I studied mostly liberal and applied arts in school, as an undergrad at Georgetown University and as an art and music student at various community colleges and at Catholic University. But I technically majored in Economics at Georgetown, and I have always had my pet theories on how to make things work better. One of my current favorite podcasts, Pod Save America, raised the question of what can we really do given the current situation with today’s economy and political climate. I am glad to offer the following for debate. Continue reading “My Manifesto”
Review of Yoga for Artists, by Joel Adas
I truly enjoyed reading Yoga for Artists. As a painter who has practiced yoga in the past, it spoke to me on many levels. With an economy of words and simple but eloquent illustrations, Peter Ferko outlined what a thoughtful, individualized yoga practice might be. The fact that it is more than a workout or a routine but rather a complete practice tailored uniquely to each person was a revelation to me. As a result of reading “Yoga For Artists”, I am strongly considering searching for a teacher who embodies many of the wonderful attributes to be found in this book.
The Genius of Leonard Cohen, In an Email
“I wanted to stand with those who clearly see G-d’s holy broken world for what it is, and still find the courage or the heart to praise it. You don’t always get what you want. You’re not always up for the challenge. But in this case — it was given to me. For which I am deeply grateful.” From Leon Wieseltier’s Op-Ed in the New York Times
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These are the five stages of grief, using one commonly cited psychological model.
It’s no secret that I would be disappointed with the outcome of the 2016 election. I have been mindful, this post-election morning, of those five stages cycling through my head, heart, and body.
I know a lot of you hung great hopes on this election. As you go through today and the coming months, remember that you, too, will cycle through these feelings. Each stage will pass, and likely come up again, to pass again.
Yoga philosophy, as presented in the Bhagavad Gita recommends that we strive to understanding that the drama of life is much smaller than the wholeness that we comprise. This leads us to realize that we shouldn’t look to the drama for our happiness, but to our wholeness. This can be done through selfless work, the explicit pursuit of wisdom, meditation, and then, letting go of the results of our efforts.
Relying on getting what you want to bring you happiness is the fuel of the drama of life. It’s what makes us put an unbalanced amount of attention on the winning and losing. Not the fight, not the work, not the discernment — these are all the good acts of life, living in each moment. The attachment to a particular outcome, desire, or abhorence of another, repulsion, will always ultimately lead to dissatisfaction. Things, events, relationships, officials, everything comes and goes.
So we continue our work. Democrats noted that love trumps hate and that we’re better together. Those principles are still true, even on the day you don’t get what you want. So be a vehicle for love. Aim to live together. It will be hard work. The beauty of the process is that this work brings you love and togetherness.
You may not hear me now. You may find it triggers anger, or depression, or whichever stage you’re in. Allow yourself the chance to heal, and recognize when you are cycling back into one of the five stages of grief. But when you get to acceptance, do your best to move on, to connect with your wholeness. Winning and losing comes from the outside; contentment comes from within.
Quote from the Kularnava Tantra
From the Kularnava Tantra, as translated by Arthur Avalon.
Yoga is the main process. The Tantra seeks to weave it into every detail of life, give a different meaning to each of man’s activities by making all of them means for the effectuation and expression of the inner yoga of progression from the human into the divine.
This beautiful passage summarizes Tantra yoga, the transformation of one’s experience of life, pervaded with Consciousness that we alternately feel as individual and transcendent.
Incarnation (another sneak preview)
Here’s another little taste of my upcoming book (which is being copy edited as we speak!). Enjoy:
~ India, 1988 ~
A seventeen-year-old with a shock of black hair sat with his schoolmates in the sun facing his guru. The Indian sun beat down on the boys, and they shifted restlessly on their blankets.
Krishna Anand ran his hand pointlessly over his incorrigible hair and looked intently at the guru. His teacher was talking about something that the boy thought might actually be useful for a change; something that might help in his ruminations about staying in Tumkur to be near the object of his teen obsession: the girl Kamalita. Krishna’s and his fellow students’ circumstances were about to change as they approached the final days of their Gurukula, the traditional Hindu education that gives students a foundation in philosophy and an attitude toward living honorably out in the world. Soon they would leave school and move on toward adulthood and worldly pursuits. Continue reading “Incarnation (another sneak preview)”
Average Guys Are Extraordinary!
When I ran my last Man to Man: Yoga for the Average Guy workshop, one of my fellow teachers said, who wants to be an ‘average’ guy? I want to encourage them to be extraordinary! While my naming of the workshop was meant to dispel concerns that you need more than average abilities to do yoga (need for flexibility is the myth I hear non-stop), my colleague’s point is well-taken. Yoga in fact makes you an extraordinary person.
What’s so extraordinary about a man who practices yoga? Most people stumble along looking for satisfaction in life through gain and accomplishment out in the world. The news is full of stories of that not working — successful celebrities who have just as many problems as anybody. Yoga teaches a different approach, one where you draw satisfaction from tapping into your highest potential. Continue reading “Average Guys Are Extraordinary!”
Hardwick: Tone vs. Plot
I love the Paris Review’s interviews. Their tweets pull such juicy quotes that I want to read them all, and then the interviews are so good that I want to read all the authors’ books (which I usually haven’t).
Here’s a great answer from the interview with Elizabeth Hardwick:
I don’t have many plots and perhaps as a justification I sometimes think: If I want a plot I’ll watch Dallas. I think it’s mood. No, I mean tone. Tone arrived at by language. I can’t write a story or an essay until I can, by revision after revision, get the opening tone right. Sometimes it seems to take forever, but when I have it I can usually go on. It’s a matter of the voice, how you are going to approach the task at hand. It’s all language and rhythm and the establishment of the relation to the material, of who’s speaking, not speaking as a person exactly, but as a mind, a sensibility.
I can relate to that ‘revision after revision’ piece. It helps you recognize what’s there only because it’s precious to you and what’s their because it’s important.
Interview on The Web Ahead
I had the chance to discuss mental health in the web industry with my friend Jen Simmons on her super podcast The Web Ahead. Check it out!