Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God rings with an antique sound in our ears but it's a concept that runs like a deep and thirst quenching creek through the Gospels. The response of followers of the Way down the centuries have been to organise this transformative principle into institutions often indeed identifying the Kingdom with the Church.

Church and Kingdom are the same but yet not the same, as metaphors and ideas they never fully actualise in this level of existence and like the manna in the Sinai desert which Moses commanded the people to gather each day these indefinable experiences turn stale when we seek to capture them into the abstract or the institution.

Kingdom words flow like a fountain from the deep silence of Jesus.  In conversation he opens a space for encounter, for an uncovering of truth, the reflection of insight which distills into the transformation of deep abundant life giving enlightenment.

From years of silence and from nights in prayer and early mornings in solitude the Kingdom which is not of this world, but in actuality encompasses all of life breaths like a dream which always threatens to upset our easy certainties and desire for tidy, rational, packaged and systematised answers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

some winter thoughts at the turning of the year

Slender naked tree
With a few red gold leaves
Her winter modesty

The dusk folds early
On Moon's chaste bed of desire
Forsaken for her stars.

Dead leaves poet's walk
Their grave rest rustled awake
Now they must chatter.

Butcher bird possessing
Rusted strands of damp wire
Wise folly proffered.

Cold windy shivers
Hot coffee, siren seduction
Covered ears dog duty.

Prayer must be fitful
When the heart is neglected
Solstice his emotions.

As always above,
Below a mirror brightly
Frosty with knowing.

Lotus intertwines
This long dark night of his dreams
Dawn beckons Daemon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Choiceless awareness

When I sit to meditate on my stool on the old familiar rug I begin with offering this time to the One drawing all into unity, the still centre. I also offer this time to this collection of bits and pieces that is this illusory and fleeting me but which none the less I have a responsibility to cultivate for myself and those around me.

Sinking through the breath, a body scan and the slowing of the heart and to very shallow breathing I have the sense of floating with a relaxed body chugging like an engine in the background with occasional sensations shooting with a resulting thought or emotion that arises and passes away.  Like floating in very clear water with a high degree of alertness I can direct my attention to sounds outside, thoughts within, the ticking of the clock. The observer me, with a sense of clarity can note how irregularly time runs, how arbitrary these words that float around and how random and uncertain or the tendencies to predict, judge and identity as discrete objects are.

Coming back is both refreshing and re framing, offering me the opportunity to be more reserved, even doubtful but on the whole hugely more grateful for this strangeness of living and awareness.

Life is good, very good but the goodness is not to be grasped, merely appreciated with what one hopes is appropriate humility and grace.

All is emptiness and all is one and the Alone draws the Alone with and without the necessity to resolve the paradox.

Visiting a place of silence and sanctuary, the Adelaide Japanese garden

To stoop is to bow
At the worn wooden doors
Fingers trace water.

Himeji garden
Walled with clipped dark hedge
A different world.

The Deer warning clack
Interrupts water gossip
Sharply rebuked.

Each season new view
Always a calm  oasis
Walled garden of heart.

Wabi and Sabi
Tea House worn wooden slab
Looking at dry sea.

Zen gravel no monks
I bring my stone attention
Zazen to shape.

Deep pond stooping tree
No frog seen to plop poetry
No Basho sees.

Looking deep within
Goldfish of wandering mind
Not much discernment

To stroll kinhin way
Might draw stray commentary
Step with the breeze

Bowing thanking this place
Placing it in sharp memory
Gate always inviting