Good Blogging

One of my favorite blogs is the Church of the Churchless.Where else can you find a reflection on Philip K Dick's maginficent, endlessly rich observation "reality is that which , when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Or, extensively quotes the Sea of Faith theo-philosopher Don Cuppit? "You may well be skeptical about the severely reconstructed notion of religion that I am putting forward. It seems to be religion without metaphysics, religion without creed, religion no longer focused … [Read more...]

New England Wisdom

While rummaging around in the twenty-odd boxes of books I have stored up in our attic, I found a little book I have no idea when I purchased, but probably after I learned we would be moving to the Boston area. It’s called The Book of New England Wisdom compiled and edited by Criswell Freeman. I googled his name and discovered the Washington Post describes him as “possibly the most prolific ‘quote book’ writer in America.” This one is published by Walnut Grove Press in Nashville, Tennessee (shades … [Read more...]

Night Thoughts Regarding the President’s Speech to the American People

It was back in nineteen forty-two,I was a member of a good platoon.We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,One night by the light of the moon.The captain told us to ford a river,That's how it all begun.We were -- knee deep in the Big Muddy,But the big fool said to push on.The Sergeant said, "Sir, are you sure,This is the best way back to the base?""Sergeant, go on! I forded this river'Bout a mile above this place.It'll be a little soggy but just keep slogging.We'll soon be on dry ground."We were -- … [Read more...]

Christian Zen

I was futzing around the web when I stumbled upon a book by the late Thomas Hand. I'd met this Jesuit zen practitioner when I was doing my parish internship in San Jose. We had a small connection because he had once been Ruben Habito's spiritual director when they were both Jesuits in Japan. It was he who suggested Ruben who was doing his doctoral work in Medevial Japanese Buddhism might consider meeting an authentic Zen teacher. Ruben did and has gone on to become a Zen teacher in his own right … [Read more...]

Thinking Psalms

The Psalms attributed to King David are a mixed bag of some of the greatest spiritual poetry ever written and some fairly nasty stuff. Over the years many people have attempted to treat the Psalms, some more successfully than others. Stephen Mitchell and Norman Fischer are two Zen inspired poets who've done credible jobs. Now entering the fray is my UU colleague Christine Robinson. I really like 'em.And I encourage you to check them out. … [Read more...]

Sometimes You Just Have to Swear

Have you ever felt that the only appropriate thing to do is swear, but the situation just wouldn't allow for it? Well, I've found guidance and here it is! … [Read more...]

Every meditator comes to this

[Read more...]

Of War and Peace

As I watch my Unitarian Universalist denomination lurch toward a possible reincarnation as a “peace church,” I find myself thinking many thoughts.As a UU Buddhist, I am strongly inclined to a pacifist perspective.As a rationalist, I have a hard time actually being one.It’s like vegetarianism for me. I find it a persuasive philosophy. At least in it’s more moderate forms. But I’m also achingly aware of my biology. My desire for meat comes honestly with my humanity. My teeth bare witness to my abil … [Read more...]

Christmas Ruminations

In the run up to Christmas I attended two funeral services for close relatives of close friends. The first was a Russian Orthodox service with an occasional word or two in English. Here the service was entirely about the glory of God, and the human involved was pretty much incidental. The second was a Methodist service. Here the human was a little more in evidence. In fact the thrust of the service was the eternal life that followed an embrace of the Christian way.In addition to mourning the … [Read more...]

Creeping Decrepitude

Well, I have a diagnosis. And it's probably a very good thing I'm not at this moment standing in some dusty Indian village holding my luggage. The MRI reveals a multitude of sins, featuring a bilateral disc herniation, another herniation and as my doc so delicately puts it "multiple levels of disc wear and tear." Turns out the Buddha was right once again, everything composed of parts does indeed come apart. I don't yet know what my treatment plan is going to be, but I'm already set up for some … [Read more...]