Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Poetry



Post-Sesshin

Having spent a week at the heart of all things,
I feared I might miss it, but as it turned out,
The center of the cosmos kindly followed me,
Remaining just under my feet wherever I went,
Until it was at last  revealed to be  located
Just under yours as well. Then
I saw a musrkat in Irkutsk on
The TV, and it turned out to be
Under his too.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Poetry

Eschatology

The little time that we have left
Before our mortal race, I fear,
Renders planet Earth bereft
Of us, grows shorter every year.

Heretic's Testament

“Yet contemplation is not vision, because it sees 'without seeing' and knows 'without knowing.' It is a more profound depth of faith, a knowledge too deep to be grasped in images, in words, or even in clear concepts. It can be suggested by words, by symbols, but in the very moment of trying to indicate what it knows, the contemplative mind takes back what it has said, and denies what it has affirmed. For in contemplation we know by 'unknowing.' Or, better, we know beyond all knowing or 'unknowing.’”Thomas Merton, from New Seeds of Contemplation

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Present Moment, Horrible Moment: When Mindfulness Becomes Idolatry



There was an opinion piece in last Sunday’s New York Times entitled “Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment.” Its author, Ruth Whippman, is critical of the modern mindfulness movement and suspicious of the fact that the practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment is being promoted as some sort of miraculous cure-all, a remedy for all suffering, and that four billion dollars is said to be spent each year on “mindfulness products.” She’s not the first to regard the phenomenon with suspicion, and she rightly notes that mindfulness as it’s often presented is “a philosophy likely more rewarding for those whose lives contain more privileged moments than grinding, humiliating, or exhausting ones.” I take her point.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Poetry

Gathas
When grief wakes me up in the morning
I vow with all beings
Not to look away from this painful awakening
And to wish for it to become a seed of kindness.

Monday, September 5, 2016

New Poetry, September 2016




Song of Zazen
In thinking-not-thinking it’s
Suddenly revealed: all the 
heartbreak of the world.
Followed by the arising
Of the urgent need to
Recall to myself the
Names of all the
Thin Man movies,
In chronological 
Order.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Recent Poetry, July 2106

The Next-Best Thing
Upon seeing through
To your unkindness,
Despair only modestly,
For that seeing-through
Happens to be
The next best thing
To kindness itself.