Both the seven principles and the six sources of Unitarian Universalism affirm and encourage Unitarian Universalists in exploring world faith traditions while maintaining their UU identity. This book brings together for the first time the voices of UUs who have become Buddhists while not sacrificing that identity, and Buddhists who have found in Unitarian Universalism a spiritual home where they can sustain a practice and join in an activist religious community that accepts and encourages who they are. Also included is an exploration of how American Buddhism has been influenced by Unitarian Universalism and how UU congregations are being changed by Buddhist practice.
Here in one book we have a courageous band of esteemed clerics and wise elders, joined together in their nonsectarian UU-Buddhist sympathies, expounding on their practice and spiritual lives without fear of reproach. To this open-minded and global-visioned initiative, I put my palms together in reverence and awe, with gratitude to these wellsprings of clarity and compassion-and I bow low, with all my heart.
-from the foreword by Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World and a dozen other books.
The task for those of us who identify as both Unitarian Universalist and Buddhist is to discover the wealth of understanding and insight each tradition reveals, resisting the temptation to limit our understanding to one or the other. Each enshrines great truths that can shed light on the other. Moving beyond our divisions with a spirit of inquiry and appreciation will help us awaken and live in the presence of the great abundance of being.
-from "From Deficit to Abundance" by Sam Trumbore
We walk the path to nonlinguistic, nonpurposive presence one step at a time. Notice and see through the linguistic description and the purpose it serves. Then the next one, then the next, then the next. Just keep at it. This is the path.
I grew up impressed with the need to know. And now my spiritual practice is not knowing: opening myself to let each thing present itself afresh without burying it under the load of all the concepts I worked so long to acquire.
-from "The Knowledge Road to Nowhere" by Meredith Garmon
Table Of Contents:
Foreword by Lama Surya Das
History and Context Buddhism 101, Sam Trumbore A Brief History of Unitarian Universalist Buddhism, Jeff Wilson
A Brief History of the UU Buddhist Fellowship, Wayne Arnason and Sam Trumbore
Encounters and Journeys Standing on the Side of Metta, Meg Riley "You're a UU Tibetan Buddhist?", Judith E. Wright Fully Alive, Catherine Senghas Zen and a Stitch of Awareness, Marni Harmony Do Good, Good Comes, Ren Brumfield Taming the Elephants in the Room, Alex Holt Zen to UU and Back Again, David Dae An Rynick Longing to Belong, Joyce Reeves
Reflections Loving-Kindness, Kim K. Crawford Harvie Four Impossible Things Before Breakfast , Wayne Arnason From Deficit to Abundance, Sam Trumbore Thriving In Difficult Times, Doug Kraft The Knowledge Road to Nowhere, Meredith Garmon
Divergence and Influence UU Buddhism Is Foreign to Me, Kat Liu Diversity Within Buddhism, Jeff Wilson An Egoless Dance for Our Congregational Life, Thandeka Confessions of a Zen Teacher and UU Minister, James Ishmael Ford
For Further Reading
"When two distinctive and rich spiritual traditions become intimately interwoven, the unfolding dance deserves documentation. Buddhist Voices in Unitarian Universalism offers us an engaging mix of history, personal stories, reflections, and wisdom teachings. In reading this book, we can sense our evolutionary potential to embrace the sacred in its myriad creative expressions." -Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
"Anyone interested in awakening the inner mind, opening the heart, and co-creating a better world today will be delighted to hear the unified voices in these pages. This highly positive, diverse, and thoughtfully interwoven collection of essays can help us to empower and embrace others and lift them up in their own eyes. It also provides original research and anecdotes about the very first historical intimations of East-West spirituality, as well as the earliest initiatives of Buddhists in America almost two hundred years ago.
I deeply appreciate lineage, traditional erudition, and vital, life-saving debate and discussion. They are the purling streams of any tradition's lifeblood. We find them here in these articles from Buddha-like meditating ministers, as well as an abundance of provocative ideas."
--from the Foreword by Lama Surya Das
"This book is more than a celebration of the diversity of Buddhism within Unitarian Universalism. It celebrates diverse and conflicting views of the roles that Buddhist practices can and should play in congregational life and worship. If you are thinking about where we might go, read this book."
--Robert Ertman, Editor, UU Sangha