Aug 18 2011

To The Present Tense


I am a huge Merwin fan these days. Something in the construction disrupts my thinking enough that I can move beyond the words. Like a koan, just experience, don’t read, don’t think. Allow it inside. Allow it to be itself fully. In allowing such a thing; you might get a brief glimpse of yourself being yourself fully.

To The Present Tense
by W.S. Merwin

By the time you are
by the time you come to be
by the time you read this
by the time you are written
by the time you forget
by the time you are water through fingers
by the time you are taken for granted
by the time it hurts
by the time it goes on hurting
by the time there are no words for you
by the time you remember
but without the names
by the time you are in the papers
and on the telephone
passing unnoticed there too

who is it
to whom you come
before whose eyes
you are disappearing
without making yourself known.

Like a Lotus in Muddy Water, The Mind is Pure and Goes Beyond: Thus We Bow to Buddha

Aug 1 2011

A Few Words…


It’s been a rough couple of weeks here. A community member who was much loved, despite his inability to recognize it, decided to end his own life. This suicide hits several buttons for me on several levels. Coming so close on the heels of my own ordination, I was particularly raw and open, and deeply affected.

Today I was having a conversation on Google+ with a friend about Vow. My friend is an Episcopal Brother in the order The Brotherhood of St. Gregory. He is a deeply thoughtful man, and a dear friend I have known for over 15 years, so it was a pretty intimate and intense conversation. I had forgotten that others could read our words, and when one of his brothers shared a poem he wrote a few months ago, which was completely in keeping with our conversation, I was again caught by surprise, and completely moved by my openness and the depth of the words. So I share them with you today.

by Br. Thomas Bushnell, BSG

would have me know my attachments
and would teach me
the path to releasing them.

But that’s wrong
as if
were attached
to my non-attachment.

is not attached to
what is unattainable.)

would have me be attached
and would teach me
the path to attachment to him.

But that’s wrong
as if
to be needed by me.

does not need
what is unattainable.)

My detachment
at the feet of Buddha
is not unattainable.

My attachment
at the feet of Christ
is not unattainable.

Christ and Buddha
ironically twinned
and ironically separate
both desiring and not desiring
both focused and not focused
on me alone
as if
there were nothing else.

What in my life
are the attachments
which keep me
from attaching myself
to Christ?

What in my life
are the detachments
which keep me
from learning
from Buddha?

Buddha and Christ
mystically separate
and mystically twinned
both teaching and not teaching
both followed and not followed
by me, alone,
as if
there were nothing else.

I have spent my life
to what is not attachable
and detached
from that to which I am

To reverse this,
to turn around,
to find the attachments
to detach from,
to find the detachments
to attach to,
is the task
of a human life.

My past
is a burden
with no weight.

The fear of change
of releasing the burden
weighs around my neck.

My future
is a weight
I need not carry….