This web site invites inquiry into early Buddhism, especially the relational or interpersonal practices and potentials found in the Pali suttas, along with corollaries of those early practices in contemporary life and practice.
Such inquiry inevitably involves some engagement with scholarship, but by intention it is also personal, ad hoc, and a bit haphazard—reflecting the opportunities, teachings, and experiences that come to me. Read more about this project.
Ānanda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ānanda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."
"Don't say that, Ānanda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life."
—Upaḍḍha ("Half") Sutta, SN 45.2
discussion:"Great work, Martha! I loved the video of Shinzen Young—very insightful. I do believe improv is a way of life, not about being funny. If everyone took just one improv class the world would be a better place, guaranteed."
on "Improvisation As a Spiritual Practice"
- "I can’t help but wonder why, how ... our vipassana or Pali Buddhist subculture got so far off these deeply human teachings that value, rather than discount, relational contact as support for the path. "
on "Lighting Up the Night"
[I wrote this in 2015 for a group of college students. But the need to wrangle attention runs through all of life: museum-going is just another instance of practice in daily life.] Visiting a museum is sometimes hard work—at least, … Continue reading
I have been doing some improv this fall—as a spiritual practice. Standard principles of improv include: stay in the present moment, listen carefully, do not get tangled up in your ego, keep letting go of your idea from a second … Continue reading
Suppose for a moment that play were a root from which mindfulness develops—its immediate precursor, or most archaic form—and that root shared by accomplished meditators, children, and animals. What would that mean? How might it change our ideas of play? … Continue reading
I have been remembering my first encounter with Insight Dialogue and thinking about how my understanding of that practice has grown and shifted over the years. (Insight Dialogue, as some readers will know, is an interpersonal meditation practice in which … Continue reading