Poetically Dwelling on the Earth as a Mortal

edwards

I am a religious skeptic. I don’t believe in Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, or Ogun; nor do I believe in the resurrection of bodies two days dead and buried, nor water changing into wine, nor men walking about unharmed in fiery furnaces. Likewise for angels, ghosts, demons, statues that weep milk, and miraculous cures effected by the blessed water of Lourdes. About my skepticism, I feel neither pride nor shame; it’s not an achievement, nor is it a failing. It’s just a fact about me . . . a fact that doe … [Read more...]

Pragmatic Buddhism, Westernized Dharma, 21st-century Sangha

buddha

When I was about fifteen years old, I accidentally ran into some of the classic early meditation experiences described in the ancient texts and my reluctant spiritual quest began. I did not realize what had happened, nor did I realize that I had crossed something like a point of no return, something I would later call “The Arising and Passing Away.” I knew that I had had a very strange dream with bright lights, that my entire body and world had seemed to explode like fireworks, and that aft … [Read more...]

Wendell Berry, Climate Change, and Earth Breathing

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Wendell Berry is the author of more than fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays, and for more than forty years, he has lived and farmed with his wife, Tanya Berry, in Kentucky. Berry is also a well-known environmental activist, and he will be present to participate this summer at the annual Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, which this year will be in Louisville, Kentucky. Berry will be joining thousands of Unitarian Universalists from around the continent on Thursday, June 20 at a … [Read more...]

Blue Christmas: When Your Days Aren’t Merry and Bright

Asher

In my family mourning was not done publicly. Therefore, I, as a child, assumed it was not done at all. Both sets of grandparents died and I recall hidden tears, the quick turn away to look out a window, the closing of a door. This mysterious behavior seemed to commence with the announcement of death and end immediately after the funeral. Of course, if mourning is private, almost secretive as though shameful, there can be no comforting. Now I discover that, if honest emotion is shared, t … [Read more...]

Can You Feel the Wheel of the Year Turning? A Spirituality of Winter

Can you feel the “Wheel of the Year” turning?In this season of each day growing incrementally shorter, can you sense our inexorable movement, here in the Northern Hemisphere, toward Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year? It can be easy to feel caught up in the darkening of our days: disheartened, discarded, even depressed. At various times, I have experienced each of these responses to winter.As a way of navigating seasonal shifts, I have become increasingly interested in and ben … [Read more...]

Water Communion: “A River Runs through It”

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Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the … [Read more...]


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