Zen Christianity

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For some time I’ve been exploring an approach to Christianity which I have come to think of as Zen Christianity.

There are no particular teachers of ‘Zen Christianity’, at least none that I know to be using that term. But the ancient exponents of Kenotic or ‘self emptying’ Christianity are very influential, as are a number of contemporary writers and teachers.

So what do I mean by ‘Zen Christianity’?

Realistically I suppose I’m using the idea of Zen in its most basic sense, in terms of placing a particularly high value on meditation, and of stillness, in this case in the presence of the divine (immanent/ here and transcendent/ out there).

I’m using the term ‘Christianity’ here to mean two things, firstly an approach to the divine which is centered upon understanding Jesus as the incarnation of God, and secondly a commitment to following the Jesus way/teachings.

I appreciate that in either case this is not a good enough definition for many people. Zen is a more subtle system of thought than this would make it appear, and Christianity has as many permutations as any other system of religious belief, and that is a vast number after all. But in the first place I want to keep it simple, after all, life is complicated enough.

So what does it practically mean to be a Zen Christian? That, among other things is what I will be blogging about through 2015.

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Turn! Turn! Turn!

The Byrds had it right, for everything there is a season.

They were right about the turning thing too.

Of course they nicked the idea from Ecclesiastes – fair play to them. Most days I’d rather listen to them sing about it, than read the book itself (shameful I know).

But there are certainly seasons in life, I’m in one right now, a season of work and busy-ness, as well as the seemingly perpetual angst over where we are going to live next – we’re getting turfed out of our new house by the landlords (Church of England) who want to install somebody else (clergyman). No the irony is not lost on me.

Anyway, for those who aren’t aware, I started working for a website called Christian.co.uk in January, I’m the news editor, although right now I’m doing more feature writing than anything else – here’s one you might enjoy if you like musical whimsy, and here’s another if you’re interested in trends in Christian spirituality.

So, what with mounting work commitments, I suppose naturally enough I fell in to a kind blogging sabbatical, particularly as the dreaded facebook (so long resisted, with such futile results) now seems to fulfil the need for short inane posts about life. However, I’ve really missed blogging – and I now have a plan to return to this blog, with regular posts on subjects which generally get no traction on short form places like Facebook.

Starting this week then, you can once again expect missives from my slightly cluttered, but nonetheless interesting, desk in the spacious study of a soon to be vacated Grimsby parsonage. What would encourage me is if you can comment, share interesting articles and so on. I appreciate I probably don’t do the same for you, but hey – I’m one dimensional.

I’m not dead – yet

For those who have noticed, I haven’t been blogging much recently.

The reasons for that are manifold, I had slowed my blogging down in the latter part of 2011 anyway. But then as the new year dawned, two new work contracts swung into place, (it’s never one thing at a time is it?) and my work life rhythms changed.

While the new work is welcome, and is to a great degree just what we needed, it has also seen me end up with a degree of existential angst, as it changes the whole structure of my day, and therefore my general way of viewing life.

That’s not to say change is necessarily bad, in fact I tend to welcome it. But change is also difficult to manage, and requires new neural pathways to develop, my brain is already well trodden.

One of the new contracts I have, which will be revealed eventually – honest – requires me to write every day, and this too has sapped the need to keep a blog as an outlet for writing.

But there are things I cant write about anywhere else, and for that reason, if that alone, I will be back blogging sometime soon, just so long as my neural pathways can cope with the new right to roam policy.

So yeah, in case you were wondering, I’m not dead.

Moved House

it has been fun, the new place is great, much greater than the old one – annoying to have been without internet access for a fortnight, but quite therapeutic too.

Blogging may recommence soon, once we get back into the swing of things – but then again, Christmas is only just around the corner…

all quiet, but only sort of

I havent been blogging – you may have notced. However, sadly that does not mean I have been soaking up the rays of golden sunlight on my allotment, rather I have been working.

I’ve also been planning – I may have mentioned that I am back on twitter – this time by the handle of @numonastic, I’ve also been asked to set up a twitter stream for world horizons, which is up if not running as @whorizons.

In order to avoid the addictive productivity sapping interface whic ensnared and then upset me last time I used twitter, I’ve been beavering away on a suitably productive twitter plan. This involves me writing the majority of my tweets in advance, and scheduling them using twuffer, which is a very good tool. I’ve just written a dozen or so twitter haikus for a start.I will also post random ‘fresh’ tweets when I feel like it.

I’m also planning to take a more planned approach to this blog, which will mean (hopefully) better content… watch this space, but don’t hold your breath.

music reviewing

I’ve a bunch of CD’s sitting waiting to be reviewed. Which is a nice position to be in, as they are all pretty good.

But I’ve been wondering if it might not make more sense to start a whole new blog just about music. That way people who read this to hear my fevered ramblings and inanities will have one less category to skip through.

Only question is whether I will be able to manage the two blogs alongside each other – maybe its worth a try.

I’ll let you know if it starts…