Thursday, June 18, 2009


In Zen Buddhism, practitioners strive for the 'don't know mind' - a state of unattachment to preconceptions and excessive meta-reflection. One approaches every new situation with an openness, a willingness to meet each experience head-on.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we encounter the following verses: "Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun" (Eccl 1). The author makes a compelling argument for habituating an unattached disposition.

We are all vessels, overflowing with life - pouring out the old, welcoming the new, available and attentive to the present. We strive for unattachment to the impermanent, the illusive, the maya. And yet, we do not whimsically float without direction. The Guru Granth Sahib observes: "He alone is attached, whom the Lord attaches" (797).

God's roots hold us close in the transindividual (Tillich); let our wings set us free.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sharing Global Faith - Issue III

Sharing Global Faith gathers Unitarian and Universalist voices from around the world in a unique devotional e-resource. Reflecting on various aspects of faith life, participants share spiritual insight into the stories and thoughts that fuel their ministerial call. Distributed monthly from April until September 2009, the publication seeks to deepen international connections and nourish the individual spirit.

In the third installment, three global luminaries explore the meaning of FELLOWSHIP to our faith tradition. We are honored to include the following contributions:

Recalling his childhood encounter with Buddhist and Christian teachings, Rev. Nihal Attanayake (Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines) finds a reason to rejoice in the art of being in relationship along the spiritual path he has chosen.

Mr. Karsten Urban (Deutsche Unitarier) comprehensively details the current state of religion in Germany, while calling on the global U/U fellowship to model a religion of the future.

Viewing community-building as a deeply religious act, Rev. Eric Cherry (UUA, Office of International Resources) expresses gratitude for a faith that addresses human neediness.

More HERE.

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Living Truth

I met this evening with a kind woman at the gurdwara to discuss Gurmukhi pronunciation - as is to be expected, we got talking about other matters, specifically issues of faith. She explained how in her reading of the Sikh teachings, as epitomized by the opening verses of the Japji Sahib, neither the accumulation of knowledge nor of wealth will secure a healthy relationship with God. Rather, the promise of life's fullness arises from the dutiful remembrance of God's grace, honest work in the world and the sharing of treasure and love with others (Nam Japna, Kirt Karna and Vand Chakna respectively).

Certainly the latter two requirements necessitate entering into the world with heart and mind, while maintaining a spiritual dimension - I have encountered the image of a lotus flower swimming in a dirty pond used to describe this striving towards beautiful living within a world susceptible to greed, hatred and corruption. In this way, the prospect of uniting with the Holy resides not in an excessive introspection, but in the acts of laughing, playing, eating.

We read in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib:

ਗਲੀ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ਛੁਟੈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥
By mere talk, people do not earn passage to Heaven. Salvation comes only from the practice of Truth.

What Truth do you feel called to live - and to live out?

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Prayer for Strength

Dearest Beloved,
O Holy One,
Gracious God of Generous Giving-

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may persevere on this path of union.

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may crawl ever-closer to Your glory.

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may uncover the unbounded within.

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may learn the language of Your love.

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may defy drudgery with gratitude for life.

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may embody empathy towards others.

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may rejoice in the radiance of small things.

Endow me with Your strength,
That I may grow in compassion,
And imagination,
And appreciation,
And exploration.

Strengthen my resolve to fly.


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