books

ramified mind: when you realize (part ii of ii)

Last time detailed the deepest dissociative experience I’ve had while also observing it. That was kind of cool. Why dissociative bliss is not a great choice was in the coming down experience. When I left, I hadn’t completely grounded. It was noonish, and I hadn’t eaten yet. My blood sugar felt low (Ehrenreich is right, […]


ramified mind: when you realize

In response to the second piece on spirituality and dissociation, Kole asked: “Can you explain what to do when you realize that dissociation is blissful? what next? even though you want so bad to heal the dissociation, you realize there is pain to actually letting it go. what then?” My answer is the same as […]


on spirit and dissociation (part iii)

From last time, on Barbara Ehrenreich’s Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything: “But if Ehrenreich really does just chalk it up to physiology, why include the emotional precursors, without the influence they had on her biochemistry? Are we supposed to note them silently, empathize, and nod our heads […]


on spirit, emotion, and dissociation (part ii)

From part i: “What you don’t hear about this kind of dissociation is that it can feel really good. The muscles, often overly rigid in a trauma survivor, go all soft, and the mind goes fuzzy and light. It can be blissful.” My experience of this, and my readings of Kalsched, got me thinking about […]


on spirit and dissociation (part i)

This spiritual experience business is difficult. How to explain the relationship I see between trauma, specifically dissociation, and spiritual experience? It feels clumsy. In March, I happened on a book by social activist Barbara Ehrenreich: Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything. It helped, and I’m going to lean […]


on teaching yoga to the anxious or traumatized. and for practitioners, too.

Forget what I said last time. I spent all day in the human room. We are all traumatized. I loved the Time Out New York cover a few weeks ago that read: “Are we anxious because we’re New Yorkers or are we New Yorkers because we’re anxious?” because it’s something I’ve long considered. New York […]


today’s practice :: check yourself

Last time I gave a very brief rundown on Catholic/Tibetan Buddhist comparative religious history, as explained by Donald Lopez, Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, in Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. I learned, again, that you don’t care much for history. And I offended some, which wasn’t my intent. I did not […]


the devil-lama & the wafer-god

During a recent meditation retreat, the senior teacher played this video of the Guru. I was troubled. Didn’t the teacher, holder of a hard science PhD, or anyone else, for that matter, feel uncomfortable? Embarrassed? It exoticizes Tibet to an extreme. Is it okay, unquestionable, because the Guru is of Tibetan descent? I went home […]


book review: 21st Century Yoga

Last week, I took a little retreat upstate. It was nice, if rainy. I practiced. I sat. I ate goose eggs. I read a few books. While I had intended to read up on the new yoga history, again, due dates dictated my reading order. I started with a book of essays: 21st Century Yoga: […]


non-cheesy yoga = awesome

Or, How to Talk Intelligently About Yoga Is yoga spiritual? Is yoga religion? Is yoga science? What is yoga? These questions matter to me because it affects how I relate to students. I teach yoga in a university gym largely because I have the autonomy to do what I want, as I’ve yet to find […]


book review: Yoga PhD by Carol Horton

Other than some yoga history and philosophy years back, I don’t usually read much about yoga. I try to keep it as experiential as possible. But the more I write, the more I have begun to look to what others are saying. In trying to explain hatha yoga a few weeks ago, I found myself […]