Gone Sitting

I'm off to sesshin at the Boundless Way Temple in Worcester, Massachusetts. See you all in a couple of days. In the meantime watch out for those flying bricks. Sometimes they're love notes. Sometimes they're not... … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Rex Stout (And, Okay, Nero Wolfe)!

I did note this last year. But, that's kind of how such things work. Today, as it turns out, is Rex Stout’s birthday and therefore, Nero Wolfe’s…Rex Todhunter Stout was born on the 1st of December, 1886. He was a writer, best known for his mysteries.I’ve read, I’m moderately confident, every one of his Nero Wolfe mysteries. Certainly all thirty-three novels, and probably all forty novellas featuring the rotund detective and his faithful assistant. Mostly I read them in the years I attende … [Read more...]

We Certainly Could Use a Lot More Like Him Today

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on this day in 1835.As a writer he first started using the pen name "Josh," and later "Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass," until finally settling on "Mark Twain."He said a lot of things worth hearing.Sure could use him today... … [Read more...]

On the Road Again

Off to Massachusetts to the Boundless Way Zen Temple for our Rohatsu Sesshin. After we get there postings might be a bit thin for a few days... … [Read more...]

Arrival: The Thinking Person’s Science Fiction

Yesterday, as Jan and I try to do several times a month in our early retirement, we went out to see a movie and then have dinner. This time we saw Arrival.Later that evening Jan would write on her Facebook page "Just saw Arrival, with Amy Adams as the female xenolinguist protagonist. I would have loved it just for that, even if it weren't the most thoughtful & moving science fiction film I've ever seen! Spoiler alert: no hand-to-hand with aliens, no vehicle chases." Pretty much sums it … [Read more...]

Dreaming of the Luminous Religion: a Buddhist Christianity that Could have Been

Today is one of my favorite days.As pretty much all my friends are told, well, every year, today, the 27th of November in the calendar of the Roman Catholic church as well as for those of the Eastern Churches who follow the revised Julian calendar, this is the feast of Sts Barlaam and Josaphat. The Orthodox who continue to use the Julian calendar observe the feast on 26th of August.Actually, for the most part this holiday is no longer actually observed. The source for the official … [Read more...]

They Called Him Bat, Bat Masterson

Bat Masterson was a fixture of my childhood imagination, first as portrayed by Mason Alan Dinehart as an associate of Hugh O'Brian's Wyatt Earp television series, and then on his own, and a bit more vividly in my mind as portrayed by Gene Barry. Natty, with that derby and his walking cane, with which he took out the bad guys. I owned my own plastic derby and cane for a time...The real life person turns out to be even more interesting.William Barclay Masterson was born on this day in … [Read more...]

Recalling Mary Edwards Walker, the Only Woman to Be Awarded the Medal of Honor

Mary Edwards Walker was born in Oswego, New York, on this day in 1832.She was the youngest child of free-thinking Christians, raised to think critically, and to challenge gender roles. She attended the Syracuse Medical College (now the SUNY Upstate Medical University), the only woman in her class, in 1855.She was briefly married to another physician, but divorced due to his infidelity.Dr Walker attracted attention for her eccentric dress for the day, wearing men's trousers under … [Read more...]

The Buddha Gives Us Some Advice About Speaking With Others

Thanksgiving is quite the time. Family gathers. And, of course, things happen. This is a holiday near unique in its potential conflicts. Perhaps it comes with such a complicated history, a harvest festival with a mythic story attached that many find more than slightly problematic.The issues that possibly will come up can be small. And they can be large. Some are as predictable as the sun rising. I was watching a news program yesterday where two of the reporters mentioned the pressure they … [Read more...]

Noticing the Masks Coming On, Going Off

According to those good folk at Wikipedia Aristotle and I think some other ancient worthies claim it was on this day in 534 before our common era that Thespis of Icaria introduced a new theatrical style he called a tragedy, and in which, for the first time we are aware of in the historical record, someone played the part of a character on a stage. (Not long after he would take it on the road, and with that inventing the touring company...)Now, we know this can't be precisely the first time … [Read more...]