samedi, mars 03, 2012

Are LDS members (still) discriminated against?

in the 19th-century, Mormons often had problems with their Christian neighbors, leading them to move further and further West.

Are Mormons still the target of open or covert discrimination?

How do they feel about their role, and future status in American society? Judging by the comments made by a local bishop, a little bruised but hopeful.

mercredi, février 29, 2012

Yoga, sex and the predictable backlash

NYT science writer William Broad has been so helpful in illuminating some of the quirkier, not to say some of the more dangerous sides of this very popular discipline.

On the whole, however, he's very positive about it.

In this latest article, he unveils some of the origins of yoga -- as a Tantric sex cult.

Heard your teacher talk about THAT recently? I doubt it.

Most of my yoga teachers have been very grounded.

But some of them spout New Age nonsense, including soothing bromides about self-actualization, being your own best friend, world peace.

None of them has mentioned the "benefits" of making your yoga teacher your special friend. Apparently that happens more than one would like to think.

Fascinating -- and enlightening, though perhaps not in the way that one thinks as one sets down a mat, and prepares to err, practice.

UPDATE: There has been predictable outrage on the part of some members of the yoga community. They are entitled to their point of view, but it always amazes me how reason goes out the window when sacred cows are tickled.

Read the reverb rant and judge for yourself.

As I recall, on an NPR interview I heard a while back, Broad (a practitioner himself) said that he had been threatened by some commenters.

No surprises there, I'm afraid. But kind of ironic.

lundi, février 27, 2012

The one that got away

Perhaps it's living with two teenagers.

Or maybe it's simply exhaustion from being a spectator as many men emerge from long-term marriages and work their way through relationships, leaving a mess of unsolved issues in their wake.

I listen, but I don't always understand.

I have come to realize that the human mind is powerfully irrational, and that oftentimes, we are the grip of emotional forces that can wreak havoc with our lives.

Some guys cheat, because they've been the victims of a cheater.

Some shut down their feelings, and indulge in sexual experimentation.

Others turn off their minds, and find solace in the arms of females who demand nothing from them.

Was I ever that naive? Was I ever that blind?

Stubborn -- I can understand that emotion. Deluded -- well, perhaps. Possibly, I should be more patient with that glassy-eyed stare when I see it on the faces of some of the men I meet.

Is all of this acting out normative, or is it just that the men I'm running into are particularly crippled by their past experiences?

I do know that when you come across the "real thing," it is foolish to ditch it for a fantasy -- unless, for some reason, you aren't strong enough to cope with the reality.

That whole idea (that some of us might not be tough enough to cope with a multi-dimensional relationship) is, frankly, abhorrent to me.

Wake up and smell the coffee, darling, I want to shout. You can't really enjoy your life if it's only experienced in two dimensions.

But that's not for me to say -- or for me to control.

Tough enough for me to get a grip on my own emotions -- and to find a way to move forward.

Perhaps being "stuck" will help me to develop more empathy for those who find themselves on an endless emotional rollercoaster.

But there are times, many, when I wish that I had turned a blind eye, or a deaf ear, to pity.