Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grandmother Mind

Let this mind be in you...

When my grandmother died, my nephew and I drove to Dallas together for her funeral.  We arrived early to the funeral site in the midst of Laurel Land in Oak Cliff.  Joe Scruggs album,  Deep in the Jungle was one of my favorites at the time, especially the song Grandma's and Grandpa's:

Yes, Grandparents, they sure named them right, 
Cause Grandparents are a grand delight!
And they always love you, if you’re good or bad,
Like you’re the best grandkid they ever had.
They are the parents of fathers and mothers,
But sometimes they might be others.
Like the nice old lady who lives down the street,
Who remembers your birthday and calls you sweet.
Or the nice old man, who’s a friend of your dad,
Who tells you stories from when he was a lad.
He gives you pennies and he tells you jokes.
He’s not related to you or your folks.
But you call them Grandpa and Grandma, too,
And that’s okay for you to do,
‘Cause kids need all the Grandparents they can get,
No one’s had too many yet!

This is my best view of grandparents. My aunt had already chosen the music to play as people arrived, so the funeral director couldn't play the song then.  We were allowed to play it beforehand, so we sat in the chapel and listened to this song and thought about Mary Eula Foster.

There is a Zen concept called grandmother mind : 

"But he had one weak point: he didn't yet have robai-shin ("grandmother-mind"), the mind of grandmotherly compassion, and so he could not truly follow the cosmic order.  Dogen, just a little while before his death, told him this:  'You understand all of Buddhism, but you cannot go beyond your abilities and your intelligence. You must have robai-shin, the mind of great compassion. This compassion must help all of humanity. You should not think only of yourself.'" 
". . .who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death--even death on a cross."

Grandmother mind? - Philippians 2

Saturday, February 21, 2009


"You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants.  It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.
 You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines.'For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field.  On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property."  Leviticus 25 (NASB)

What if the idea of Jubilee is a basic economic principle?  What would an economy look like that knew exactly when it was going to reset instead of having to crash and burn?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A prayer for today

From d365 :

Loving God, as you empower the seemingly powerless and the seemingly powerful cannot always bring about change, please help me to put all of my faith, all of my trust, and all of my hope in you. Amen

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From The Fig Tree Murder by Michael Pearce:

Egypt circa 1910:  "The Nationalist Party was predominantly secular.  They were a modernizing party and modernizing, for many of them meant sweeping away much of the influence of the Church.  Which the Church knew very well. The imam would have spotted this tactic a mile off.  Even so, thought Owen, it might be worth keeping an eye on how successful the tactic was.  Ordinary people might be less discriminating than the imam and if the Nationalists could add religious fervor to popular hostility then they could make a lot of trouble."