Dosho Port Receives Inka Shomei

Dosho & James

I am honored to be able to announce that on the evening of January 23rd, 2015, in the ancient and ever renewed ceremony of Inka Shomei I passed on the Dharma as I received it from John Tarrant, who himself received it from Robert Aitken, who in turn received it from Koun Yamada, in continuing succession back to the mists of history and myth of our Zen way.Dosho Roshi was already a successor to the great Dainin Katagiri. This was among other things in acknowledgement of Dosho's completion and … [Read more...]

THE GREAT WAY OF LIBERAL RELIGION A Meditation on Francis David, George Biandrata, and King John Sigismund

THE GREAT WAY OF LIBERAL RELIGION A Meditation on Francis David, George Biandrata, & King John SigismundJames Ishmael FordFirst Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode IslandTextIn this world there have always been many opinions about faith and salvation. You need not think alike to love alike. There must be knowledge in faith also. Sanctified reason is the lantern of faith. Religious reform can never be all at once, but gradually step by step. If they offer something better, I will … [Read more...]

The Unmerciful Servant: One of Jesus’ Parables as Remembered by Kids


Thanks to the good folk at the First Baptist Church of Marble Falls for this gem. … [Read more...]

Just for Fun, Just for Political Geeks: Nate Silver and Gang Speculate on the Presidential Field

william jennings bryan

Over at the website, political (and sports) prognosticator supreme Nate Silver and his associates have a little fun speculating about the "horse race" in the two parties, even as they freely acknowledge this is well ahead of having any substantive data they can really work with.At the same time these guys aren't your average neighbor on the barstool at the local watering hole.The panel, includes Nate Silver himself, as well as the site's data lab editor Micah Cohen, … [Read more...]

The Song of the Frisbee Is Sung


Walter Frederick Morrison was born on this day in 1920. An inventor, it was in 1937 he found himself quite taken with what he could do throwing a popcorn can lid. Several disadvantages ended when he switched to cake pans. He and his wife then marketed them as Flyin' Cake Pans on the beach in Santa Monica. Later he switched to plastic and tried for a larger market. As it happens it was also on this day, in 1957 he sold the rights to his invention that he was then calling Pluto Platters to Wham-O. … [Read more...]

SHELTER FOR THE BIRDS OF HEAVEN: A Meditation on Race, Class, and the Way of Liberal Religion


SHELTER FOR THE BIRDS OF HEAVEN A Meditation on Race, Class, and the Way of Liberal ReligionJames Ishmael Ford18 January 2015 First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode IslandTextCome, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is no caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a hundred times. Come, yet again, come, come.Jalaladdin RumiWhen I first arrived here in Providence nearly seven years ago, race was v … [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Betty!

Betty White Entertainment News - December 03, 2009

Betty White was born on this day in 1922. … [Read more...]

Recalling the Feast of the Ass


Today, the 14th of January was celebrated throughout the Middle Ages as the Feast of the Ass. It is generally seen as related to the ever popular Feast of Fools, but in this variation celebrating all sorts of variations on donkey stories, attached specifically to the story of the holy family going to Egypt, and the donkey they rode on...Some, particularly Carl Jung think it derives from a pagan holiday Cervulus which was observed on the first of January.What I especially like that … [Read more...]

Johnny Cash at Folsom


It was on this day in 1968 that Johnny Cash played live at Folsom State Prison. He was well received... … [Read more...]

On Reading a Sermon by the Minister of My Church from a Hundred Years Ago

Augustus Menden Lord

Earlier today I was rummaging through a little pile of sermons delivered by my predecessor as minister of the church I serve, the First Unitarian Church of Providence, the Reverend Dr Augustus Mendon Lord (the picture shown here is from his portrait which hangs in one of our church's parlors), who served here in Providence between 1890 and 1931. I've often wondered about someone with the name Augustus Lord, and what that must have meant in his life. Given that as I read into his sermons a little … [Read more...]