Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain."
"And so I find it well to come
For deeper rest to this still room,
For here the habit of the soul
Feels less the outer world's control;
The strength of mutual purpose pleads
More earnestly our common needs;
And from the silence multiplied
By these still forms on either side,
The world that time and sense have known
Falls off and leaves us God alone."
John Greenleaf Whittier
"There was an ocean of darkness and death; but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. In that also I saw the infinite love of God."
"Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower grow. There cannot be a lotus flower without the mud."
Thich Nhat Hanh
There’s often an underlying tension when one professes to be a member of two religions. There’s the constant challenge of “Well, how can you be both X and Y?” And often one avoids answering the question by either outright ignoring it or starting a long convoluted explanation about how even though these two religions seem to have differences, they’re really not all that different when all is said and done.
Except sure they are, or you wouldn’t find it necessary to be part of…Continue
It’s funny: I’ve had this blog title floating around in my head for months now. I thought the title was going to be referring to my return to Meeting for Worship after my hip surgery.
It’s not, though: it’s about my return to Jesus.
Five years ago, I began an annual tradition of reading the New Testament, starting on Christmas and finishing by the end of Lent. Two years ago, after I finished my annual reading, I felt that I was being called to take a break. I…Continue
I’ve always felt a certain discomfort about Nontheist Friends and other dually-affiliated Friends. (But, you protest, aren’t you a dually-affiliated Friend?? Yes, but I don’t identify as a Buddhist Quaker or a Quaker Buddhist: I am both a Buddhist and a Quaker.) Some of this discomfort about Nontheist Friends stemmed from preconceptions I, as a theist* (more on that later), had. A few weeks ago, I joined a Nontheist Friends Google group. At the time, I was questioning my belief in…Continue
I often think that we Quakers don’t give ourselves enough credit. We liberal Quakers look at our diminishing numbers and fret about whether our religion is going to be in existence in 100 years or whether our Meetings will just die out. What I think doesn’t get talked about enough is how Quaker ideas have spread into general society.
Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,
am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or…