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The Consolation of Philosophy: Study as Path, Wisdom as Mother

When the 5th century Roman philosopher Boëthius was under house arrest for treason (he got on the wrong side of a political fight, basically), he wrote his best-seller, an allegorical play in which he is visited in prison by Philosophy, personified as a wisdom goddess. When she first arrives, he complains about his misfortune, especially after he had a faithful …

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Gratitude for the Text Transmission

Gratitude to Gotama for speaking the Dhamma,Beloved Ānanda for remembering it all.Gratitude always to the First Council Elders, and Ānanda again, his own path assured. To the monks with no master, for 300 years,committing to memory their teacher’s words,lifetimes pre-literate, sati is memory, gratitude.How many lives given becoming these books? To the scribes, the printmakers, carvers, inscribers, gratitude. Your craft …

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Dāna & the ancient practice of Gift Economy

In my home tradition of Theravāda Buddhism, teachings are traditionally given freely, without a set price or limitation. When this works well, those with more material resources and those with less can both give to support the community, each in a way that is sustainable for them.

Resilience & Trauma Resolution in Buddhism & Yoga

As Buddhist and Hindu Yoga lineages take root outside of Asia, their insights into human nature, the causes of suffering, and the paths to joy and liberation are finding fertile soil in sincere seekers and dedicated spiritual practitioners worldwide. As many of us find our personal and collective journeys deeply served by contact with these ancient teachings, we are also …

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A new meditation and yoga retreat format

If you’ve sat a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, IMS, Insight Retreat Center, or any of the other Insight Meditation spots around, you know the standard retreat schedule well: basically a day of alternating 45 minute sitting and walking meditation periods, dharma talk in the evenings. All in silence except for a 15 minute check-in with a teacher every other …

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Authentic Movement as Tandava

For many years, parallel with my training in Buddhism and Yoga, I practiced a contemporary contemplative discipline called Authentic Movement (AM). Developed by dancers and Jungian analysts in the 1970s, AM is rare in both its provenance as a contemplative art created and maintained almost entirely by women, and in its resistance to capitalism and the spiritual marketplace. Few people …

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Intro to Authentic Movement

Authentic Movement (AM) is a mystical-therapeutic process work created by Mary Starks Whitehouse (1911-79), a dancer turned Jungian therapist who studied with modern dance pioneers Mary Wigman and Martha Graham. Whitehouse’s work distills the archetypal theatrical roles of performer and audience to two bodies in a room, Mover and Witness, with the Mover following inner impulse, or “being moved”. When the movement …

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Hatha Yoga Sadhana: The Subtle Dance

Physical movement with the goal of cultivating energy is one of the most dynamic and creative types of liberation practice. It has been part of both Buddhist and Hindu-lineage contemplative work since the earliest centuries of Yoga and asceticism as formal paths in South Asian spiritual life. The Sanskrit word sadhana traditionally refers to a formal sequence of practices, like the …

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