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The Gifts of Madame de Salzmann and G.I. Gurdjieff

G.I. Gurdjieff once told some of his early students in Russia to consider the origin of things.  Where did this cup, this coffee, this food on my plate come from?  How did all these things that touch me come to be made?   Years later in America, Martin Luther King Jr. offered a similar example in […]

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Wild Mind

In my last post,  I wrote of my visit to a faux New Amsterdam which was briefly set up in downtown Manhattan.   Since then, a few friends have asked me why I care about connecting with distant ancestors.  Why not just be the contemporary American that I am?   I think this periodic yearning to know […]

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New Spamsterdam

“Is this the Dutch Village?” my friend Liz asked the big New York City cop standing by a turning windmill in Bowling Green Park in Manhattan.  “This is New Amsterdam,” said the cop with deadpan irony.   We had come all the way down from Northern Westchester in the rain and gloom,  so that I could […]

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May All Beings Be Free From Suffering

Eight years ago this morning,  I was riding a Metro North train down to Manhattan when a conductor ran through the train with the terrible and surreal news that the World Trade Center towers had collapsed and that the Pentagon had been hit.  I knew about the two planes going in when I boarded the […]

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Heroic Labors

On this Labor Day weekend, I am thinking about work and about what elevates some work to the level of the heroic, the mythic, the stuff of art, legend, and inspiration for us all.    Usually, my days are filled with work and information.  It’s not all unpleasant but there is an endless but unmemorable quality […]

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Pay Attention!

How to close the gap between what we think and what we feel?  How do we come to know our deepest aspirations and intentions in the midst of welter of large and small actions and reactions that fill an ordinary day?  A little while ago, I received a comment from someone (who was clearly familiar […]