Surrounded by Water and Dying of Thirst, by Lambros Kamperidis

“As I commute to work every day, I leave behind a quiet country road for a highway that takes me to the city. Nature still persists for a while, then gradually thins out, as I draw closer to a mechanical environment that encroaches on my whole being with its steel façade, its noise and quickness.…

On Unknowing, by Pamela Travers

It is not ignorance. Rather, one could say, a particular process of cognition that has little or no use for words. It is part of our heritage at birth, the infant’s first primer. And the young child lives by it, gathering into its growing body and aboriginal heart a cosmography of wonder. “The corn was…

The Buddha Calling the Buddha, by Kinrei Bassis

“Most of us are like a fish caught in a hook. The Buddha is trying to reel us in; the hook holding us is our deep spiritual longing. We spend most of the time struggling, not wanting to be reeled in, not wanting to let go of all the things that we are desperately holding.…

Verbum Ineffabilis, by Anita Doyle

“Before she could speak, my daughter taught me the language of silent things: fruits, flowers, an oaken chair. I came to understand, through my relationship to this small being, why the word adult forms the root of adulteration and adultery. Watching her, it became apparent that, as we mature, we fall from grace of the…

Golden Temple, by Neil Patel

The night Nimo, Jay, and I arrived in Amritsar, India, we made a cursory survey of the Sikh Golden Temple, wandering around the outer area and meditating at its river banks. The next morning, we woke up at 3:00 A.M. to get there when friends recommended it was at its peaceful best. We waited in…

The Pipe of Reconciliation, by Joseph Epes Brown

The sacred pipe of the Native Americans is a potent symbol of relationship. Through it the human breath sends to all the six directions the purifying smoke that connects the person to the divine and is the link between all forms of life: mitakuye oyasin, we are all relatives. In the Foreword to The Sacred…

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

Reading about Black Elk, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and countless other Indian tribal elders and chiefs made me regret that I would never know them. They had vanished and with them a way of relating to others we can call emotional intelligence. Not the intelligence that rates at the top of the SATs or earns a…

The Fellowship, by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski

During the hectic middle decades of the twentieth century, from the end of the Great Depression through World War II and into the 1950s, a small circle of intellectuals gathered on a weekly basis in and around Oxford University to drink, smoke, quip, cavil, read aloud their works in progress, and endure or enjoy with…

The Challenge of Artificial Intelligence, by Jeff Zaleski

The toy company Mattel has announced the release in Fall 2015 of “Hello Barbie,” the first Barbie doll to feature artificial intelligence. Through the toy’s wireless transmission of a child’s voice (“Hello, Barbie!”) to offsite computers, which will wire back a response that the doll will speak aloud, children can enjoy an extended conversation with…

Not Knowing, Non-Being, and the Power of Nothingness, By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, with Hilary Hart

Exploring the “hidden face of God”