Like most of the once burgeoning religious sites in Uzbekistan, this one was empty save the sweeper. After 70 years of Communism and a new government intent on keeping sects and fundamentalists out of the country, the madrasas are closed and people stay away from the mosques other than on important holidays.
Participating with underlying forces is not simply a matter of exploiting resources as the principles of capitalism guide, for to be harmonious with the reality both invokes and requires gratitude.
Mr. Zimmerman, my 11th grade chemistry teacher, was nearing retirement, and his impatience with the profession was beginning to show. But there was one lesson that stayed with me from the year I spent in his classroom.
Shards of sunlight swirled around the kitchen table, refracted by a crystal hanging from a string inside the window. Like daytime fireflies, the light-specks moved across the walls and faces of two young children sitting in chairs in front of watercolor paintings, brushes in hand.
Three things happened recently, events that are woven together in my being as a braided matrix. I can share two of these trials, and the third must remain a secret, as is only lawful.
I'm sharing a poem I learned from a Persian dervish. We sang it in Farsi, together with complex rhythms on dumbeks, daffs, and zarbs. Those who knew how would play the melody on the ney, setar, and kemancheh, all traditional Persian instruments.
There's a disposition that combines artistry and warriorship, looking to each situation as an opportunity for both creation and work on oneself. Only to do the more difficult thing is a peculiar form of masochism; but to insistently choose the course that is both difficult and creative, thus steadily threading life with series of bold creative events, is to choose a life that is real.
The religions, philosophies, and intimacies behind death and dying.
The political debates on the bus go 'round and 'round.
A psychological exercise courtesy of Alfred Orage.
In children the power to wish is strong. As children we can want something so much it hurts. Every waking moment can be focused on the object in mind, with the feeling that possessing it will yield a state of utter completeness.
Jason Stern is in favor of freedom—the freedom to express our inherent, essential uniqueness.
Jason Stern analyzes the living process of culture.
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
A personal journey from one shore of the Hudson to another in the Highlands in a houseboat told by Jason Stern.
Jason Stern explores the unifying power of faith.