Rengetsu — a Nun Poet Who Brought a Civil War to a Peaceful End

I recently encountered the story of Rengetsu (1791-1875) — a Japanese Buddhist nun with an extraordinary story. She was the love child of a geisha and a high ranking samurai. At 10 days old she was adopted by new parents. As a teen she was called to serve as an attendant at Kameoka Castle, and

We’ve had the “Age of Reason.” Can we please try an “Age of Wisdom?”

Which raises the question: what’s the difference? Here’s my take: Wisdom is the ability to make decisions based on personal knowledge, experience, and deep understanding. It involves a holistic grasp of circumstances, including their moral, social, and practical aspects. It’s characterized by insight, ethical understanding, compassion, and the ability to see the big picture. It

What Cathedrals and the Grail Literature Can Teach Us About Community

There isn’t just one ‘Grail’ story, it was a story concept addressed by many authors over decades. A few of the more significant examples would include: The Perceval, le Conte du Graal (The Story of the Grail) by Chrétien de Troyes (c. 1190). In this long but incomplete poem, the grail was a simple bowl

Is Self-Mastery about Conquest or Compassion?

Sir Edmund Hillary, who with Tenzing Norgay was the first to climb Mount Everest, famously said “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Others have expressed similar sentiments: Buddha: “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.” Plato: “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” Napoleon Hill: “The