About Tom Swiss

Tom Swiss describes his spiritual path as "Zen Pagan Taoist Atheist Discordian", which usually baffles questioners enough to leave him alone. Over the past decade he has built a reputation as a lecturer on subjects spanning the gamut from acupressure to Zen and from self-defense to sexuality. He is an NCCAOM Diplomate in Asian Bodywork Therapy, a godan (fifth-degree black belt) in karate, a poet, a singer/songwriter, an amateur philosopher, and a professional computer geek. Tom has previously served as President of the Free Spirit Alliance. He is the author of "Why Buddha Touched the Earth" (Megalithica Books, 2013). Find out more about his wacky adventures at www.infamous.net.

Remembering Ringo

A heart that never cares is safe from grieving. But that’s not what hearts are for. [Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Reason, Social Justice, and Dionysian Frenzy

No disrespect to Dionysus, but social justice is not a job to which you send a god whose followers have a reputation for tearing people to shreds with their bare hands. [Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Kyoto: The Ancestors Are Watching (Photo, 52 Make-up Week 18)

Catching up with posting the pieces from the 52 Make-Up Challenge. This entry and the next are from my recent trip to Japan; for more on the background of this photo, taken in a cemetery in eastern Kyoto near sunset, see this post. (Click for a larger version.) I guess what’s interesting about the story [Read More…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Punctuated Equilibrium and Political Evolution

My interlocutor demands that we pick the best dinosaur. But the asteroid has already hit, and the age of mammals is at hand. [Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Blessing Computers? Why Not?

Some corners of the net are getting a lot of incredulous chuckles about a photo of a Russian Orthodox priest blessing computers in the wake of the recent ransomware attacks. Our Patheos neighbor Hemant Mehta at “The Friendly Atheist”, is one those getting a lot of shares of it. (Though he’s unfortunately promoting the “Russia [Read More…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Kyoto Bonus: Daruma-dera Visit

The figurines symbolize a proverb: if you fall down seven times, get up eight times. Apparently a prior abbot of the temple found this to be the heart of practice, and so started the collection. They range in size from one that comes up to my chest, to ones you can hold in one hand. [Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Even In Japan, Things Change

Everything needs a little renovation now and again, even the human heart. [Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Kyoto’s Ancestors Are Watching; Deities In Commerce

It was as if the ancestral spirits were watching out over the city. I don’t have the planners handy to ask them, of course, but I would guess that’s a deliberate ritual placement.
[Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Seven Lucky Gods And The Spiritual Function Of Travel

And it reminds me of one of the spiritual functions of travel: to shake up our neurological imprints. I have heard that in ancient China Taoist masters would hang out in inns, looking for travellers whose minds had been a little unsettled, and slip a little transcendental wisdom into their cracked-open minds. [Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:

Punching At The Shrine, Partying At The Temple

It demonstrates the way these two different paths fit together here. Religion is not seen as an either-or choice. [Read more…]

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook: