Essays

Abba, tell me a word

Abba, tell me a word

Roger LipseyJan 31, 202317 min read

Abba Anthony was living his customary day of prayer and labor in the desert hermitage he called home when a band of seekers paid a visit. We are sometime in the fourth century of our era and in Scetis, the…

Looking for Gold: The alchemy of Cinderella

Looking for Gold: The alchemy of Cinderella

Mary A. OsborneJan 31, 202310 min read

Once upon a time, “The wife of a rich man fell ill, and when she felt that she was nearing her end she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, ‘Dear child, continue devout and good. Then God…

The Art of Budo

The Art of Budo

John StevensJan 31, 20236 min read

In my lifelong spiritual quest, I have read hundreds of sutras; plowed through pages and pages of philosophical texts; grappled with koan collections; analyzed thousands of poems; searched through biographies; meditated for hours; and interacted with many teachers, good and…

Testimony

Testimony

Brenton MacKinnonJan 31, 202316 min read

The day finally arrived when my faculty advisor asked me to choose a topic for the Master’s thesis in sociolinguistics. What to do? Maybe some coffee and a piece of pie down at the Koffe Klatch would lubricate my imagination.…

In the Hands of the Sea

In the Hands of the Sea

Surnaí MolloyJan 31, 20237 min read

I went out into the garden, to the crag, and I sat on the bench and watched the light change in the sea; looking over the fields, the holy well, the standing stone. The mountains beyond the bay were blue with…

The Monkey and the River, by Mark Nepo

The Monkey and the River, by Mark Nepo

Mark NepoJan 31, 20205 min read

A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains. (detail). Wang Ximeng, 1113 When people are at a loss, the guide ferries them over. When one is (awake), one ferries oneself. —Hui-Neng …

Butternut Goddess

Butternut Goddess

Tracy CochranOct 28, 20196 min read

Photograph by Paul Rysz The screen door banged as I sprinted across the yard to a butternut tree that had a limb at just the right height for pulling myself…

The Edges Must Be Even: Lessons from a Native American pow-wow, by Lillian Firestone

The Edges Must Be Even: Lessons from a Native American pow-wow, by Lillian Firestone

Lillian FirestoneJul 28, 201511 min read

Opening ceremonies, Cherokee pow-wow, North Carolina, 2011 Reading about Black Elk, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and countless other Indian tribal elders and chiefs made me regret that…

The Reenchantment of Vision: Breaking the Spell of the Rational, by David Ulrich

The Reenchantment of Vision: Breaking the Spell of the Rational, by David Ulrich

David UlrichApr 29, 201615 min read

Photograph by David Ulrich The most powerful teachings and teachers are those that bring us back to ourselves, as we are now, helping us see our true…

Healing the Wounds of War

Healing the Wounds of War

Edward TickOct 31, 20141 min read

In contrast to our modern situation, traditional and indigenous peoples had extensive spiritually and communally based warrior medicine, practices and lineages. They lived immersed in and part of nature and…

Going Home, by Ram Dass & Mirabai Bush

Going Home, by Ram Dass & Mirabai Bush

Mirabai BushJul 28, 201811 min read

Frances Sinclair, from Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands, 1885 Two spiritual pioneers on the end of life’s journey The following passages, narrated by Mirabai Bush,…

Gurdjieff’s Apartment: “Here there are no spectators”, by Roger Lipsey

Gurdjieff’s Apartment: “Here there are no spectators”, by Roger Lipsey

Roger LipseyOct 27, 201812 min read

The pantry in Gurdjieff’s Paris apartment. Photo courtesy of the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York A place apart, even a time apart…. Wagram 53-46. Should you…

The Simple Joy of Being, by Adyashanti

The Simple Joy of Being, by Adyashanti

AdyashantiJan 30, 201914 min read

Landscape. Kanō Isen’in. Edo period, c. 1802-1816, ink and color on paper. Honolulu Museum of Art It is useful to reflect on what happiness is. The Sierra Nevada mountain range…

Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask

Peter CoyoteJan 30, 202213 min read

In 1955 I was fourteen, and I became fascinated by the rebellious adults of the Beat Generation and their criticisms of American culture. Hearing adults express and clarify feelings I…

The Unfinished Painting, by Mark Nepo

The Unfinished Painting, by Mark Nepo

Mark NepoJan 18, 20168 min read

Lascaux Cave Paintings, ca. 15,000 BC Dreams and art are the smoke signals connecting the one tribe over time. Stories and myths do the same. Often…

The Courageous Mary Oliver, by Lisa Starr

The Courageous Mary Oliver, by Lisa Starr

Lisa StarrApr 28, 20197 min read

Mary Oliver Photograph by Greg Rose I will be forever grateful to Coleman Barks for many things, but there is no doubt that his greatest gift to me was introducing…

Golden Temple, by Neil Patel

Neil PatelAug 25, 20152 min read

Julian Nyca, Golden Temple, Amritsar, India, Wikimedia Commons The night Nimo, Jay, and I arrived in Amritsar, India, we made a cursory survey of the Sikh…

The Wall and the Mirror: Forgiveness in the Work of Martin Scorsese, by Kent Jones

The Wall and the Mirror: Forgiveness in the Work of Martin Scorsese, by Kent Jones

Kent JonesJul 25, 201916 min read

Martin Scorsese (l.) and Robert De Niro (r.) in Taxi Driver. Martin Scorsese Collection, NY “If I were God, I’d forgive the whole world.” Robert Bresson, L’ARGENT Three years ago,…

Love and Compassion in Meditation and Action, by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

Love and Compassion in Meditation and Action, by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

Ven. Bhikkhu BodhiOct 31, 201620 min read

Photo by Chris Ensey from Unsplash.com THE NEED FOR LOVE AND COMPASSION Love and compassion are qualities essential to our stature as true human beings, and…