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New Existentialists

Dying Majestically: B. K. S. Iyengar 1918-2014

08/21/2014
Dying Majestically: B. K. S. Iyengar 1918-2014
His website now displays only a photo and the following quote: “I always tell people, live happily and die majestically.” –B. K. S. Iyengar, 14 Dec. 1918 – 20 Aug. 2014 Headlines around the world today all read with little variation, B. K. S. Iyengar, who brought yoga to the west, dies at age 95. And once again this summer, I find myself grappling with huge loss. Iyengar, the guru who created a method to make yoga accessible to any body, and who created a method to train his teachers so that they, in turn, would be so rigorously trained that they would do no harm but...

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New Existentialists

BOSTON STRONG: Engendering Self-Examination

08/20/2014
BOSTON STRONG: Engendering Self-Examination
The 2014 Boston Marathon took place, like last year’s, on Patriot’s Day on a glorious spring day here in transcendentalist New England. It was a moment of triumph for so many people around our city and world, one that was preceded and accompanied by great anticipation, jubilation, sadness, and an outpouring of municipal and patriotic zeal. The winner of the men’s division race was an Eritrean émigré, the first American to do so in more than three decades. The entire event was typified by a spirit a determination, resilience and resolve. One year later,...

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Rethinking Complexity

5 Things Managers Should Say to Employees

08/19/2014
5 Things Managers Should Say to Employees
Now that the economy is beginning to pick up, it’s becoming harder to retain quality employees. And just because your company may offer many attractive benefits and good wages, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to hold on to your best performers. Research has found that people join a company due to its reputation, but they leave because of a poor direct supervisor. Are your managers aware of just how powerful their impact? The immediate supervisor is someone who likely also has a boss and therefore should know what it’s like to be in their direct reports’ shoes....

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New Existentialists

The Walls of San Gimignano and the Shadow of the Tower

08/19/2014
The Walls of San Gimignano and the Shadow of the Tower
"I want the world to recognize, with me, the open door of consciousness." -- Frantz Fanon I was recently in the Tuscany region of Italy exploring the ancient walled-in cities (Volterra, San Gimignano). They are astonishing for many reasons, and despite the distracting and rampant tourism in some of them (many little stores sell Pinocchio dolls), any visitor will be struck by the interconnected community the walled in city creates with its narrow stone roads and even narrower passages and alleys that all, eventually, lead to a town square or piazza. In the ancient past, as in our day...

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New Existentialists

Mircea Eliade on Time and Eternity

08/18/2014
Mircea Eliade on Time and Eternity
In Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious Symbolism (1991), Mircea Eliade* focuses on the Indian symbols of time and eternity and the function of myth as an account of events that took place in the beginning. In the beginning was a primordial, non-temporal instant, or a moment of sacred or Great Time. Myth takes the person out of their own subjective time, and projects them, symbolically, into a paradoxical instant, which cannot be measured because it does not consist of duration. For example, different notions of time are represented in the myths of the eternal return, infinite Time,...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

08/15/2014
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Once again this summer, death is in the air, as we mourn the losses of two great icons, Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams. Their deaths, back-to-back in the space of less than 36 hours, provide us with space to reflect on what their losses might mean, especially in terms of the differences in their respective demises. A friend and colleague posed a rhetorical question on Facebook as to the meaning of “...

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New Existentialists

Sylvia

08/14/2014
Sylvia
She came to the coffee store and wanted tea. It was a little odd, but she was a little odd, somewhere between crazy and eccentric. Her name, as you might have guessed from the title, was Sylvia. Jason's fourth law is the older you get, the younger everybody else looks; the corollary is that as I was young, I can't trust any assessments of her age, especially this far after the fact. Let's say somewhere between 50 and 70 with 90% confidence. She had long black hair with no silver in it, so much no silver that it was obviously either dyed or just a wig. She wore loose-fitting layers...

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Rethinking Complexity

The Importance of Gender Equity

08/14/2014
The Importance of Gender Equity
In my last blog Strengthening our Social Fabric, I mentioned Sweden’s emphasis on gender equity as a way to create a good society.  Here I will further consider the systemic implications of gender equity in hopes that we consider its importance to all societies. The Global Gender Gap report (2013) rates 136 countries on their ability to close the gender gap thus attaining equity in four key areas: economic participation and opportunity, health and survival, educational attainment, and political empowerment. I wonder how many people in the US would be surprised that we do not...

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New Existentialists

Compassion as an Intentional Practice

08/13/2014
Compassion as an Intentional Practice
Why practice cultivating compassion? Is it just another fad? I had the privilege of spending three days with the Dalai Lama earlier this year. Whenever, I have met him over the past five years, I am moved by his presence, his humility, his humor and his compassion. His message is simple and direct. It is a message of cultivating loving-kindness, compassion, and warm-heartedness. This message is beyond religion. It is about transforming the mind, and nourishing our self and others. As a child, the Dalai Lama had a very warm and loving relationship with his mother. He remembers his mother would...

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New Existentialists

At-Home in the Elsewhere

08/12/2014
At-Home in the Elsewhere
I am five years old, staring outside at the puddles of 47th Avenue after a summer thunderstorm. The rain penetrates our pine front door, moistening the wood around the small rectangular windows. The musty smell of the wood attracts me. I stand uncomfortably on the tips of my toes so my mouth reaches the wet wood. I bare my little teeth and chew. The smell and taste of the wood transport me to a still earlier time, dirt campsite on the way to the mountains, playing in the earth with my miniature tow truck, looking at the tall trees, chew, chew. I am whole, here and there, now and then, toe to...

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