Awareness · I and Thou · Metaphors · Pop-culture spirituality · Post-postmodernism

The Culture of Upgrades

I don’t own a smartphone. I like to call, wryly, what I have a dumbphone. It does calls and texts and no internet things. I once owned a smartphone, but downgraded several years back, during a period of time when being a starving grad student temporarily got way too real. Now I could easily switch… Continue reading The Culture of Upgrades

Catholicism · Fiction · Judaism · Philosophy of History

Interlude: Idea for Historical Fiction on the Twentieth Century

“PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF THOSE AT PRAYER,” the signs read in Italian, English, and several other languages. “NO PHOTOGRAPHS WHILE SERVICES ARE IN SESSION.” Nonetheless, as a priest intoned Mass in one of the side chapels of the basilica, several tourists tried to pull out their phones discreetly and snap a picture as they passed… Continue reading Interlude: Idea for Historical Fiction on the Twentieth Century

Asana · Injuries · Pop-culture spirituality · Yoga

I Don’t Mind “Yoga Selfies,” and Here’s Why

For a while now, it’s been a trend to post pictures of oneself doing yoga poses, or “yoga selfies,” on social media. Some of these pictures show super-talented yogis doing some pretty crazy, bendy, acrobatic, and advanced stuff. There are many of these advanced poses I can’t do myself, even as a generally healthy and… Continue reading I Don’t Mind “Yoga Selfies,” and Here’s Why

Gracie Jiu Jitsu · Injuries · Pedagogy · Yoga

When to “Tap” in Yoga

VIEWER ALERT: I’m about to yammer on about the relationship between yoga and jiu jitsu, as I sometimes do. But hey, what did you expect? They’re two subjects I spend far too much time thinking about. One resemblance between yoga and jiu jitsu is that both involve exploring the outer limits of your body’s range… Continue reading When to “Tap” in Yoga

Awareness · Fitness · Milestones

In Which I Resolve to Stop Taking My Good Health for Granted

This month I’m arriving at a rather significant milestone in my life- I’m turning the big 3-0! It took a while for it to sink in, but I feel pretty good about it- in fact, once I thought about it, I realized that I feel better now, overall, than I did at age 20. I’m… Continue reading In Which I Resolve to Stop Taking My Good Health for Granted

Hasidism · History · I and Thou · Post-postmodernism · Religious History

Tales of the Hasidim

A few weeks ago, some friends and I took a trip up to the Hasidic neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It was definitely a must for me, since I’m a student and teacher of American religious history. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated by the complicated, often tense interactions between religious traditionalism and the modern world,… Continue reading Tales of the Hasidim