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Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage
Update Summer 2006

June Theme:  Consecration and Commitment to What Is Now Taking Place.

The 10th anniversary of Meetingbrook Hermitage Bookshop & Bakery by the harbour occurs

We gratefully celebrate a consecration and commitment to what is now taking place.

No one is absent and no one is ignorant.
This is a gathering of the Buddha-mind
That is given to us at birth.
When you return home,
Be mindful of all your daily matters,
Just the way you are listening to the teachings now.
Then you’ll be just living with unborn Buddha-mind.
Because of desire, we become stubborn,
Self-centered, and deluded.
This way we move away from Buddha-mind,
And become foolish.
Originally, no one is deluded.

- Bankei

10 Years
29 June 1996 – 29 June 2006

On this day, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Meetingbrook Hermitage’s Bookshop & Bakery at Camden Harbour.
~ ~ ~
INTENT OF MEETINGBROOK: Meetingbrook is a place of collation and recollection dedicated to open conversation & hospitality. We are a place between. Meetingbrook dwells in the thin place between all points of view, where universal respect for all expressions of faith or no-faith, and authentic inquiry into interreligious, interfaith, and interdenominational thought/experience is shared in a safe, hospitable environment.

Meetingbrook is recognized: 1) By the Federal Government as a 501C3 Public Charity (since 1998) as a Schola Gratiae et Contemplationis; 2) By the State of Maine as a tax exempt Religious House of Prayer (since 2005), and; 3) By the Mid-Coast community as a place where All events are free, open, and informal.

PROMISES & VOCATION: Today also celebrates Bill & Saskia’s taking solemn promises as Monastics of No Other, (mono). These public promises, first taken in 1998 and renewed yearly, embody our vocation within Meetingbrook Hermitage. These promises are Contemplation, Conversation, & Correspondence.

COMMUNITY COMMISSION: The community at Meetingbrook gathers today to recognize, affirm, and ordain Bill and Saskia’s vocation as a new form of religious life as hermit/monastics in the open. The hermitage is a place of prayer and learning in all traditions. A particular focus is the side-by-side practice and study of Buddhist Zen Meditation, Christian Contemplative Prayer, and the Engaged Service flowing from each.

~ ~ ~
On this day the gathered community acts to ground this vocation – as it has been lived, is now lived, and openly hopes to live – in and with this practicing community.

BLESSING: By touch of hand, prayer of heart, and intention of mind, the community assembled does indeed -- recognize, affirm, and ordain -- Bill & Saskia’s willingness to faithfully carry out the mission and spirit of Meetingbrook.
~ ~ ~
GRATITUDE: With gratitude for this gift, here and now, we thank each and all for your presence and ongoing support.

Embodying the dwell-place of the Alone;
Stepping aside to make room for another.

July Theme: Living Ordinary Life

Ordinary life consists of living every day as if it were that very day and not some other.

Speaking of her father, Mary Karr writes, "His love of language made words his sacraments, too. Poetry was the family's religion. Beauty bonded us." (From Afterword, "Facing Altars: Poetry and Prayer," in her book of poems, Sinners Welcome, by Mary Karr, c.2006)

The sounds of streams are Buddha's speech.
The colored mountains are Buddha's pure body.
Night brings eighty-four thousand poems of Buddha.
Listen, and someday you may awaken.

- Su Shih (1031-1101)

 Live each day as it is. Morning comes and evening follows.

August Theme:  Loving-kindness and Understanding

The war-mind has gone insane. It bombs and shoots, kills and maims. The Middle East is afire. No one seems to care in the so-called civilized world that three major powers have taken to killing anyone in the path of their offensive in Iraq, Lebanon, and soon, no doubt, in Syria and Iran.

It is time for a spiritual revolution.

(For Philip)

Don't mourn for what was;
there's languishing, recoil
in dire recalling.

