Life, Love, Justice, Hope: On Listening to a Concert with Joan Baez

      Jan had recorded a concert with Joan Baez marking her seventy-fifth birthday, and she’s playing it. While preparing dinner I half listened, half cooked, and, well, ruminated a little. Among my younger friends, particularly of a political turn I’ve noticed an inclination to critique my Boomer generation. And, no doubt we deserve a fair bit of castigation. But they throw a wildly diverse generation into a handful of boxes, for my crowd, mostly with a rather harsh view… Read more

Why Thanksgiving: A Small Meditation on Myths & Gratitude

    Thanksgiving day a year or two ago I made an “emergency” run to the grocery store.  Standing near an entrance, but not too near, was a youngish looking woman with two small children. She was holding up a sign asking for money to feed her children. It was heart breaking. (And yes, I know some people think there are alternatives to begging in this country. It’s complicated. And, it isn’t as easy as some who are comfortable seem to… Read more

A Meditation on Interdependence & the Zen Way

        A Meditation on Interdependence & the Zen Way A talk delivered at Blue Cliff Zen Sangha Long Beach, California 21 November 2017 Jan Seymour-Ford Recently I was in the produce section at a downtown grocery store. A young man with kind eyes walked up to me and said, “Do you remember that time you fell down and hit your head and the ambulance came?” I was with him so far – yes this happened a few… Read more

The Culavedalla Sutta: The Nun Dhammadinna Explains Buddhism

    I’m a big fan of the Culavedalla Sutta, the 44th fascicle of the Majjihma Nikaya, the Collection of Middle-length Discourses attributed to the Buddha of history, Gautama Siddhartha. I first read it when looking for the earliest citation of the famous three-fold breakout of the eightfold path. It appears to be the source document. Although I admit I am not sure. It is also a very good summation of the principles at the foundation of classical Buddhism. There… Read more

The Monkey Is Reaching: Zen Master Hakuin Gives Us a Pointer

    The monkey is reaching for the moon in the water. Until death overtakes him he’ll never give up. If he’d let go of the branch and disappear in the deep pool, the whole world would shine with dazzling pureness. Hakuin Ekaku And it this isn’t startlingly clear, here’s a brief comment by Zen teacher Henry Shukman Read more

Choose you this day whom you will serve: The Boston Declaration

      Something over one hundred Christian leaders, bishops, and theologians issued the Boston Declaration on Monday the 20th of November. In an era where so many Christians seem to be apologists for the most shameful things including racism, sexual assault if done by the right people, and social policies that put them at direct odds with the welfare of the poor and disenfranchised, this is a breath of fresh air. I am particularly please four Unitarian Universalist Christian… Read more

angel Kyodo Williams on Zen Buddhism & a Possible Emerging American Zen

      I just stumbled upon this talk by the remarkable Zen priest and teacher angel Kyodo Williams at Youtube. From 2015. Really worth a watch… Read more

Joe Turns Seventy-Five

  Jospeh Robinette Biden, Jr was born on this day, the 20th of November, in 1942. It is worth noting he might be the next president of the United States. And if you doubt people are thinking about it, just go to Youtube to see the ugly things that are already being put up about him. And there are some fun things, as well… And in conclusion, a little peek into a future that would work for me… Read more

Eleven Talks by Zen Teachers on the Heart Sutra, Four Translations of the Text, and some Videos

          I was at a meeting with practitioners of several spiritual traditions where a Muslim asked me what was my text? He assumed there must be something comparable to the Koran or the Bible in either its traditional Jewish form or its expanded Christian version. As a Buddhist of a rational turn I was at a loss as to what to say. In the moment I replied that while there is a voluminous sacred literature within… Read more

Let’s Not Forget Donald Trump’s History of Sexual Misconduct, And, Perhaps, Ask What Should be Done?

          So many sad and terrible things are being revealed about men in public life sexually assaulting women. And with that, of course, questions about our lives writ large. The reality is that this has been going on for, well, probably pretty much forever. But less publicly, and more commonly privately. And never discussed. Just wasn’t done. But, finally, finally, something has happened. A dam has broken open, and a flood of allegations have overtaken us. I… Read more

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