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Zen Blog

Saving Ghosts: A Zen Meditation


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Skeletons fromTales of Terror1808   What follows is a Dharma talk by Dr Chris Hoff delivered at our 18th of May, 2024, Empty Moon Zen Saturday morning gathering.  He is one of our Zen dharma teachers at Empty Moon Zen. Dr Hoff leads our Zen recovery sangha. He is also Executive Director of the nonprofit California Family Institute, which provides access to counseling ser...

Recalling the American Zen Founder Shunryu Suzuki


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Gathering of Zen priests in San Francisco in the 1960s. Shunryu Suzuki Roshi is third from the left Shunryu Suzuki was born on the 18th of May, 1904, in a village about fifty miles from Tokyo. In those days that was as if it were a million miles. Maybe a tad less. It is not possible for me to adequately address just how important Suzuki Roshi was to me in my personal lif...

Dreaming of our Heart’s longing


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Rainbow over the Stupa at Wat Phone Sa Ath Phatiya Moungkoun Buddhist temple, Laosby Basile Morin On the 17th of May in 1900 L. Frank Baum’s the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published by the George M. Hill Company. It was an instant runaway bestseller. Within six months the first edition of ten thousand copies sold out. By the time it hit the public domain in 1956 it had s...

Love Abides: A Brief Reflection on Julian of Norwich


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Julian’s Church11th centuryreconstruction following the 2nd world war The 13th of May, in 1373, Julian of Norwich starting having a series of visions. It would become the basis of her extended meditation, Revelations of Divine Love. With that I find myself thinking of Love. There is a still small voice in all of us, it really seems to me, that when we give up the noise w...

Poet and American Zen pioneer Gary Snyder turns Ninety-Four


Poet and American Zen pioneer Gary Snyder turns Ninety-Four May 8, 2024 James Ford Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Gary Snyder Happy birthday, Gary! He once sang to us: Ah to be aliveon a mid-September mornfording a streambarefoot, pants rolled up,holding boots, pack on,sunshine, ice in the shallows,northern rockies. Rustle and shimmer of icy creek watersstones turn underfoot, small and hard as toescol...

Recalling the North American Zen Pioneer Nyogen Senzaki


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world.   Nyogen Senzaki died on the 7th of May, 1958, in Los Angeles, California. He was a central figure introducing Zen to North America. Not much is known about Senzaki’s early years. He was born sometime in the late nineteenth century in Siberia. His mother was Japanese, his father either Chinese or Russian. Orphaned early on, he was taken in by a Japanese priest and adopte...

Thinking of Henry Thoreau


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Man WalkingThomas Eakins1880   Henry David Thoreau died on the 6th of May, 1862, in Concord, Massachusetts. He was 44 years old. Thoreau was a complicated figure. Not always attractive. But at his best, he was very, very good. I think of him as a spiritual original, sort of our homegrown American Taoist sage. He was an important part of that literary and spiritual collec...

James’ Pretty Darned Good Chicken Tortilla Soup


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Maastricht Book of HoursDetailearly 14th century The issue in our household is finding recipes that work both for my spouse and I who like it hot with my mother in law who is pretty sure black pepper is the outer range of what humans can tolerate. As we live together we need to find dishes that are flavorful but have no significant bite. I compared a couple of recipes th...

God Unveiled: Thinking of King James & his Wondrous Bible


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. King James BibleFirst Quarto 1612 King James (the sixth of Scotland and first of England) not long crowned, planned a conference he set for November, 1603. They were to discuss sundry matters involving the relatively new church of which he was now head. While the ball started rolling when Henry VIII wanted a divorce, it really only took its broad shape under his younger ...

A Feast for Origen & Universalism


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Origen with his studentsJan Luyken1700 I find myself thinking of Origen The German Lutheran church celebrates his life on the 27th of April. Sometimes called the greatest mind of early Christian antiquity, Origen lived between the late second and the middle of the third centuries of our common era. He lived principally in Alexandria. Ordained a priest, he was always a co...

Unanswered Question: A Spiritual Newsletter


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Old Buddhist monk praying to BuddhaKim Hong-do(1745-1806) “Thou art the unanswered question;Couldst see thy proper eye, Alway it asketh, asketh;And each answer is a lie.So take thy quest through nature,It through thousand natures ply;Ask on, thou clothed eternity;Time is the false reply.” – from “The Sphynx,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson It’s not been a full forty-eight hours ...

A Zen Meditation on the Strange Ending to the Gospel of Mark


A Zen Meditation on the Strange Ending to the Gospel of Mark April 25, 2024 James Ford Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Three MarysHenry Ossawa Tanner1910 The 25th of April is celebrated as the feast of the Evangelist Mark, also called St Mark, and John Mark. He is the tradition founder of the see of Alexandria, one of the five central churches of the early Christian communion. Which, of course, makes m...

Recalling Ram Mohan Roy who coined the word “Hinduism”


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Statue ofRam Mohan Royin front of theBristol Cathedral Ram Mohan Roy (also spelled Rammohan Roy) was born in Radhanagar, Bengal, on the 22nd of April, in 1772. A towering intellect, seeker of justice, and religious reformer, Roy deserves to be more widely known outside of India. He is generally credited as coining the term “Hinduism” as an overall term for the family of ...

Noting a step toward a coherent theology of a natural Jesus


Noting a step toward a coherent theology of a natural Jesus April 21, 2024 James Ford Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Racovian Catechism The 21st of April is an interesting day in the Christian calendar. During the Reformation the small town of Pińczów in southern Poland was a hotbed of radical thought. Lots of Calvinsits. But also some rather more daring Christian thinkers as well. The good folk held ...

When You Come to a Fork in the Road: A Zen Meditation


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Fork in the roadBallylaghnan, Co. Clare What follows is a Dharma talk delivered by Sensei Edward Sanshin Oberholtzer at the regular Saturday morning gathering of the Empty Moon Zen sangha on the 20th of April, 2024. I’m sure that one of those gateway drugs that nudged me in the direction of Zen practice was a PBS series of Japanese films, introduced by Edward O. Reischow...

Swami Vivekananda on the Buddha’s Message


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Vedanta Society AltarNew TempleVedanta Society of Northern California Swami Vivekananda was a close disciple of the Nineteenth century Hindu saint Ramakrishna. He became one of the founders of the Ramakrishna Order, which today is represented in the West by the Vedanta Society. The swami is justly considered a major spiritual figure on the world stage at the turn of the ...

My Three body Problem: Zen, Jesus, and a Holy Communion


My Three body Problem: Zen, Jesus, and a Holy Communion April 15, 2024 James Ford Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. The Reverend James Ishmael Ford celebrating the Eucharist for Maundy Thursday at the First Unitarian Church of Providence. 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. ...

B. R. Ambedkar’s Socially Engaged Buddhism


B. R. Ambedkar’s Socially Engaged Buddhism April 14, 2024 James Ford Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. B R AmbedkarIndian stamp, 1991   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, “Re...

George MacDonald & the World of Wonder: A Zen Meditation


George MacDonald & the World of Wonder: A Zen Meditation April 11, 2024 James Ford Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. George MacDonald1863                   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 i...

The Birth of the Buddha


Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Birth of the BuddhaSister Nivedita (1867-1911)           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 Gre...

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