It isn't a manifesto, or an amateurish attempt to play at theologian. It's just a collection of snapshots, a scrapbook, an uneven collection of reflections. It isn't professionally edited or polished. Take it or leave it as is.
The general categories are "About my spiritual/religious practice", "My attempts to understand or explain Buddhist ideas", "Buddhism, society, and popular culture", "Atheism, Agnosticism, Secularism, Fundamentalism, Religion-Based Conflict, etc...", "Christian teachings and ideas (or using Christian examples for different lessons...)", "UUism and spiritual potpourri ...", "The whole "God" thing...", and "Broader or more general topics (prayer, meaning, etc...)".
The order is earlier to later going down within each category.
About my spiritual/religious practice...
- Example of a weekly Buddhist service
- The nature and benefit of practice
- Uhhh...is this thing on?
- What are the refuges & precepts and why take them?
- Form and formlessness and the practice
- Bodhier than thou
- Wisdom from a talking sponge
- The Four Great Vows
- Solo Practice
- Some of my more serious attachments
- Cause it's how you are supposed to feel
- To learn and actualize the teachings of just a single Buddha
- Dharma Dieting
- Waiting for perfection
- Practice makes perfect except when it does not
- Letting go of expecations not efforts
- Overabundant choices for the expression of direct and simple spiritual practice
- Dabbling at the Buddhist Buffet
- Three general kinds of aptitude for spirituality
- Single-pointed focus and the heart
- Context and actualization
- The Unsatisfactory Nature of Non-Committal Dullness
- The Unsatisfactory Nature of Non-Committal Dullness, Part 2
- More on spiritual homelessness
- The me-show
- Mahayana Buddhist (or Mystical Christian) Available. All offers considered.
- More on seeking (or moron seeking?): believe, accept, act
- Flashes of insight, thoughtful consideration, hollow platitudes and lack of faith
- What elements of spiritual insight have you drawn from your practice? Here are four I am still learning
- Moving from certainty to uncertainty
- Are you ready to fully enlighten?
- Small reflections, 11/29/10
- Great minds think alike (so why I am I thinking like they do?)
- Wrestling with traditional Christian scripture and prayers
- Religious Experience, Meaning and the (Lack of the) Substance of Faith
- Revisiting "You Have Permission to be Happy"
- Taking the idea of gratitude seriously: seeing everything as a gift.
- My first Ash Wednesday and another step toward Oblation
- Seeking Rest
- Bullshit Buddhism, Counterfeit Christianity
- Prayer from my childhood vs. prayers now
- Assessment of My Re-Exploration of Christian Spirituality (cross-listed below)
- Discovering one's purpose (or not)
My attempts to understand or explain Buddhist ideas...
- Contradictions and negations
- An Expression from the Heart Sutra
- The Doubt and the Vow
- Opportunity versus Obligation
- How much must one practice to attain enlightenment?
- Inspirational Admonition
- Why seek rebirth in the Pure Land?
- Mountains and rivers
- Yours, mine, and ours? Not at all
- Give a hoot, don't pollute
- 'Breaking' the Precepts and the Grave Offenses
- Dharma talks by the Venerable Shih Ying-Fa
- Differences, again
- Getting to 108
- Don't neglect the subtle nuances
- Buddhism and the Divine
- The toolbox
- A good start is saving all sentient beings from yourself
- Groundhog Day
- Do You Surrender All?
- Contemplating Death Gives Gratitude for Life
- Effortlessness - simple yet challenging
- May the Buddha Find Reguge in Me
- Emptiness and compassion
- Being Buddha, Being "a" Buddha
- What is expected, what is required?
- No mind but Mind? Or are minds incorporated in Mind?
- On not disparaging practices such as Buddha and sutra recitation
- One flower includes everything
- Sitting as surrender
- A little more on sitting as surrender
- What to do when there is nothing to attain?
- Greatly deluded within realization
- Lost in translation? Buddhists need desire
- What does taking the Lotus Sutra seriously look like?
- God is karma (the righeousness of God)
- God is no-self (the love of God)
- God is suffering (the grace/mercy of God)
- God is form (the immanence of God)
- God is emptiness (the transcendence of God)
- God is samsara (the fear of God)
Buddhism, society, and popular culture...
- "Buddhist" values, social engagement, and political activism
- American Buddhism in Retreat
- Diversity in the Sangha
- Buddhism in Stereo(-type)
- Being Nobody Special and Taking Joy in Dull Tasks
- Christian Buddhists? Buddhist Christians?
- Humanist Buddhists? Buddhist Humanists?
- Bracing for Buddhist Evangelism
- Don't taint my Buddhism with comparisons to Christianity
- Buddhism-informed versus Buddhist-inspired blogging
- Buddhist mags
- What is the point of blogging on topics (sort-of) "about" Buddhism?
- Is the "Buddhist blogisphere" losing steam?
- Is a Buddhism-informed science the same as a science-informed Buddhism?
- Slicing open the goose of tradition to get the golden eggs of enlightenment
- Scratching the surface of devotional practices
- Buddhists and God
- Western Buddhists - stay or go home?
