© David UlrichSugar Cane Burn, Maui, HI © David Ulrich, 2001

What (and Who) is Art For?

An American VisionThe arts reflect the soul of a people; they express the spirit of an age. If this is true, and historically all evidence affirms this, then what can we deduce from this graphic? The diagram shows the most prevalent search for artists on eBay by state. Since eBay is a commerce site, we can safely assume that at least some of these searches were made with the intention […]

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 […]

© David UlrichSugar Cane Burn, Maui, HI © David Ulrich, 2001

Can This Kill That?

Digital Technology and the Search for MeaningI admit it. I love electronics. I am one of those that frequent the Apple store during the launch day of new products, as I did with the new iPhone and iPad. I prefer writing on a keyboard and monitor, watching the words flow across the screen seamlessly tethered to my brain. I love working with images on the computer; the speed, flexibility and […]

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


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 […]

© Ted Trimmer© Ted Trimmer

In Defense of Books

I recently visited my local library, for the first time since its expansion and renovation, during which it was transformed into an adequately sized, aesthetically pleasing space. However, I was disturbed to find there were few books on the shelves and even fewer people browsing. The books now only fill 25% of the available shelves. I was told by a staff member that the library has “room to grow.” Good… […]

RothkoTryptichMark Rothko, Rothko Chapel

Mirrors and Windows

Finding Wholeness through ArtTruth is found in paradox. Nature seeks balance. Where there is a push, there is a pull. We cannot come to a mature point of view without entertaining the opposing side; we cannot stand for something without standing against something else. As we know from many conflicting positions, truth often lies in the middle, partaking of both sides and fully embracing neither. Our perceptions and thoughts are […]

© Hengki Koentjoro

Lives of Quiet Desperation

:Healing our world for the childrenWe the people” begins the Declaration of Independence. I can think of no more relevant phrase today in response to the 27 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Something unites us all: perhaps it is our common humanity, the similarity of our DNA, our inner spiritual roots. I really don’t know. But our collective body is palpable, real, and knowable as […]

Alan ArkinAlan Arkin © Suzanne Arkin

Broadening the Arc of Devotion

An Interview with Alan ArkinAlan Arkin has been a major star of stage, screen, and  television for nearly fifty years. Best known for his  roles  in such films as Wait Until Dark, Catch-22, Edward Scissorhands, and Little Miss Sunshine (an Oscar-winning role), Arkin is also a master teacher. Along with his ongoing work as an actor/director/writer, he has taught retreats at The Omega Institute, Bennington College, and Columbia College. I […]