I'm going to try to write a new post every other day for a few weeks. Since I'm new in Boulder there are probably new people reading, and I want get into a new routine.
I've done a bunch of updates to other parts of the website, with more to come and I'm open to suggestions reader might have for changes or new pages.
I've been working on a paper that is going to be delivered at the end of the month at the Daoist Conference in Boston. I'm excited about it. Adam D. Frank wrote an interesting book about 10 years ago and here is a review of it by a friend of mine who is a growing figure in the field of Anthropology. If you track down to numbered paragraph 10, you can read the justification for my paper. I spent 4 days talking to Georges so perhaps I had an influence on him but mostly I just think we think alike. My paper is called Cracking the Code: Taijiquan as Enlightenment Theater.
I've been thinking a lot about how I want to structure my classes and how to charge for teaching. This rather boring article actually raises many of the basic questions. His point about me needing to choose exactly what I'm teaching is probably correct. I should probably institute some mandatory introductory classes too. But there are two basic problems I have that he doesn't address. (1) I don't believe there is any inherent order to the subject and I believe that all the normally discrete subjects from improv theater to baguazhang to meditation benefit from being presented in a common milieu--as a single megasubject. (2) Hardly anyone with the free time to study with me in depth has the money to pay me what I'm worth. The author of that article seems to think that if he just raises his prices students will be paying him what he is worth, I don't think it is possible to pay me what I'm worth using the model of monthly dues. I'm looking seriously at models whereby people who care about the arts can make a donation to the preservation and promotion of the arts on a 5 to 25 year scale. I'd love to hear peoples thoughts on these issues.
I read these two articles on Yoga, the first is funny, if like me you have been following the yoga is ours debate.
Of course the idea of owning artistic expression in someone else's body is absurd, and the author seems completely blind to the fantastically liberating forces of international commerce, but it is fun anyway.
...is actually incoherent unless you have a very sharp Occam's Katana handy. But she does raise a very interesting question about the reasons soccer-mom/professionals are choosing to do constantly changing disciplined workouts that are short on play. Why are they choosing so much structure over games and fun? It is apparently what a lot of people want, and I see many of the same traits in children who generally seem to find being on a very short leash deeply emotionally satisfying. The article has too much dross in it to come to any clear conclusion but there is something interesting going on. As mothers have come to be masters of their childrens' "playdates" they seem to have created the same thing for themselves, but without the play. Is it new? Is there anyway to track adult seriousness vs. playfulness over time?
And lastly, I think fish is very healthy food and I'm very excited to learn that fish prices are about to fall through the floor. If other things, like housing prices for instance, were to drop too life on earth might just become too easy! Don't read these last two links if you are uncomfortable with the idea that life is getting better all the time do to commercial prowess. I call this the green washing solution. These links have nothing to do with martial arts, but they do have to do with Tantric ideas about enlightenment, and that is part of what I'm teaching these days. Below is Manjushri the deity for cutting through styles of teaching, which my students and my wife tell me is my patron saint.