July 21, 2013

Between the academic rock and the traditionalist hard place: finding the open source for yoga philosophy today

The feeling that yoga philosophy is an inaccessible practice is not only fostered by the current structural limitations of Modern Postural Yoga trainings (max. 20 hrs. within 200!), but by two deeper forces: the abstract academic study of yoga that seems to turn it into a lifeless artifact, and traditionalist teaching structures that demand faithful allegiance as the price of transmission.
June 15, 2013

Yoga at the Threshold: abstracts for feedback

I'm putting together a collection of essays entitled Yoga at the Threshold: Critical Meditations, for release in early 2014. It The 2012 publication of Threads of Yoga benefited immensely from crowdsourced feedback, so I thought I'd present the following abstracts publicly at this time to begin this process again. I'd be most appreciative of any comments -- confrontative or tangential -- that you might have to offer on any of the subjects below. Those abstracts that are in quotations are from essays that have already evolved through several drafts.
June 11, 2013

Writing about Gurus: Insiders vs. Outsiders, and Other Problems

I am aware of hundreds of people who say that their gurus helped them to grow, and to grow up, illuminated hidden resources within them, and encouraged them with the feeling of being loved “unconditionally”. I’m still friends with some of these folks. Moreover – and this is where it gets complex – I remember their story and its feelings from my own life, and I remember defending those feelings from other questioners and critics.
May 29, 2013

The Guru as Artist

If we recognized that what we are attracted to in the guru is the war they are waging on their own pain, we would just watch them with whatever degree of empathy we could scrounge, see what their rage drove them to see, wonder at the ways in which their language bends the typical arc of the mind, and feel their terror expand our hearts into a greater tolerance for uncertainty. But we would not do what they told us to do. Because we would know that they were on their path, and we were on our own. Because we would know that the directions they really really want to give us are meant primarily to fulfill their own needs.