A Tale Of Two Hermits

“A fine line separates the weary recluse from the fearful hermit. Finer still is the line between hermit and bitter misanthrope.” So wrote Dean Koontz in Velocity. Koontz’s words carry some weight, especially if they are read in the context of a complex social phenomenon in Japan, known as Hikikomori (meaning “pulling inward, being confined”) which … More A Tale Of Two Hermits

The Lure Of Eastern Orthodoxy & Monastic Spirituality

Orthodox Christianity has always fascinated me.  The continuity of beautiful liturgy and iconography makes for a unique expression of the Christian faith. Nowhere is this continuity more evident than in Mount Athos in Greece. The holy peninsula reaches some 31 miles out into the Aegean Sea, and it is here that for over a thousand years … More The Lure Of Eastern Orthodoxy & Monastic Spirituality

Meditation And Contemplation Has A Dramatic Effect In An Unexpected Place

In the 2002-2003 school year, there were 41 murders in the neighborhood of Visitacion Valley Middle School in the San Francisco area. Students were busy playing “cops and robbers” with real guns, and many suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as  a result of the violence they had witnessed in their lives. Then, in 2007, the … More Meditation And Contemplation Has A Dramatic Effect In An Unexpected Place

A Journey Through the Seasons of Life

Korean director Kim Ki-duk’s Buddhism-inspired extended 2003 meditation  – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring – takes place on an isolated lake nestled among scenic mountains on which floats a small, one-room hermitage housing two monks, one old and one young. The narrative unfolds over the course of several years, and is divided into five sections … More A Journey Through the Seasons of Life