Intention

In my studies of Buddhism I’ve been learning about the importance of intention. You could say that examining intention is at the root of Buddhist morality. I want to do this thing. Why do I want to do this thing? What is the intention behind my desire to do this thing? Is it selfishness? Is [Read More…]

Don’t Know Mind

I’ve been working with a nifty little Zen Buddhist practice called “Don’t-Know-Mind.” The idea behind it is this: We constantly, and without even realizing it, invent stories in our minds to explain things we experience. So, for example, in my rear view mirror I see some guy in a BMW who is zipping through traffic; [Read More…]

Conservative Evangelical Christian’s Deal with the Devil

  The classic tale of Doctor Faustus has been told and retold in many forms. It is one of those universal cautionary tropes which, when you think about it, appears all over the place in literature, movies and song (such as The Police’s 1983 hit Wrapped Around Your Finger). The Faustus tale centers on an [Read More…]

The Day My Father Died

I was in my thirties when my father died. He was fifty-nine; just four years older than I am now. His death was sudden and unexpected. My father was a passionate, active, vivacious man.  He was an athlete who climbed mountains, ran marathons and–not long before his passing–rode his recumbent bicycle across the state of [Read More…]

Guns

There were two other mass shootings in the U.S. today in addition to the “GOP baseball” shooting.  There have been 154 mass shootings (4 or more victims) in the U.S. in the last 165 days.  This is in addition to our regular epidemic of tens of thousands of run-of-the-mill “non-mass” shootings in the U.S. each [Read More…]

Am I a Christian?

                        Am I a Christian?  The short answer is yes.  In 1984, when I was in my early-twenties, I prayed the “sinner’s prayer” and became a “born again” Christian.  I then participated in charismatic fundamentalist evangelical churches for twenty years and after that was [Read More…]

Guest Post: Bhante Suddhāso – Guidelines for Happiness

With his kind permission, today I’m featuring a guest post by Bhante Suddhāso, a Buddhist monk living in New York City. He is the co-founder of Buddhist Insights, a new platform using technology to build community and facilitate access to reliable monastic teachings–where this post originally appeared.  Bhante Suddhāso’s work aims to convey Buddhist concepts [Read More…]

Morality

  I’ve been doing a lot of pondering and reading lately about the basis of morality in various ideologies.  As a fundamentalist evangelical Christian I was taught, for example, that atheists are intrinsically immoral due to the fact that they are spiritually unregenerate and do not adhere to any transcendent divine moral code.  In reality [Read More…]

Calling for Barabbas

Back in mid-April I was driving in the car and flipped the radio to the local AM Christian station, as I occasionally do.  Generally their programming ranges from prerecorded sermons to shows about parenting and marriage advice to “current events” programs which tend to mirror whatever the latest point of outrage on conservative talk radio [Read More…]

Selective Grace

I try to be circumspect about weighing in on news events. If I comment at all, I generally prefer to wait until the dust has settled, the immediate reactions have ceased, and some in-depth analysis is available. I also try to avoid celebrity news/gossip. But this Kathy Griffin thing has me intrigued from a theological [Read More…]