Remembering Iwan Tyszkiewicz

In his For Faith and Freedom, Charles Howe wrote, how in Warsaw, Poland, “On the morning of December 16, 1611, Iwan Tyszkiewicz, a member of the Minor church, was beheaded in the great marketplace of Warsaw as a rebel. Prior to the execution his tongue had been cut out as a punishment for blasphemy; afterward, since he had been convicted of throwing a crucifix on the ground, one hand and foot were cut off; and finally, since he had been convicted of heresy, his body was burnt.”Tyszkiewicz app … [Read more...]

Getting Back in the Groove…

Being gone for sesshin even as briefly as three days (and, really, this means two days, plus an evening and a morning), and the world becomes a new place.Not the least of it this morning getting up at ten to six was very, very easy.And my goodness that shower felt good!Stopping on my way to the office and indulging a latte urge was a pure and unmitigated treat. Felt deliciously wicked (a whole subject for further reflection, no doubt...)And now at the office, every task feels numinous.I've … [Read more...]

D. T. Suzuki

Two clips of D. T. Suzuki, the first significant interpreter of Zen to the West.A very important figure in my life... … [Read more...]

Religion in Our Times

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Ice Storm Zen

So, Thursday afternoon we drove up to Friendly Crossways...Friendly Crossways is a lovely little retreat center, and just about perfect for what settled into being forty people (seven canceled, a not unusual percentage in my experience at Zen retreats).Jan and I had a nice little private room on the ground floor.And Boundless Way's Rohatsu sesshin was on.Then the ice storm rolled through.The power went out.Fortunately the Crossways folk had a back up generator. The bad news was that it only … [Read more...]

To Touch the Heart Mind

Let me respectfully remind you,life and death are of supreme importance.Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.Each of us should strive to awaken...Awaken...Take heed.Do not squander your life.This morning is a mad dash of personal and professional obligations (and in my life these things are deeply entwined), but early in the afternoon all will shift.I'll pick up two new friends (one a bit older on the friendship way, the other brand spanking new), drive up to Watertown to the Perkins … [Read more...]

Mighty Mouse

The Mighty Mouse Playhouse opened on this day in 1955.'Twas a fixture of my childhood...Here's a clip someone made of the title, a Colgate commercial, a cameo advert for Perry Mason, and the ending of a show from the Playhouse. … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, John Milton

John Milton, republican, at least implicitly an advocate of regicide, unitarian, fierce opponent of censorship, proponent of divorce (and apparently was comfortable with polygamy, at least in theory), and, of course, poet, was born on this day four hundred years ago.Such as he rarely pass this way.Should be noticed when such a one does... … [Read more...]

THE DAY THE WORLD AWAKENED: The Buddha’s Enlightenement, and Ours

THE DAY THE WORLD AWAKENED The Buddha's Enlightenment, and OursA TeishoJames Myoun Ford8 December 2008Benevolent Street Zen SanghaProvidence, Rhode IslandToday is the eighth day of the twelfth month, generally marked in the Buddhist world as the anniversary of the moment Gautama Siddhartha, Shakyamuni, the sage of the Shakyas, watched the morning star rise in the sky and came to his great realization.In the Zen tradition, at least within the Japanese inheritance, this is called Rohatsu. Rohatsu … [Read more...]

The Buddha’s Awakening

According to Buddhist Tradition on the eighth day of the twelfth month, Gautama Siddhartha looked up and saw the morning star, and had his great awakening. From that moment he was called the Buddha, which means awakened.An important day in the Buddhist tradition.Worth noting... … [Read more...]