Secular Creeds as Substitutes for Religion

In his article “America’s New Religions,” Andrew Sullivan argues that all of us–conservatives, liberals, and even atheists–have our “religions”: belief systems, ideologies, or tribal affiliations that we “worship” beyond reason because they give meaning to our lives. The deities of secular faith may be scientism, progress, self-improvement, social justice ideology, or reason itself. Other gods…

The Zen Poetry of Ryokan

Ryokan was an eccentric 18th-century enlightened Zen  hermit-monk who is still beloved in Japan for his poetry. In this collection of his verses, One Robe, One Bowl, he captures both the beauty and pathos of human life, and like his younger contemporary Thoreau, the wonders of nature.