Milk and Cookies

Schuyler Ebbets

My parents met in Manhattan New York on the subway. My mother worked as an executive secretary in one of New York's many skyscrapers and my father was a draftsman designer at the Dealavalve Separator company. After getting married they rented a small apartment in Greenwich Village New York and soon after that, I was born. My parents were talented professionals and nonconformists and reveled in the beatnik scene so prevalent in Greenwich Village during the fifties. Eventually, my father landed a job working for Electric Boat near Groton Connecticut, drawing the plans for America's first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus. What began as a very good job soon turned into a lucrative career drawing and designing America's entire submarine fleet.

So my mother quit her job in New York and they bought their first home in New London, Connecticut. I remember as a five-year-old child going with my parents to look at different houses along the rocky Connecticut coastline. Eventually, they found a house they liked with an unusual stretch of beautiful white sand beach. Our home on the beach attracted many interesting people. The house was always full of guests on the weekends and the gatherings often became parties with loud music, drinking, and dancing late into the night. I had an exceptionally interesting childhood surrounded by my brother's friends from prep school and Harvard and my parent's friends. There were several young submarine crewmen and their girlfriends who came to visit. My father became acquainted with them while inspecting their ships for his employer Electric Boat. My father had been a lieutenant in the navy and enjoyed an instant rapport with the young crewmen.

Show me the Way

Nahida Izzat,
Exiled Palestinian

Dear God
Ten years ago, I sent you a letter
Innocent, hopeful, trusting and pure
Now I'll send it to You again


A new translation by David Curtis, second draft

(Pages 1-6 are missing)
Page 7

The disciples asked:1 "Teach us about the material world. Will it last forever, or is everything impermanent?"2

The Saviour answered: “All that is created, everything that is formed, every natural thing, all exist interdependently3 in and with each other. Then each will be dissolved again back into its own roots. It is the way of nature that everything will eventually decompose back into its own elements4. Those who have ears, let them hear.”

Peter said to him: “While you are explaining everything to us, tell us one more thing: What is the sin of the world?”

The Saviour answered: “There is no such thing as sin5, you only make it appear when you act according to the habits of your adulterated nature: that is how what you call 'sin' manifests6.This is why the Good has come into your midst, pursuing the good which is in everyone, to restore it inward to its root.” Then he continued, saying: “This is what sickens and destroys you: it is your love for the things that deceive you. Those who have ears, let them hear. Whoever can understand, let them understand!"


1 ‘The disciples asked’ is an addition but is helpful to set the scene and seems uncontroversial.
2 Intentional Buddhist reference in using ‘impermanent’. Some of the interpretations in this translation include understandings from a Buddhist perspective.
3 Another intentional Buddhist reference ‘interdependent’, this also sits well with a Franciscan view of our relationship and connection with the rest of creation.
4 Tuckett p139 The Saviour’s answer here is that, while all material things—‘all natures, all forms, all creatures’ form a unity at present, they will all ‘be dissolved again into their roots’. ‘Root’ here probably means ‘original state’, so that what is being claimed is that the destiny of all material things, all ‘matter’, is that they will be dissolved into their original constituent parts.
5 Richard Rohr, Falling Upward p12 ‘theologically and objectively speaking, we are already in union with God. But it is very hard for people to believe or experience this….’ See also Julian of Norwich
6 Buddhist understanding that ultimately suffering and the causes of suffering are essentially illusory, we make them appear. In more Christian language, we are always in direct personal union with God if only we knew it, but we habitually behave in ways which obscure this and we reap the consequences of our actions, of our falling in love with the things that deceive us. Quaker Faith and Practice 26.31 – Divine Love “does not create heaven and hell for us, but allows us to do that for ourselves."

Archbishop Viganò: Banning abortion is essential to stopping ‘the New World Order subservient to Satan’

(LifeSiteNews) — The following is the written text of a sermon given by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò on September 11, 2023.

Abortion is an act of worship to Satan. It is a human sacrifice offered to demons, and this is proudly affirmed by the very adepts of the 'church of Satan.'

You can go to prison because of abortion: prison is the penalty imposed in some nations for those who stop in silent prayer in front of a clinic where children are killed. But you don’t go to jail if you kill an innocent creature.

You can be discriminated against because of abortion: discrimination is the social stigma placed on those who are concerned about the life of the child killed in the womb, which is considered “a clump of cells” until the moment before it is born, and for some murderers in our governments is still considered such even after being born.

The Eternal Return

R. B. Johannessen

My aching lips would tremble...barely...
And would whisper...God? – Please
Speak of the eons in search of...This.

And a silent peace came over me. I sensed
A loving presence...oh Holy Spirit!
His quiet Voice then spoke to me...

The Meaning of Mindfulness

Ven. Jinmyo Renge sensei

Mindfulness is wordless. Mindfulness is meeting the moment as it is, moment after moment after moment, wordlessly attending to our experiencing as it actually is. It is opening to not just the fragments of our lives that we like or dislike or view as important, but the whole of our experiencing.

But what does the word "mindfulness" mean? The English word "mindfulness" - that we use - is a translation of the Pali, Sanskrit and Japanese terms, "sati", "smirti" and "nen". Another English translation of the Pali word "sati" is "memory". This is what "mindfulness" means - memory. But when I say "memory", I am not referring to the habitual crunching of attention that people engage in when they are trying to remember things past. The kind of memory I am speaking of is the capacity to remember that allows you to remember reality in this moment. It is this capacity that allows you to understand the meaning of each word I am saying as I am saying it. Without it, there would be no continuity to your experiencing whatsoever.

