All posts filed under: Audacity

Nepal and Bhutan

My first book SPIRITUAL AUDACITY: Six Disciplines of Human Flourishing took twenty months to go from concept through eleven drafts to published author.  It has been on the market for about seven months now and seems to have found its audience, exceeding my admittedly modest expectations.  But before it was even published i had the genesis for my second book. Over the last eighteen months Spiritual Pilgrim: Mystic Journeys of Pilgrimage has gone through thirteen drafts.  Today I sent the final manuscript to my publisher for proofing and interior design with a planned launch date of September 2018.  Hurrah!  Having spent 18 months reflecting, remembering, dreaming, and writing about spiritual pilgrimages, it feels like time for me to go into the mystic once again and embrace the divine mystery on its own terms. I’ve just scheduled my Uber to pick me up in twelve hours and take me to Logan airport to embark on a pilgrimage to Nepal and Bhutan.  We will begin by visiting the Swayambhunath and Boudhanath, and Pashupatinath temples in Kathmandu.  Then off to the rural …

April 19, 1775

This is the tale of intrigue you perhaps never heard behind the battle that morning of April 19, 1775.  Rebellious English colonists had been preparing for this day for months.  On February 1st the Second (illegal) Massachusetts Provincial Congress, with John Hancock presiding, called for the rebellion’s growing military supplies to be gathered and stored in Concord.  By March 9th General Gage, Massachusetts’ Military Governor, had a complete list of quantities and types of weapons stored there, and where exactly each item was hidden.  Many weapons were stored on the farm of Colonial Militia Col. James Barrett. On March 20th Gage sent two British soldiers in disguise to Concord to meet with those citizens loyal to king and country to plan the route for a military excursion to destroy the weapons and military supplies.  They dined and spent the night with Daniel Bliss, a prominent lawyer and son of the former minister of the village church, First Parish in Concord.  Concord had been turned into an armed camp, with fourteen pieces of cannon, a large …

Talking and Walking Transcendentally

On the cold and drizzly afternoon of Sunday, April 15, 2018, Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom lectured about “Transcendentalism in the 21st century” to a packed, standing room only, crowd at the new Walden Pond Visitor Center.  He spoke about experiencing reality bounded by our senses alone, or guided by reason, intuition, and ultimately unknowable mystery. Jim then led the crowd on a journey of the imagination along the Old Carlisle Road in Estabrook Woods, into the wildness of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, paddling along parts of the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord rivers, and finally from Concord village along the Emerson-Thoreau Amble to Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. Along the way Jim indicated where archeologists have found artifacts from indigenous people in the fields of the Old Manse, and along the Reformatory Branch Trail where there was a campground of the Nipmuc tribe of the Algonquin nation (yielding Concord’s oldest artifacts at 11,000 years old).  Their imaginative amble crossed over Nashawtuc Hill, walking in Tahatawan’s footsteps, and out to Egg Rock, before circling …

Transcendentalism in the 21st Century

Walden Pond State Reservation and The Thoreau Society proudly present…“Transcendentalism in the 21st Century,” a lecture by Reverend Jim Sherblom, author of Spiritual Audacity: Six Disciplines of Human Flourishing PLEASE JOIN US! Sunday, April 15, 2018, 12:00pm-2:00pm, at the New Walden Pond Visitor Center, 915 Walden Street, Concord, MA. Phone# 978-396-3254 What is transcendentalism and how does it fit into modern life? Are you a transcendentalist??? Come learn about transcendentalism from a twenty-first century Concord transcendentalist, Reverend Dr. Jim Sherblom, whose journey led him from poverty to Harvard Business School, then from biotech entrepreneur to Brookline Minister through a series of vision quests and theological studies. He emerged as a spiritual teacher, preacher, and friend of God. Jim will lead you on an imaginary journey over some of the ninety miles of wild trails that Henry David Thoreau so often walked, leading to Walden Pond and beyond to the Fairhaven Cliffs. The verbal journey begins at noon on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Following Jim’s talk, join him for a transcendental walk through the wildness of Walden …

Icy Transcendence

A transcendentalist embraces the world differently than a materialist does.  We often are sillier, more engaged with nature, and find joy and equanimity where others might find misery.  I was walking around Walden Pond one cold day last month, where we had had several days of bitterly cold weather already, without any snow or other disturbance of the pond’s surface.  I discovered the ice was several feet thick and as clear as glass, walking on it I could look down six or eight feet through the ice to the clear pond bottom below me.   Further out onto the pond it was like looking down into the abyss of the deep. This brought to mind Ralph Waldo Emerson’s seasonal transcendence walking Walden Pond.  In many of his winter journal entries he wrote about embracing icy cold winter days.  In one he wrote, “Pleasant walk yesterday, the most pleasant of days.  At Walden pond, I found an instrument which I call the ice-harp.  A thin coat of ice covered a part of the pond but melted around …

Kolkata New Year’s Day

I have always loved the Upanishads and was rereading them on my flight to India.  I arrived in Kolkata on New Year’s Eve 2015 to join our group of pilgrims.  That evening our Harvard professor briefed us on Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s great secular humanists, who led the Bengal Renaissance in Calcutta with the Upanishads at its center. Rabindranath Tagore is someone many Unitarian Universalists know well.  In speaking of the importance of living life as a spiritual pilgrim, Tagore said: “The great morning which is for all appears in the East.  Let its light reveal us to each other who walk on the same path on pilgrimage.”  I had come to the East to more deeply discover my inner Light on pilgrimage. There are seven selections from Tagore’s writings in our Unitarian Universalist hymnal, one more than even Ralph Waldo Emerson, and my favorite is called THE STREAM OF LIFE: The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances rhythmic measures. It is …

Marble Mogul

I preached at First Parish U U in Needham, MA last Sunday and the high point of the service was the TIME FOR ALL AGES where I told the story of how I became a marble moguil If you haven’t read my book, please buy it; if you read it and like it, please review it on amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Audacity-Disciplines-Human-Flourishing/dp/1634890760/gul Ranger Elementary School was a small brick building that served kids from the poorer side of Tiverton, RI.  My family was among the poorest in town.   My father was the minister of a working-class Baptist church and I was the fifth of his ten children. Beginning in first grade, I discovered the boys played marbles at recess. I didn’t know how to play. Marbles cost money. No one was allowed to play unless you played for keepsies, where the loser must give his marbles to the winner. This felt like a form of gambling. And even if you won, you could still lose your marbles. If they spilled onto the floor, the teacher would confiscate them …