Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Independent Media in Sri Lanka

“These days, we have a saying among journalists,” a radio features reporter in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province told me. “Don’t open your mouth—except to eat.” Disappearances and killings of journalists are on the increase. Diplomats and aid officials characterize the Lankan media as “one of the most closed in the world.” Little wonder that the country’s ongoing civil war rarely makes the international news wires. For those with a vested interest in waging war by any means, a carefully cultivated information blackout is key to sustaining the pugilistic Lebensraum.

Read the rest of this piece here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Reluctant Swami

Leaving Zimbabwe in 1991 for my first visit to India, I traveled directly to the Sivananda Vedanta Ashram in the wooded hills above Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala.
Through a friend I knew the Ashram would be holding a five-week intensive training for aspiring yoga teachers, which I was not. I knew nothing of yoga besides its sequence of warm-up of postures, the so-called “sun salutation.” The training would force me to dive deeply into yoga, well over my head—exactly how I like learning experiences to be.

Read the rest of this post about the absurdities and rewards of seeking spiritual insight in a foreign place, at 3 Quarks Daily.