Ferry Beach

Well, it's Columbus Day weekend, so a tad more than a hundred of us, all members of the First Unitarian Society in Newton are in Orchard Beach, Maine, at the Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center, a Unitarian Universalist retreat site. No one is precisely sure, at least as I surveyed the gang over breakfast, but it looks like the congregation has been coming here over this weekend for the past forty years, at least.It is a tradition that if you don't go, you take the weekend off. So, our … [Read more...]

A Rule of Thumb for Living in This World

I gather my interest in bumper stickers provides much amusement to my friends. Probably shows how shallow I really am. But I like brief slogans that attempt to sum up important things. If we know they never fully do, then I think they can be useful. Sort of like mantras, the heart calling to the heart. At least when they're really on point.When driving down Arsenal street in Watertown, MA, there's a large billboard sporting a simple slogan, that really works for me. It's a quote from James M. … [Read more...]

Save the Gnostics

A fascinating Op Ed at the New York Times by Swarthmore religion professor Nathaniel Deutsch.For more on the Mandaens you might look here or for a little about them in their own words here. … [Read more...]

So, What is Unitarian Universalism, Anyway?

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Myanmar Protests Continue

(thank you Danny)And an interesting reflection on the complexities of religion and politics in Burma from, of all things, the Wall Street Journal. … [Read more...]

Does a Dog Have Buddha Nature?

Does a Dog Have Buddha Nature?A Meditation Workshop With Zen Teacherand Unitarian Universalist MinisterJames Ishmael FordSunday, November 4th at theBarre Center for Buddhist Studies,in Barre, MassachusettsKoan study is the great gift of the Chan/Zen tradition to Buddhism and to world culture. This daylong includes some lecture exploring both the history of koan as a spiritual discipline, and an exploration with discussion of how to actually engage a koan as a spiritual practice. We will focus on … [Read more...]

Rilke’s “Ninth Elegy”

The Ninth Elegy Rainer Maria Rilke Why, if this interval of being can be spent serenelyin the form of a laurel, slightly darker than allother green, with tiny waves on the edgesof every leaf (like the smile of a breeze)–: why thenhave to be human–and, escaping from fate,keep longing for fate? . . . Oh not because happiness exists,that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss.Not out of curiosity, not as practice for the heart, whichwould exist in the laurel too. . . . . But bec … [Read more...]

Not Forgetting Burma

Spread the wordthe 6th of October is International Day of Action for a Free Burma. … [Read more...]

Guardian Angels

In the Western religious calendar today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. A little research shows that devotion to angels seems to appear within Christianity with the rise of the first monastic communities. Two of the most famous Christian monastics St Benedict and St Bernard of Clairvaux were both advocates of the angelic cult and particularly of guardian angels. Actually there’s little scriptural support for this form of devotion. Most who seek scriptural justification pretty much have to r … [Read more...]

A Celebration of Rumi

I recall driving through the Midwest a few years ago and picking up a scratchy and somewhat spotty local version of our American public radio where someone on some show observed how the most popular love poet in America was culturally a Persian (read Iranian), born in Afghanistan and died in Turkey, now dead something in the neighborhood of eight hundred years.They were, of course, speaking of Jalaladin Rumi. Today is his birthday.I am endlessly grateful for this wise teacher, a prophet of the … [Read more...]