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Solitaries & The Lindisfarne Rule

Amma Beth, our Prioress (of the solitaries) suggested that we take a look at the Community Rule "through the lens of the solitary life" and share our reflections. goes.

Solitaries and the Lindisfarne Rule:

I thought that I could tackle this incrementally, which is my usual method. I set out to do that, intending to start with the summary “to love, to serve, to forgive” but I suddenly realized that my method wasn’t working at all well. I took a step back and tried to put my finger on why that might be happening.
Then I felt God reminding me that there is a great paradox inherent in the call to be a solitary within the context of a community. For a moment I felt overwhelmed; as though I were trying to speak in a high wind. You know that feeling, when the wind steals the breath out of you the moment you open your mouth? Like that. I laughed to myself when it occurred to me that the metaphor in Hebrew for the Holy Spirit is “Ruach,” which means Wind or Breath.

How is it …
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Of God

Acts 5:27-42
“…if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail;
 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them.”

“Just sitting” is enlightenment.

“Just trusting” is eternal life.

“Just loving” is delight.

While you turn away into make-believe worlds of distraction;

While you seek out disturbance and confusion;

While you insist on walking in desolation;

While you pretend that power is imperative;

While you run and yearn after the mayflies of wishfulness—

I’ll be here.

Waiting for you is no trouble—


Invitation of Mountains

More from Shobogenzo:

“I say, Remember, among Buddhists we do not argue about superiority and inferiority of philosophies, or choose between shallowness and profundity in the Dharma; we need only know if the practice is genuine or artificial.  Some have entered into the stream of the Buddha’s truth at the invitation of grass, flowers, mountains, and rivers.  Some have received and maintained the stamp of Buddha by grasping soil, stones, sand, and pebbles.  Furthermore the Vast and Great Word is even more abundant than the myriad phenomena.  And the turning of the great Dharma-wheel is contained in every molecule.  This being so, the words “Mind here and now is buddha” are only the moon in water, and the idea “Just to sit is to become buddha” is also a reflection in a mirror.  We should not be caught by the skillfulness of the words.  Now, in recommending the practice in which bodhi is directly experienced, I hope to demonstrate the subtle truth that the Buddhist patriarchs have transm…

The Straight Path

John 1:19-28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
20 he was very straightforward and stated clearly, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 “Then who are you?” they asked him. “Are you Eliyahu?” “No, I am not,” he said. “Are you ‘the prophet,’ the one we’re expecting?” “No,” he replied. 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? — so that we can give an answer to the people who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” 23 He answered in the words of Yesha‘yahu the prophet,  “I am  'The voice of someone crying out:
‘In the desert make the way of Adonai straight!’”  (Isaiah 40:3)
English Standard Version (ESV)
23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight *the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
*Or ‘crying out, ‘In the wilderness make straight’

I was caught by the difference between “A voice crying out in the wilderness,” and “a voice crying out, “in the wilderness make straight”.”
I thought, “What difference does it make?” but I kept feeling that somehow it did.

This One Moment

Bendowa continued— (emphases in bold are mine.)

The world of self-consciousness, and [the world] of consciousness of external objects, lack nothing—they are already furnished with the concrete form of real experience. The standard state of real experience, when activated, allows no idle moment. Zazen, even if it is only one human being sitting for one moment, thus enters into mystical co-operation with all dharmas, and completely penetrates all times; and it there performs, within the limitless Universe, the eternal work of the Buddha’s guiding influence in the past, future, and present.
For everyone it is completely the same practice and the same experience. The practice is not confined to the sitting itself; it strikes space and resonates, [like] ringing that continues before and after a bell. How could [the practice] be limited to this place? All concrete things possess original practice as their original features; It is beyond comprehension.
Remember, even if the countless buddhas …

Other Gods

Psalm 139:1-17
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
Joshua 23
15 But just as all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the Lord will bring upon you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that the Lord your God has given you, 16 if you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them.
Matthew 27:11-23
13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

My reflection started with the reading from Joshua in which the only phrase that really jumped out at me was, “other gods.” I started to get tangled up in trying to read between the lines of what sounded like an abusive, authoritari…

Potter's Field

Matthew 27: 1-10

3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” 5 Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself. 6 The head cohanim took the silver coins and said, “It is prohibited to put this into the Temple treasury, because it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field as a cemetery for foreigners.

Wow. Just….wow.

Blood money.  The priests seem to have been unaware of the irony that it was their own actions which tainted the money in the first place. It also seems that it never occurred to them that their own agent would repudiate them by returning the money. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

‘Dirty’ money; ‘blood’ money; ‘tainted’ money; ‘toxic’ money; money ‘laundering…