Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

universalism Archives

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 […]

meeting in our good intentions ~

While on vacation, I kept having what my elder son & I used to call baby enlightenments — epiphanies, a Joycean scholar might say. But targeted towards growing, finding balance. Some were brought on by the way I think (metaphorically): […]

Facebook and the (other) web ~

For Buddhists, the world is a web. Everything is connected, and everyone as well. Long before I knew there was a word for this — interconnectedness — I believed in it. What I did, I knew even as a child, […]

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 […]

another take on Happy Holidays ~

Today I heard the only argument that could convince me there’s another side to the Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas controversy. As you may know, I’ve come down on the side of Happy Holidays in earlier blogs, more than once. […]

‘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 […]

an Okie girl finds the Buddha ~

Occasionally people ask me how (why?) I became a Buddhist. And the deal is… I didn’t, actually.At least , not until quite late, and then only if you count my bodhisattva vow a few years ago. Long after I identified […]

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 […]

the way home ~ faith and the trouble with poets…

I’m an expat brat — raised from the age of 8 overseas.  Spending those years when experts say you ‘attach’ to a place somewhere else. Then somewhere after that, and somewhere after that, and somewhere else after that. I can […]

the teacher is the web is everywhere ~

Lately it seems like everywhere I look I learn. I’m learning from the poems on the lists I subscribe to. I’m learning from the birds feeding on the deck (the much-maligned sparrows line up to take turns at their saucer […]

‘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 […]

poetry & star-stuff ~

This week’s New Yorker carries an article by scholar Stephen Greenblatt on the Roman poet Lucretius, and his poem On the Nature of Things. Who remembered that it’s Lucretius who brings atomism — the theory that we are all made […]

music as lingua franca ~

This came from a friend. I’d seen it a while back — it’s been making the rounds. But every time I watch it & listen, I feel happy. It deserves a bigger audience, making a better case than I can […]

rain, Ramadan, love & peace ~

It’s raining in Oklahoma. This is good. We had the hottest July of any state, any time, in  US history. August didn’t look a lot better, at least until last night. Wildfires have swept much of the state, causing evacuations […]

the founding fathers, Islam, and enlighten(ed)ment ~

History has fallen out of fashion. Real history, I mean. The kind that requires reading more than one source. The kind of research that my students hate. Vectoring sources, looking things up in more than one place, viewing all sources […]

Ramadan ~

It’s Ramadan, and I’m remembering last year’s Ramadan, working in an office w/ a dear friend who is an observant Muslim. Trying to juggle my own need for lunch (I am sooo cranky when I don’t eat!) and my respect […]

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. […]

Previous Posts

leafturn, oceanstill
It's autumn, when life begins to slow. Sap draws down, and other than the frenzied cheek-stuffing of squirrels, outside seems quieter. Except for the ...

posted 9:00:24pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

thinking of lost boys
When I hear of the serial murder sprees -- all done w/ guns -- that plague America, I think of my sons. Not always first, but always. Probably too ...

posted 4:48:57pm Oct. 04, 2015 | read full post »

pebbles, lobsters, and priorities
I went to brunch with my beloved yesterday, to celebrate our zillionth (happy!) anniversary. It was beyond heavenly: all kinds of food I ...

posted 3:33:14pm Sep. 28, 2015 | read full post »

the souls of the others
I don't normally do book reviews, much less book raves. And yet... I just finished a book that captured me completely, Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an ...

posted 3:11:31pm Sep. 20, 2015 | read full post »

the gift of friends
I am blessed with friends far better than I deserve. Colleagues; former students; girlfriends & guy friends; family who have long since blurred that ...

posted 4:35:30pm Sep. 18, 2015 | read full post »


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