January 13th, 2009

alan - three poppies

Life and Death -

I read the news, look for a bit of cheer and oddly find it here in a column on the death of Richard John Neuhaus.

Op-Ed Columnist

In Defense of Death

Published: January 12, 2009

William D. Eddy was an Episcopal minister in Tarrytown, N.Y., and an admirer of the writer and theologian Richard John Neuhaus. When Rev. Eddy grew gravely ill about 20 years ago, I asked Neuhaus to write him a letter of comfort.

I was shocked when I read it a few weeks later. As I recall, Neuhaus’s message was this: There are comforting things you and I have learned to say in circumstances such as these, but we don’t need those things between ourselves.

Neuhaus then went on to talk frankly and extensively about death. Those two men were in a separate fraternity and could talk directly about things the rest avoided.


Collapse )
alan - winter bird

Peace -

Papananook posted this, this morning. War is not a solution.

"An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind." Gandhi

waterfall - running

Walking Meditation!

I come across this today, words of Thich Nhat Hanh, who has worked all his life for peace.



Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.



Thich Nhat Hanh,
Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press,
Berkeley, California, 1999, p. 194


ashes and snow - wings

Looking back -

Last February, we saw Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl at our local theater.   Dick Gregory, was 75, and spoke of how the Bushies generate fear.  He said God and fear are opposites.  He pointed out that in the area where I live nannies are paid to change the diapers of the children and the parents walk around with bags to pick up their dog's poop.  He said we could end war by telling people their dogs had to go fight.  People wouldn't tolerate that.  We have a humane society for dogs, but what about people?  What about children?

Mort Sahl had had a stroke two weeks before and yet, even with that, and at 80, he was brilliant.   He, too, felt we were in a different world and not for the better.  He said political candidates used to have fun, tell jokes.  You don't see that now.   They sat up on the stage, answered questions and free-associated.  They spoke of how this was a great country, founded to separate church and state.  It was a night where two wise men spoke and shared.

After the show, Dick Gregory stood at the door and offered hugs.  I got a big hug and a blessing and got to give him a kiss.

We have a president who is younger than many of us now and our generation helped with his election.  I hope that this administration honors the wisdom of the ages as well as bringing forth new ideas and approach.

buddha and serpent - SFAAM

Peace -

I'm going through a journal from 96 and come across this article I'd pulled from Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

n her memoir, The Stones Cry Out, Molyda Szymusiak, a young Cambodian woman, tells a true story that began when a friend of her uncle's had a dream. In the dream, a buddha was moaning from the mud of a pond, "Help me out of here, my friend!" Guided by this dream, the two men found their way to a dry river bed, where a large bronze buddha lay in the bottom of the silt. Most statues found in this way had been decapitated, but this one was intact. The girl's uncle wanted to rescue the statue, but his friend was too frightened. To be caught in such an act was a crime punished by death by the Khmer Rouge. That evening the uncle returned to the spot alone. He asked a passerby to help him, but the man treated him as if he were crazy.

..... So he prayed, "Lord Buddha, I'm alone and you're too heavy. But if you wish it, you can become light." He stretched his muscles, his feet sank into the slime, but the statue moved. He pushed it closer to the edge and with a last effort hoisted it up onto the grassy bank ... He told my father he felt as if he were carrying something like a big rock, no heavier than one or two bricks.... Shortly afterward we all left that area, and I don't know what happened to the statue, but my uncle always said to his children, "Only bodies may be killed.  Take care to keep peace in your heart."

muir woods stream

are we all one species?

R. Buckminster Fuller:

Right now I am a passenger on space vehicle Earth zooming about the Sun at sixty thousand miles per hour somewhere in the solar system.

Ronald Reagan, on his tour of South America:

Well, I learned a lot..... You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries.