Thinking of JFK


He died today fifty-one years ago.I don't need to see that bit of film showing his being murdered.This is what I find myself thinking of today... … [Read more...]

Dick Turns Eighty Four

smothers brothers

Dick Smothers turns eighty-four today.He & his brother Tom were pretty important cultural figures in the great uproar that became the "nineteen sixties." Their brief two-year run "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" poked the authorities in a time when that was not done on television and pointed viewers in important directions.I have a vivid memory of the show where Pete Seeger showed up and sang "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy." Everyone knew who he was singing about. It had originally been … [Read more...]

A Feast for Hilda


I've been a fan of Hilda of Whitby for, well, just about forever.She's one of those singular figures that stand at pivot points in history and by their actions tilt the direction of whole cultures...She was the daughter of Anglo Saxon nobility, born in 614 and raised in the court of King Edwin. When she was thirteen the court converted to Christianity, and with it Hilda.While perhaps not the most auspicious way to enter a religion she took it all seriously and when she came of age … [Read more...]

JUST FRIENDS A Meditation on Friendship as Spiritual Practice


JUST FRIENDSA Meditation on Friendship as Spiritual Practice16 November 2014James Ishmael FordFirst Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode IslandTextOne day while walking quietly together, out of the silence the Buddha’s attendant Ananda declared, “Teacher, to have companions and comrades on the great way is so amazing! I have come to realize that friendship is fully half of an authentic spiritual life. They proceeded along quietly for a while more, before out of that sil … [Read more...]

Little Willie John’s Fever


William Edward John, better known by his stage name Little Willie John, one of those shooting stars who burned too bright and died too quickly, was born on this day in 1937.Actually...Maybe not a shooting star.Perhaps a fever... … [Read more...]

Martin Marries Katharina

Personen / Religiöse Persönlichkeiten / Luther / Porträts / Brustbilder

I see that it was on this day in 1525 that Martin Luther still technically a Roman Catholic priest married the former nun Katharina von Bora.Apparently that part of their lives went swimmingly.I've been thinking a bit about celibacy and spirituality recently, and this sort of allows me to stop and in honor of Martin and Katharina, to reflect just a moment on the subject.First, celibacy has been a part of spirituality for, well, just about forever. And one can see good reasons for … [Read more...]

A Moment for James Luther Adams

James Luther Adams

A lot of years ago when Jan & I first moved to New England's rocky soil, Jan wanted to go to the Cambridge cemetery to put a rose on Henry James' grave. I was more than happy to join her as I wanted to put a flower on William's grave.We bought a small bouquet of roses and drove out to the cemetery which turns out to be just east of the more famous Mt Auburn cemetery. With good directions we found the James family site without much difficulty. As we set our flowers down, I was glad we had … [Read more...]

Enter the Cult of Reason

goddess of reason

It was on this day in 1793 that the goddess of Reason was proclaimed by the revolutionary French National Convention, beginning the brief run of the Cult of Reason.Her image was installed on the high altar of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.I try to note this day as an interesting eruption of rational religion in the midst of the revolution.Short lived, the atheistic cult of the goddess was suppressed by order of Robespierre who wanted a cult of the supreme being instead. Both … [Read more...]

Twenty-five Years Ago

berlin wall comes down

Something was in the air.A year before it fell, Bruce Springsteen serenaded the East Berliners.People knew in their bones.Still, it came a shock to the world...When.When...This day twenty-five years ago the East German government announced it would not imprison its citizens.Quickly, quickly,the hated wall came down...Every once in a while the weight of history brings down a wall.Something to reminder.And celebrate... … [Read more...]


ON ASPECTS OF THE REFORMATION OF SOTO ZEN BUDDHISM IN NORTH AMERICAAn Open Letter to the Leadership and Membership Of the Soto Zen Buddhist AssociationAnd all care about the Zen Dharma in the WestJames Myoun Ford, Osho Senior Guiding Teacher’s Council Boundless Way ZenDear ones,We live in exciting and dangerous times. Perhaps you’ve noticed. We live in a time of economic disruption, where in North America a new normal seems to be settling in with a much smaller and less sta … [Read more...]