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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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Interview with Keith Hennessy about “Turbulence”

Keith Hennessy, interviewed by Sean Feit on 3/7/13 for UCD PFS newsletter. (A shortened version of this conversation is in our 2013 department newsletter. Here is the full conversation with minimal edits.) Sean Feit: What do you consider the main conceptual frame for Turbulence? Keith Hennessy: I try to stay away from any kind of central frame. I wanted it …

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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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“You are the music while the music lasts”: Improvisation, practice, silence, research

 There is a Zen riddle that replies to its own question. ‘Does a dog have the Buddha nature?’ the riddle asks. ‘Answer either way and you lose your own Buddha nature.’  Faced with a mystery about divinity, according to the riddle, we must always hover, uncertain, between the two possible answers. Never, on pain of losing our own divinity, are …

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