Heading North

Well, the last worship service is over, the banners have been taken down, and I’m sure crews are sweeping up after our grand Unitarian Universalist annual gathering at the Portland Convention Center. On balance it was a great experience… Jan and I, like a fair number of others, have stayed on an extra day. We’ll spend the morning catching up with some old friends through an early lunch. Then, packed up, we’re heading North. We’re not as well planned as… Read more

Buddhists at General Assembly

Among all the many interesting opportunities at this year’s General Assembly there have been (or will be) some fascinating Buddhist possibilities. Later today the social activist, deep ecologist and Buddhist scholar (as well as one of my teachers during my seminary years) Joanna Macy will be addressing “Spiritual Practices for the Great Turning.” This event is sponsored jointly by the UU Ministry for Earth and the Ferry Beach Park Association. Earlier in the week Buddhist writer and social justice activist… Read more

UU Bloggers

Well, I stayed up as late as I possibly could in order to make it to the ten o’clock (and therefore one o’clock a.m. to my body) gathering of UU Bloggers hosted by Chris Walton & Deborah Weiner. While a pretty low key event, it was a treat gawking at the great and the good among our small band of specialty bloggers. Among this illustrious band I actually saw Chalice Chick and my personal hero Christine Robinson as well as… Read more

Ministry Days

Just back to the hotel for a breather and to rest my ankle, which has decided to compete with my back for making me feel my age. (The orthopedist suggested it’s likely a torn ligament, but won’t know for sure ’till I get the MRI, which won’t happen ’till I get back to Newton in a couple of weeks…)Without a doubt in my mind the highlight of Minister’s Days at General Assembly are the sermonettes given by a representative of… Read more

On the Road. Again…

Well, it’s been an adventure.I flew JetBlue from Boston to New York, then waited for two hours almost, for the connection to Seattle. The plan was, and is, while that’s a hundred, sixty miles from Portland, Oregon, where our denominational General Assembly is, it’s the perfect place for when our vacation (which begins immediately following GA) ends and we’re ready to fly home.Two hours seems a bit longer when sitting in an airport terminal than in other circumstances. But, eventually,… Read more

On Setting Up Idols

I’ve noticed how much people are taken with the traditional Zen line “if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” This is a dangerous, but also, a very important point. I’ve just been reading The Mirror of Zen by the Korean master So Sahn and I think he explicates the meaning of this term in very helpful ways.The superior person beholds the Buddhas and Patriarchs as if he were spying an enemy. He knows that if, in his… Read more

Cold Mountain

Talking about food won’t make you full,Babbling of clothes won’t keep out the cold.A bowl of rice is what fills the belly;It takes a suit of clothing to make you warm.And yet, without stopping to consider this,You complain that Buddha is hard to find.Turn your mind within! There he is! There she is!Why look for him, why look for her abroad?Han Shan (very slightly adapted from Burton Watson’s translation) Read more


sometimes the good guys win…(Boston – June 14, 2007) A statement from Rev. William Sinkford President, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations “Today’s decision by Massachusetts lawmakers to defeat the marriage amendment is a cause for great rejoicing. On behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I want to thank the legislators who did the right thing by preserving the Massachusetts Constitution and keeping our marriage laws free from discrimination. This decision makes a profound difference in the lives of thousands of… Read more

that parade

Well, Jan & I drove down to Riverside station, the very last spot on the Green “D” Line of the MBTA (“And he never returned. No, he never returned…”) We parked, paid our three dollar and seventy five cent parking fee, only to learn the train is off line for construction. So, already committed by our three dollar and seventy five cent investment, we piled onto a bus and followed a track the bus driver, obviously an old hand but… Read more

random ruminations

Dear Diary, Jan is drying her hair and soon we’ll be taking the train into Boston for the annual Gay Pride parade. The First Unitarian Society in Newton always has a presence, and is usually padded out with a few members of the Boundless Way Zen crowd. It is gratifying to hear that Duval Patrick will be the first sitting governor of the Commonwealth to join in the parade. As we’re coming on the Constitutional Convention that will decide whether… Read more

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