Category: christianity

  • Clint to a T The 15:17 to Paris a film by Clint Eastwood.  With Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer.  *** This review will be loaded with spoilers, but the event which inspired it was well-publicized when it happened, and has been spoken of plenty in the publicity for the movie.  The three men who foiled ... Read more
  • Unlikely Hero Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom: Three Fascicles from Shobogenzo with Commentaries by Kosho Uchiyama.  Translated by Daitsu Tom Wright and Shohaku Okumura.  Wisdom Publications.  318 pp. Last week at our temple a priest gave a talk about Kodo Sawaki’s famous remark “Zazen is good for nothing,” which is startling the first time you hear it.  We know ... Read more
  • Choosing Life The Light That Shines Through Infinity: Zen and the Energy of Life by Dainin Katagiri.  Shambhala.  229 pp.  $16.95. Jesus’ Son  Stories by Denis Johnson.  Picador.  133 pp. $15.00 It was unnerving for me to read Denis Johnson’s excellent but disturbing book of stories at the same time I was reading the new book of lectures by ... Read more
  • Samadhi as a Way of Life Ramakrishna and His Disciples by Christopher Isherwood.  Vedanta Press.  348 pp. $16.95.  **** “God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion…One ... Read more
  • Nights of Terror Seven Days of One Long Moment The question—which I’ve asked on this website before—is: what is the nameless dread that I feel before sesshin begins, the fear that periodically grips me in the pit of my stomach?  What am I afraid of? I seemed to have less of it this year.  I had uneasy moments, but didn’t ... Read more
  • Why Volunteer   I had finished my Thursday volunteering stint at Urban Ministries and was tidying up when Brittany came back.  “David, would you mind taking one more person?  She says she’s sick.” I said I’d be happy to.  I wasn’t in a hurry. “She’s a new client,” she said. The woman who came back didn’t look like a lot of ... Read more
  • Can’t Face It Anymore When the Life Force Can’t Fight the Death Wish I was talking to a friend I meet every week for lunch and we were catching up before we ordered.  “I had to go to a funeral this weekend,” Tom said.  “I told you my neighbor died, didn’t I?” “I don’t think so,” I said.  “How did he ... Read more
  • The Father and I Are One A Buddhist Reads the Bible (and Finds the Buddha): The Gospel of John  One of the more interesting reactions to my piece on Jesus the Jew was from my brother Bill, a scholar of languages and the Bible who reads in both Greek and Hebrew.  He said that the Synoptic Gospels were about the Galilean Jesus, ... Read more
  • Hasid from Galilee Jesus the Jew: A Historian’s Reading of the Gospels by Geza Vermes.  Fortress Press.  286 pp. ***1/2 “Your God was a jew.  Christ was a jew like me.”  –Leopold Bloom to a group of hecklers, in Ulysses. This book is another suggestion from my friend Laurie, the mysterious woman from New Zealand who wrote a number of ... Read more
  • Can an Authentic Teacher Be Rich? The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  New World Library.  235 pp. It seems strange to write about a book that not only came out many years ago, but that became an international bestseller and made its author a spiritual superstar.  But a few weeks ago, when I felt on shaky ground because of some things ... Read more