Testimony for Equality

I can say no more…(thank you, Roger!) Read more

It Is All Fire

In August of 1991, Jan and I had moved to Shorewood, a suburban town just north of Milwaukee as I took up my first position as a Unitarian Universalist minister, serving the northern suburban, actually almost exurban congregation in Mequon. In addition to our first time living outside of California we’d also moved my mother and auntie in with us at the same time.So, in addition to enormous excitement, after all I had just begun what I’d been preparing for… Read more

Constant Sorrow

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LET THE SOFT ANIMAL OF YOUR BODY LOVE WHAT IT LOVES Reflecting on Spirituality Within the Liberal Tradition 18 October 2009 James Ishmael Ford First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode Island Text You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your kneesfor a hundred miles through the desert repenting.You only have to let the soft animal of your bodylove what it loves.Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.Meanwhile the world goes on.Meanwhile… Read more

Wisdom of the Knitters

My spouse is into knitting. Lots of Zen people are. (And lots of Unitarian Universalists, as well. Sort of in the air, I suspect.)For instance, among the up front spiritual practice types, I’m quite fond of the extremely weird and talented Zen knitter Robyn Love, who, incidentally, also maintains a blog that I visit regularly…And by most accounts the Queen of knitters, Zen or otherwise, is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who blogs as the Yarn Harlot.Many tidbits of guidance along the ancient… Read more

War and Peace Among the (Zen) Buddhists

As many who read this blog know, I belong to a listserv for Zen teachers. It’s pretty low traffic, but when something sparks, it is almost always compelling.Right now the questions turned on the establishment of a Buddhist chapel at the Air Force Academy.There were various opinions about the good and ill of this. Mostly, to my mind, well considered. And I shared some of my own thoughts on the matter, which well considered or not I include here.No doubt,… Read more

The Feast of Teresa of Avila

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One of Those Days

Today is one of those interesting markers that writers of what if fantasy like to explore.This morning in 1066 Harold sat upon the English throne.By evening William of Normandy had become the “conqueror.”What it, what if…Among the what is, however, was that my direct paternal ancestor, father’s father thing, going back to somewhere in the frozen northern lands was part of William’s motley band. And they did okay, apparently, out of this little war. Another war at another generation a… Read more

History Calls Senator Snowe

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy Read more

On the Vindictiveness of Inanimate Objects

Yesterday evening as we were setting up for the Zen group, I was in the large room we use for storage just outside the parish hall. I’d bent over to pull a pile of zabutons, the large square cushions used as a base for Zen meditation, out from under a steel and glass desk. It had until a month or so ago been in my office, part of the furniture I’d inherited from a previous minister of the church. After… Read more

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