Hermit's Corner Meetingbrook Home Page
Bookshop & Bakery Running comments on Meetingbrook
Hermitage Update About Meetingbrook
Meetingbrook Events Meetingbrook Home Page

Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update
August 2003

Theme: This Is What We Love – Nothing Else Has Ever Been


We’re already doing what we love. We already are what we love.

We know little. We suspect there’s much we don’t know. But it's what we don't know we don't know that's most intriguing.

Not a clue. Not an inch closer to the far side of the edge of what we suspect is the limit of possible knowledge.

One minute of sitting, one inch of Buddha.
Like lightning all thoughts come and pass.
Just once look into your mind-depths:
Nothing else has ever been.

- Manzan (1649 – 1709)

We don't know what we are doing. We have no idea why we've made it to our 8th year at the harbor. No understanding why we sit in prison every other Friday having each time the best conversations that can be had.

Some embryo nourishes itself within the glimpse each emits toward the other around the table. No explaining. Mere re-presenting one in the other.

To conform one's will completely to the template of divine love is a spiritual practice that [Jacob] Boehme refers to as "putting on the body of Christ.
(p.39 in Love Is Stronger Than Death, The Mystical Union of Two Souls, by Cynthia Bourgeault)

Second body? Mystical body? Embodiment? Who knows? Surely some know?
No. One. Knows.


Richard says keep it spiritual, not political. He has separated and subtracted heaven from hell and called the remainder earth.

Beware of gnawing the ideogram of nothingness:
Your teeth will crack.
Swallow it whole, and you’ve a treasure
Beyond the hope of Buddha and the Mind.
The east breeze fondles the horse’s ears:
How sweet the smell of plum.

- Karasumaru-Mitsuhiro (1579–1638)(dailyzen)

The time has come to re-unite and recover heaven and hell with earth.
Incarnation demands it. Enlightenment will have it no other way. Resurrection concretizes the retrieval. Final liberation empties the distinctions and trinitizes the reality of heaven/hell/earth in one's own bodily reality.

Every day bodies are deadened in Iraq. It becomes increasingly evident shortsighted and narrow-thinking warmongers are bamboozling America and the world. The sorrow is not only personal and particular for families and loved ones of those daily killed; it is also devastating for the safety of the soul of clear-hearted and clear-minded people everywhere.

The ideogram of nothingness sloppily drawn by the Bush administration is cracking and rotting teeth.
The ideogram of nothingness treasured by mindful practitioners of clear seeing is the integrity of authentic souls responding faithfully to what is right there in front of them.

In other words, one and the same reality can be the damnation of some and the salvation of others. So much depends on whether truth is how we scold each other, or truth is how we hold each other. Scolders damn. Holders save.

And letting each go their own way -- held in prayer, not fear -- is how we pass through the body of what is called God.

I am sorrowed by war. I am also sorrowed by arrogant unawareness posing as cocky certitude.

Richard will have to wait. Heaven/hell/earth will not be separated in the name of easing people quietly past the disturbing ugliness of war and posturing pretense of patronizing power.

Instead, in the morning he Saskia and I will go into the prison to be with each and everyone arriving at table for conversation. We might talk about the threats of bodily harm by frustrated cowards sucker-punching someone's teeth out. Or we might talk about the intense and beyond-death love between a monk and a hermit-priest. Maybe we'll explore how science is replacing religion in hosting our awareness of God. Who knows?

For this night, July's end is chilly. August brushes off its jacket.

How sweet the fragrance -- the silence of life indivisible.


 We're losing the connection.

As Congress goes on vacation for a month I propose a vacation for our troops in Iraq.

How is it that officials in government go off to play and rest while men and women in the military stare down bullets and grenades in Iraq?

Those who sent American forces into harms way should remain at their jobs until our military is brought home.

The flowers, the maple leaves in autumn,
And the wintry snows covering
The field all white.
How beautiful they are
Each in its way!
I fear my attachments
Still did not go beyond
The sensuous, for I now
Know what Reality is.

- Daito Kokushi (1282-1334)

Who knows what Reality is? Who knows what is taking place?

Reality is what is taking place. No explanation, defense, or apology can do anything to Reality but dress up or camouflage what is taking place.

These days I am attached to the suspicion we Americans are in a foreign country shooting and killing citizens of that country because we feel that we can. This suspicion suggests we are blindly following leaders who trample people's lives to enact their political and ideological purposes.

At Tuesday Evening Conversation, reading a Buddhist Vipassana practitioner, it occurs to me that at center there must be wholesome, fearless, and forgiving Reality. "We" do not forgive. Rather "we" step out of the way and allow forgiveness, i.e. Reality Itself, to take place. Our task is to recognize whenever fractured, fearful, vengeful behavior is interfering with the free expression of Reality.

It is not possible to replicate freedom using enslaving, eradicating behavior as means –- means of murder and assassination. It is not patriotic to send men and women to murder and maim citizens of another country in the name of eradicating evil and demolishing terrorism. Terrorism has many costumes worn by many ideologies.

What is taking place from the hands of our Executive Branch of government is beginning to resemble something dark and dead. What this administration identifies as evil falls prey to naked aggression and terrible killing of human beings that resembles the evil so glibly denunciated.

Our "patriotic" reaction to the cruel criminal acts of 9/11 has been to behave like war-crazed hornets throwing themselves madly against anything perceived disturbing the security of the home nest.

We are retaliating without the safeguards of democracy and decency America has traditionally come to demand in all aspects of American involvement with its own and other people.

My attachment to my suspicions becomes more noticeable. A dull, flat, colorless fear arises – one that suspicion detects is a goal of retaliatory justice.

I fear my attachments. I dislike my suspicions. Are we falling from the center? Is the center beginning to crumble? Do unreflective and terrifying men loose mere anarchy on the world?

Is the true center -- at heart of everything -- Reality?

If the center is Reality, this Reality is wholesome, fearless, and forgiving. We must not allow fractured, fearful, vengeful men to break our connection with our very heart, Reality Itself, and substitute falsity, lies, and invented explanations.

We must return to center. Detach from separating inventions. Face True Reality. Not the invented, hijacked fears planted by twin-terrified actors -- criminal Al-Qaeda, and retribution-minded U.S. administration.

We are being asked by Reality to see the many faces -- to recognize, love, and forgive.
Recognize How beautiful they are / Each in its way!

Only connect. Sparkle green.


It is August and every time we breathe in and out, every time we open eyes looking about, we see nothing excluded from who and what we are.

This is what we love. Seeing no other, all is love, is what we are.

With gratitude.
, Sando , Cesco , Mu-ge , and all who grace Meetingbrook

2August 2003



HomeEventsHermitage Update Bookshop & Bakery
Bookshop Recommendations About MeetingbrookHermit's Corner


Meetingbrook Hermitage
64 Barnstown Rd.,
Camden, Maine USA 04843
Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery
50 Bayview St. (Cape on the harbor)
Camden, Maine USA 04843
e-mail: mono@meetingbrook.org

© Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage

Web design by Karl Gottshalk