Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

Unitarian Archives

30 Days of Love: ‘calling in’ and room for compassion

“Calling in” is a new term for me. During the 30 Days of Love project, I’ve learned several new things — vocabulary is only 1 piece of it. I had to go to the original article, after reading today’s prompt. […]


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 […]


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 […]

30 Days of Love: or, why would we want to be multicultural?

As a little girl growing up in Việt Nam, I was the odd one out. Blonde in a sea of glossy black hair, dead white dot in a warm brown tapestry. But even before, living in Tulsa & then San […]

self-love and the Golden Rule –

Most religions have a version of the Golden Rule: love others as you love yourself. Treat others as you would be treated. Do unto others as you would be done by. Here’s the catch: It means ZIP if you don’t […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

un-learning (when Buddhism & Unitarian Universalism conflate) ~

I don’t go to church much. When I do, I go to All Souls Unitarian Universalist, the largest UU church in the world. In Tulsa.  Tulsa. Today I went to see my nephew officially welcomed in to the congregation.  His […]

love, T-Rex, and being ‘single’ ~

I love the ambiguity of the word love — but I also envy all those other languages their precision: aimer, affectionner, encantar… eros, agape… There are almost as many words for strong affection as there are things to love. But […]

Darwin, Jane Austen, & my students ~

I love science. And of course Darwin — like Da Vinci, like Einstein, like Copernicus — dominates it. Yesterday was his birthday (sorry about the tardy Congrats!, Mr. Darwin). So here is a bit of Darwin reflection ~ and bear […]

‘save me from my righteous doubt…’ ~

One of my favourite Christmas songs isn’t really about  Christmas. At least,  not just about Christmas… It’s about “I want to buy in to the benevolent,” and “So goes the prayer if for a day peace on earth/ And good […]

how many Unitarians ~

Today a student in one of my classes sent me a Unitarian joke (thanks, Terry!). I’ve heard variations on it before, but this one — the best — struck me as worth sharing. Here it is: How many Unitarian Universalists […]

‘God is Not a Christian’ & other universals ~

I’ve written about this quote (his book‘s title) from Biship Tutu before. But in the mania ‘remembering’ the horrible nightmare that is the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, it’s good to hear. Unlike some, I see nothing good that has […]

the Christian left, words of faith and love and hypocrisy ~

A short while ago, a Facebook page called ‘The Christian Left’ asked its members to help support a FB ad. There was an innocuous ad: Are you a Christian? Are you a Liberal or a Progressive too? Do you feel […]

‘speak truth to power’ ~

 It’s an old Quaker saying — one I’ve always loved. The saying hearkens back to the 1950s, although it has taken on a life of its own. It goes well w/ a poem I read today, “Albatross in Co. Antrim,” […]

believing outside the box ~

There’s a lovely excerpt from Desmond Tutu’s book on the ‘Net, titled ‘God is not a Christian.’ It gets to the heart of something I’ve believed since I was a child, but only had a name for in recent years. […]

evildoers (& people who drive us crazy) ~

Some people drive me crazy. They have no idea…:) And I know it shouldn’t matter! What they believe, what they say, the stuff they post on FB or send in racist, homophobic emails masquerading as ‘ jokes’ (ha ha). ARGH! […]

indigo buntings and multiple truths ~

Warning: if birds don’t make you think of infinity, then you may not want to read further… This week I saw an indigo bunting feeding at the bird feeder. Nothing fancy in the feeder — just the usual small seed […]

blogging, hubris & tea ~

It’s an act of extreme hubris to begin a blog — it says that what we think and feel and do in our unexceptional life is worth noting. And of course it is, to those who love us. But I’ve […]

Welcome, Britton Gildersleeve

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Poet and philosopher D. Britton Gildersleeve, Ph.D., is a professor at Oklahoma State University, a published author and a former reporter at the Tulsa World newspaper. Raised in far corners of the world since her father was in the U.S. foreign […]

Beginnings ~

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I’m not good at gentle. Once, when my older son was still in elementary school, I apologised to him. I’m sorry you don’t have a mother more like Dirk’s, I told him. You deserve a more nurturing mother – someone […]

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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