This capacity to remember is a "mental factor" A mental factor is a gathering or grouping of movements of attention that make up how we perceive, or can condition how we interpret what we are experiencing, depending upon whether they are open or closed. "Mindfulness of mental factors" is one of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as taught by the Buddha in the Mahasatipattana sutta. And so to understand what the word "mindfulness" means, we need to understand what a mental factor is.

Who then are you, O Immaculate conception?

St. Maximilian Kolbe

Just a few hours before his second and final arrest, St. Maximilian Kolbe on February 17, 1941, wrote down his last reflections on the Immaculate Conception. The question, Who are you, O Immaculate Conception? occupied his priestly mind and heart forming him to be a living witness of the power of the Immaculate and to die as a living offering of love. – The Remnant


IMMACULATE CONCEPTION". — These words fell from the lips of the Immaculata herself. Hence, they must tell us in the most precise and essential manner who she really is.

Since human words are incapable of expressing divine realities, it follows that these words: “Immaculate,” and “Conception” must be understood in a much more profound, much more beautiful and sublime meaning than usual: a meaning beyond that which human reason at its most penetrating, commonly gives to them.

St. Paul wrote, quoting the Prophet Isaiah: “Things that the eye has not seen, that the ear has not heard, that the heart of man has not imagined” (Is. 64,4), such are the good things that God has prepared for those who love him (I Cor. 2,9). Here, these words apply fully.

However, we can and should reverently inquire into the mystery of the Immaculata and try to express it with words provided by our intelligence using its own proper powers.

Paracelsus on the meaning of death

«The word "death" has two meanings: 1) cessation of life activity; 2) disintegration of the form. Form is an illusion, it has no existence independent of life, but only the expression of life and does not cause it. The form cannot cease to live, because it never lived, and the death of the form is only the cessation of the activity of the eternal force of life in one manifestation, preceding its other manifestation. Life itself cannot die or disappear, for it is not born into a form. It is an eternal force that has always existed and will always exist.

The destruction of even a particle of life would be an irreparable loss for the Universe. Life is a manifestation of God, and it will always exist as long as God lives».


The Frankfurt Declaration of Christian & Civil Liberties

Rob Slane

The Frankfurt Declaration of Christian & Civil Liberties

I confess to still being somewhat stunned by the reaction of much of the Church to the unhinged, authoritarian response of governments around the world to Covid-19 and the subsequent global medical experiment performed on millions of people. Whilst churches were forced to shut for the longest period in history, businesses were made to close for no good reason, and people were mandated to cover the most visible expression of the Image of God — their faces — with useless, dehumanising bits of cloth, most of the Church was at best silent. When an experimental gene therapy product which will never complete its clinical trials was mandated at the cost of people’s jobs, reputations and livelihoods, most of the Church was at best silent. When that medical experiment was demonstrably seen to be injuring or killing huge numbers of people across the globe, most of the Church was at best silent.

As far as I can tell, too many Christians simply assumed that the state had both a medical need and a moral right to act as it did. On the first point, it was clear from the outset that those measures and restrictions were both unscientific and unnecessary, yet few in the church were willing to ask the questions that should have been asked. On the second point, the result was that the state assumed an authority that it simply does not possess to regulate what can and can’t be done in worship, with much of the church apparently happy to go along with this.

THE SANDŌKAI: Harmony of Difference and Sameness

Sekito Kisen (Shítóu Xīqiān), 700–790

Lord, you have examined me

From Psalm 139:1-24 (New Century Version)

Trusting In Mind

Third Patriarch of Zen, Seng T'san

A New Translation of the Hsin-hsin Ming,
by Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stan Lombardo)

Seng T'san was the third Chinese patriarch of Zen, having received transmission from Bodhidharma's successor, Hui-k'ê. The poem attributed to him, the "Hsin-hsin Ming" (lit. "Trust Mind Inscription"), is one of the earliest and most influential Zen writings, blending together Buddhist and Taoist teachings.

Seng-ts'an succeeded Hui-k'ê as the third patriarch. The interview between master and disciple took place in this manner: A layman of forty troubled with fêng-yang 1 according to the Records 3, came to Hui-k'ê and asked:

'I am suffering from fêng-yang; pray cleanse me of my sins.'
'Bring your sins here,' said Hui-k'ê, 'and I will cleanse you of    them.'

The lay-disciple was silent for a while but finally said,

'As I seek my sins, I find them unattainable.'
'I have then finished cleansing you altogether. You should    thenceforth take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and    Samgha (Brotherhood), and abide therein.'
'As I stand before you, O master,' asked Sêng-ts'an, 'I know    that you belong to the Brotherhood, but pray tell me what are the Buddha and the Dharma?'

Replied the master:

'Mind is the Buddha, Mind is the Dharma; and the Buddha and the Dharma are not two. The same    is to be said of the Brotherhood (samgha).'

This satisfied the disciple, who now said, 'Today for the first time I realize that sins are neither within nor without nor in the middle; just as Mind is, so is the Buddha, so is the Dharma; they are not two.' 2

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