SECOND THURSDAYS WITH JAMES: Conversations with Zen teacher and Unitarian Universalist Minister James Ishmael ford

SECOND THURSDAYS WITH JAMES: Conversations with Zen teacher and Unitarian Universalist Minister James Ishmael ford October 11, 2021




at the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles


October through June, 2021, we will be exploring the religions and other related topics that have particularly caught our consulting minister Rev. James Ishmael Ford’s imagination over the years.

These conversations are not meant to be comprehensive, but lightly touching some of the world’s great traditions. James will be following two principles in these conversations. He says that all religions are false. But, at the same time he finds deep currents also run through each of them.

Come and explore what some of those currents might be.

Free and open to all who can gather in good will.

James is an ordained Soto Zen priest and a koan teacher in the Harada Yasutani Zen lineage. He is also an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. James is the author of five books on Buddhism and Zen, including If You’re Lucky Your Heart Will Break: A Field Notes from a Zen Life and an introduction to Zen meditation Introduction to Zen Koans: Learning the Language of Dragons. He has lectured at Meadville Lombard Unitarian Universalist seminary, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of the West. He currently serves as one of First Unitarian’s two consulting ministers.

Time: 7-8:30pm Pacific Standard

This will be a hybrid event

We will meet in-person at First Unitarian Church, masked and maintaining social distance.

And  on the church’s Zoom FUN channel

Dates and Themes:

October 14th, – BEFORE RELIGION

November 11th – HINDUISM & the Rise of Dharmic Religions

December 8th – BUDDHISM Origins & the Three Schools

January 13th – TAOISM & CONFUCIANISM Also noting the Buddhist Missions

February 10th – ZEN, Or, Buddhism after China

March 10th – JUDAISM & ISLAM (With a quick glance at the Sikh tradition)

April 8th – CHRISTIANITY The First Thousand Years

May 12th – CHRISTIANITY The Second Thousand Years


To get an idea of how many people will attend, please sign up.


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