Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

Buddhism & Christianity Archives

the Beatitudes, Buddhism, and living a good life

A discussion on my FB page began w/ my heartfelt anger at recent attempts (many successful) to discriminate against gay & trangender men & women. An old friend & former colleague pointed out that most Christians (at least here in […]


Parinirvana Day (thoughts on death and dying)

When I was very young, I was afraid the people I loved — mostly my old ladies — would die. And their deaths were important only as they impacted me (remember, I was a child). I would lose them.  And […]


the rock of the multiplication, and feeding the hungry

If I were a Christian, I would be a member of a small church. A very small church indeed, in Tabgha, a small village on the Sea of Galilee. The Church of the Multiplication, where the miracle of the loaves […]


our basic goodness, metta, and the Golden Rule

At some point, we need to stop identifying with our weaknesses and shift our allegiance to our basic goodness. ~ Pema Chodron I love this directive. And I especially like that it comes from a Buddhist thinker I so admire […]

when Buddhism and Christianity were THIS close

Most of the time, I confess, I think of Christianity as a violent religion. Beginning w/ the Crusades, various holy wars, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, Nazi Germany… It doesn’t appear to have read the New Testament, and […]

30 Days of Love: faith and social justice

Today’s 30 Days of Love prompt is to look at the social justice programs of another faith. Initially I thought I’d write about engaged Buddhism again, as many Americans are unfamiliar with it. But when I went to look for […]

freedom of (and from) religion

As I’ve mentioned recently, freedom of religion is a big deal to me. And that freedom doesn’t mean you get to worship your mainstream religion in public and I don’t. Or that you can discriminate against me — even harass […]

30 Days of Love: drawing birds, getting it wrong, and compassion vs. love

This is not a great goldfinch sketch. BUT…. it’s measurably better than last year’s birds (see below). Because I’ve spent a YEAR drawing crappy birds. And they’ve grown slightly less wretched each month. Here’s the kicker: you have to be […]

30 Days of Love: blending faiths

In keeping with the 30 Days of Love project, I’m thinking about how it works with my own beliefs, with Buddhism, specifically. As many faith traditions do, they intersect in many productive ways. Engaged Buddhism fits well with the theme […]

a message from a fellow First Amendment follower

A friend sent me a blog post from a blogger I don’t follow. And what Mr. Lake had to say (he’s the blogger) had to say resonated deeply. I’m the kind of person who donated money for free speech during […]

talking about faith, hate, and civil discourse

On a FB thread a friend began, there’s a discussion of homosexuality, race, and gender. My friend is not tolerant: he lives his beliefs. An aside: I don’t really like the word ‘tolerance.’ It always reminds me of the stuff […]

Buddhist prayers, invocations, and tachyons…

There is, apparently, a ‘discussion‘ going on between Buddhists who believe in prayer, and those who think it’s a term best left to other faiths. Since many Buddhists don’t believe that Buddha was a god (you can be a Buddhist […]

feeling and judging ~

A friend’s blog featured a quick&dirty Jung personality test (the four traits test, some folks call it). I move back & forth on it, but usually I’m about where this one put me: INFJ. A moderate Introvert (which is far […]

one week into Lent ~

It’s a bit more than a week since Lent began. But the vaguely lighter feeling that modest sacrifice generates is still warm. And I don’t feel particularly ‘without.’ Perhaps I should have picked something more important… In the past, I’ve […]

Lent for Buddhists & non-Christians ~

You don’t have to be a non-Christian to be a Buddhist. Or a Unitarian. There are Christian Buddhists (some famous ones, in fact: I think of Thomas Merton). And (probably) Christian Buddhist Unitarians. But what can Buddhists get from Lent? […]

a soul story ~

This week’s UU Weekly has a piece on the baby Jesus. We know very little about the historical Jesus, as the essay notes. The Christian Bible is the source for most of our Jesus history, and it’s not necessarily an […]

material girls: or, how a nice Buddhist girl found happiness giving Christmas presents ~

I love presents. Getting them (of course!), but also buying them, wrapping them, giving them. I like French ribbon in loopy old-fashioned bows. And shiny foil paper. I like looking for tiny ornaments — feathers, vintage tags, a candy cane, […]

the changing face(s) of America ~

A note after the election (long, so be warned): Eight years ago, when Bush was re-elected, I couldn’t believe it. I was devastated. I couldn’t believe the American people would voluntarily re-elect a man I saw as so divisive, so […]

spiritual beings…

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.    ~ Pierre Tielhard de Chardin Sometimes I wonder if all of the religious differences in the world are not summed up in this […]

koine Greek, missing the mark, and beginner’s heart ~

My sister-in-law reads Biblical Greek. Not the New Testament kind, but the kind that the really old parts of the Jewish & Christian Bible are written in. She’s a Presbyterian minister, which is one of the few ways (that I […]

Previous Posts

of outsiders, refugees, and the sound of hearts, breaking
Perhaps it's because I lived so many years in places where I was the 'outsider.' Perhaps it's because 10 of those years were spent in Muslim countries. Perhaps ...

posted 6:01:54pm Nov. 20, 2015 | read full post »

connection, and the web, reprised
Buddhists believe firmly in connection. We don't always see eye-to-eye on other tenets -- reincarnation, the divinity of leadership, vegetarianism. There are ...

posted 3:38:54pm Nov. 18, 2015 | read full post »

happiness is...
It's true. You can DECIDE to be happy. I promise. And it doesn't reaallly take a whole lot of effort, despite what cranky people may think... There's a ...

posted 1:20:52pm Nov. 12, 2015 | read full post »

After any death, there is (at least in all the cultures I'm familiar with) a ceremony. In our case, Mom's funeral. It was definitely a family affair: my ...

posted 1:53:20pm Nov. 10, 2015 | read full post »

the hardest kind of letting go
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. ~ Buddha As my beloved & my ...

posted 3:12:49pm Nov. 04, 2015 | read full post »


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