About Peter Ferko
Peter Ferko is an author who draws on lifelong pursuits in yoga, art, and music. His novel Wally and Kali is a poignant, funny, sexy tale of love and family all set in the realm of New York City's vibrant yoga scene.
Peter lives and works with fellow yogiraj, Wendy Newton, their ever-amusing dog, Mica, and the cat formerly known as Prince. Their son Chris makes delicious food for the folks in Maine.
What’s going on…
JOIN ME On the yoga front:
- Come to class at ISHTA Yoga.
- Keep up to date by joining the mailing list at The Table.
- Come for a private lesson or tune-up. Email me at peter at peterferko.com.
- Peter is teaching in the 300-hr teacher ISHTA Yoga Training in Manhattan this fall! Training is a transformative way to deepen your understanding of yoga, whether or not you want to teach.
On the writing front:
- Wally and Kali is for sale at Amazon.com.
- Peter's next novel, Incarnation is underway.
- Peter's short story collection, Black Hole of the Heart is underway.
About Wally and Kali:
When Wally looks for the path to love, he finds a naked yogini, a smiling guru, and a ruthless goddess lighting the way. Wally can't figure out how to transcend his life-long string of not quite right relationships. His latest mismatch introduces him to yoga, and while she's soon gone, Wally is hooked and books a vacation at an ashram. There Molly, naked and 20 years old, befriends him, then confounds his fatherly inclination toward her with a profession of love. But it’s Molly’s mom, Jane who ends up taking Wally to the altar. Life is bliss for Jane and Wally; for Jane's teenage son Dink; and even for Molly, who is surprised by her attraction to another girl. Havoc ensues when Dink's girlfriend leaves him, and he falls under the torturous spell of unrequited desire, a torment reflected in an intertwined tale in the language of his job at the comic book store. Walt finds the challenge around this new kind of relationship — that with a son — the darkest he’s ever faced, and the whole family is pulled in. Enter Kali, goddess of transformation. A joyful guru gets Dink to yoga class, and a tantric yogini-- or is she a goddess?-- takes the entire family on an unexpected journey.
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This book was one of the most enjoyable reads ever, for me. I lean toward the classics when it comes to fiction. Wally and Kali is really brilliantly written. There is a beautiful rhythm and flow to Peter Ferko's writing. His characters are so fully constructed; the world he creates in this book completely enveloped me and I didn't want to leave it. I couldn't wait to return to it. I can't wait to read his future books.
—Commenter on Amazon.com
Latest Blog Posts
The commenters dive right back into the fray nearly ignoring the article, but I know from experience that if you give a little in a personal conversation with someone, you can move beyond the us vs. them anger that dominates the media.
Andrew states in his article the opinion that I’ve been carrying since this Congressional term began, that there is no triumph of one side available here, only the hope for a new way to engage in a dialog of joint solution-making that makes all sides feel heard (or feel human, to use Andrew’s word). Read his advice column post here: Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is a Right-Wing Asshole.
The idea of visualizing peaceful coexistence is a mainstay of Yoko Ono’s work; a tweet this week proposed a practice to help make it so:
Go from one room to another opening and closing each door. Do it very slowly. Imagine opening and closing people’s minds when you do this.
-@yokoono on twitter
And there’s a group that came out of Occupy Wall Street called Occupy Love, who are advocating a “third way” to avoid one side just becoming the other in a ping pong of misunderstanding and, well, un-love. One slogan in the blog is “We are the 100%.” Here’s the trailer to their movie, directed by Velcrow Ripper.
Promises or suggestions or affirmations that you’ll always have joy, you’ll get what you want, you’ll be famous, students will love you, bloggers will quote you, money will pour in, you’ll accomplish a yoga posture, or your prose will be poetry are so much wishful thinking. Don’t get me wrong, the opposite — to be defeated, to be gloomy, to give up, to speak pessimistically — is, of course, just as bad.
So if affirming and giving up are both bad, is there a third way? In sanskrit, it’s called samtosha, which could be translated as ‘contentment.’ English translations of sanskrit often fall short, so let’s add some nuance to this idea of ‘contentment’ as samtosha by looking from its two extremes.
- One extreme: Contentment could be seen as accepting that nothing’s going to change, so just resign yourself to what is. But that interpretation lets you off the hook from doing the hard work that is in front of you (there’s always hard work in front of everybody). To be content is to try to stay balanced while doing that. The hard work is sometimes physical, but more often, it’s emotional, like letting go of hurt feelings. Those might be feelings of not getting what you want or deserve; or being overlooked, under appreciated, or even misjudged. Contentment equals carrying on when you’d rather give up; and ultimately getting less worked up over everything.
- The other extreme: Contentment could be seen as altering your perception of the way things are. My teacher, Alan Finger, caricatures someone in this mode with palms together, bowing to ducks and butterflies and peace and love — in other words, living in a dream of a perfect world. When talking about people who imagine only blue skies, one of my favorite teachers, Mark Whitwell, once commented,” If you’re not mad [at what's going on in the world], you’re not paying attention.” Contentment is accepting a world that contains both dark and light — the world as it actually is.
Putting it all together, then, rather than affirm, give up, or delude, practice staying balanced and gracefully work on what is in your realm of possibility to do. You won’t believe what happens next: contentment.