THREE APPLES FELL FROM HEAVEN A Meditation on the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide .

Three Apples Fell From Heaven A meditation on the Centenary of the Armenian Genocideby Janice Dzovinar OkoomianDelivered at the First Unitarian Church of Providence April 26, 2015Paree Louees: Good morning.Three apples fell from Heaven.One is for a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; one is for justice, equity and compassion in human relations; and one is for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.Now, you might recognize these … [Read more...]

Do Not Deny, Do Not Forget


Today the Armenian community marks the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the terrible events that the world now calls the first genocide of the twentieth century. Somewhere between a million and a million and a half people were killed, as the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Turkey began the journey to what would become a nation state.The horror has been compounded by the denial of the Turkish state that the event happened, or, when pressed with endless evidence starting with the … [Read more...]

He Drew A Circle

Edwin Markham

Charles Edward Anson Markham, better known as Edwin Markham was born on this day in 1852. He was officially the poet laureate of Oregon between 1923 and 1931. He had also been called the poet of labor. And, what touches me most, the "poet laureate of Universalism."Beyond my spiritual circles it his poem "The man with the Hoe" that is perhaps best remembered, and it is the poem that earns him that association with labor. But, also he was invited to read his poem "Lincoln, Man of the People" … [Read more...]

On the Preservation of the Species: A Mind Bubble on Earth Day


As I hope everyone knows, today, the 22nd of April is Earth Day. Earth Day is observed both nationally and internationally, and deservedly so. While we face many problems within our human communities that desperately need to be addressed, we are also in the midst of an ecological catastrophe, the outer limits of which appear to be the extinction of our species. And one would think that would get our attention a tad more front and center than it does.Most days I go to the Wikipedia list of … [Read more...]

And a Blessed 21st of April to All!


Some days its impossible to choose which holiday you want to honor.For me out of the thicket of possibilities I find today, the 21st of April, boiling down to two:The foundation of Rome! Hard to want to pass on this one. I mean it evokes so many things, starting with my childhood and those stories from the book of the Apocalypse which my grandmother was fond of reading to me, and which I liked before I discovered H. P. Lovecraft. And after that seeing Rome as less the (lady of the night) … [Read more...]

LEARNING TO FALL A Meditation on the Stoic Way

marcus aurelius

LEARNING TO FALL A Meditation on the Stoic WayA Sermon by James Ishmael Ford17 April 2015First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode IslandTextYou are composed of three things: body, breath and mind. The first two are yours to the degree that you are responsible for their care; only the third is truly yours. If you do not attach your sense of who you are to your thoughts, to what others say or do, to what you have said or done, to what you will say or do, to the … [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Spike!


Sir Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan was born on this day in 1918. He died in 2002. It has been argued without Spike there would be no Monty Python. A world too horrible to contemplate. So, thanks, Spike! Tons... … [Read more...]

And Now A Root Canal


Of course. Of course. On top of all else going down at the Ford Seymour Ford homestead, I've broken a tooth. Right at the gum line. I'm between dentists, and so had the pleasure of seeking out a chain with walk in service. They seem nice enough. Having googled them, I knew there have been allegations of up-selling in another state. For the most part other complaints have the air of coming from people who complain about everything. My own experience was that the examination was thorough, with the … [Read more...]

The Grapes of Wrath, the Seeds of Hope

Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck's novel the Grapes of Wrath was published on this day in 1939.It would prove to be one of the formative reads in my young life. It said some hard things about our country, about capitalism, about the rich and the poor. And by the time I had finished reading it, I realized whose side I was on.My understanding has nuanced over the years. Today I consider myself a type of social democrat. I think business is a seedbed of creativity and absolutely creates wealth. But it has … [Read more...]

HEALING THE BROKEN HEART A Gathering of Boundless Way Zen’s Spiritual Directors

BoWZ Teachers

This weekend fifteen people gathered at the Boundless Way Temple in Worcester, MA, for the first, we expect annual gathering of the folk responsible for the spiritual direction of Boundless Way Zen. The gathering included all four of our senior guiding teachers, the three Dharma holders, people who have received the first of the two steps in Dharma transmission as we preserve it within our sangha, and the eight senior Dharma teachers, those mature practitioners who have accepted the … [Read more...]