Water Communion and David Foster Wallace’s “This Is Water”

IJ

David Foster Wallace (1962 - 2008) is perhaps best know for his 1996 postmodern novel Infinite Jest, which is famous for its length (weighing in at more than 1,000 pages) and complexity (its footnotes have footnotes). I will confess to having started reading it once a few years ago, and never finding the time to finish. I hope to return to it someday.Wallace tragically committed suicide in 2008 at age 46 after a decades-long struggle with depression. He was beloved by many of the most … [Read more...]

Living the Bhagavad Gita

Paths

They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in them, who have renounced every selfish desire and sense craving tormenting the heart. Neither agitated by grief nor hankering after pleasure, they live free from lust and fear and anger. Established in meditation, they are truly wise. Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they are neither elated by good fortune nor depressed by bad. Such are the seers.... When you keep thinking about sense objects, attachment comes. Attachment breeds … [Read more...]

Poetically Dwelling on the Earth as a Mortal

edwards

I am a religious skeptic. I don’t believe in Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, or Ogun; nor do I believe in the resurrection of bodies two days dead and buried, nor water changing into wine, nor men walking about unharmed in fiery furnaces. Likewise for angels, ghosts, demons, statues that weep milk, and miraculous cures effected by the blessed water of Lourdes. About my skepticism, I feel neither pride nor shame; it’s not an achievement, nor is it a failing. It’s just a fact about me . . . a fact that doe … [Read more...]

Pragmatic Buddhism, Westernized Dharma, 21st-century Sangha

buddha

When I was about fifteen years old, I accidentally ran into some of the classic early meditation experiences described in the ancient texts and my reluctant spiritual quest began. I did not realize what had happened, nor did I realize that I had crossed something like a point of no return, something I would later call “The Arising and Passing Away.” I knew that I had had a very strange dream with bright lights, that my entire body and world had seemed to explode like fireworks, and that aft … [Read more...]

Do We Need a Moratorium on the Word “God”?

Edwards

I have been trying to find a way of being religious that’s still possible (or maybe the word is “decent”) for us. What would it be like to be religious without fudging our best thoughts, without repressing anything we have learned...? What would it be like to be religious when we can’t really believe any of that glorious stuff — creation ex nihilo, virgin birth, bodily resurrection — we used to believe? It’s not decent, I think, to pretend to believe it, or to do a fancy philosophical number on “ … [Read more...]

Native American Spiritualities: Appropriation and Reciprocity

Bede

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka , and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made … [Read more...]


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