An American Zen Buddhist training center in the Mountains and Rivers Order, offering Sunday programs, weekend retreats and month-long residencies.
Over at the Huffington Post, spiritual author Mark Matousek and dharma teacher and author Catherine Ingram have started Dharma Salon, a video chat series with the goal of becoming the “eyes and ears on the ground” for culturally-minded dharma bums around the world who are interested in the New York art scene. They’ve kindly agreed to re-post their back-and-forths here on the Trike blog, kicking it off today with the recently ended Warhol exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
If Andy Warhol had never lived—never turning Campbell's Soup cans into pop art icons, never injecting the "15 minutes of fame" meme into the public consciousness—American culture as we know it might never have happened. Warhol's peculiar, vapid genius, along with his obsessions with fame, money, and youth, presaged Facebook, American Idol, the Kardashians, and the thousands of online and print organs dedicated to trumpeting every blasphemous burble and trivial pursuit of celebrities ranging from Brangelina to Honey Boo Boo.
That's why we decided to kick off our new vlog Dharma Salon at the Met, talking about what art is—and isn't—to bring our two very different perspectives as spiritual authors and teachers to Warhol's quintessentially superficial but thought-provoking moment in American cultural history. We wanted to momentarily immerse ourselves in a worldview that glorified the external and the trite by way of contrasting that view to a love of the subtle and profound.
As a special treat, Mark reminisces in this video about his days working for Andy Warhol at Interview Magazine and meeting many of the artists represented at the Met show, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
—Mark Matousek and Catherine Ingram
Mark Matousek is the bestselling author of Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story, The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search for his Lost Father, and When You’re Falling, Dive. His latest book is Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life. You can visit his website at markmatousek.com or follow him on Twitter @MarkMatousek.
Catherine Ingram is an international dharma teacher and author of In the Footsteps of Gandhi, Passionate Presence, and A Crack in Everything. For more information on her work, please visit her website: CatherineIngram.com or follow her on Twitter @CathIngram.