- Who are the false and evil monks/prophets/rules of the age?
- What is the big appeal about wondering/debating over what does or doesn't "make you" a "Buddhist"?
- "Be Now", "Just Be", "Open Up", "Let Go" and Other Western Buddhist Cliches
- "Dharma Wars" and the problems with Buddhists/Buddhism online
- Thich Nhat Hahn, Tenzin Guyatso, Deepak Chopra and the like are all full of it
- Helping Buddhism advance in the West
- The knitty gritty of "engaged" spirituality, Buddhist style
- Dharma, dharma everywhere and not a drop to drink
- A Buddhist prayer for those who feel persecuted
- Joyous Bodhi Day 2010!
- The Buddhist/Eastern Spirituality Blogroll from 2006
- Buddha, It's Your Birthday. And Rebirth Day. Happy Wesak 2012!
Atheism, Agnosticism, Secularism, Fundamentalism, Religion-Based Conflict, etc...
- The rise of the semi-demagogues (anti-religion -v- anti-secular)
- Internet Atheism
- The Battle for Faith
- Cartoons and violence
- To be or not to be secular, a humanist, or a secular humanist
- The term nontheist
- Revisiting secular humanism
- The fundamentalist atheist flap
- Sympathy for the jaded members of the secular left
- Putting us in our place
- Buffers against fear
- On atheists and "disbelief"
- Atheist vs. Christian Intellectual Death Match
- Their knowledge is expressed in other words, or remains unspoken
- When is a cracker "just a cracker"
- Depth but not depth - a look at atheist spirituality
- Why I am not anti-religious
- Sam Harris: appointment to head NIH too religious
- So are atheists getting worse, more numerous, or just more vocal?
- Somewhat unoriginal but still important: new atheism and fundamentalism (again), Chris Hedges on "sin"
- Do atheists encounter God when they stop believing in God?
- The benefits of letting go of God can include coming closer to God
Christian teachings and ideas (or using Christian examples for different lessons...)
- Who can celebrate Easter?
- Velvet Jesus
- Love, love, love...
- Verse for contemplation on 07-26-07
- Book Review: Manifesting God
- Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!
- Maundy Thursday
- Hyperbole versus substance
- The beams in our own eyes
- Real Presence as opposed to Ominpresence - a reflection for Advent
- The changing tone of (God as presented in) the Bible
- Book Review: How to Believe in God (Whether You Believe in Religion or Not) by Clark Strand
- Oh, They've Encased Jesus in Carbonite
- Exorcism video exemplifies why many homosexuals don't trust Christianity
- Discovering the CUA - a new voice of Christian Universalism (cross-listed below)
- Thomas Merton on the how to approach the Bible
- The Simple Way, New Monasticism, Ancient Christianity
- Examining the Christian doctrine of salvation inside and outside of the church
- Facing doubt to find genuine faith
- The Church is dead, long live the Church
- Discussing the nature of religious texts with the Bible as example
- Sympathy for the (self-described) traditionalists
- What do you think the term "Christian" means?
- God, Christianity, Buddhism, Shin, Ichinen Sanzen and more
- Theologia crucis -- a take on the theology of the cross
- Life, death and eating human flesh
- Fieldtrip to another blog (Jesus the Radical)
- The legacy of Raimon Panikkar
- "The One" and "the Only"
- So are you precious or abhorent in the eyes of God?
- "The highest" and "most worthy"?
- Follow Jesus or worship Christ?
- Solid rock or shifting sand?
- Gay-friendly Christians must accept anger and anguish directed at Christianity
- For the (pick-and-choose) Biblical literalists, hyper-legalists and other fundamentalists
- Happy Feast of the Epiphany 2011
- Seeing the spiritual forest for the fundamentalist trees; or why some atheists are right about the Bible (and how that makes them wrong about the Bible)
- Wrestling with traditional Christian scripture and prayers
- Two competing visions: What I do and do not find appealing about Christianity
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: Who was Jesus? Was he was without sin?
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: Who was Jesus? Did he "die for me"?
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: Does Jesus save? Can we call on Jesus?
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: How do we connect to Jesus? What is the "good news" and who is it for?
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: Connecting the vision of the Gospel and salvation and debates about faith vs. works
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: The role of the church
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: How to live, meeting God, and judgment
- Reconciling tradition and contemporary insight: Prologue
- The Transfiguration and the Bodhisattva ideal
- Reconciling Tradition follow-up: The atonement and appeasement models in Christianity (again)
- Reconciling Tradition follow-up: The concepts of incarnation, deification, and panentheism (part one)
- Reconciling Tradition follow-up: The concepts of incarnation, deification, and panentheism (part two)
- Reconciling Tradition follow-up: The concepts of incarnation, deification, and panentheism (part three)
- The Feast of the Annunciation
- I want what you have -- an Indian parable, the Gospel according to John, and the Christian witness
- Christians being perspecuted by "the world" and the notions of spirit and flesh
- Want to experience the end of the world? Stop, drop and roll
- In the presence of Christ and beyond Christ: the contigent and the universal within Christianity
- Where have all the prophets gone?
