Hold It All

Month: April, 2014

Share the Wealth: L’Arche St. Louis

From our friend Justin Lorenz:

Founded by Jean Vanier in France in 1964, L’Arche (French for “the Ark”) communities bear witness to the reality that persons with intellectual disabilities possess inherent qualities of welcome, wonderment, spirituality, and friendship. We make explicit the dignity of every human being by building inclusive communities of faith and friendship where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together. There are now 146 communities within 35 countries striving to live out the L’Arche mission, vision, and spirituality. The folks living in the L’Arche St. Louis home will present on both the simplicity and significance of living L’Arche.

Join us
Sunday 4 May
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
L’Arche friends begin sharing at 6:45
at the L’Arche home at 2900 Marshall Ave
St. Louis

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.

Ryokan returned and caught him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”

— Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones



A Reminder


Chinese Proverb

Thanks to Candice Simon, who shared this with me.

Fragments on Teaching & Learning/1

And there was some point as a professor at Stanford and Harvard when I experienced being in some kind of meaningless game in which the students were exquisite at playing the role of students and the faulty were exquisite at playing the role of faculty. I would get up and say what I had read in books and they’d all write it down and give it back as answers on exams but nothing was happening. I felt as if I were in a sound-proof room. Not enough was happening that mattered—that was real.

–Ram Dass, formerly Richard Alpert
Be Here Now


Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, 1960

The Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence

I feel oppressed by an error of mind which offends me most as unjust and even more as annoying. I try to correct it, but I cannot root it out. It is that I attach too little value to things I possess, just because I possess them and overvalue anything strange, absent, and not mine. This frame of mind extends very far. As the prerogative of authority leads men to regard their wives with monstrous disdain, and sometimes their children, so too am I afflicted. Whatever I am responsible for can never, as I see things, meet the competition. To an even greater degree, any desire for advancement and improvement clouds my judgment and closes off the path to satisfaction, just as mastery in itself breeds scorn of whatever one holds in one’s power. Exotic societies, customs, and languages attract me, and I realize that the dignity of Latin impresses me more than it should, just as it does children and common folk.  My neighbor’s house, the way he runs his affairs, his horse, though no better than my own, are all worth more than mine precisely because they are not mine.

— Montaigne, “On Presumption”
Via Roger Shattuck, Proust’s Way


The Things People Say

for CMB

He (well-meaning, sixty-something): You need to hurry up and get a boyfriend, there’s only a few years left for you to have babies, so you need to get moving, go to church, say your prayers, and get that husband.

She (mindfully mock-indignant, mid-thirties): How many offensive things can you put into a single sentence?

For Ale Vázquez

El Derecho de Vivir en Paz by Victor Jara


Hold It All

Hold it all

The sun blasting away and the clouds offering respite
June 1968 and July 1988
The nights I used to work at the Bristol Bar and Grill and the mornings Sara Wall worked at Coffee Cartel
Ho Chi Minh and Thich Nhat Hanh
Dang Thuy Tram and Cao Ngoc Phuong
Palestine and Vietnam Read the rest of this entry »

They Will Want To Know More by Cristina Cousins

Dear Friends,

Cristina came to hear Remi Kanazi last Wednesday and to see Five Broken Cameras and hear Iyad Burnat last Friday.  I asked her if she’d be willing to write a response.  This is what she gave me.


We ask ourselves,
What can I possibly do
To stop the violence
To protect the children
To free the captive
To heal the injured
To end the suffering? Read the rest of this entry »


Dear Cristina

It’s not that I wish you
The affliction of Fame

But after seeing Remi Kanazi last night
I thought of you

Going on the road

Before small groups and sanghas
Or large wear-a-flower-in-your-hair gatherings

You–intense, charming
Dappled, direct–

Chant your word paintings
Deliver your snapshot poetics

Of all the jobs you ever had
(The Dharma Monologues) Read the rest of this entry »