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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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Typing Sanskrit diacritics using OSX press-and-hold

(This is an Apple-only post, because it’s all I know, but if someone wants to write down the process for Windows and post it in the comments, please do). There are a few decent methods for entering Sanskrit (and other languages’) diacritical marks (accents, vowel marks, alternate characters, etc), but if you use them daily, you want your method to …

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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.

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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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. Resources for this practice: For an online intro to this framework, see the short …

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Traces of a past life

[Putting the last few words and videos I have from my brightest years as a performance artist here. How tremendously far away they, this I, feel. Making it a “post” instead of a “page,” date-stamped, scroll-lost, faded even more. I almost just left it off the new site entirely, but this is better. A little midnight prayer as the new …

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Yama and Mara: Hindu and Buddhist personifications of Death, a hypothesis

Both Buddhism and Hinduism personify Death in the form of a deity. The two traditions’ imagination around this figure naturally has many overlaps, but I’m suddenly thinking about some that I can’t find any reference to in the scholarly literature. The correspondence is about the role of Death as Teacher, as appearing in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, and the role of Māra …

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