August 3, 2020

          According to the good folk at Wikipedia, it was on this day, the 3rd of August, in 435 that Nestorius, who’d been deposed as patriarch of Constantinople was exiled by the emperor Theodosius II to a monastery in Egypt. I’ve written of him before, although not recently. This reflection is based on a couple of those earlier ruminations. But, with addition reflections out of this moment. As a former Patriarch of Constantinople, whatever else one may think… Read more

August 2, 2020

      As it happens, today, the 2nd of August is observed in the Russian Church as a feast for Basil, sometimes called the fool, sometimes called blessed, and on occasion the Wonderworker. I rather like that. All of it. But especially that fool thing. Recently I wrote a brief paragraph in which I summarized my understanding of Jesus as a  historical person. In it I suggested he was half crazy. Some liked that characterization. Others did not. I… Read more

August 1, 2020

    LEAVING NO ONE BEHINND Zen & the Work of Justice Jan Seymour-Ford August 1, 2020 Empty Moon Zen Last fall I had to give a little public presentation about my beliefs and motivations. I talked about my connections in the community and how my spirituality compels it. I talked about becoming a young adult, when I began to observe and experience the world through my own eyes, instead of through the doctrinaire teachings of my upbringing. One of… Read more

July 31, 2020

      The Bodhisattva Path: A Meditation on Soto Zen’s Three Pure Precepts   James Myoun Ford The three pure precepts of Japanese Soto Zen are also known as the three root precepts, because they sink into the deep soil of the tradition. They offer a succinct summation of the Bodhisattva way. I believe the three pure precepts both describe what the awakened heart looks like and offer a simple, if not always easy path to that awakening of… Read more

July 29, 2020

      Donald Robert Perry Marquis was born on this day, the 29th of July, in 1878. In his long career he was at one time or another a newspaper columnist, a playwright, novelist, and a poet. Today he is mostly remembered as the creator of Archy and Mehitabel. According to Wikipedia, Archy was a “cockroach (developed as a character during 1916) who had been a free-verse poet in a previous life, and who supposedly left poems on Marquis’s typewriter… Read more

July 27, 2020

      I was reading an article, the “Wild Irish girl and the ‘Dalai Lama of little Thibet:’ the long encounter between Ireland and Asian Buddhism” by the Irish scholar Laurence Cox, when I found myself introduced to Michael Dillon, Lobzang Jivaka. Michael was born on the 1st of May, 1915 as Laura Maud Dillon. He attended Cambridge and while there began a process that would lead to become the first surgically female to male transexual person. Digging around… Read more

July 26, 2020

      I see that Carl Jung was born on this day, the 26th of July, in 1875. Noting that has triggered a cascade of thoughts. For some time I’ve been puttering around with a memoir. It hasn’t gone particularly well. Memoirs are tricky things, and at this point the great pile of words I’ve compiled over the past few years are more of the “I did this and then I did that” than the lively narrative that would… Read more

July 22, 2020

      In pretty much all sacramental Christian churches today, the 22nd of July, is marked out as a feast for Mary Magdalene. Over the years I’ve paused here at my blog to reflect on this most remarkable and in some ways mysterious woman. Me, I find her pretty much endlessly fascinating. She was arguably the closest of Jesus’ various disciples. According to some sources, admittedly mostly at the fringes of the canonical texts, she is considered his true… Read more

July 12, 2020

    Today is Henry David Thoreau’s birthday. Noting that reminds me of his life and gifts. One was his discovery of a spiritual practice I think is really, really worthy. He describes it in an essay, Walking…   I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks — who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived “from… Read more

July 6, 2020

  THE FIFTH OF JULY A Buddhist Analysis of What’s Wrong, and What Might be Right. James Ishmael Ford “The life of a nation. Is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.” Frederick Douglass To be totally honest, I’ve had a lot of trouble focusing on today’s reflection. There are all sorts of memes on social media about the shape of this year. One shows two images. The first is labeled, “My plans.” It shows a kid… Read more




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