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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Chess’

Hot Stuff: What Image Contributors Are Reading This Month, Part 1

By ImageFebruary 20, 2017

The writers and artists in our pages are interesting folks with interesting reading lives. So we asked the contributors in Image’s current issue: what have you read, seen, or listened to lately that you would recommend to our readers? They did not disappoint.  Want more Contributor Picks? Find more in our free review and curation service,…

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The Next Abraham

By Richard ChessJanuary 30, 2017

A few days ago, I was blessed to be present at my grandson Abraham’s bris, his ritual circumcision. The mohel, the rabbi who officiated at and performed the circumcision, explained to the family and friends gathered for the ceremony, explained that a bris is the way God signs God’s name on a Jewish male baby.…

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A Song of Songs for These American Days

By Richard ChessJanuary 4, 2017

With thanks and apologies to the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Emily Dickinson, Neil Young, Wallace Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, the Wailin’ Jennys, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan, God, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Sam Baker, The Band, Bruce Cockburn, The Grateful Dead, Richie Havens, and all the musicians and poets who have sustained and nourished…

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How Do You Write?

By Richard ChessNovember 14, 2016

Do you write with a pen? Do you write with the wind? Do you pray first? Do you pray when you are stuck? Do you pray after? Or are you praying the whole way through? Do you wait for the singer on the beach or the sinner in the confession booth to finish before you…

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Traveling Through These Days of Awe

By Richard ChessOctober 17, 2016

I’m in a plane ascending to 37,000 feet. How restless have I been this year? How easily distractible? Already on this flight, from the time of boarding the plane until now, I’ve jumped from e-mail to Facebook to FiveThirtyEight to Jane Hirshfield on Basho to Mishkan Hanefesh, Sanctuary of the Soul, the Reform movement’s new…

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Getting Close to You, God: A Meditation During the Month of Elul

By Richard ChessSeptember 27, 2016

“You are my light and my help / Whom should I fear?” Thus begins Norman Fischer’s Zen-inspired translation of Psalm 27. Right now, at this very moment, Shabbat morning, the 14th of Elul, 5776; Sept. 17, 2016, these verses don’t resonate with me. Fear: yes, I am afraid, afraid, at the moment, that I won’t…

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Of Cookbooks and Lynchings

By Richard ChessSeptember 6, 2016

“Men and women in automobiles stood up to watch him die.” That’s the sentence one student recalled when I asked the class what was memorable in Eula Biss’s essay “Time and Distance Overcome.” The man who died was a black man “accused of attacking a white woman.” For his alleged behavior, he was “tied to…

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You Must Be Present to Learn

By Richard ChessAugust 10, 2016

For the past five years, I’ve been experimenting with the use of contemplative practices in the classes I teach at UNC Asheville. For a quick overview of the range of contemplative practices being used in higher education today, see The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s Tree of Contemplative Practices. On the eve of a…

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My Money, My Life

By Richard ChessJuly 21, 2016

My money is the Tao te Ching, translated and introduced by David Hinton. My $12.87 turned into this teaching: Once it’s full of jade and gold your house will never be safe. Proud of wealth and renown you bring on your own ruin. (#9) My money is a boarding pass for American Airlines flight 5469…

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The Dragon and the Yahrzeit Candle: On Forgetting and Remembering, Part 3

By Richard ChessJune 30, 2016

Continued from yesterday and Tuesday. In Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, David Hinton observes, “We tend to ignore the disappearing, the forgetfulness, but all day long, day in and day out, forgetfulness keeps us woven into dragon’s traceless transformations.” The dragon, he explained earlier, is “China’s mythological embodiment of all creation…

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