Random Ruminations of a Fat Buddhist

In recent months I’ve taken to wearing a small mala (a Buddhist rosary) on my wrist. As my friends say, it’s not quite the affectation my beret is, but… Personally, I like the mala and feel it really is something more than a fashion statement. I even use it, admittedly less for counting breaths and more in the fashion of Greek worry beads; but use it I do. Anyway, this morning as I was dressing I put on a nice wooden set that I’m quite fond of. Then I thought, oh dear, I’m going to weigh in at We … [Read more...]

Fraters of the Wayside Inn

Well, I’m back from the one hundred and fifth gathering of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn. This annual gathering is one of the high points of my year. Founded by Universalist ministers to be a pre-Lenten study group it is the archetype for many Unitarian Universalist clergy study groups now active within the denomination.The Fraters are a very select club, at least numerically, as it is strictly limited to the number of beds available at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, made famous by H … [Read more...]

Beyond the Beliefs

I was cleaning out stuff and I found the following crammed into a back pocket of a pair of blue jeans. I can't for the life of me recall which friend handed it to me when. I do recall being told by the friend that she (or maybe it was he) thought Tarthang Tulku was Thai. Shows my friend isn't into Buddhist niceties, Tarthang Tulku being a Tibetan lama. Meant as words for a chalice lighting, I thought it an appropriate invocation of the new day, any new day...Beyond the beliefs of any … [Read more...]

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.http://doubterpsalms.blogspot.com/ … [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

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