James Ishmael Ford is a Zen Buddhist priest and a Unitarian Universalist minister. He served as a parish minister with UU congregations for twenty-five years, before retiring in 2015. He is minister-emeritus at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, in Rhode Island.
A student and teacher in Zen for over forty years, James was the founding abbot of Boundless Way Zen, which he continues to serve as a member of its Guiding Teacher’s Council.
James is the author of a number of books, mostly addressing aspects of the Zen life. His most recent is “If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break.” He is married to Jan Seymour-Ford, also a long-time Zen practitioner. They live in the Alamitos Beach neighborhood of Long Beach, California.
Together they lead the Blue Cliff Zen Sangha, which meets at the Long Beach Unitarian Universalist Church, jointly as a branch of the Boundless Way Zen network and an activity of the church.