The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost26 March 1874 - 29 January 1963 … [Read more...]

The 107th gathering of the Fraters ends…

Well it's over.This morning the Reverend Frater Jan Knost did the morning wake up going to and fro reciting verse. I opened my door and threw my roommate's shoe at him (not in the Muslim insult sort of way, but rather in the yowling cat sort of way...)We ate another lovely heavy breakfast, then gathered back in the old kitchen for a communion service conducted by the Reverend Frater Carlton Smith, after which we left to the four directions.Driving through the snow very carefully I dropped the … [Read more...]

Good News from the Fraters

The smoke billowing from the chimney at Sudbury's Wayside Inn is white.At today's one hundredth seventh business meeting of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn, we increased our active number to our traditional twenty-one with the election of the Reverend Frater Carolyn Patierno (all fraters are fraters - what can I say?) minister of the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation in New London, Connecticut.Congrats Frater Patierno.For those unfamiliar with the arcane habits of the fraters, there … [Read more...]

Back to the Wayside Inn

Well, here I am, once again, in Sudbury, at the renowned Wayside Inn, for the one hundred and seventh (I believe as I type this out) gathering of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn.We straggled in yesterday and last night, at least most of us. A few are not here because of illness or the illness of a spouse. One is away on sabbatical.Some fresh or refreshed, some bedraggled (me, with my back acting up in unpleasant ways), but however we've gotten here, we have arrived. The program (bolstered with … [Read more...]


LIKE SOMEONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT REACHING BEHIND HER HEAD FOR THE PILLOW What Buddhism Teaches Me About Being a Unitarian Universalist MinisterA Sermon byJames Ishmael Ford25 January 2009First Unitarian ChurchProvidence, Rhode IslandText Yunyan asked Daowu, ‘How does the Bodhisattva Guanyin use those many hands and eyes?’ Daowu answered, ‘It is like someone in the middle of the night reaching behind her head for the pillow.’ Yunyan said, ‘I understand.’ Daowu asked, ‘How do you understand … [Read more...]

The Kind of Rumor I Like to Hear - New YorkFriday January 23, 2009Lama Surya Das passed on this fascinating bit. Richard Blum, who is the husband of California Senator Diane Feinstein, also happens to be a major supporter of Buddhism. He was up on the platform during the swearing in.Beforehand, he told Barack Obama that he had with him a white khata -- a silk Tibetan scarf -- given him by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Blum described what happened next in a letter to an associate of the Dalai Lama:"I offered it to … [Read more...]

Pope Embraces Holocaust Denier?

Not my usual territory, but I find it interesting that the pope appears to be moving resolutely to reconciling with the ultra-traditionalist Society of Pius X, apparently lifting the excommunication of its four bishops. This, of course, includes the notorious antisemite and Holocaust denier, Bishop Richard Williamson. What exactly this is supposed to mean, and what outsiders should divine, is not at all clear.But, it does feel creepy...Written a bit later: It turns out the deed has actually been … [Read more...]

The Scandal of E-Sangha

For ages now I've heard complaints from folk within the larger Zen sangha that the enormous Buddhist web portal E-Sangha runs a quiet reign of intolerance enforcing a very narrow view of Buddhist orthodoxy, something many, maybe most actual Zen practitioners who post eventually run afoul of... A Zen teaching colleague blew the whistle on this some time ago. But, while I really admire him, he also has a bit of a mouth and I thought perhaps his penchant for over the top comments earned him his … [Read more...]

This one’s not about death

In a sense this is a follow up on my previous blog entry, "Every Day is a Good Day," the teisho by young Agnes.My friend Holly sends me poetry. The following was sent under the heading "This one's not about death!" Of course, she was trying to trick me. It's all about death. And all about life. And all about passion. Each thing in its moment, one hundred percent.In our culture we seem to miss one hundred percent. Mostly we trivialize it with meaningless terms like one hundred and twenty percent … [Read more...]

Every Day is a Good Day

Teisho by Agnes … [Read more...]