Morning Blessings Received Years Ago, Not Forgotten

(This is a recently found account of a tour to a morning service at a Zen temple in Kyoto.) It was still a dark and cold early spring morning when we arrived a bit nervously at the impressive Zen temple in Kyoto. A young monk greeted us pleasantly. His obvious assignment was to instruct us…

Amen.

Who’s to say why I feel such a deep connection to Japanese places of worship, be they temples or shrines?  Is it the setting?  The architecture?  The gardens?  The rituals?  The air of mystery surrounding something I don’t understand very well? I can’t say for sure, but what I can say is that I am consistently…

How to Find Good Beyond the Evil

This is a complicated holiday season.  The glitter, the shopping and the decorating can feel imposed by the calendar, out of sync with our daily headlines of war, hate, bombings, shootings, election results and humanitarian concerns. The tendency to feel overwhelmed by all the darkness in the world can easily let the air out of our…

Christmas Compensation?

The push/pull of the Christmas season was intense when I was a child.  Let’s face it, in the 1950’s, it was tough to be a Jewish child in an almost entirely Christian town. Particularly, if that young Jew thought holiday decorations and lights and greenery were  completely alluring. It was tough to be  the only…

the Big D

The words of a Tibetan monk, “Remember you’re dying,” were a revelation to me.