Happy birthday, Spike!

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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

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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...]

And a Blessed Yuri’s Night to All

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It's Yuri's Night!The world, or some small part of it, stops tonight to celebrate our human reaching out into space, maybe eventually to other planets, and, who knows, perhaps someday to the stars.Yuri's Night marks that day in 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to launch into outer space.I've always thought our urge to leave our planet something particularly interesting about us, no doubt in my heart, directly connected to those humans who first left Africa. … [Read more...]

Joel Grey Turns Eighty-Three

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Joel Grey, will always be for me the haunting one man Greek chorus to the musical adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories, a vision of a world on the edge, not, I find, unlike our own.As I've reflected on the stories and later the film, I've come to think of it as a story of our human existence, with so much possibility, including, always, the possibility of our own self-destruction. And, then, with that, the choices we make.So much to love. So much to despise. So … [Read more...]

A Feast for Bill & the Poetry of Reality

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The Anglican church observes a feast in honor of William of Ockham on this day, the 10th of April. I so love the Anglicans...While he is important for a number of reasons, the big one is philosophical parsimony, named "Occam's razor" for him.Without it, we really wouldn't have modern science.To shift the metaphor for just a second, I've found his principle of not adding unnecessary extras a north star for a lot of my thinking. For me the razor has cut through so much nonsense that's … [Read more...]

Bonhoeffer Dies

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It was on this day in 1945, as the allies were closing in and just two weeks before the collapse of the Nazi regime, one day after a trial before an SS judge, at dawn the Reverend Dietrich Bonhoeffer was stripped naked, marched to the place of execution, and hung. It is unclear whether he had been tortured before, but historians are increasingly of the opinion that he was, possibly for as long as six hours.A leader of the Confessing Church, Bonhoeffer had been convicted of joining in a … [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Billie!

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Eleanore Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday was born on this day in 1915. … [Read more...]

THE MIND OF EASTER, THE HEART OF EASTER A Zen Buddhist Midrash

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THE MIND OF EASTER, THE HEART OF EASTERA Zen Buddhist MidrashJames Ishmael Ford5 April 2015 First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode IslandToday is Easter. The most holy of Christian holidays.The Gospel of Mark is generally considered the oldest of the canonical gospels, the time-hallowed stories of Jesus and his ministry. The sixteenth chapter of Mark tells the story of Easter in its most unelaborated version.And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary … [Read more...]


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