Category Archives: Cult of Personality/Celebrity Yoga Culture

His body is a golden string your body’s hanging from: Leonard Cohen and the disgraced guru

an excerpt from Cohen Koan (forthcoming, fall 2013) I believe that you heard your master sing while I lay sick in bed. In the late 90s I opened a magazine and saw a picture of Leonard Cohen sitting beside his teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi, both of them zen blank-and-stern in brown-black robes, bone-white rings at […]

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Labor Pains: A Call for Self-Inquiry

Yoga is a spiritual, although not specifically religious, pursuit. Its lineage is based on leader-follower relationships.  As Jen so concisely puts it, yoga is not categorically different than these other spiritual traditions, and it is equally susceptible to the corruptions of power, authority and popularity. What is different about yoga, though, is that its philosophies […]

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I Love the Way You Lie to Me

In my comparative politics courses I teach young college students about the phenomena of cults-of-personality. It comes up in my unit on communism, when I get to Krushchev’s Secret Speech of 1956. This was a private condemnation of the atrocities masterminded by Stalin, “who absolutely did not tolerate collegiality in leadership and in work, and […]

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Gotta Getta Guru

I saw an ad today on craigslist looking for a “marketing guru.” In fact, if you search jobs on craigslist new orleans, you will find a bunch of ads looking for gurus. If you search the whole internet for gurus, you will find everything from stock brokers to bicycle companies. Guru is a word we […]

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Cult of Personality/Celebrity Yoga Culture

Later today we will commence the not so long-awaited first theme here at YFSP: Cult of Personality/Celebrity Yoga Culture. Tracey will kick things off around 6pm CST with her piece, Gotta Getta Guru™. Until then, enjoy this musical prelude: Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Volume 1.