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Gonna do the zoom church thing today.

Also need to think about how to promote myself as an itinerant preacher now that we're in the age of virtual church.

From "Zen Speaks" by Tsai Chih Chung (author & artist), translated by Brian Bruya (1994).

:jrbd: ☸️ 🔥 🚪 ☁️ 🚪

God may be eternal and unchanging, but that doesn't mean our theology should not grow and evolve.

Every year I've thought to myself, I should do a unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education). This year I'm thinking to myself, what would that even look like during a pandemic?

Browsing ebooks and realizing I've somehow broken Amazon's algorithm by having both Christian (sometimes conservative) books, Marxist and anarchist books, and other leftist books in my library.

And so it's now recommending me right-wing nonsense.

Related: using Christianity to defend capitalism is idolatrous and antithetical to the Gospel.

Zoom church today, and it's a communion Sunday, and I have no juice. So I was debating between using rice wine or mountain dew. xD

The church I attend is fairly progressive intentionally racially integrated.

I went and I listened to a lot of pain, a lot of sorrow, a lot of fear. I am white, and I did not speak; I listened.

And I heard black people defending the need for police and condemning riots, and a lot of fear and sorrow and weariness.

I was pained to hear it, as a radical Marxist, and I was humbled to hear it, as a white man, and I fought the urge to remove myself from the meeting.

Κύριε, ἐλέησον

How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? - Psalm 137.4

Ritual, routine, accountability 

Need to get more disciplined, so I need a scheduled routine.

5:00 - wake up
5:05 - passage meditation [30 minutes]
5:35 - prayer [whatever form and however long feels appropriate]

Do not look at phone before 6:00.

7:00 - morning gongyo [30 minutes]
19:30 - evening gongyo [30 minutes]
21:00 - bed

Too much work to do and not enough energy for this introvert to do either the church or Buddhist zoom meetings today.

covid adj 

One advantage to the pandemic and quarantine, regardless of where I am, I can go to church, and even visit the churches I used to belong to because internet. Currently about to watch the youtube livestream service for Judson Memorial Church in NYC, while I am quarantined in Plymouth, MA.

I feel like the display name I set as a joke here has already gotten old. I need to think of something else.

Bad variation of an old joke 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to not kill my housemates or students.

Interestingly positive: "Why did god create atheists?" 

Spotted elsewhere without captioning, a Facebook posting from religiousragings:

"There is a famous story told in Chasidic literature that address this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks "What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?"

The Master responds "God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all - the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that god commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right."

"This means," the Master continued, "that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say 'I pray that God will help you.' Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no god who can help, and say, 'I will help you.'"

(credited to "Tales of Hasidim vol. 2 by Mar")

As an atheist, it pleases me to read such understanding. 👌

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