Raphael the Archangel

Today is the traditional feast day of the Archangel Raphael. I find him interesting as in the Christian tradition he is a protector of travelers and more importantly, of children. Sort of the Christian Jizo. (The Japanese pronunciation of Ksitigarbha.)While my tastebuds go more for Jizo (or, I'm trying to retrain myself, Ksitigarbha), in these hard times I think invoking all the archetypes of care and concern for our children something important to do.Go Raph! Go! … [Read more...]

Song of Zazen (Zazen Wasan)

Zen Master Hakuin Ekaku's Zazen Wasan.Sentient beings are originally Buddhas.Like water and ice.There is no ice without water,No Buddhas outside sentient beings.Yet sentient beings don't know how close it is,And search for it far away. How sad!It's like dying of thirstIn the middle of a fount of water;Or a rich man's sonWandering like a lost beggar.We are bound to the realm of samsaraBecause ignorance keeps us in darkness.Walking in darkness,When will we escape from birth and death?The Zen of … [Read more...]

Why Some People Hate Cats

Not me, and I have the scars to prove it. We have two of these monsters dominating our household...(Thank you, Sue!) … [Read more...]

Breaking News

Dumbledore is gay. Ain't it loverly? … [Read more...]

Slate Imagines The Private Conversation Between The President and the Monk

Their private conversation... … [Read more...]

Andree de Jongh

On the 13th of October this year, the world lost a remarkable woman.Andree de Jongh, a Belgium national, was born in 1916. Trained as a nurse and worked as a commercial artist, de Jongh joined with her father, Frederic, in establishing the Comet Line, assisting escaped Allied soldiers.Derek Shuff's book Evader tells of three British crewmen from a crashed bomber who made their way to the underground network, where they were taken to a twenty-four year old woman. She said, "My name is Andree, but … [Read more...]

Burma: Witnessing and Acting

The brutal suppression of the people of Burma continues. The generals are counting on the world getting bored and turning away.Danny Fisher reminds us of three ways we can help.Amnesty International is continuing to provide urgent actions and information at their "Library" page on Myanmar. They update very regularly. Keep yourself abreast of what's happening and take part in Amnesty's urgent actions there.Avaaz.org is currently raising funds for technical support and equipment that Burmese … [Read more...]

And How Will the Devil Come to Us?

While I found myself chilled by the song "Molasses to Rum," it also reminded of that horrific scene in the movie "Cabaret." It is seared in my mind with it's many levels of meaning, so few good. The happy threesome are on their sybaritic jaunt when they stop at a roadside cafe. There they're caught by a sweet and sentimental song with the refrain "tomorrow belongs to me" sung by an almost unbearably beautiful boy.Gradually the camera pans back to reveal the boy's uniform.When the devil comes, he … [Read more...]

Causality & Shadows

When I was mining those Youtube clips from 1776 for my little appreciation of President John Adams, I noticed another clip from the movie: "Molasses to Rum." I find that clip one of the most chilling in movie history. While I'm endlessly an admirer of the American dream, I'm also profoundly aware very little happens with a single causal thread, and how frequently good mixes with ill. "Molasses to Rum" sings to America's original sin.If we hope for the Republic to thrive, or just to limp through … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, John Adams

John Adams, second president of the United States of America was born on this day in 1735. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. He is the author of the Massachusetts constitution.One of the more moving events for Jan and me not long after we relocated out here to Massachusetts, was visiting the First United Parish in Quincy, the Unitarian Universalist congregation where Adams, his beloved wife Abigail, their son John Quincy and his spouse Louisa are all … [Read more...]


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