Saturday, September 17, 2011

We don't see the water in which we swim, and we don't know how we appear...and what is this "privilege" anyway?

And of course I fit in the same boat...

  • I'm told by my wife that in general Chinese view "intellectual" pursuits as superior to those of learning martial arts, and I'm sure that's true.  It used to be true that the "intellectual" pursuits were viewed as superior to athletic pursuits (complementary wasn't a word used in this area)  in various sub-groups in the United States, including folks descended from Eastern Europe.
  • A lot of folks on the right probably have no idea why Europe might look condescendingly at US "advice" on their economic problems
  • I don't go to places to do yoga.  If my wife's with me, and circumstances permit, and we're staying at a hotel we might have gone to a spa once, where there was a yoga class.  And while I am a stretching/mindful/etc. person who yeah, understands the relationship between meditation & yoga, and I mean no animus towards any of the avid practitioners of yoga in the Buddhist blogosphere, the whole "yoga movement" thing always came across New Agey...with all the baggage that imples.
    • So when someone points out the weird classism that is presented in "yoga media" I'm not surprised. (HT NellaLou)
    • But frankly, when a guy - who's heart is in the right place - but when a guy starts critiquing with an academic "privilege" in yoga - a guy who I'm almost certain is not living a particularly privileged existence save for his sex and skin color it comes across as more concerned with identity politics than actually fostering uh, solidarity.   To me at any rate. I'm a guy who's probably more privileged than most, though, unlike Blaise Pascal, I own not a carriage and 6 horses. 
    • But as I've noted, I have  started doing martial arts recently.  If you haven't already done so, click on the "yoga" media link above,  and click on the "kung fu magazine" link here.
      • Pretty cheesy looking, eh?
      • But it doesn't fit the image I have of the practice I do. And I'm sure  it's not the image - of  myriad practitioners of Aikido, Shorinji kenpo and other martial arts.
      • My teacher is pretty much "off the radar" (though not entirely).  My Zen teacher is pretty much the same way.  If you're doing something genuine it doesn't matter in the least as to how others portray it. You don't know how you'll be portrayed, but whatever, it will  be an inaccurate representation because of the very nature of the representation.
      • And that's because we can't be fully cognizant of how we appear to others. 
  • So basically, find a good teacher and don't worry about how the media portrays your stuff or whether they portray it  at all.  They'll portray it wrong at any rate.

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