Pragmatic Buddhism, Westernized Dharma, 21st-century Sangha


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


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...]

Did You Just Send That Woman To a Church To Get Help with an Abortion?


Today, in the year 2013, when we reflect on what it means to talk about reproductive justice, we are inherit a strong history. To remember how we reached this present moment, we invite you to hear ten landmark changes in the history of reproductive justice.Because we have to begin somewhere, it is significant to note how long contraception has  been a controversial in our nation. In the 1850s, amid opposition from conservatives and feminists alike, the first rubber condoms are mass-produced … [Read more...]

Practice Resurrection

There’s a man I’d like to tell you about — a man named Hermann Gunkel. But before I tell you about him, I would like to tell you about two groups that I also wish could meet Mr. Gunkel.The first group to whom I’d like to introduce Mr. Gunkel is conservative Christians. I spent a lot of time in my childhood in conservative Christian congregations, and there was much emphasis on belief — believing doctrines on Good Friday such as the “necessity and efficacy of the substitutionary atonement.” Or … [Read more...]

What Is Our Conveyer Belt? Stages of Faith

Fowler Stages of Faith

This post's title (“What Is Our Conveyer Belt?”) is a reference to a chapter in philosopher Ken Wilber’s book Integral Spirituality. One of Wilber’s particular interests is in stages of development. Both individually and in groups there is potential to progress through stages of development along many different lines.For example, there are stages of kinesthetic development as babies learn to first hold their neck up, then roll over, crawl, walk, and run — and some people even reach Olympic le … [Read more...]

Preventing Gun Violence


Consider the following sampling of gun violence in the U.S., drawn only from the weekend of March 2-3, 2013:The 4-year-old son of a Jackson County, Mich., Sheriff’s Deputy accidentally shot and killed himself Saturday night...around 5 p.m. at the deputy’s home.  A 61-year-old man is dead after his gun apparently accidentally discharged, striking him once in the upper body, at the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club in Waldorf, Md. Officers were called Saturday at 9:23 a.m.  Toni Voss, 27, was s … [Read more...]