Remembering Thomas Merton Just for a Moment

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton was born on this day in 1915.One hundred years, today...While it is conventional among Christian churches to acknowledge their holy ones on the day of their death, when they go on to the heavenly reward, me, I vastly prefer acknowledging their birth. After all it is the dawn of something, and with Merton, one can argue he symbolizes a special birth, of a new era of interfaith dialogue, and more. His engagement with the spiritually mature across religious traditions, and … [Read more...]

Recalling the Great Heart


It was on this day in 1948 that Mohandas Gandhi, called the Mahatma, the great heart was assassinated. Someone worth recalling at any time, but these days perhaps we need to remember him even more...I recall when Jan & I went to see the movie Gandhi that it was an international affair. For reasons I no longer recall there were in particular a lot of Indian nationals at the screening. But, at least in my memory, the world was there...As the movie went toward its inevitable conclusion … [Read more...]



Twas on this day in 1845 that "the Raven" is published in New York's Evening Mirror... … [Read more...]

Now There’s a Pleasant Coincidence!

Horace Walpole

Turns out that the antiquarian Horace Walpole coined the word "serendipity. It is first found in a letter dated 28 January in 1754 that he sent to the American politician and education reformer Horace Mann. Mann, as anyone who follows my blog knows, was also a fervent Unitarian and a founder of the First Unitarian Society in Newton, where I served as minister for a bunch of years. The pleasant coincidences just pile up... … [Read more...]

Hey, Cash! Good morning! And happy birthday!

Cash McCall

Maurice Dollison Jr was born on this day in 1941. He may be better known as Cash McCall. And best known for When You Wake Up...Happy birthday, Cash! … [Read more...]

Why I’m Not a Materialist, Even Though Most of My Friends Think I Am One

Okay, I’m pretty relentlessly a fan of the scientific method as it has evolved over the years. I really like what can be found in double blind testing. Certainly by testing claims about what presents, decisions can be made that are vastly more likely to be useful than not. I don't think I'm going out on a limb saying this. Anything that appears in the world is subject to such testing. Everything.Also all the “truths” we find through this process are provisional, subject to change with more in … [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Wolfie!


It was on this day in 1756 that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrived on this planet. … [Read more...]

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...]