Henry David Thoreau

On this day in 1847, Henry David Thoreau concluded his sojourn at Walden pond. Seven years later he would publish his account and start a revolution in the spiritual thinking of America and, indeed, the world.** several people have asked how I know so much about various signal events in the history of Unitarianism, Universalism and Unitarian Universalism. Well, it's simple. I steal it, mostly from Frank Schulman's wonderful This Day in Unitarian Universalist History: A Treasury of Anniversaries … [Read more...]

Amazing Grace History/

http://youtube.com/v/DMF_24cQqT0 … [Read more...]

Fayen’s Two Monks Roll Up the Blinds

INTMATE, INTIMATEFayen’s Two Monks Roll Up the BlindsA Dharma TalkBy James Myoun Ford3 September 2007The Case: The great Fayen Wenyi took the high seat before the midday meal to preach to his assembly. Raising his hand he pointed to the bamboo blinds. Two monks went and rolled them up in the same manner. Fayen said, ‘One gains; one loses.’ Wumen’s Comment: Tell me, which one gained? Which one lost? If you have the single eye regarding this, you will see where the National Teacher Qingliang failed … [Read more...]

UU Minister officiates at First Legal Same Sex Marriage in Iowa

The other day I noticed the headline of a legal Iowa same sex marriage conducted in a brief window of opportunity, but only caught the (of course) Unitarian Universalist connection when reading UU Shelby Meyerhoff's blog, where she wrote the following:Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan are the first gay couple legally married in Iowa, after a judge ruled on Thursday against the Iowa law banning gay marriage. The judge stayed his ruling on Friday, pending appeal. Fritz and McQuillan are the only couple … [Read more...]

John Murray

"Go out into the highways and by-ways of America, your new country. Give the people, blanketed with a decaying and crumbling Calvinism, something of your new vision. You may possess only a small light but uncover it, let it shine, use it in order to bring more light and understanding to the hearts and minds of men and women. Give them, not Hell, but hope and courage. Do not push them deeper into their theological despair, but preach the kindness and everlasting love of God." John Murray … [Read more...]

Lisa Simpson becomes a Buddhist

http://youtube.com/v/xD6mawi8XPYFor more on the episode, "She of Little Faith." … [Read more...]

The American Scholar

One hundred, seventy years ago on this day, Ralph Waldo Emerson presented a paper to the Phi Beta Kappa society at Harvard College. It was a very important and at the same time flawed presentation.Oliver Wendel Holmes would designate it "America's intellectual declaration of independence." Which is probably not overstating the matter by a great deal. Up until this time, roughly, American intellectuals looked to Europe for inspiration.Here Emerson outlined some central themes of the … [Read more...]

Briefest ruminations on the death of a child

I'm just back from assisting the facilitation of a service at the cremation of a child who lived four hours. I first wrote that last line "of a child who lived only four hours." But, I realized what I was feeling and wanted to express here is that there was no need for the modifier "only."As I mentioned in an earlier posting from when I was gathering materials for possible use at this service, there is that old story collected as a koan in the Blue Cliff Record: "Great Master Ma was unwell. The … [Read more...]

Jim Carrey – Call to Action on Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi

http://youtube.com/v/NySuaJ2B20E … [Read more...]

When Thinking About Death

The Human RouteComing empty handed, going empty handed, that is humanWhen you are born, where do you come from?When you die, Where do you go?Life is like a floating cloud, which appears.Death is like a floating cloud, which disappears.The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.Life and death, coming and going, are also like that.But there is one thing that always remains clear.It is pure and clear,Not depending on life and death.Then what is the one and clear thing?This poem is closely … [Read more...]