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Kosha and khandha, a hypothesis.

Recently, while studying a couple early Tantric texts (the Shiva Sutras and the Heart of Recognition), I found myself thinking about energy and consciousness, which the texts say are the two most fundamental aspects of reality. Feeling into these, and reflecting on various places they appear in the yoga tradition, I thought about the early list of the Five Sheaths …

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notes toward vinyasa as a meditation practice

Vinyasa yoga, where we flow between poses (asana) synchronizing movement with breath, is sometimes described as a “moving meditation”, and many people are drawn to the physical practice of yoga partly because they find that flowing through a vinyasa class is an easier way to relax and quiet the mind than traditional sitting meditation. I think this is one of …

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Sila, śūnyatā, sex, Sasaki

Yet another venerable American spiritual community is reeling with evidence of the sexual misconduct of its beloved teacher, perpetrated over decades, with many many victims and a culture of silence that is finally being challenged. This is getting really old! This time it’s hitting close to home for me, and as I begin to write this post, my heart is …

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Buddhist "not-self" meets poststructuralist subjectivity

“Sadly, at a time when so much sophisticated cultural criticism by hip intellectuals from diverse locations extols a vision of cultural hybridity, border crossing, subjectivity constructed out of plurality, the vast majority of folks in this society still believe in a notion of identity that is rooted in a sense of essential traits and characteristics that are fixed and static.” …

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Buddhist “not-self” meets poststructuralist subjectivity

“Sadly, at a time when so much sophisticated cultural criticism by hip intellectuals from diverse locations extols a vision of cultural hybridity, border crossing, subjectivity constructed out of plurality, the vast majority of folks in this society still believe in a notion of identity that is rooted in a sense of essential traits and characteristics that are fixed and static.” …

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Path and fruition in Buddhism and the arts

[An essay from my PhD exam process exploring a hypothetical parallel between practice-insight and rehearsal-performance.] Contemplative practice, framed by the various religions, is almost always represented as a Path — the changing of subjective experience from one state or understanding to another more wholesome one — that leads to a definite fruition. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle, with its seven “mansions” …

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The Heart [of Art] Sutra (and a long commentary!)

Thus have I heard. Once an Artist was living in Vulture Cap Lofts, alongside a great community of craftspeople, aesthetes, deep listeners, critics, and granting organizations. She entered the samadhi known as All That Is Made Is Beautiful, and radiated a profound aesthetic satisfaction that inspired everyone [to be] present. Inspired, the theorist Audio-Visio-Kinesthesis exclaimed to her friend and student, …

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intention and the beauty of letting go

It’s resolution-making season, for some of us known more yogically as intention-setting. My generation seems to love setting intentions, coaching ourselves toward success, and positive thinking in general. I think the meme of positive thinking (that started in the 70s as “affirmations” and flowered in the 00s as Cafe Gratitude and the Law of Attraction) saturates my Facebook feed more than …

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Renunciation of the fruits of… voting

This Sunday we’ll begin our fall Sweat+Study series, returning to one of the most profound and visionary texts in the yoga tradition: The Bhagavad Gita. And in less than two weeks we’ll end a seemingly endless campaign season, returning to what I wish was one of the most profound and visionary activities in our democratic tradition: the Voting Booth. So …

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