Westminster Abbey

I notice that on this day in 1065 Westminster Abbey was consecrated.A few years ago when we were in London our visit to Westminster Abbey was a high point.The royals were vaguely interesting, but I have trouble thinking of them as much other than gangsters, and they didn't get lots of our attention. I did enjoy the surprising fact that the coronation throne, King Edward's Chair, was heavily carved with various people's names - from a time they didn't keep quite so close a watch on such … [Read more...]

Disappearing Tricks

Up early...Taking Jan to the airport in half an hour. This year auntie & I will not be joining her as she visits family in Los Angeles for the week. We've spent money like drunken sailors for the past many months and beyond expenses there's much to do here at home. Although without the brains of the family, unpacking might start getting a bit creative...Speaking of creative, and of disappearing, if you have a couple of minutes and enjoy having yr brain teased, see if you can find the trick … [Read more...]

Boxing Day Thoughts

Once upon a time I wrote a sermon that had an amazing half-life on the web, being referenced around the globe.It was written while I served our Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Tempe, Arizona. I no longer recall the exact circumstances around the why of it, but I suspect that Sunday was the 26th, as the subject and title of the sermon was "Boxing Day."It appears there was relatively so little available on the web related to Boxing Day that google searches would usually pop my sermon on … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Isaac Newton!

So, after a cup of coffee, followed by an exchange of presents, followed by a pancake breakfast, I sat down wondering what my Christmas day reflection might look like. A quick look at Wikipedia's list of historic events that occurred on this day showed (if you squint about various shifts in the calendar) today is Isaac Newton's birthday.Newton is a more than suitable subject to point to from the Monkey Mind. Newton's list of accomplishments is astonishingly long ranging from the first coherent … [Read more...]

A Buddhist Hymn That Explains the Meaning of Christmas

Leonard Cohen sings to the heart of this moment and what we find there: the birth of hope into the world, the light inside the dark, the truth of our lives.(And if you like such approaches to spiritual music you should check out various suggetions by David Markham...) … [Read more...]

A Christmas Truce

On this day in 1914 at the front between the German and British armies in Ypres some German troops lit up some trees with candles and began to sing Stille Nacht and other carols. The British responded in kind.An informal truce began.Apparently this truce occurred along the line between various forcesThe high commands were not happy, and the next year ordered artillery bombardments on Christmas Eve. Nonetheless similar events took place again, although on a much smaller scale.One of my favorite … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Visit Tibet? Sorry, Not Very Likely…

It appears that every few years someone or another discovers Jesus spent some time in India and or Tibet before beginning his teachings which we find recounted in various Gospel versions. The primary document addressing those "missing years" before that public ministry is a text originally titled Life of Saint Issa, Best of the Sons of Men. The editor/translator was a Russian journalist Nicolas Notovitch.In fact this book was exposed as a fraud almost immediately by the renowned F. Max Muller. … [Read more...]

I Love You and Buddha Too

Mason JenningsThank you Worst Horse - once again! … [Read more...]

Lenny Bruce

Just thinking of Lenny Bruce who forty-four years ago yesterday was sentenced to four months of hard labor for an obscenity conviction. … [Read more...]

God is too Big to be Housed Under One Roof

Roger Williams was born on this day in 1603.Born Anglican and religiously precocious, at eleven he embraced the Puritan wing of the church. He had a facility for languages, and famously worked with John Milton, teaching the great poet and theologian Dutch in exchange for Hebrew lessons. Graduating from Cambridge he ordained and began serving as the domestic chaplain to a wealthy family.His puritan sentiments revolted at the ascension of William Laud to Canterbury and so he and his wife … [Read more...]