Buddhism

Escalante Falls, UT © David Ulrich

Creativity and Zen

Creativity and Zen practice are deeply allied. They are both ways of life and are not just something you do. Rather, they are related to what you are—how you live your life, and on what kind of values you bestow meaning and importance. Creativity and Zen are pathways that can help make us whole and help us become more present, awake, and alive. Many artists intuitively grasp the necessity for […]

Cup © Nicholas Hlobeczy

Spiritual Practice for a New Generation: Part Two

The Path of the RoninWe can look to the teachings themselves as a means of shedding light on our exploration of spiritual practice for a new generation. Certain standards or measures exist to insure fidelity of transmission from one person to another. Most teachings employ a means of discriminating one’s level of understanding and delineating one’s role within a teaching. A seeker is one who wishes to know, who enters […]

© Kanani Ann Daley© Kanani Ann Daley

Spiritual Practice for a New Generation

Part OneAs a spiritual seeker, and as a guide and mentor for some, I hold many questions about the state of spiritual practice in today’s world. Many authors and teachers have shared acute observations about the “flatlining” of modern society — that many don’t acknowledge any reality higher than what can be perceived directly by our senses or by the means of scientific inquiry. Myth and magic, religion and the […]

Makapu‘u Lighthouse © David UlrichMakapu‘u Lighthouse © David Ulrich

Education and the Cultivation of Wisdom

An Ever-present Invitation to Ever-greater OpennessAs an educator, I face the question daily: In what way can modern education contribute to the cultivation of wisdom and the search for clarity of thought and perception? Many of my students have confided in me that striving towards independent thought, emotional understanding, and direct perception are noticeably absent from most of their educational experiences in school — and that they are looking for […]

Portrait DU 2011 © Pua LoganPortrait DU 2011 © Pua Logan

Into the Heart of Vision

I recently completed a memoir/essay, Longing for Light: Into the Heart of Vision, about learning to see, a process necessitated by losing my right dominant eye to an impact injury in 1983. As a photographer, the experience was painful and traumatic — like nothing else I have experienced — and a profound learning experience. Many years of inner work preceded the injury allowing me to treat the suffering as part […]

Photo by Rowland Scherman:The U.S. National ArchivesPhoto by Rowland Scherman:The U.S. National Archives

Dreaming

I recently returned to Hawai‘i after helping Laura move to Boulder for Graduate School at Naropa University, dedicated to contemplative education and founded by Tibetan Buddhist Lama Chögyam Trungpa. Laura is studying comparative religion with an emphasis on Sanskrit and, during the orientation week, we eagerly sought to get a sense of the school and its community. During one of the orientation sessions, poet and writer Reed Bye spoke on […]

© David UlrichKaho‘olawe, HI © David Ulrich 1994

Art and Consciousness

The Search for Clarity and WisdomIn the last five minutes of a free public critique of photographs, a person asked me about whether we can trust the responses of others. We come (especially in Hawai‘i) from differing cultural backgrounds, experiences, and circumstances. Don’t we bring our own baggage to a response, any response? Can we actually believe that someone is talking about the work, or merely themselves? I answered him […]