the mountain forest,
I smile, and am silent,
and even deep within remain quiet:
the peach trees blossom,
the water flows.                    (
- Li T’ai-po (701-?))

Finishing ladder steps to loft in chapel/zendo, we dedicate the Cabin on Thursday evening 3Oct., night of the Transitus of Francis. Woodbox placed on porch for coming cold. Windows cleaned. Loft arranged.

The iris pond has flowered
Before the old temple;
I sell tea this evening
By the water’s edge.
It is steeped in the cups
With the moon and stars;
Drink and wake forever
From your worldly sleep.
     (- Baisao (1675-1763))

The Cabin is a delight, a place to pray and sit zazen. Rough wood, candlelight, and woodstove -- as place set apart, it is sweet simplicity of sacred space.

If the radical core of creation at center is where we find ourselves in Christ, then we open mouth and heart, mind and intention to reach that place. The presentation and presentiation of oneself in silent sitting and praying the psalms opens a place of stillness and sanctuary.

The very place of prayer is where Christ emerges. The very place of silent sitting is where Buddha awakens. Practice makes perfect sense. Prayer reaches no end. We routinely engage practice and prayer as we ordinarily encounter enlightened beings surrounding us -- even without recognizing the fact. 

Awakening silence within practice and prayer -- it is time to begin again. I am still in my own dream. Sleepy ignorance keeps understanding and love unrecognized. Now it is time to wake from sleep to understand wakefulness.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
              (--from poem “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke)

Not far. Not even anywhere else. Here. Right here. In an archeology of awareness we find what is at origin. When we allow consciousness and mind to dissolve whatever is not itself, we enter the reflection of Christ, the seeing of Buddha, and embodied engagement of understanding love with each one. Only the jitai, (the Japanese word for “in-itself,”) reveals what each one is.

Forty-some years I’ve lived in the mountains
Ignorant of the world’s rise and fall
Warmed at night by a stove full of pine needles
Satisfied at noon by a bowl of wild plants
Sitting on rocks watching clouds and empty thoughts
Patching my robe in sunlight practicing silence
Till someone asks why Bodhidharma came east
And I hang out my wash.
   (- Shih-wu, 1252-1352)

The koan might easily be: Why does Christ come in human form? And Saskia kneads dough in kitchen for bread.

October fetes angels. Notably Archangels: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel – as well as all guardians and guides accompanying us. The four names of Archangels rise in translation like haiku poem for us:

Coming to be Conveyance, a Haiku of Angels
Who is like God? Strong
One of God. Blessing of God.
My light is like God.

These Angels come to earth because this is where Christ comes. Wherever else the benefit of Angels and Christ, earth is blessed.

The world’s rise and fall is again in the mouths and minds of those whose odd delusion is the planning of destruction, war, and remaking in their image.

Hidden in the center of the world is Christ. What is Christ? Christ is not the religious object of religious people. Christ is the radical core of creation. The root of creation longs to emerge in our presence. Jesus was a Jew, a man of his time. Christ is where Jesus found himself.

Angels permeate creation as questioning, strong, blessing, light. They are inspiration and intuition of creation and humanity. They, like God, like us -- long that light show through each and all with glowing warmth and clear sight.

Here is creation. Here is where we find ourselves. Here in creation. Here is Christ, the radical core of creation. Here is laundry swaying in breeze. Here is fragrance of bread becoming itself in oven.

Finding our way is the kindness light offers.
Practicing silence. Practicing creation itself. Practicing October.

Each Bodhisattva and Christ knows this practice of creation. Dogen said: Practice is enlightenment; Enlightenment is practice.

Meetingbrook’s Laura Common seeks to walk that path. Dogen and Francis are lights on this Laura, this footpath, leading to and from Cabin. Find yourself a sacred space. Come apart and rest awhile.

, Sando , Cesco , and all who grace Meetingbrook,
2Oct2002, Feast of Angels


Email (mono@meetingbrook.org) or mail to
Meetingbrook, 50 Bayview St. Camden, Maine 04843.

September 2002 Update
August 2002 Update
July 2002 Update
June 2002 Update
May 2002 Update
April 2002 Update
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August 2001 Uptate
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