Category: SpiritMatter

The news that self-help guru James Arthur Ray has been found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide brings to an end (of sorts) a saga that began with three deaths and numerous injuries at an October, 2009, sweat lodge ceremony outside Sedona, Arizona. Since I’ve written a handful of articles and half a book about Sedona, and some of the people I wrote about have been indirectly affected by the event, I thought it fitting to comment on it here.

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The view from here (& there)


In its “Best places to celebrate the solstice,” urges us to “embrace your inner pagan” — at places like Glastonbury Festival (natch), the Hill of Tara in Ireland, Cusco in Peru, and the desert site of Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels in Utah (pictured above).

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It seems that my first book, Claiming Sacred Ground, which came out ten years ago, is circulating for free online as a PDF. (I just downloaded it myself to see if it’s the real thing; it is. Do a PDF search for it if you want it.)

I don’t mind people downloading it — it’s a good way to look at it before deciding if you want to spend money for a hard copy. The hardcover is pricy — or was when it came out. But it’s also attractive and nice to hold in one’s hands, and you can now find it cheap. (Ask me if you want one for under ten bucks.)

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This is the concluding part of a three-part article. Part 1 can be found here, Part 2 here. They should be read in the sequence in which they were published.


The True, the Good, and the Beautiful

All of this can be related to the triad of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful — or, in their Peircian sequence, aesthetics, ethics, and logic. Aesthetics, as Peirce conceived it, is most directly concerned with firstness; ethics, with secondness; and logic, with thirdness.

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This continues from the previous post, where Shinzen Young’s model of core mindfulness practices was expanded into a system of classifying what a human bodymind can do. Here the model is deepened following the process-relational insights that are at the core of Shinzen’s system as well as of other (especially Mahayana and Vajrayana) Buddhist systems, and of the philosophies of A. N. Whitehead and, in some respects, of C. S. Peirce, Gilles Deleuze, and other process-relational thinkers. This part is followed by a concluding segment, found here.


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Working with Shinzen Young‘s system of mindfulness training, which I’ve described here before, and thinking it through in the process-relational logic I’ve been developing on this blog (and elsewhere), is resulting in a certain re-mix of Shinzen’s ideas, and of Buddhism more generally, with Peirce’s, Whitehead’s, Wilber’s, Deleuze’s, and others’. Here’s a crack at where it’s taking me…

I’ve divided this into three parts due to its length. Part 1 builds on Shinzen’s “5 ways to know yourself as a spiritual being,” which presents five core mindfulness practices, to develop a basic classification of ways in which the human bodymind can know itself and the world. Part 2 deepens the model by pushing beyond traditional dualisms through incorporating what Shinzen calls “flow,” which is analogous to the central insight of process-relational philosophies about the fundamentally processual nature of subjectivity or mentality, objectivity or materiality, and the dynamic and interdependent relationship between the two. Part 3 provides some concluding thoughts and caveats.


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Ever becoming…

Glad someone uploaded this to YouTube…

It’s, of course, the Heart Sutra via the Akron/Family.

“Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond…”

“Gone, gone, gone to the Other Shore, attained the Other Shore having never left. Oh what an awakening! All hail!”


In defiance of the idea that Nature — the thing, or the idea (capitalized or not), or both — is either dead or unnecessary, I feel like posting some favorite passages from “Nature Alive,” the second of A. N. Whitehead’s two 1933 lectures on nature, published in Modes of Thought (1938/1968), which you can read the full text of online.

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Today’s link dump is devoted to sound, earth, religion, language, and the creativity of friends…

First the sounds. Here’s Science Friday’s Earth Day episode on the origins of music in the Great Animal Orchestra; and what American English sounds like to non-English speakers (hilarious):

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