Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pat Robertson (of the Christian Broadcasting Network) said today to Donald Trump, "You inspire us all." I'm trying to understand what that means. It brought to mind something I heard a Japanese man say many years ago: "When I meet a Buddhist religious leader, I meet a holy man. When I meet a Christian religious leader, I meet a businessman."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I've been doing this little blog for about 12 years now.  During that time period I've experienced a lot of growth.  Some of what I've written and posted is cringe-worthy, but I'm satisfied with most of it as a chronicle of my ongoing faith-journey.  

I can view metrics for my blog which show me how many people read it daily (about 20) and weekly (about 140) and from where in the world.  It is weird to write something and post it and then later discover that someone in Saudi Arabia or Russia or Uruguay has read it.  

The metrics also tell me which posts are the most popular and, by far, my most read post is about the Parable of the Mustard Seed.  That makes me very happy because I think the core message of that parable is vitally important and has often been overlooked.

Read it here:

This weekend marks a significant and dark anniversary. On February 13-15, 1945, U.S. and British bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city of Dresden, engulfing the city in a firestorm that killed tens of thousands of civilians and destroyed nearly 100,000 homes. The heavily populated city-center was targeted, rather than surrounding suburban areas where most of Dresden's manufacturing and industry facilities were located. A number of journalists at the time referred to the attack as "terror bombing"--a view maintained by many modern historians.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Buddha's Tooth

I heard a thought-provoking little story today. It came from a Buddhist source but could have just as easily been told from a Christian, Jewish, Islamic or other religious perspective. It went like this:

Once upon a time, a Chinese monk was preparing to make a pilgrimage to India, to see the places where the Buddha was born, had lived, and had died. A very devout elderly woman in the village heard about the monk's impending journey and implored him to bring back a relic from his pilgrimage. Even the most trivial relic of the Buddha would suffice, the woman said, and she would build a shrine around it where she and her friends could worship and pray.

The monk didn't give much credence to the veneration of relics but because of the woman's devout sincerity he told her he would see what he could do.

On his long journey he completely forgot about the woman's request. In fact, he didn't remember it until he was returning and was just a few miles from home. Thereupon he noticed the carcass of a dog laying by the side of the road. He bent over and pulled out one of the dead dog's teeth and wrapped it in a piece of fine silk. When he got to the village he presented the tooth to the old woman, telling her it was a relic--a tooth from the Buddha.

The woman had a shrine built around the tooth, where she and her friends and many others prayed and worshiped daily with humility, gratitude and devotion. Gradually, the enshrined tooth began to glow with an aura of holiness.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

“The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from God.”

--Thomas Keating

Saturday, February 06, 2016

"Compassion is the radicalism of our time."

--The Dalai Lama