All posts tagged: hope

Hope, Marx, and the Body

I have had the great fortune of studying with and, in some cases, just been able to listen to, some people that I would consider to be genuine geniuses.  My fortune has been so great, that it would not be possible to list everyone here.  One of these people is David Harvey, who I met and studied with when I was a student at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.  David Harvey is a critical geographer and anthropologist with significant passion for improving the conditions of life for humans everywhere.  Anyone who has studied Anthropology, or perhaps, any social science, knows that, it doesn’t look good for humans.  Almost every ethnography documents some kind of suffering—-the kind that we inflict on each other, the kind that we inflict on ourselves and the tragedies inherent with war, famine, natural disaster, racism, disease and the list goes on.  After six years of graduate work in Anthropology, I can tell you that the research consistently reveals that we aren’t that nice to one another and we don’t …

Spring Meditation #1: Faith

Each year, in preparation for spring, I read this book: Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience by Sharon Salzberg In my practice of both Catholicism and Judaism, I always appreciated the statements of belief that come at the beginning of a mass or service.  I like the idea of a gathering of people who very clearly state, up front, what joins them together and what they wish to publicly announce as their main practices and beliefs.  It’s a very powerful feeling to be a part of that prayer.  The ability to state, with such certainty, these statements of belief that provide the foundations that both define the religion and the basis of the prayers and practices of that religion, requires faith.  By repeating these statements, and especially by repeating them as a group, they provide a significant structure of support for those beliefs and practices.  But, it isn’t belief that brings that group together.  It is faith. This book by Sharon Salzberg is a profound exploration of what faith is and how it continues to …

Yoga and Hope

In the March 2010 issue of ODE Magazine, there is a thought provoking article, Great Expectations: How hope therapy can help banish mild mood disorders and boost happiness, by Catherine Ryan.  Among the many things that I started to think about was the way that yoga promotes hope. What precisely is hope?  Hope is a subtle sensation and state of being, sometimes an emotion, that provides a vague sense that something other than what “is” can be possible.  It provides the foundation for every change, every decision and every transition that we find ourselves on the other side of.  Without hope, the capacity to love, to move, to grow or to change is stifled and the great shadow of fear and doubt can overwhelm us.  Hope is sometimes confused as faith, but although these both require one another, they are quite different.  In order to act on hope, one must have faith in the potentially positive outcome of one’s actions.  In order to have faith, there must be a song of hope in one’s heart …