Dan Friedman and Jay Michaelson
Run Like the Wind, p.5

Jay: I don't think an undifferentiated knowledge that one is the One - I don't think that's something that is picked or chosen. Joslin identifies it as a 'peak experience,' and so do I. Seven varieties of running-dependent ecstasy are, doubtless, lovely mindstates. But lovely mindstates are not the point of contemplative practice: being present with whatever mindstate is happening right now, as well as whatever else is happening, is. In fact, it's interesting to me that Joslin did not write a Christian-particularist account of his spiritual path; many Christian mystics (John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila) had explicitly Christian visions prior to what they described as a merging with the Divine Unity. These 'intermediate steps' are much like the varieties of ecstasy to which you referred. They are incidental to contemplative practice, often quite pleasant (for better or for worse). I don't agree that Joslin is particularist in his selection of practices, but even if he is, it matters more that he is universalist in describing their results.

The intermediate results differ in archery, pottery, serving tea, martial arts, playing the piano. But the ultimate results are the same, so long as the chattering ego quiets down and lets the original Mind work. Consequently, we should be able to practice God-ing in everything, from scheduling appointments to buying groceries. But for most of us, this is too much to ask; the mind is too playful to stimulate in this way, and so we need practices that quiet it. Joslin's book is not unlike Zen Guitar, Zen in the Art of Archery, and every other book that notices how a practice can lead us to the One.

Dan: This is a good and kind point you make, Jay, about the multitude of paths to an infinitely diverse One -- but it isn't Joslin's point. For me elevating Joslin's book to the level of Zen in the Art of Archery pretends that Joslin understands his own practice of running as one in a number of distinct but related practices of which prayer is one and running is another. For Joslin prayer is the path to God and running is merely one way of praying.

Jay: I'll agree with the wisdom in that statement, even if it's not a description of Joslin. As the Zen masters say, when carrying water, carry water. When chopping wood, chop wood. (Or were those the Jewish examples... I can't remember anymore.)

[1]       [2]       [3]       [4]       5
Image: Lyons Den Productions

Jay Michaelson and Dan Friedman are two of the editors of Zeek. They will be part of the December 4, 2003 "Jewilliamsburg" release party for Zeek's fall/winter 03 issue.

Related articles:

Energy Jay Michaelson
What is 'energy'? Is it nonsense?
November, 2003

More than This Dan Friedman
Lost in Translation: A snapshot of the evansescent
October, 2003

Primal Scream Judaism Temima Fruchter
October, 2003

Season of Revision Jay Michaelson
Changes of season and changes of heart
October, 2003

What is Burning Man? Jay Michaelson
Why Black Rock City matters
September, 2003

The Queer Guy at the Strip Club Jay Michaelson
or, The Opposite of Sex
August, 2003

Holocaust Video Testimonies Dan Friedman
The other reality TV
August, 2003

Reinventing the Wheel Michael Shurkin
A review of Douglas Rushkoff's Nothing Sacred
July, 2003

Meditation and Sensuality Jay Michaelson
Sex, drugs, and God in all
July, 2003

yom kippur Sara Seinberg
April, 2003

The Art of Enlightenment Jay Michaelson
James Turrell and the truth of light
April, 2003

Strasbourg Cathedral Michael Shurkin
The soft borders between Jewish particularism and universalism
February, 2003

The Warm, Impossible, Wall-less Summer World Jay Michaelson
Summer days, summer nights are gone...
September, 2002

The Ghost and the Machine Jay Michaelson
Why is it easier to see God in nature than in the city?
August, 2002

9/11: Tony's Story Dan Friedman
CBS's packaging of the '9/11' documentary reveals exactly what America fails to understand about September 11.
April, 2002

December 2003

"We are Seriously Concerned
About the Fate of
the State of Israel"

An interview with four former Israeli Intelligence Directors

Are the Ten
Carved in Stone?

Joel Shurkin

Run Like the Wind
Dan Friedman &
Jay Michaelson

Temima Fruchter

Fleeing Edges
Noam Mor

Josh Goes to Services
Josh Ring

Our 400 Back Pages

David Stromberg

Zeek in Print
Fall 03 issue now on sale

About Zeek


Contact Us



From previous issues:

What is Charlie Kaufman Doing?
Dan Friedman

On Eighth Avenue in New York
Jay Michaelson

The Polity
Rachel Dobkin