A Patch of Blue Sky

Matthieu RicardMatthieu Ricard © David Ulrich

Excerpts from an interview with Matthieu RicardThe full text of this interview appeared in Parabola magazine Vol. 37, no. 2, Summer 2012, titled Alone and Together. DU: Matthieu, we are trying to understand how a larger intelligence is available to us, and how we can come together to contact this intelligence. Philosopher Jacob Needleman asks: “How to come together and think and hear each other in order to touch, or […]

Black Marble Earth

USA at night, courtesy NASA

Beauty and TerrorWe stand among the many that have been touched by the sublime view of Black Marble Earth, created by NASA in late 2012. According to NASA, “The images were captured by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Satellite, which made 312 passes around the Earth in order to photograph every bit of the hemisphere.” Time Magazine comments: “Strangely, the nation’s most populous city of New York shows up darker […]

Lives of Quiet Desperation

© Hengki Koentjoro

: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 […]

The Yoga of Dying

sally-mann-01© Sally Mann

If we want to be reborn—to be open to truth, to experience greater wholeness, and to awaken to the fullness of life—we must die to the known and the familiar, everything that keeps us enslaved in our present condition.  As many of us find ourselves unwilling to let go and even cherish who we think we are, one of our teachers use to say that you cannot make an omelette […]

Broadening the Arc of Devotion

Alan ArkinAlan Arkin © Suzanne Arkin

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 […]

Accepting Impermanence

Makapu‘u Point, Honolulu, HI © David UlrichMakapu‘u Point, Honolulu, HI © David Ulrich

Death as an AdvisorDeath has an interesting way of waking us up to life. Last week, our cat Mimi was hit by a car and passed away peacefully, suffering a blow to the spine. We miss her little squeaks, affectionate disposition, and even her mischievousness. We’ll miss having to shift around in bed, so as not to disturb her or roll over her (amazing how something less than 10 pounds […]

To Live the Question

Jacob Needleman © David UlrichJacob Needleman © David Ulrich

A Conversation with Jacob NeedlemanWhat is the role of the philosopher in today’s world? We have an ever increasing need for someone to remind us of the important questions that call us, to renew the search for a deeper form of knowing amidst a cacophony of voices and a consumer culture addicted to superficial experience—to approach the great unanswerable questions that give dimension and hope and meaning to our lives. […]

A Visit with Ram Dass

Laura, Ram Dass, and David

“I Am Loving Awareness”Last Saturday, we had the opportunity to visit and interview Ram Dass at his home amidst the exceptional natural beauty of Maui. To say that we were deeply moved and touched to our core would be an understatement. There are no words that can accurately reflect having darshan with a genuine spiritual teacher, a highly public explorer of consciousness since the early 1960’s. Without a doubt, Ram […]