Happy Birthday Gutenberg Bible

The first printing of the justly renowned Gutenberg Bible began on this day in 1455.While not the oldest printed book (that distinction belongs to an edition of the Buddhist Diamond Sutra published in 868 of our common era), Gutenberg’s combined use of movable type and a printing press changed the world. And I, for one, like that change… Read more

When is Treason the Right Thing?

On this day in 1943, Sophie and Hans Scholland and Christoph Probst, three members of the White Rose, a student organization that opposed the Nazi regime in their country were convicted of treason and later that same day beheaded. Their few compatriats soon joined them in death. Long live the White Rose and all those who bear witness against the oppression of people and for the possibilities of our human condition. Read more

A journey to Vietnam

One of Jan’s and my closest friends in the Unitarian Universalist minister world is Jan Christian, minister of the UU congregation in Ventura, California. Jan (the minister Jan, not the librarian) was on sabbatical this Winter. During this time she and her son Luke traveled to Vietnam to visit the site where Jan’s brother was killed in combat all these years ago. She & Luke and a friend put together a multi-media account of that journey. It broke my heart… Read more

Watts Redux

The other day I received a really interesting note from an old friend responding to my posting about Alan Watts. He wanted to underscore how much he felt he and others of our shared generation owe to Alan Watts.I know it’s true for me. His Way of Zen was one of the first books I read on the subject. I went on to read any number of his books. Later as it became apparent his interpretation of Zen was, how… Read more

More Desert Wisdom

If you’re wondering why this spate of postings, I’m sitting at my computer working on Sunday’s sermon & unrelated thoughts keep burbling up. Most I consign to thought-heaven, but one or two feel a need to be passed on.I think I mentioned in a much earlier post how recently I stumbled upon an old copy of Thomas Merton’s The Wisdom of the Desert that I had profusely annotated when I was much wiser than I currently am. Fortunately, perhaps, that… Read more

How Good

How goodHow pleasantWhen we abide intimate togetherLike warm oil on the headTrickling down the cheekAaron’s cheekAnd trickling down the neck onto the collarLike the dew of Mount HermonThe dew that runs down the mountains of ZionWhere you called forth the blessingFor life, life alwaysThe 133rd Psalma poetic translation byNorman Fischer Read more

Upside Down Zen Again

Every once in a while a book comes along that I just wish everyone would read. Judging from the small pile of books in my office that people have given me, hoping I’d read them, this appears to be a fairly common emotion.To my mind one of the very best books I’ve read in quite a while is Susan Murphy’s Upside Down Zen: Finding the Marvelous in the Ordinary. And it is one I wish people would buy and read…. Read more

Alan Watts

I have no idea why, but Alan Watts just popped into my head. I was thinking of him as an example of someone very important to me at one time and who enjoyed a certain fame and perhaps notoriety at that time, but is now quickly fading into the mists.Watts was one of the first popularizers of Zen writing in English. He himself was not a Zen practitioner, although he was in some sense a disciple of the first great… Read more

Happy Birthday, Abe!

I find Abraham endlessly intriguing. One of the most complex political figures in our American history. Elected to the presidency with what seems the least experience and the fewest prospects of success of any who have assumed that office, Lincoln now towers as one of the most important figures in our national story. Among the complexieties he was undoubtedly opposed to slavery but not strictly speaking an abolitionist in the sense of such luminaries as our own Unitarians Ralph Waldo… Read more

Unitarian Universalists on Second Life

I’ve been trying to connect this blog and my You Tube account, a process for which I’ve found at You Tube. But due, in all likelihood, to my being over fifteen, I have not succeeded in this fond hope.That said, another thing I only have the vaugest understanding about is the vicarious existence that people are setting up for themselves at Second Life.I’ve heard rumors of a UU church that has established itself in or is it on or perhaps… Read more

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