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...]

TO LIGHT ONE CANDLE: Amnesty International as a Guide to a Complete Spiritual Life

TO LIGHT ONE CANDLE Amnesty International as a Guide to a Complete Spiritual LifeA Sermon byJames Ishmael Ford7 December 2008First Unitarian ChurchProvidence, Rhode IslandTextThere's a story I would like to share with you. It was inspired by the writing of Loren Eiseley. Eiseley was a very special person because he combined the best of two cultures. He was a scientist and a poet. And from those two perspectives he wrote insightfully and beautifully about the world and our role in it. Once upon a … [Read more...]

Redemption Song

Thank you, Chalicefire! … [Read more...]

Recalling Evelyn Underhill

Evelyn Underhill was born on this day in 1875.In my youth trying to sort out my own intuitions and longings, and very, very rudimentary experiences, I found her quite helpful. Evelyn Underhill's major work, published in 1911, Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man's Spiritual Consciousness was informed by two other studies of some merit, Maurice Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness and William James' Varieties of Religious Experience.As valuable (and limited) as I found those other … [Read more...]

A Naked Zen Master

How many chances do we get to see a naked Zen master?Thanks, Markus! … [Read more...]

Amnesty’s One Hundred Days

I'm writing a sermon for Sunday that features a reflection on the amazing work of Amnesty International. Literally, now. Taking only a brief break to throw this note up onto my blog.I just received a note from Amnesty International (and if you're not on their email list, I hope after reading this you'll consider doing so...)They're launching a "one hundred days commitment to human rights" campaign, hoping to reverse some of the astonishingly wrongheaded actions of the outgoing … [Read more...]

Briefest on the Natural Jesus in Christian Thought

As we roll into the Christmas season, I find myself thinking about that holy day and its connection to Unitarianism.As most people know Christmas came late to the Christian calendar, being in fact a Christianized version of a pagan Roman holiday. In Massachusetts, the Puritan theocracy, which what ever else might be said of them, were well read and smart, knew without any doubt Christmas was a pagan celebration and did all they could to suppress it. They did a pretty thorough job of it and … [Read more...]

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke was born on this day in 1875.It is my contention that if the assertions of the Zen way are "true," then they are "natural," and therefore we should find similar insights bursting forth across cultures.And here we are. I think Rilke is a shinning example of a spiritual artist drawing upon the common inspiration that gives life meaning and direction...While preparing for this entry I found a lovely web page at the Nebraska Zen Center's website. Their lead teacher, Nonin Chowaney … [Read more...]

Prop 8: the Musical more Jack Black videos at Funny or DieThanks to both Danny & Ed... … [Read more...]


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