Seek an austere rejoicing
in ghostly angelic absence -

a purified presence, a whisper
of that lion hearted voice
urging heartfelt action and
biblical fluency:
"I believe,
therefore I tame the world's
clamor, chaos, inanity."

Then behold -
transfigured by ordeal,
a different, difficult friend.

(Poem by Dan Berrigan SJ)

A taming faith. It's a belief I can get behind. It stands aside as the masses of professing believers chant mantra-like the name of Jesus as their own personal possession. Then, when the noise has passed, steps out Christ from the shadows and ministers to those who've been left blunted by the exultant crowd, those forgotten in the ecstasy of others' remembrance of how special they are, those not worthy enough in the eyes of The Few to be gathered into their cadre of triumphal inner circularity.

Christ be there in the open!

Inanity be tamed! Clamor be quieted! Chaos be stilled!

It will come -- the time of transfiguration -- when we recognize that it is us here, just us, the family that will not go away. Not by judgment. Not by exclusion. Not by secret handshakes and signal coded formulas that puff up those claiming especial privilege. There where Christ continues quietly showing up after the crowds pass by.

No false deals of privileges and commendations and elevations and dense plea bargains sacrificing something other, someone other, in place of a more personal surrender and awareness.

Christ will not be tricked after two thousand years into that scam of religious and political delusion. Nor should we.

End wars. Be peace. For God's sake -- try loving what Christ loves!

Be Jesuits in motto today: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam ("For the greater glory of God").

One another. Us all. Different, difficult friend. God is One.

At this juncture in history no religion seems to have any courage to counter the belief that all this is in the name of some very distorted version of theology. No political or diplomatic power is anything other than impotent to stop the carnage, or worse, sharpen their swords and load their munitions to participate in the killing destruction. 

Laissez faire new age religionists and anti-religionists hold themselves too pure to watch or engage the horrific events of the current conflict. Some protest that their personal well-being should not be compromised by the toxicity of news, war, and the suffering of others. They are preserving themselves for something more elevated. Rapture Christians and Rapture New Age folks are not that different. They hold themselves above and apart.

Spiritual revolution requires we live everyday as though it were that very day. Loving-kindness and understanding are the ways this revolution begins. They are the way it continues. They are the end of the revolution. Loving-kindness and understanding are the fruits of spirituality lived in the ordinary world everyday.

At Meetingbrook we pray for this revolution.

May all beings be happy.

May all beings be safe.

May all beings come to dwell in their true home.

Please support us in this prayer. Please support one another through this difficult time. Please support each day the mind and heart longing for loving-kindness and understanding.

With love,

, Cesco , Mu-ge ,
and all who grace Meetingbrook,

29 June 2006  -- 31 July 2006

Please see http://www.meetingbrook.org/updates/05SepUpdate.htm for continuing support.

Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage is a Schola Gratiae et Contemplationis, i.e., a School of Gratefulness and Contemplation. Bookshop and Bakery opened 29 June1996. Hermitage was formed as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in 1998 for the purpose of serving as a place of collation and recollection for the side-by-side practice and study of Buddhist Zen Meditation, Christian Contemplative Prayer, and the Engaged Service flowing from each. Central to Meetingbrook is its Laura Common – dedicated to a forum for individuals sharing practice with others, and its Schola -- dedicated to Interreligious & Interdependent Dialogue —Unveiling and Practicing Peace Between Ways. Donations are always gratefully accepted for the continuance and deepening of Meetingbrook.              

Visit www.meetingbrook.org    

Please send your donations to:
Meetingbrook, 50 Bayview St., Camden, Maine 04843

May 2006 Update
April 2006 Update
March 2006 Update
Jan/Feb 2006 Update

December 2005 Update
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December 2004 Update
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December 2003 Update
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April 2003 Update (alternate)
March 2003 Update
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December 2002 Update
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December 2001 Update
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December 2000 Update
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December 99 Update 
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September 99 Update
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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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