April 15, 2024

Two things have been burrowing into my heart of late. The first happened with a manuscript I’ve written for an introduction to Zen scheduled to be published next year. A number of my early readers commented on the Christian references in it. One noted straight out that it was “Christian Zen.” The confusion for me was that I never saw it that way. I thought I was simply enriching a pretty straight forward Mahayana Buddhist pespective. And if there were... Read more

April 14, 2024

  Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born in Mhow, a town on the road between Mumbai and Agra, on the 14th of April, in 1891. The 14th of April is celebrated in India, called Abedkar Jayanti (sometimes Bhim Jayanti) and Equality Day. Known to those who admired him as Babasheb, “Respected Father,” B. R. Ambedkar was one of the singular figures of Twentieth century India. He served first as an advocate for civil rights. Then he was in leadership with the... Read more

April 11, 2024

                  My friend Richard Kollmar observed that I have an interest in the Inklings and asked if I’d ever read George MacDonald. I had to admit I had not. He encouraged me to give the old Scot a try. He influenced a lot of that band of literary Christian intellectuals, especially C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien. And his influence extended beyond that flock, as well. G K Chesterton immediately... Read more

April 7, 2024

          The actual date when the person Gautama Siddhartha who became the Buddha was born is not known. In the major schools of Buddhism, using lunar calendars although by somewhat different calculations, come up each year with dates that float mostly in the area of April or May. The Japanese, however, have adopted the Gregorian calendar and have set an annual celebration on the 8th of April. And that’s the one I count. The truth is... Read more

April 6, 2024

              The master Nanyang Huizhong called to his attendant three times. And each time his attendant responded. The master said, “I was about to say I was ungrateful to you. But, you are ungrateful to me.” Gateless Gate, case 17 According to the Buddhist lunar calendar observed in most of Asia, the Buddha’s birth will be observed this year in the middle of May. However, in the late 19th century, the Japanese officially adopted... Read more

April 4, 2024

            Very recently I attended a small gathering of UU clergy. It’s something I believe clergy do in most faith traditions. It provides mutual support among people who have similar experiences and challenges. Even moving well into retirement I find it a powerful thing to do. At this meeting one of the senior colleagues addressed the specifics of the difficulties being encountered in the details of church life today. Not so much the spiritual aspect,... Read more

March 28, 2024

            I’m seventy-five years old. Among other things this means that these days there are more frequent visits to doctors of several sorts. This week this specifically has included a visit to a urologist. After some only mildly invasive poking and prodding he told me he wants to look a little closer. He’s going to use a camera to look around. And we’ll need to set up another appointment for that. I felt things getting... Read more

March 26, 2024

                The Book of Mormon was first published on the 26th of March in 1830, in Palmyra, New York. I’m fascinated with our indigenous American religions and the Church of Latter Day Saints is perhaps the most successful of them all. Although in its multiplicity I suspect our New Thought movement does give it a run for its money in that most successful category. The Book is one of various sacred texts to... Read more

March 23, 2024

              On the 23rd of March, in 1889, forty admirers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, took hands and pledge themselves as his followers as the promised messiah and Mahdi. This moment is considered the inauguration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim movement. Ghulam Ahmad was born into an affluent Mughal family on the 13th of February, 1835, in Qadian, Punjab. His father was a physician. While he worked for his family he devoted all the time... Read more

March 21, 2024

              Thomas Cranmer, theologian, controversialist, one time Archbishop of Canterbury, was tied to a stake and burned to death on the 21st of March, in 1556. Cranmer, one time toady to a king, a priest and prelate. He was brilliant writer and complicated thinker, and was the principal architect of a reformed Catholicism in England. That king died. Then briefly under a boy king whose rule was through more extreme Protestants. Then, finally for... Read more

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