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Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update
September 2004

Theme: Awareness is Aliveness

The war continues. Men die. Women die. Children die. The Secretary of Defense is determined to prove everyone opposed to the war wrong.

Genevieve asks the question: “What level of awareness makes us alive?”

Is it possible we have not yet come alive, that our awareness is not yet deep enough?


For the historical ache, the ache passed down
which finds its circumstance and becomes
the present ache, I offer this poem

without hope, knowing there's nothing,
not even revenge, which alleviates
a life like yours. I offer it as one

might offer his father's ashes
to the wind, a gesture
when there's nothing else to do.

Still, I must say to you:
I hate your good reasons.
I hate the hatefulness that makes you fall

in love with death, your own included.
Perhaps you're hating me now,
I who own my own house

and live in a country so muscular,
so smug, it thinks its terror is meant
only to mean well, and to protect.

Christ turned his singular cheek,
one man's holiness another's absurdity.
Like you, the rest of us obey the sting,

the surge. I'm just speaking out loud
to cancel my silence. Consider it an old impulse,
doomed to become mere words.

The first poet probably spoke to thunder
and, for a while, believed
thunder had an ear and a choice.

                       (Poem by Stephen Dunn)

If we mean well, if we really want to protect, we’ll have to go deeper to see how we are not yet alive, and are deadening others with our good reasons for war.

We resist war by serving the dying. In the faces of those emerging from death – those coming alive with awareness of truth and love – we see ourselves through the delusion of war.

He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.  But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"(Luke 15:32)

We are coming through a terrible time. We’ve been lost. We thought war was a way to spawn freedom; when all that was wanted was justice. We thought force and power were ways to impose our culture and way of life; when the real desire of each human being is simply to love and be loved as the only way life is full of grace.

September is a new year.

Let’s awaken and come alive.

Finish war.

Try speaking to thunder.

Honor the choice to listen to and hear one another.

With gratitude,

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

11September 2004

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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