Elucidating the Nature of Human Consciousness Through Art

By Linda Codega

After receiving his doctorate in neuroscience in 2011, artist Greg Dunn made an unconventional decision: to dedicate himself to his art. A long time observer of human consciousness, his images of the human brain have been displayed in museums all over the United States, including the Franklin Institute. He recently spoke with the Garrison Institute about his art, philosophy of the…

In Pursuit of Beauty

By Matt Miles

In recent months, perhaps because of the ugliness circulating throughout the national and international public spheres, beauty and its pursuit have become a subject of contemplation for me. Beyond something that is pleasing to the human senses, what constitutes beauty? And what does a genuine appreciation of beauty—particularly natural beauty—suggest about the values of individuals and cultures that exist to…

Writing to Awaken

By Schuyler Brown

The Universe has a wicked sense of humor. That was my first thought when asked to review Mark Matousek’s new book, Writing to Awaken. I’d been avoiding my own writing demons for months and trying various tactics to get the juices flowing again. I enlisted a writing partner, committed to journaling daily, and set a deadline for the completion of…

A Short History of Walking

By Jennifer Stitt

This is part of a series on solitude by Jennifer Stitt, a historian of modern American thought, culture, and politics working on her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This piece on walking and solitude is the second of five short essays that will be published monthly. Read the first installment, “Listening to Silence, Hearing the Unspeakable” here. Six years…

Who’s Listening?

By Andrew Forsthoefel

Where would you find yourself if your need to be right and your addiction to certainty dissolved into a willingness to listen? Who would you be, then? And who would we be together—as a country, as a planet—if each one of us actually knew what listening was and how to do it because we had, over the course of our lives, been deeply listened to?

Death Asks Us to Live Authentically

By Josh Korda

Death is inevitable. And may arrive even sooner than we dread. A truth is revealed in the precariousness of the human condition, in the body’s vulnerability to infection, disease, and injury: mortality is not the result of fortune or a world gone awry, but a consequence of life itself. While it has been established that we are living in the safest…

Even Larry is a Lesson

By Alex Tzelnic

In spiritual practice, everyone is your teacher. Yes, including Larry, who sat next to you in the meditation hall, interrupting your single-pointed concentration with his strange stomach gurgling issues.

The Play of Voices

By Theresa Sullivan 

Gregory Pardlo is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Totem and Digest, which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He is also the author of Air Traffic, a memoir in essays to be released next year. His writing challenges the borders of identity and form, deftly blending the personal and familial with pop culture, history, literary allusion,…