- Could Christianity use a year (or decade) of repentance?
- The Psalms still sound awful to me
- Assessment of My Re-Exploration of Christian Spirituality
- The two-truths model applied to Jesus and the Cross
- Is Buddha a better Jesus?
- Will Christianity rediscover its relevance in the West?
UUism and spiritual potpourri ...
- Just Making Up My Own Religion As I Go Along
- What light through yonder window breaks?
- Whopper, hold the bun (Whither UUism?)
- Concerns with the i-Religiont/UUA style of spirituality
- Discovering the CUA - a new voice of Christian Universalism (cross-listed above)
- Christian and Buddhist vows of peace and nonviolence
The whole "God" thing...
- Hang-ups to seeking God, Part 1: What does it mean to know God?
- Hang-ups to seeking God, Part 2: God isn't one of the "gods"
- Hang-ups to seeking God, Part 3: God isn't a superior hypothesis
- How do you know if God is telling you something?
- Information systems, ambiguity, diversity, grammar and the Divine
- Meaning with(out) God
- The (non)existence of God -- more on why God isn't a superior hypothesis
- Does it make sense to believe in God?
- Quantum tempest in a celestial teapot
- "Quantum tempest in a celestial teapot" spurs additional questions
- "Quantum tempest in a celestial teapot" spurs additional questions, conclusion
- Ajahn Punnadhammo ponders "Why is there something rather than nothing?"
- Is God a person or just some vague cosmic force?
- A few brief remarks on two common obstacles to "taking God seriously"
- Rely on God or rely on the self?
- Believing in God isn't the same as believing in God--being open to truths of religion & spirituality
- No outside force is going to save you
- No, no... it panENtheism. Getting our Gods straight
- What's the point of believing in God, anyway?
- A lack of compelling evidence for belief in God?
- How exactly does God fit into all of this?
- God's nature as revealed by Jesus and the Biblical narrative
- God, bad and ugly
Broader or more general topics (prayer, meaning, etc...)
- Just who do you think your are, anyway?
- A time to duck, a time to run, a time to stand
- Suggestion for religious and spiritually liberal people for outreach
- Get settled and shake things up
- Just as you are
- Regarding silence
- The Substance of Spiritual Practice
- God, religion, sacred texts and such things
- A few words on prayer
- Worth and possession
- Framing the Relative and Absolute in Spirituality
- Christian, Atheist, Buddhist
- Pondering the Meaning of Liberation from Suffering
- Using dangerous words - talking about religious language
- Critiquing contemporary religious progressives
- An encounter with spiritual death
- You have permission to be happy
- The Power of Gratitude
- Fighting the good fight
- Faith isn't a fix
- The poor, the sick, the criminal, and the outcast
- Signs of spiritual development?
- Amazing grace
- That's not a half-bad prayer
- meaning with a capital "M"
- Where can we find an awareness of the depth of Being?
- Hooray for nonsense and apathy
- Into the great wide open - going beyond materialism
- Into the great wide open, part two - going beyond supernaturalism
- To see with sacred perception
- Holding the mystery of the faith
- The lenses we use to see the world
- Bleeding Heart (Remix)
- Bleeding Heart (Revisited)
- Pondering the Necessity of Suffering
- Book List: A Decade of Spiritual Seeking
- The idol of no form
- The wages of sin, the consequences of karma
- The challenge of grace and gratitude
- Reframing the discussion of religious liberalism and conservatism
- Religion is a matter of "Why?" (including "Why not?")
- Religious pluralism in a secular democracy
- Is extreme (objectivist) libertarianism antithetical to the traditional religions?
- The Cynic and the Dancer
- What do you think the term "religious liberal" means?
- Being open to the insights of your sacred tradition and avoiding self-limitation
- God, Christianity, Buddhism, Shin, Ichinen Sanzen and more
- No right and wrong, no end to right and wrong
- Handling science and religion properly and patiently
- Caveman Og and the problem of religious mystery
- Solid rock or shifting sand?
- Is advocating religious pluralism ever "fair" to other religions?
- The tension between tradition and revelation
- We are religious creatures: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
- We know Jesus, and the Buddha, and the rest too well
- The Golden Rule
- Grace expressed in different cultural constructions
- It's the end of the (religious) world as we know it...
- Life as prayer
- Hands that help or lips that pray?
- Bad things and good people
- Prayer... and response (music by Flying Lotus)
- What religion offers (and what is doesn't)
- If you meet Jesus on the road, kill him
- Music and spirituality in the 21st century
- Are flaws key to virtue?
- Is the medium ever the message in spirituality?
- Too much or too little thinking in religion?
- Why people don't go to church (or synagogue, etc)
- Burn me, a wretch, O God, with undying fire
- Which spiritual path is best?
- Spiritual suspension of disbelief
- Religious ceremony and the inner landscape
- The perils of idolatry in a religiously plural society
- Left Brain, Right Brain -- Doubt and Opening the Heart
- You are dust and to dust you will return
- The value of the profound in the absurd
- More on the value of the absurd in belief