Joseph Campbell & Unitarian Universalism’s Spiritual Revival

For me the dialog between Unitarian Universalism and (Zen) Buddhism is the place where I have found my life, meaning, and direction. That is why I return over and over again to these two themes here in this blog, and elsewhere...Today is the birthday of Joseph Campbell, and I consider him one of the reasons that dialog has been able to take place and be so fruitful.Here's why...I suggest that Unitarian Universalism has two principal aspects, what I'd call mind and heart. The mind is what most of … [Read more...]

The Samadhi Treastise of the Treasure King

I found this at Marcus' Journal, one of my favorite bloggers. Marcus tells us The Samadhi Treatise of the Treasure King was composed in China by Miaoxie in the fourteenth century. This particular version was translated by Marcus' teacher, Chong Go Sunim. Apparently another version of this text has been floating around the Kwan Um School for ages, incorrectly attributed to Master Seung Sahn's teacher's teacher Master Kyong Ho. An important text worth reading by anyone hoping to walk an authentic … [Read more...]

Nantucket’s Haunted Church

They Say Seth Swift, the first minister of Nantucket's Unitarian church has never left...I just so love New England UU congregations. You guys out in the mission fields have no idea how cool our churches are... … [Read more...]

A Day at Bukkokuji

Don't you just love Youtube? … [Read more...]

Is Nothing Sacred?

I believe the short answer to the "question is nothing sacred?," is yes.Here's a slightly longer response. If you feel you've come in to this movie before, you're right. This is one of my favorite drums to beat...The kick off is how I've been taken to task by a commenter on my happy use of the word God to stand for sunyata.In the past this position has tended to annoy theists, who see that while I'm happy to put a face on the great empty, clearly it is just pasted on, and at some point the glue … [Read more...]

Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero died today... … [Read more...]

Clarence Skinner’s Mystic Vision

Clarence Russell Skinner was born today in 1881.One of the last wave of great Universalist divines, Skinner served most famously as professor of applied Christianity at Crane Theological School, where he also served as dean. Skinner was also founder and for many years "leader" of the Community Church of Boston.A socialist and pacifist Skinner suffered a certain amount of persecution for his politics.And he is considered a central influence in the development of contemporary Unitarian … [Read more...]


I've been thinking a lot of late about meaning and purpose.The problem for me in much of revealed religion is how a cosmic plan is laid out that puts everything into place. The reason that its a problem is that these plans don't seem to map with the reality I witness every day....After many, many years on the sacred way for me meaning and purpose wasn't found in a story, although many stories pointed to that meaning and purpose.Rather what I've found is all the terrible things, all the lovely … [Read more...]

How the Narrow Encompasses

On one of the listservs to which I subscribe there has been some discussion of Ryokan's lovely poem, which, in Abe & Haskel's translation goesIf my arms draped in these black robesWere only wide enoughHow gladly would I shelter in themAll the people of this floating worldSomehow for me this verse sparked a recollection of Emily DickinsonI dwell in Possibility -A fairer house than Prose -More numerous of Windows -Superior - for Doors -Of chambers as the Cedars -Impregnable of Eye -And for an … [Read more...]

New Movie About Dogen Zenji

How absolutely exciting! A movie about the great Eihei Dogen (think sort of a Buddhist combination of a thiner Thomas Aquinas & John of the Cross with just a dash of Thomas Cranmer without the spouse), founder of Soto Zen in Japan. Can't wait for those panoramic scenes of him sitting facing a wall...I really am stoked & want to see this one.Story of Zen founder premieres at WMU March 16, 2009 KALAMAZOO--In one of its first screenings in the United States, the newly released Japanese film … [Read more...]