One Zen Master on His Day Off


Stanley Lombardo. Just sayin' Could do worse... … [Read more...]

The Seed of Perfection: One of Walt Whitman’s Dharma Talks

Walt Whitman

Any spiritual practitioner knows he gave a lot of them, those direct pointers into the heart of the matter. But, today, this one about a seed...Come said the muse, Sing me a song no poet has yet chanted, Sing me the universal.In this broad each of ours, Amid the measureless grossness and the slag, Enclosed and safe within its central heart, Nestles the seed of perfection.By every life a share or more or less, None born but it is born, conceal'd or unconcealed the seed … [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Satchmo!

louis armstrong

Louis Armstrong was born today, in 1901. … [Read more...]

Zen Buddhism & Orthodoxy: That’s Just Like, Your Opinion, Man


According to the good folk at Wikipedia it was on this day in 435 that Emperor Theodosius II banished the recently deposed archbishop and patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, who had already retired to his former monastery in Antioch, to exile in the upper reaches of Upper Egypt.Nestorianism, the name given to the views associated with him about the nature of Christ became the orthodoxy of the farthest eastern branch of early Medieval Christianity. Nestorian churches were founded in … [Read more...]

Black Ship, Red Sails: A Small Tale of Revenge


It was on this day in 1343 that the French nobleman Oliver de Clisson was convicted of treason and beheaded, his head hung on the gates of Paris. Many saw the trial trumped up, and the conviction and execution an act of injustice for which the king was directly responsible.No one more so than his wife, Jeanne de Clisson. She took her children to Paris and showed them their father's head, returned to her estates, sold them, raised an army and began her own reign of revenge. When her army … [Read more...]

Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising of the stars

maria mitchell

Maria Mitchell was born on this day in 1818 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.The family were Quakers, and contrary to the larger community, they conformed to the Quaker sense that both female and male children should be educated. When she was eleven Maria's father started a school and in addition to being a pupil there, she began to assist her father. Her passion was astronomy. And by the age of twelve with some assistance from her father she calculated the moment of a solar eclipse.She … [Read more...]

Rowing that Boat


In the Diamond Sutra we are called toThink of this fleeting world as A star at dawn A bubble in a stream A flash of lightening in a summer cloud A flickering lamp A phantom and a dream.Or, as we learned it as children of the WestRowRowYour boat... … [Read more...]

Enter the Flashmob

ode to joy flashmob

Today in my Facebook feed I found that a favorite cousin-in-law had posted a delightful musical flash mob performance of Bolero performed by the Philharmonic orchestra of Toluca.It set me to thinking about this phenomena of the social media era. Turns out the term was coined in 2003, I believe by Bill Wasik at the time with Harper's Magazine. He later described it as a "social experiment," poking fun at conformity, and the quest for the next big thing. From this distance it looks like … [Read more...]

That Troublesome Minx Eris is Discovered


It was on this day in 2005 that Eris was discovered by a Palomar Observatory team led by Mike Brown. At first it appeared to be larger than Pluto (turns out that it has greater mass, but Pluto has a slightly larger diameter.) and was announced by NASA as the tenth planet. This sparked the conversations among the members of the International Astronomical Union that led to the new designation "dwarf planet" for these smaller spherical objects circling the sun, including as a result Pluto's … [Read more...]

Gerard Manley Hopkins: Remembering a Poet on His Birthday

gerard manley hopkins

Jesuit, priest, and by my lights most importantly, poet Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in Stratford, Essex, in Great Britain, on this day in 1844.And if you have forty minutes... … [Read more...]