Salvation Hits the Couch

Buddhism had been known in the United States since the mid-Nineteenth Century, but really came into its own with the return of Pacific War vets who had spent some time in Japan. (The creation of Red China insured that Chinese Buddhism would not be generally available to the Western World for some time.) One of [Read More...]

Give me the heart

I have spent the past few days saturated in extraordinary music, delicious food, dear friends – and almost completely off of the grid, just checking in from time to time with the office and the work phone to keep disasters to a minimum. Today I return to the world of administration and e-mail, deadlines and [Read More...]

Carrots, Sticks, Paddles, and Autopilot

Buddhist wisdom says there are three ways we naturally approach anything—desire, aversion, or indifference. For the sake of convenience, I call them, “yum!” “eeeeewwww” and “zzzzzz.” I see a slice of cheese cake. “Yum!” I love cheese cake. So, I desire the slice of cheese cake. I grab it. Five hundred calories down my gullet. [Read More...]

Rest Easy

The high April winds blowing damage across the US this week also blew something into town that my lungs are treating as poison.  This morning I face the day with more empathy and exhaustion than I have known in a while.  To everyone who struggles with their own health through the quiet hours, may you [Read More...]

However They Have Writ the Style of Gods: Wounds and Healing

Here is the beautiful truth—saints and sinners are the same from the start. Hsu Yun, Chinese Chan Buddhist (freely adapted by me) As a young writer, I read everything I could find on the subject of writing. One of the books that impressed me at the time was written by novelist John Gardner called Moral [Read More...]

Earth Day Notes from New Orleans

Last week the Center hosted two groups of youth, one primarily people of color, one primarily white people. As the groups co-navigated the space of the Center and the programming, it was pretty clear to everyone why we talk about race and an analysis of racism as a gateway to serving in the New Orleans [Read More...]

Pagans, Cheasters, and Nones: Easter and Open-Source Religion

This coming Easter morning, many people will rise and look east. Some will go to a Christian church for their only visit this year. Many will be reminded by priests and preachers that this one day is not enough. Those strangers to churches will be telling the oldest of religious truths: it is the people, [Read More...]

Earth: Our Deep Home Place

The Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalist cluster gathered in an oak -filled park on Sunday to celebrate Earth: Our Deep Home Place. As Earth Day approaches, I share with you a meditation, my invitation to celebrate our beloved planet: Cosmologian Thomas Berry wrote “Nothing is completely itself without everything else. This relatedness is both spatial [Read More...]

Let’s Agree to Agree on Subjectivity

There ain’t no answer. There ain’t gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer. ~Gertrude Stein   In last week’s post I looked at one way to smooth the waters between theists and non-theists, Pragmatism. Pragmatists say, if it works for you, it’s true. Now, I know that’s a bit [Read More...]

Pulling Weeds

I don’t know about where you are, but here in California we have hit the peak of Weed Season. A few days of long-awaited rain, a couple of days of sun, and the hills begin to turn gloriously green. So does my gravel driveway, and whole swaths of my yard where you are supposed to [Read More...]


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