366 Slices
Medium 9781608680474

Part 1: Indigenous Traditions

Patricia Monaghan New World Library ePub

Deep in the recesses of European caves, great horses leap and gallop, bison rear and charge, and antelope graze and run. Painted or incised upon rock, these vestiges of the earliest human culture of which we have record show that the spiritual impulse can be traced to the dawn of humanity. The placement of these paintings, as well as their surrounding motifs and figures, tells us that the caves were not galleries or museums but rather were ancient places of worship.

Little remains of the specifics of the worship of those who painted and carved their visions in the vaulting caves some twenty-five to thirty thousand years ago. The caves may have been used for initiation rituals, for they seem not to have been in regular use but rather to have been the location of occasional important ceremonies. They are often located in inaccessible and even dangerous places, suggesting that a journey with presumed spiritual value preceded the revelation of their glories.

One of the most telling finds is a simple trace that could easily have been overlooked: the pattern of footprints, made in soft mud many thousands of years ago, then hardened by the same rocky glaze that forms stalactites and stalagmites. These footprints show someone moving in a circle, many times, landing with each step hard on the heel. It is the record, scholars believe, of an ancient ritual dance.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253205667

Two: Getting in Touch with the Spirits: The First Discoveries

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

In the Protestant Christian tradition in which I was raised, it was held that the only way in which a human could communicate with the beings inhabiting the alternate reality was by prayer. But in the view of the vast majority of other traditions, speech, as the mode of communication of ordinary reality, is singularly unsuited for this purpose. It is but a hardly audible knock on the very thick wall separating humans from the spirit realm. In fact, humans have to make a truly heroic effort to be noticed on the other side. Merely talking, falling into a worshipful mood, feeling “transcendent,” “numinous,” or “oceanic,” or whatever other pompous words are listed in the dictionary, simply will not do. Instead humans, if they have the urgent necessity or desire to squeeze through the chinks in that wall, need to change the very functioning of their bodies in the most radical way. The term summarizing these changes is religious trance, one of a large group of altered states of consciousness of which humans are capable. It is termed religious because observation shows that it is the one occurring in religious context, that is, when contact is made with the alternate, the sacred, reality. (For the problem of defining “religion,” see Goodman 1988.)

See All Chapters
Medium 9781608680306

Part 4: One-Minute Mindfulness for Health and Well-Being

Donald Altman New World Library ePub

The choices we make every waking minute are a statement of how well we care for ourselves. Morning presents us with an opportunity to cultivate inner hospitality. Even if the morning feels like a frantic blur, small preparations and beneficial activities go a long way toward preparing mind and body for the day ahead.

It’s easy to underestimate all the good things we do for ourselves in the morning. Simply noticing gestures of self-kindness we already practice can be an important step toward developing a greater awareness of our morning care. Use the next minute to take a personal inventory of the six beneficial behaviors that follow:

•    Brushing your teeth, showering, and general hygiene

•    Moving, stretching, and exercising

•    Eating nutritious food

•    Choosing clothes to help you feel good about your appearance

•    Focusing with an intention, a meditation, or a centering practice

•    Minimizing negativity and anxiety-producing stimuli

If you regularly practice two of the body-care and two of the mind-care activities listed above, you are devoting valuable time to your morning care, even if you didn’t think so. Which of the morning practices tend to slide under your radar? How would it feel if you were to find time for these nurturing activities? What obstacles prevent you from doing so?

See All Chapters
Medium 9780980184839

The Little Bastard

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

Manhole covers and sewer grates are good to look at. The green lamppost knows its business. I can be very happy staring at a cement floor; not just any cement floor, of course. Still, what kind of yutz takes pleasure in staring at the floor? Williams knew what kind: “So much depends upon a red wheel barrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chickens.” Words can’t say the rightness of a black steel door in a red brick wall. My foot casts three shadows. This is the same breeze that cooled Christ and Buddha under this same moon. What does it all mean? Why, absolutely nothing. If it meant anything, it wouldn’t mean a thing.................

See All Chapters
Medium 9781608682652

13. Warriors for a Deeper Education: Meister Eckhart Meets YELLAWE, Theodore Richards, M.C. Richards, and Lily Yeh

Matthew Fox New World Library ePub

Meister Eckhart Meets YELLAWE, Theodore Richards, M.C. Richards, and Lily Yeh

The schooling that we seek is full within. It rises to the surface as we move.…Our planet is our school, and far beyond.


People called inner-city North Philadelphia “the badlands” because of its prevailing decrepitude, poverty, drug dealing, and violence. But this area contained invaluable hidden treasures.…It was there that I realized that art is a powerful tool for social change and that the artist can be at the center of that transformation.


Living offers the most noble kind of knowledge.


When Eckhart scholar Reiner Schurmann declares that Eckhart’s work is “not a theoretical doctrine but a practical guide,” he is inviting us to make it real in the world by taking it as a point of direction or a guide. I believe this is especially so when we speak of education. Our species is in a new and dangerous place. We are facing our own demise. Education is obviously a big part of the problem as well as a big part of the solution. Can Eckhart help us to transform education?

See All Chapters

See All Slices