Spring and Sun and Green Things Are Not So Far Away

HERE AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES IT IS A QUIET DAY, as are most. The residents and congregation are mostly untroubled by the tweets of destructive idiots, comforted instead by the tweets of birds. Nuthatches ‘yank.’ Chickadees ‘chick.’ The cardinals ‘chip.’ Occasionally the Bluejays let fly with a slightly louder commentary. But on the whole it is a quiet


LAST YEAR ON CHRISTMAS EVE, AND THE YEAR BEFORE, I POSTED A SHORT ESSAY ON THE MEANINGS OF A LONG-AGO NIGHT. I’ve been asked to share it again… Approximately 2020 years ago an infant was born (skeptics who doubt that he ever really existed advance a weak case, with more faith in skepticism itself than in evidence) likely in a

The woodpeckers cackle and pound on the timbers of the Church.

ON A DECEMBER SUNDAY THE LANE INTO THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES is a trail to another world. Things are quiet here. Sounds that do arrive from the Big World are muffled by the blanket of snow. And other, more odious intrusions from the realm of discord and dissension are muffled as well, by the good tidings of trees and

Frosty Day In The Pines

IT IS A COLD AND FROSTY DAY at the Church O’ The Pines. The North Wind, Kiwedin, has swept many of the branches clean, but the forest still sparkles and gleams. Old Man River is nearly frozen over, though a few Canadian geese still gabble downstream by the island. Below zero temps tonight will probably cover the last of it.

Time to Snow-Blow The Church In The Pines

IT APPEARS THAT AS WE WERE EATING TURKEY, a bit of snow fell on the Church O’ The Pines. It also appears that the Caretaker will be snow-blowing today. The tall deacon pines looked fabulous in their white robes a couple days ago, but even as more snow has fallen, the wind has blown much off the limbs. I assume

Chinese Publisher Creates Boxed Set of the Three Old Turtles

ON THIS DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING I HAVE RECEIVED CONTRACTS FROM CHINA for publication of more than a dozen new books. It is an exciting new world opening up, and all so unexpectedly! Among many lovely things, my Chinese publisher (King-In) has already translated and republished a beautiful boxed set of the three Old Turtles. On the back of the box

be as we Intend To Be

HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, we reside in what is in many ways a Zen Forest—where we attempt to see things As They Are, and be as we Intend To Be. In many, many ways, the Forest helps in this way of living. Lately, amid incessant attacks on our nation and foundational values, it has been difficult to

China Trip 2019 Review #5- Sights and Sounds

AS I LOOK BACK OVER MY TRIP TO CHINA, all the extraordinary visions and scenes and experiences, it is the people who stand out most. Mr. Ao, the publisher who is bringing my books, music, and message to China. My wonderful interpreter and guide, Lucia. Young Yun who behind the scenes helped to organize and make everything work. Jade-and-Beauty who

China Trip 2019 Review #4- Church in the Pines – reflections of China Visit

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES THIS MORNING, we defer to my recent trip to China, and to an extraordinary visit to another sort of church—the legendary Shaolin Temple over the Yellow River in the mountains near Zhengzhou. Made famous by Hollywood and the David Carradine Kung Fu series, this home of Chinese Ch’an Buddhism (precursor of Zen) dates back