I took the “If You Were a Poet…” quiz on gURL.comI am…Sylvia PlathDo your feelings come pouring to the surface no matter what? Is writing or speaking your mind a matter of life and death for you? If so, you may identify with Sylvia Plath’s confessional style of poetry. Plath is perhaps one of the most famous poets of the 20th century. Read more…Which poet are you? Read more

I just received a note from my old friend Ken Arnold. He had just discovered that wonderful test at Beliefnet called Belief-O-Matic. It is a hoot. I recall some years ago posting the link for it to a Zen teacher’s listserv and being informed by a noted Soto Zen priest “Damn, James. Turns out I’m one hundred percent Unitarian Universalist!” Actually she used a scatological term rather than “damn,” but I consider this a family-friendly blog. (Which I suspect opens… Read more

Tell a joke and disappear!If you want to help out, you can go here.(Thank you, Worst Horse) Read more

Well, it’s Monday morning as I write this. And last night the Red Sox swept the World Series. As one commentator observed the last time was an exorcism, this was an exclamation point. Even though I am a new comer to baseball fandom, I find myself feeling really good about this. Hurrah for Red Sox nation!Many people seem to be dragging themselves around this morning. I suspect there’s a lot of sleep deprivation going on. Me, these last games I… Read more

NOT KNOWING IS MOST INTIMATE: Reflecting on Bowing as a Way of LifeA Sermon byJames Ishmael Ford28 October 2007First Unitarian SocietyWest Newton, MassachusettsText Dizang asked Fayen, “Where are you going?” Fayen replied, “I am wandering about aimlessly.” Dizang asked, “So, what do you think of this wandering about?” Fayan said, “I don’t know.” Dizang replied, “Not knowing is most intimate.”Case Twenty, The Book of SerenityI don’t know about you with certainty, but most of the time in my life, I… Read more

According to my trusty calendar of events relevant to Unitarians and Universalists, Frank Schulman’s This Day in Unitarian Universalist History, on this day in 1553, Michael Servetus was executed at a place called Champel, near Geneva in Switzerland.I find Servetus one of those singularly interesting people, someone I’m almost certain I would not like as an individual, but who stands as a fierce advocate for freedom of thought.A Spaniard who worked as a lawyer, he was also a keen observer… Read more

It appears the first recorded usage of the term “unitarian” in the West was published on this day in 1600, at the Diet of Leczfalva, in Transylvania.I think it certainly a date worth marking…I gather that at the time it was used as an adjective rather than as a noun, modifying the word “Christian.” Also at the time and for some considerable time following it pointed to a view of god as having a singular characteristic, a divine unity as… Read more

Today is the traditional feast day of the Archangel Raphael. I find him interesting as in the Christian tradition he is a protector of travelers and more importantly, of children. Sort of the Christian Jizo. (The Japanese pronunciation of Ksitigarbha.)While my tastebuds go more for Jizo (or, I’m trying to retrain myself, Ksitigarbha), in these hard times I think invoking all the archetypes of care and concern for our children something important to do.Go Raph! Go! Read more

Zen Master Hakuin Ekaku’s Zazen Wasan.Sentient beings are originally Buddhas.Like water and ice.There is no ice without water,No Buddhas outside sentient beings.Yet sentient beings don’t know how close it is,And search for it far away. How sad!It’s like dying of thirstIn the middle of a fount of water;Or a rich man’s sonWandering like a lost beggar.We are bound to the realm of samsaraBecause ignorance keeps us in darkness.Walking in darkness,When will we escape from birth and death?The Zen of the… Read more

Not me, and I have the scars to prove it. We have two of these monsters dominating our household…(Thank you, Sue!) Read more

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