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Such a strange season.One religion celebrates the birth of hope in a child.Another recalls the struggle of a people to exist in the face of oppression.Another recalls the morning star rising in the morning mist and the awakening of a human heart and mind as vast as the sky.Now here’s a sad truth.The followers of each of these traditions have fallen short of their faith’s hope.Over and over.Just like all other human aspirations, like the followers of other faiths.But, the… Read more

Spike Jones, yes “nes” not “nze,” was born on this day in 1911. Read more

Well, we’re back from our three-day Rohatsu intensive meditation retreat at our new Boundless Way temple in Worcester.Jan & I dropped our bags on the floor of our room and took nearly an hour long nap. Still some serious sleep catch up ahead, but other stuff to do first…This was our second retreat at the new temple but by a rough calculation the twenty-eighth retreat of the Boundless Way community.By now a few things have become obvious…It rather looks like… Read more

I am at sesshin and will be gone until Sunday… Read more

I see the American Episcopal Church has marked this day as the feast of Thomas Merton.I’m rather pleased.I owe more to this Anglo-American Catholic monk than I can say. From his writings and how he directly influenced people who directly influenced my life.Blessings on his name and his memory… Read more

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is observed on the 12th. And perhaps I’ll revisit the theme then. But for today, according to tradition this is the day in 1531 that Mary appeared to a local Indian Juan Diego…Me, I’m always interested in images of the divine feminine. I admit my favorite is Guanyin. Still, our native American incarnation is Guadalupe. And while the history of this visitation and the authenticity of the painting which is the focus of… Read more

In several East Asian calendars today is the anniversary of the culmination of Gautama Siddhartha’s long search.After years of hard investigation, after sitting down and just being present to what is, he glanced up in the morning sky and witnessed the morning star.Just that.Just this.Many people of the Zen persuasion are sitting retreats that touch upon this day.Our own Boundless Way as part of its adaptation to our Western culture observes our Rohatsu retreat over the second weekend in December.So,… Read more

Of course this is the sixty-eighth anniversary of the Japanese attack on the American naval base in Pearl Harbor. While it would have happened, almost certainly; this was the event that catapulted Americans into the world war.It would become one of the iconic moments of American history. During my growing up as it was also my parent’s lived memory. So it was never, never forgotten.Time passes…The Japanese are our staunchest allies in Asia. And have been for more than a… Read more

THE DAY BEFORE PEARL HARBOR A Meditation on the Spirituality of Social Justice James Ishmael Ford6 December 2009First Unitarian ChurchProvidence, Rhode IslandText A voice from the dark called out, “The poets must give us imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar imagination of disaster. Peace, not only the absence of war.” But peace, like a poem, is not there ahead of itself, can’t be imagined before it is made, can’t be known except in the words of its making,… Read more

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