Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I continue my inward journey and my outward life (but not two), wondering when the inward will penetrate the thin skin of my spirit and be incarnated into my flesh and become my body, my mind, my breath, my life. "They" speak of a gateless gate, so one would think (and there's part of the problem) that there is nothing to penetrate, nothing to break through. Only something to realize and then actualize. 

Mumbo jumbo! Words! Thoughts! Ideas! Concepts!

Shut up!
Sit down!
Quit thinking!
Quit Seeing!
Quit smelling!
Quit tasting!
Quit Feeling!

Stand up!

Wake Up!

To what?

Probably absolutely nothing new.

Just closer to "it" than ever before.

But I have always been close to "it".

Just aware, that's all.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gerald May, speaking of John of the Cross...speaking of love...
To the ground of being...

In the last verse of his final poem, John writes of this awakening: 

How gently and lovingly you wake in my heart, where in secret you dwell alone; and in your sweet breathing, filled with good and glory, how tenderly you swell my heart with love.3 

This love, divine in its nature and glimpsed only through the gift of divine light, is the greatest of all mysteries. It is the source, means, and end of all life, yet no one can explain or define it. 

The Buddhist understanding of compassion and the Christian notion of agape (divine love) perhaps come as close as human conception can. But love’s true nature remains forever beyond the grasp of all our faculties. It is far greater than any feeling or emotion and completely surpasses any act of human kindness. 
It is the one sheer gift of contemplation, completely unattainable by autonomous human effort. The realization of this love always remains mysterious. 

We may fall into it, wake up within it, discover that it pervades us, but no matter how we might try, we can never reduce it to an object for study or definition. 

It is indeed the breath of the Divine, and John says he does not even wish to speak of it lest he “make it appear less than it is.”4

May, Gerald G. (2009-03-25). The Dark Night of the Soul (pp. 182-183). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 

"Speaking it" is limiting it.

This reminds me of my "being in the corner" with MU.

Nothing to reach for...
Nothing to say...


Sunday, July 15, 2012


Orthopraxy in much of Buddhism and Hinduism

Orthopraxy is usually distinguished from orthodoxy. Orthodoxy refers to doctrinal correctness, whereas orthopraxy refers to right practice. What we see in many of the Eastern religions is not an emphasis upon verbal orthodoxy, but instead upon practices and lifestyles that, if you do them,not think about them, but do them, you end up changing your consciousness

This was summed up in the Eight Core Principle of the Center for Action and Contemplation: We don't think ourselves into a new way living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking.

~ Richard Rohr, 2012
Adapted from Fr. Richard’s teachings on his lineage.
"...we live ourselves into a new way of thinking."

This seems to be another way of saying "actualizing the present moment".That "living" will have to be with intention, with awareness, with mindfulness practice.This is living in eternity now. We live in it now whether we recognize it or not.


A path towards realization

A path towards actualization

This makes so much more sense to me than believingIf we see reality for what it is, we have to come to a point of a " way of thinking"or live in denial. Ignorance can be bliss for only so long.

Thinking our way into...
Living our way into...

The difference can be profound for many of the cancer patients I work with daily. I have seen their belief systems trip them up so many times when they try to keep believing their way towards some outcome, instead of living what is before them and being changed in others ways besides "not having cancer".

There is always hope but hope has many different faces.

"Hope fills us with the strength to stay present, to abide in the flow of the Mercy no matter what outer storms assail us. It is entered always and only through surrender; that is, through the willingness to let go of everything we are presently clinging to. And yet, when we enter it, it enters us and fills us with its own life--a quiet strength beyond anything we have ever known." 
pg. 87
Mystical Hope by Cynthia Bourgeault

"surrender" is an act of trust...

Is not faith about trust instead of belief?

And so we live our way into a new way of thinking.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Youngest Granddaughter - Alice



I possess the true Dharma eye, the

marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of

the formless, the subtle [D]harma [G]ate

that does not rest on words or letters but is a

special transmission outside of the

scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.

The Flower Sermon

Among adherents of Zen, the origin of Zen Buddhism is ascribed to a story, known in English as the Flower Sermon, in which Śākyamuni Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) transmits direct prajñā (wisdom) to the disciple Mahākāśyapa. In the original Sino-Japanese, the story is called nengemishō (拈花微笑, literally "pick up flower, subtle smile"). In the story, Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples (sangha) by holding up a white flower. No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa, who smiles. Within Zen, the Flower Sermon communicates the ineffable nature of tathātā (suchness) and Mahākāśyapa's smile signifies the direct transmission of wisdom without words. Śākyamuni affirmed this by saying: 



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Being Me

Aloneness, 1989

Daniel Biehl 

I have found an aloneness
which is comfortable.
I have found an aloneness which is intimate.
I have found an aloneness
validated inside and outside.
I am a monk in the world.

You may ask, "what does that mean?"

It means I am me.

And it is good.

Thank you for your teaching, teacher!

Deep Bows,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

David Whyte And Me

Self Portrait
By David Whyte

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
If you are prepared to live in the world 
with its harsh need 
to change you. If you can look back 
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt in that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard in that fierce embrace,
even the gods speak of God     
      ©1992 Many Rivers Press
David Whyte

I Am
Pretending. No more.
Living so long!
Or is it living long enough?
Or is it spending so long not living?
No pretending.

Passion! Love!
The wonderful pain of feeling.
Pretending no more,

By alan faulkner

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor E. Frankl, Copied from