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Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update
June 2004

Theme – The Unending Between: Practicing the Gift of God, Beyond us, Passing through

As it happens this June, there is a curious nescience, an unknowing, that has overcome us.

We’re seemingly ready to fall into some new or next form of Meetingbrook Hermitage -– one of complete reliance on gift and donation with food and hospitality -– a reliance that defies logic or analysis, one looked upon by some with skepticism and others with carrion distance.

Still, the counter-intuitive nature of Meetingbrook’s continuance relies solely on the “unending-between” of God’s passing radiance. This passing-through of God is the passing-through of each and every person (and various other forms of sentient beings) passing-through the doors of Meetingbrook, its conversations, its communal practice of listening, attending, and the invitation to dwell in the unrecognizable openness of the passing-through presence of God.

Beyond us is the reality of Meetingbrook. Beyond us is any rationale why our doors remain open at the harbor, or why we have not fled to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia – where persistent flights of imagination beckon us and fatigue with boredom and exasperation those in whose presence we perseverate.

Can we become what and where we are?

To do that, we’d have to relinquish any semblance of reliance on our fears and pretenses of being in charge of the reality wherein we dwell. In short, we’d have to surrender into what God is – mere gift.

Simply give away your beauty
without talk and reckoning.
You are still. She says for you: I am.
And comes in meaning thousandfold,
at last comes over everyone.

                                -- Rainer Maria Rilke

Genuine gift, given or received, is done without talk and reckoning.  If there, it is given. If attending, it is received. No scale to weigh worthiness.  No debate to argue deserving.

A more radical economy of being-in-the–world is needed.  Perhaps the reason God is used in our world as a pawn of rhetoric, late-payment fee, and paddle of torture is our lack of openness and readiness to embrace grace and gift.

The meditative practice of seeing things-as-they-are is a practice embracing being-what-we-are and becoming-what-is-passing-through.

Meetingbrook this June practices seeing God-gift face to face. If we die doing so, confusion will end. If we continue on through June alert and attentive to each face we see passing through our midst, we will learn  what is beyond us.

What is beyond us is what is before us right now.

Receive and give – find the middle way.

In between, in the middle of life at Meetingbrook,  there is unending gift.

In and through, out and beyond, back and encircling – the gift we fall into, let go, and pass on is a trinitarian unending between.  

Saturday, June 05, 2004

What is passing?

Sando has taken to throwing-up. There's a sense of "uh-oh." There are tears on Saskia's face. Everywhere, what is passing is life from form to form, emptiness to emptiness.

It is our lot in life to pass through life's forms and emptiness.

Truth’s naked radiance,
Cut off from the sense and the world,
Shines by itself.
No words for it.

- Pai-chang (720-814)

In trees this cool morning -- birdsong. Blue jay lights on branch. Chickadee and finch at feeder. Chatter of squirrel complaining of something in its way this morning.

I loved you for your beauty
but that doesn't make a fool of me:
you were in it for your beauty too
and I loved you for your body
there's a voice that sounds like God to me
declaring, declaring, declaring that your body's really you
And I loved you when our love was blessed
and I love you now there's nothing left
but sorrow and a sense of overtime
and I missed you since the place got wrecked
And I just don't care what happens next
looks like freedom but it feels like death
it's something in between, I guess

(--from CLOSING TIME Lyrics, Artist(Band):Leonard Cohen)

What is between freedom and death?

Is the reason so few surrender into the life of God that there is a requirement asked which we find confusing? The requirement is that we let go of all we know, fall from every image of self-identity, and pass through the unending-between that reduces each either/or to God's compassionate yet whimsical face flashing million-fold likenesses all smiling with loving, tender, and empathic readiness for our consternating and tentative approach.

This unending-between, where we turn and turn looking into and through mirror images of one and all, is at first dizzying, and then mystifying, finally mere seeing what is there.

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot
bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to
all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.

(from John 16:12-13)

What the Spirit hears is echoing and resounding in the morning prayerful drone and whisper of the innumerable everything permeating each distinct form making its way through existence.

Sit or stand in the choir of green leaf, rolling tire, flying bird, crawling insect, barking dog, barn-side plank, piles of plates with crumbs and spoons, worried thoughts, appreciative light, and tumbling water down shade-sweet brook.

We are what we are where we are.

Where all this is fine for now.

For, what is this? And, what is now? Just, we are here.

Sando still bounds after Saskia with delight. The sweet dog groans when changing position on floor. At each moment she remains a loving companion.

Who cares what happens next?

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

6June2004, Feast of The Trinity

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



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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

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