Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm still not quite resolved about the view that I have now that the trees I cherished have been removed.

I suppose the people at ground level don't notice any difference at all.  But I have an idea that in an enlightened society (i.e., condo association) the obvious thing to do would be to build a covered parking structure with a rooftop garden.  Although a taro patch would be locally and culturally correct,  we could, collectively, grow herbs and bonsai.  But a second floor parking lot?  I guess it would be a lot for another level of parked  cars. Everyone would love that!

On the other side of the street is a "collective" of maybe 8 or 10 buildings.  My father-in-law, husband of my Druid-ish mother-in-law, asked once, in all seriousness, if they were for one or two families.

I think it's for twelve, I said.

Is it just me, or are there just too many of us?

I went out today and observed the rising 82% gibbous moon on the one hand and setting sun on the other.  The air was so clear, the mountains so defined, all so perfect, so balanced.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Recently I had a little comment-dialogue with one of my Taoist blogger/corrrespondents about sleeping dreams (in one of his several posts for Dec. 9, you'll have to search for the specific entry).  He says doesn't have any, a pity.  I have an active dream life, and this morning's was most interesting to me.

I've never been one to wake up to an alarm to jump out of bed into a shower (unless forced by circumstances---getting up at an early (unnatural, for me)  time to meditate was very difficult for me in Wudang). An alarm clock;  my mother throwing on the overhead light before dawn to get me up to go to school;  a cat poking me for food; a partner poking me for sex: all these abrupt awakenings are rude interruptions of a vital mental process, one of the purposes of sleep. I value a more gentle transition from the dream state to wakefulness, my body irrelevant while I review the dream and contemplate what it was telling me.  Maybe it is a kind of meditation.  A contemplation of meditation.

In this morning's dream, clearly derivative of my recent holiday in Hana, I was visiting a beach house with friends, and exploring a cliff down to a beach.  It was exquisitely beautiful, the vegetation, the water, the sea, stones and rocks, but very dangerous.  Obviously inspired by places I have been, but also with a unique but consistent geography, there is a country in my dreams, there are places I revisit and remember, just like the various places I visit in wake-time.  After exploring this beautiful spot, I wanted to go back and get my camera to record all these beautiful things (maybe for my blog)...I did, but by the time I assembled all the paraphenalia I needed to record those images (which now have the same reality in my memory--my brain-- as waking ones),  it was too late.  The light was gone, the opportunity was past.

As I was realizing this, another person (clearly modeled on someone from the current TVB DVDs I'm watching now, a con man in 1930s Guangzhou)  was raiding my friend's fridge to make a sandwich. "That's not your food, " I said.  "It's not yours either," he replied.

Then I was wandering in the dream garden where the surf was washing up over a dike lined with...tulips (I'd gone from the tropics to Holland?)... as I drifted up into my bed, waking up.

What were these dream images telling me?  Live in the moment.  Mind your own business.  Nothing is permanent.  A dao dream indeed.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

This morning after I read my daily dose from 365 Tao (Deng Ming-Dao) I turned as is my habit to my Vatican II missal for the readings for the first Thursday of Advent, (the run-up to the winter solstice, the return of the sun/son).  I rather like the liturgical calendars of both these traditions...and it is striking that in many of the Biblical readings (Isaiah, Proverbs, the Psalms, and the Gospels, not so much Paul) if you substitute "Tao" where it says "Lord" or "God" the meanings seem pretty much the same, spiritually, if not culturally.

Then I noticed that today is the Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier, a Jesuit buddy of Ignatius Loyola, who despite his sciatica and troubles with solitude, went to India, Ceylon and Japan, to do the work of the church militant.  Sadly, this monk, the "Apostle to the Far East," who fastened the signatures from letters from friends to his robes to combat his loneliness, died of a fever at just 46, a reasonably long life in the 16th century, just before he was to enter China.  I don't mean to discuss Jesuit evangelism here, but there is some weird stuff surrounding this saint's life which makes for some bizarre storytelling, just like tales of Taoist immortals.

And it's my birthday, my personal feast day.  At least I've made it to China, receiving spiritual wisdom, not delivering it, and living at least a proper Chinese life cycle (12 animals, five times).  And I have my blogs, Facebook, three email accounts and a texting cellphone.  I'm far from lonely.  In fact I'm looking forward to a few days of more or less solitude to meditate and think about where I am in my own life journey.