Recently I was asked to read an advance copy of David Loy’s forthcoming book Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution and see if I wanted to write a blurb for it. (Funny how one writes a book and in the process become an official expert, considered competent to comment on other books. Makes me wonder what the mystical relationship must be between tautology and feedback loop…) As Loy is one of my heroes, I said, sure. Then… Read more

I’ve mentioned this before, but its important to me. Not very long after Jan, auntie & I moved out to Newton, Massachusetts, Jan & I drove out to the Cambridge cemetery with flowers for the James boys, she carrying hers for Henry and me carrying mine for William. It took a while but we found the family site and while gazing on their graves meditated a bit on their gifts to American, Western and I don’t think it too much… Read more

amen. Read more

I believe… that a very sizable number of adherents of every major world faith will agree that critical thinking and an openness to new ideas and problems are crucial for the health and continued growth of any religion. In the end, perhaps this is the highest expression of the humility so greatly valued in both Christian and Buddhist monastic rules: As any religion can be seen as ultimately more a means to the truth than an end, and as the… Read more

I was just visiting with a friend who is dealing with a pretty advanced cancer. He’s one of the people I really admire. For all sorts of reasons, how he has lived his life, and now how he’s dealing with very, very rough times.Anyway, in a conversation that touched on this and that, eventually we turned to politics. Let me tell you, if you want to get a handle on things, find a little perspective, have a conversation about an… Read more

Perhaps it’s appropriate for a blogger who likes to mark the birthdays of significant Unitarians, Universalists and Unitarian Universalists would be a day late in noting the two hundred and eighth anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore. Born on the 7th of January, 1800, Millard Fillmore was elected vice-president on the Whig ticket with Zachary Taylor and succeded Taylor upon his death, becoming the thirteenth president of the United States. He served out the last two years of Taylor’s… Read more

A JOYFUL NOISE Reflection onEncountering the Psalms asSpiritual PracticeA Sermon byJames Ishmael Ford6 January 2008First Unitarian SocietyWest Newton, MassachusettsTextO come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the… Read more

Well, the Iowa caucuses are done and here in Massachusetts we’re getting the media spillover from all the hubbub in New Hampshire that will continue for the next four days.I’ve been a passive supporter of Senator Clinton, and continue to think of the generally very good field of Democratic candidates she’s the one who probably could serve us best in the upcoming next very dangerous years. At the same time I listened to Senator Obama’s valedictory following his impressive win… Read more

I’m more than comfortable with traditional religious language: god and soul are at the top of my list of useful terms. I resist those who try to insist that the definitions of these terms can only be determined by their most conservative adherents. Conservative and fundamentalist asserting such a position I understand. But when critics such as most of the recent spate of atheist authors do so it comes across to me like setting up a classic straw man. And,… Read more

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody died on this day in 1894. While I think it more appropriate for UUs to mark the birthdays of our revered ancestors, it is the ancient tradition of the Christian church to mark the days of significant people’s passing (for obvious reasons if you follow normative Christian theology). Noticing Peabody’s death in this context sent my mind to thinking of UU Buddhist saints. That is it set me to thinking about those people informed by Unitarian Universalism… Read more

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