Art as Spiritual Practice

By Peter Sciscioli

Meredith Monk opened the 2015 Artist and Buddhist Contemplatives gathering with a group vocalization of “AH.” This first sound of the gathering arose out of the silence and moved through all the participants together in a circle in the main hall at Garrison. And it proved a beautiful inspiration for Robert Thurman’s impromptu exposition on “A” during his talk that…

Glimpses From the Healing Spiral of Words

By Annie Finch

The beautiful words you will read below arose in the consciousness of participants in my recent writing workshop at the Garrison Institute. The workshop was based on Healing Rhythms of Words, my system of creative, psychological, and spiritual growth through rhythmical writing. Each of the brief passages here offers a glimpse into one moment of our weekend-long journey through different language…

personal and social change

Changing for Real

By Nora Boxer

Renowned teachers and authors Ethan Nichtern and Sharon Salzberg will be leading a retreat on “Real Change” at the Garrison Institute on December 14-16, 2018. We talked with them recently about the nature of both personal and social change, and how creating supportive communities is essential to the practice of Real Change. Nora Boxer: Why do we paradoxically both want change…

The Compassionate Bliss of the Artist

By Sara Overton

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” –Percy Bysshe Shelley Tenzin Robert Thurman, speaking at the Artist and Buddhist Contemplatives gathering at the Garrison Institute, offered this idea in a talk titled The Buddha Emanation Body as the Original Buddhist Art Piece. It raises the question, What kind of a world do we want to create? Bob talked about…

Perception As Seed of Poetry

By Reed Bye

My upcoming talk for the Naropa in New York series will center on a question: At the first moment of any sense or mental experience, is the object of the perception perceived simply “as it is,” or is there, in that moment, already an inherent split between the event and the mind noticing it? Can one’s attention to perception be…

The Geopolitics of the Other

By Garrison Institute

How do we emotionally and socially construct our notions of difference and “the other?” Are there core truths about otherness and racial bias that transcend geographic boundaries? In June, more than 130 scientists, scholars, students, and activists from 19 countries gathered at Mind & Life’s 15th Summer Research Institute (SRI), each held at the Garrison Institute. This year’s theme,“Engaging Cultural Difference…

Opening to Joy and Love

By Sebene Selassie

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34, I was fortunate to be surrounded by many loving friends and family who were ready to support me in whatever ways I needed. Apparently, I didn’t think I needed much. I was already a student of Buddhism and a yogi with a very healthy self-care routine. I was also…

Changing the Story

By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

We know only too well the story that defines our world today. It is a tale of consumerism and greed, sustained by the empty but enticing promise of an endless stream of “stuff” as the source of our happiness and well-being. Some of us are finally coming to recognize the self-destructive madness of this myth, how we are ravaging our…