Charles Darwin was born on this day in 1809. Me, I mark it out as a time to pause and reflect on many things. An interesting article at Wikipedia notes how his birthday has been observed as something special pretty much since his death in 1882. However in 1909 on the centenary of his birth a number of events marked the day out. These included a gathering of over four hundred scientists and others at Cambridge where papers were… Read more

      In fact it isn’t rocket science. The biggest problem is how people don’t want real information. People are really into bias confirmation, that is their, our assumptions about what is often leads us down paths that seem true because we want them to be true. And, like onto that, is our wanting things to be false, and, well, rejecting sources that challenge our beliefs. Sadly, we’re probably screwed. But, we need not be. As I noted, seeking… Read more

I appear to have come down with the dreaded man cold. I start with a groan, swelling to a moan, rising to a keen, ascending to a shriek that tapers off in a thin wail. I hug myself and, whimpering, rock back and forth on my heels. No one has ever known such sadness. No one can grasp how I feel. I smash an egg over each eye. I smear my face with coal and pepper. I wear a paper… Read more

I was talking with a friend about love. Is love God? Is God love? Two questions. Each opens rather different doors. We were not in complete accord. But, then, how else should it be? That mystery is the sum of our experience. Love. Sex. Friendship. Family. That Divine Mystery. All of it. All of it swirling, tangling, untangling. Presenting. Found. Forgotten. Present. A vague intimation. Mysterious. Difficult. Always present. Always. Hard. Hard. The master sings into our hearts: The light… Read more

Mu & Buddha Nature A Reflection on Zen & Koan Introspection By Josh Bartok Josh Bartok is a Soto Zen Buddhist priest, and a teacher of the Soto reformed koan system developed by Master Daiun Sogaku Harada, based on the master’s years studying the Takujo Hakuin koan curriculum at the turn of the nineteenth & twentieth centuries.  Bartok Osho is abbot & senior teacher at the Greater Boston Zen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Koan Mu, also known as Zhaozhou’s… Read more

    Today is the anniversary of that moment in 1918 when the English Parliament’s act granting the vote to “women over the age of thirty who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of five pounds, and graduates of British universities” took effect. It was not quite the culmination of a fierce struggle. That wouldn’t be won until 1928 when all women over the age of twenty-one were granted the vote. Still, an important… Read more

      On Lay Practice Within North American Soto Zen James Ishmael Ford 5 February 2018 Blue Cliff Zen Sangha Costa Mesa, California Last week I posted on my Monkey Mind blog an essay I titled Soto Zen Buddhism in North America: Some Random Notes From a Work in Progress. There I wrote, along with a couple of small digressions and additions I add for this talk: Probably the most important thing here (within our North American Zen and… Read more

        How It is Supposed to Be: A Zen Meditation Jan Seymour-Ford 2 February 2018 Blue Cliff Zen Sangha Sesshin Harwood Lodge Mt Baldy, California Those of us who give talks once in a while are advised to give the talk we need to hear ourselves. So this is the talk I needed to hear on Wednesday, the crappiest day  in a long time. I had tried for days to get confirmation about our reservation for this… Read more

Blue Cliff Zen Sangha held its first sesshin, intensive Zen meditation retreat, between the 1st & 4th of February, 2018. We met a Harwood Lodge nestled in the upper reaches of Mt Baldy, itself perched above the Los Angeles basin. We had members and friends of our sangha come from Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Long Beach, and Orange County. Thanks to Chris Hoff for the lovely photographs… Read more

    What They Dreamed Be Ours to Do A Meditation on Universalism & Restitution, the Path of Healing for Our Times January 29, 2018 A Paper Delivered at the Fraters of the Wayside Inn Sudbury, Massachusetts Nancy O. Arnold (The Reverend Nancy O Arnold is a Unitarian Universalist minister. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned her Master of Divinity at Harvard University. She also holds a certificate in spiritual direction from Fordham… Read more

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