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Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update
April 2003

Theme: “'He died for all of us,’ his mother said.”
 (or view our alternate update)


Wednesday Haiku
Dismal day in Maine,
Raw chill clouds over brown ground,
Rain and tears on way.


We have the word “Breathe” scattered about the shop. Melissa, who teaches Yoga, would post announcements of classes on the wall. When posting a new one I’d take the old one, pare off the word “Breathe” and tack it up in various places.

Names and news of the dead arrive in our homes.

Melissa’s picture is on page B11 of The New York Times, Monday, March 24, 2003. She holds framed photograph of her son, Cpl. Brian Kennedy, in his Marine’s uniform. In the caption, “'He died for all of us,’ his mother said.”

Eighth Station
Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem
Consider how these women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in such a pitiable plight, streaming with blood as he struggled along. “My children,” said he, “weep not for me, but for yourselves and for your children.”
(p.1413, The Roman Missal, 9th Edition, c.1934)

Leaving church after sitting a spell after Mass at St. Bernard’s, picking up cup of coffee and chocolate muffin at convenience store, parking on wharf, looking out at Rockland harbor. In fog beyond breakwater lighthouse two lights move from open Penobscot Bay. Ferry from Vinalhaven angles toward terminal as Democracy Now reports news about the war in Iraq. A piling across the marina has fallen over, hanging from pier by twisted wooden brace.

Weep for Jesus?
No, he said, don’t weep for me. Jesus was never interested in pointing fingers. Not at him. Not at those who’d broken the law. Not at evildoers or good doers.

Women in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, America, Australia, and Briton are weeping. It’s always that way with war. The weeping goes on, as war goes on, for us and for our children.


Mountain temple rainy,
Dark and gloomy all day,
Plums still half yellow, half green;
On my lone mat,
Still and quiet,
Deep in meditation,
I don’t let birds and blossoms
Into my garden gate.

- Betsugen Enshi (1294–1364)

March exhausts itself. Soon April will reinforce the soil and human spirit. Birds and blossoms will come seeking entrance into our garden gate. They will be lovely. And needed. But for the time being we have only news of war and death arriving in dooryards. The remnant mounds of snow decrease into wet rivulets atop loosening ground-frost waiting to swig into mud.

Melissa’s son did die for all of us. For this we are grateful. And sorrowing.

From Pennsylvania, an email that Esther’s sister “is now at peace. She died about 3 yesterday afternoon. We are glad her suffering is over.” She too, after years of living with deteriorating disease, dies for all of us.

Those women in Jerusalem two thousand years ago, and all women in Jerusalem and Palestine today, weep for themselves, their children, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers.

Those who have the spontaneous, sincere wish to attain enlightenment for the ultimate benefit of all beings are called bodhisattvas. Through wisdom, they direct their minds to enlightenment, and through their compassion, they have concern for beings. This wish for perfect enlightenment for the sake of others is what we call ‘bodicitta,’ and it is the starting point on the path. By becoming aware of what enlightenment is, one understands not only that there is a goal to accomplish but also that it is possible to do so. Driven by the desire to help beings, one thinks, For their sake, I must attain enlightenment.
(--p.249-50, The Dalai Lama, in Radiant Mind)

We weep because we do not yet see the world longed for in our hearts and minds. We long for what Christ longed for. We long for what Buddha longed for.
What is this we long for?


Can you feel it? Can we find what Brian and all the sons and daughters of women everywhere and at all times have died for?

Here's a metaphor. We are all women in this metaphor. All conceiving, participating in creation, giving birth to instances of truth and beauty. All are women. All is woman. Until love completes its goal we only seem to be a fragmented division of male and female, boy and girl, human and angel, God and non-God.

In this metaphor, we are all Americans, all Australians, Britons, Iraqis, and every ethnic child of every woman throughout the world.

We weep because those who die in war, and those who die in all conflict of unawareness, are stark profound reminders. They die for us.

For us.
Can we get even the smallest glimmer of who we are?

Who are we that someone dies for us? Who are we, died for?
Really, we must ask ourselves, who are we. (No facile answers. Please. No unreflective, unsilent, unstill, or unaware responses – please.)

Until love completes us, we weep.

For all our sake, we must attain enlightenment. We must become who and what we are in love.

Breathe -- that all might live! That 'all' lives within each and every one.

Breathe -- until the metaphor, the transfer bearing us across the divide, comes true.

Breathe -- that our hearts, safely dwelling in love within each one, will be the light we see through.

In the meantime, our hearts go out to those who weep.

, Sando , Cesco , Mu-ge , and all who grace Meetingbrook,



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