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Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update
December 2001

Theme: Sharing the Fate

The ending of a year is a call to remember. Can we ever think again that we are separate?

From Alan W. Watts, in Myth and Ritual in Christianity, Chapter III “Advent”:
From the very beginning, of course, the Lord God had foreseen what Lucifer and Adam would do, and that by their disobedience the whole universe would become subject to death and corruption. Therefore in the secret counsels of his wisdom he had already prepared the remedy, which was to consist in the extraordinary act of descending into his own creation, becoming himself a creature –man—and, by making the life and death of created being his own, deliver it from the curse. For in taking the risk of created beings with freedom of action, the Lord God was prepared to suffer the risk himself, and to experience the whole burden of anguish which it would involve. This is the real reason for the Christian’s veneration of Christ. It is not simply that he is a great teacher, wonder/worker, and exemplar, but much rather that Christ is God himself sharing the fate of his erring creatures.      (p.85)

Charles Simic’s poem from book What the Grass Says:


Toward evening
When it stops snowing
Our homes rise
High above the earth
Into that soundless space
Where neither the bark of dog
Nor the cry of a bird reaches.

We are like the ancient seamen:
Our bodies are the ocean
And the silence is the boat
God has provided
For our long and unknown journey.

December is a rich month with Ramadan, Hanukah, Buddha’s enlightenment, the turning of the light at solstice, and the birth of Christ with Jesus.

Late autumn in Maine turns to the hills and sea and says – I have made you empty, I have taken from you what will return to you when winter turns you to spring. But for now, love the emptiness, and love the change, and love all as gift.


1. Through the good auspices of Karl Gottshalk there is a new section on the website, Today at Meetingbrook. Daily reflections, reports of our evening conversations, other news will be posted there. If you have a personal thought or response, please email/write us, I’d be happy to reflect your contribution.

2. We’ve purchased a digital camera. Photos will begin to appear on the website. We’re closer to on-line purchases from the bookshop/bakery. Keep watch!

3. The Hermitage Harbor Room overlooking Camden Harbor is being offered as a retreat opportunity for individuals wishing to retreat in silence and solitude. It is a studio apartment, with kitchen area, bathroom with shower, comfortable chairs, futon, and meditation alcove. Anyone wishing to use the studio with its extraordinary views of open waters and rising mountains should call us at 207-236-6808. We’ll accept donations and free-will offerings for your stay.

4. The cabin slowly continues its construction. Three windows are in, drywall in peaks almost done, flooring and bricks for woodstove being prepared. The meditation cabin is a lovely rough wood view each turning into the dooryard.

With love -- , Sando , Mini and all who grace Meetingbrook,



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Meetingbrook Hermitage
64 Barnstown Rd.,
Camden, Maine USA 04843
Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery
50 Bayview St. (Cape on the harbor)
Camden, Maine USA 04843
e-mail: mono@meetingbrook.org

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