August Eliot 2018 "Learning the Language of Dragons" with Rev. James Ishmael Ford

Saturday, August 04, 2018 at 02:30 PM
Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM

There is a story about a man in ancient China who loved dragons. Unlike dragons in Western culture who guard hoards of treasure and menace maidens and villages, dragons in China are carriers of great wisdom. In Zen, they often stand as the image of our deepest wisdom. In this story, the man was fascinated with the idea of dragons. He studied them, collected art objects that featured them, and even dreamed about them.

Somehow the king of dragons heard of the man and decided to reward him with a visit, thinking he could tutor the man in the mysterious language of dragons, the language of ultimate reality. The man was asleep in his bed, and so the dragon settled itself at the foot of his bed, curling its long tail and sat quietly. When the man awoke he was frightened. He grabbed a sword and waved it at the king of the dragons. Disappointed, the dragon flew up and returned to the mysteries.

Interested in Zen? Interested in the language of dragons? This is your opportunity.

James Ishmael Ford is a spiritual director, author, speaker, UU minister, and Zen Buddhist priest. James has been walking the spiritual path for fifty years, for the past thirty engaged jointly in the deep ways of the heart taught in Zen and the engaged wisdom of Unitarian Universalism. He is the first UU to be acknowledged as a roshi, or senior Zen teacher.  Today James lives in Long Beach, California, with his spouse Jan and their three-legged cat, Cassie. Retired from parish ministry, he serves as community minister with the UU Church of Long Beach and as resident priest at the Blue Cliff Zen Sangha.