The Republic of Dreams Stands Strong: A Message to the World

As I contemplate our American presidential election, my first response has been waves of disbelief, followed by despair, followed by resolve.Obviously it is important to pay attention to what happened, and for those on the progressive side of the spectrum to contemplate what it is we were missing that invited so many people to fall under the sway of a demagogue patently unsuited for the presidency. Times are hard and anxiety and fear are the currency of such times. And, a solution has been … [Read more...]

Buddhist Responses to the American Presidential Election

I was invited to join with some other dharma teachers commenting on yesterday's momentous election here in the United States. I'm grateful for the invitation, and while I consider it very much a first thought, sometimes those are helpful...I started out:I rather feel like I’ve awakened on the day after the apocalypse. As a member of the progressive community I am shocked and profoundly saddened by his campaign, unapologetically appealing to fear of, if not outright hatred of pretty much a … [Read more...]

She Roars: Women and Men in Rochester, New York, are putting their “I Voted” Stickers on Susan B Anthony’s Grave

From soon after the polls opened today, there have been reports of long lines of women and men in Rochester lining up to paste their "I voted" stickers on Susan's grave. This picture is from just after two o'clock in the afternoon, Rochester time.And as a post script a late story from NPR. … [Read more...]

What do you mean Joni Mitchell is Seventy-Two?

Well, that does appear to be the case. The singer and songwriter Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell was born on this day in 1943.As Wikipedia tells us she "helped define an era and a generation," and definitely was a significant part of the background of my formation.And even as those years have moved on I've remained fond of her wide ranging talent.So, happy birthday, Joni! And fond hopes for many more to come... … [Read more...]

Yunmen’s Dried Shit Stick: A Zen Meditation

Yunmen’s Dried Shit StickJames Ishmael FordA student of the way asked Yunmen, “What is Buddha?” Yunmen replied, “Dried shitstick.”Case 21, Gateless GateYunmen is one of the great teachers of the Zen way. He lived between the middle of the ninth century and died late in the middle of the tenth century. The story of his awakening is one of the classics.After traveling from teacher to teacher, following hints and suggestions he came to master Bokushu’s solitary hut. He was me … [Read more...]

Susan Casts a Vote

It was on this day in 1872 that Susan B Anthony cast a ballot, for which she was arrested, and later fined a hundred dollars, no insignificant amount in those days.Worth thinking about as we run up to this election, the first with a woman on a major party's ticket, and one of two people who will be elected president of the United States. … [Read more...]

A Feast for Richard Hooker

Today the Anglican communion honors Richard Hooker, priest and theologian in its calendar of feasts.He was a central figure in the establishment of Anglicanism as a via media, a middle way between Catholicism and Protestantism. Hooker was also a beautiful writer.He articulated a "threefold cord not quickly broken" of Bible, church, and reason. It would evolve with Anglicanism into the three-legged stool of scripture, tradition, and reason. (The historical nitpickers among us, okay, me … [Read more...]

Wishing K. D. Lang a Wondrous Happy Fifty-Fifth!

Kathryn Dawn Lang was born fifty-five years ago, today.LGBT rights activist. Animal rights advocate. Nyingma Buddhist. And, one heck of a singer with an astonishing range.Also, it seems her voice is only getting better. Just sayin' … [Read more...]

Shakespeare’s Great Storm Begins

On this day in 1611 Shakespeare’s the Tempest played for the first time at the Whitehall Palace in London. Some say his masterwork. Certainly my favorite of his plays.As Caliban sings to usBe not afeard. The isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears, and sometimes voices That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming, The clouds m … [Read more...]

We went to see Inferno. We wanted mindless popcorn munching fun. We were not disappointed

Jan and I went to see Inferno yesterday. We picked it partially because I’m having back problems and it was playing at one of those new theaters with reclining cushy chairs. We really like Tom Hanks, and, actually enjoy Ron Howard. And, okay, we weren’t expecting much more than an entertainment. In fact a mindless cartoon like adventure was just what we wanted. We were not disappointed.Still, now having seen it, it’s hard to see how this movie wasn’t going to be panned by the professionals. A … [Read more...]