Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

Tag Archives: Zen

The Fluidity of Identity and the Created Self

There are many amazing aspects about the process of meeting a new church.  Of course there are the challenges of moving into a system that is already well established, of becoming subject to traditions and power-lines that are long established, and to engage congregational dynamics as they flow and shift.  Read more →

Self-Forgiveness and Zazen

For Christmas this year, my wife and I took a trip back to the closest thing I have to a hometown, Knoxville Tennessee. It was good to see my mother, and to visit some places that have deep meaning for me. We then went on to spend Christmas Eve and Read more →

Realizations from Sesshin

Now that I have been home from my first Zen Sesshin for about a week, I feel I am able to write about the experience. I have tried to stay out of my discursive mind as much as possible this week, although that is challenging when you have final academic Read more →

Ways that Zen Sesshin is Like Military Basic Training

During the Zen Rohatsu Sesshin (7 ½ Day Zen Meditation Retreat in honor of the Buddha’s enlightenment day) that I attended this past week, I began to notice some eerie similarities to my multiple experiences of Military Basic Training. Though this was my first Sesshin at the Zen temple where Read more →

Defining Religious Language: God

Some words have so many meanings that they become near incomprehensible, and almost unusable. When I use the generic word “meditation”, I usually mean Zazen meditation, or sitting on a cushion and following my breath. But “meditation” means about a thousand different things, from concentration on a passage of scripture Read more →

Free from action

One of the quotes that is in my journal, (and now rotating through the Wayside Pulpit) is a quote from Eihei Dogen Zenji, the founding teacher of Zen. He said to “Honor the man who is through with learning and free from action”. Now, I know what he meant at Read more →

A Clean, White Slate

I awoke this morning, the first day of a new year, to a fresh blanket of snow surrounding my Chicago apartment… not an unusual occurrence. But this morning, being a holiday, the city has been sleepier than usual. Often before I wake the streets are cleared, the sidewalks are scraped, Read more →