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The Sun Interview

At The Heart Of Healing

An Interview With Stephen Levine

THE SUN: In the introduction to your book Who Dies?, Ram Dass talks about the days when people believed the Earth was flat, and says that the first people who suspected it was round had incredible courage to risk sailing over the edge. He makes the analogy to your pioneering work with the dying. I wonder whether there was a time in your own life when you were afraid of dying.

The Sun Interview

The Silent Mind

An Interview With Jehangir Chubb

When I noticed courses on Eastern religion being offered around town by Jehangir Chubb, a retired professor of philosophy from the University of Bombay in India, I was intrigued. Was he another dry intellectual or a genuine teacher, with something to say to us all?


What We Came For

They had to wait a long time for the harvest to begin. Gerard talked to Kate of nothing else for weeks. He imagined the two of them working their way across Canada, then down the West Coast of the U.S., picking fruit and living like gypsies. But it had been a cold, rainy spring that year in Quebec, and when summer solstice arrived, there was still snow on the Laurentian Mountains. Now it was the end of June, and the strawberries were not yet ripe.

The Sun Interview

Going Against The Dragon

An Interview With Robert Bly

Robert Bly takes us down to the valley, and gets down with us in the dirt, and shows us this is where it starts —here in flesh, here in grief, here in memories we deny. His arms wave like big branches, as he tells us to face the dark in ourselves. His language runs like water over the dry bed, whether he’s talking about what it means to be a man or a woman, or acknowledging the pain of childhood, or warning against the siren call of Eastern mysticism. Full of eloquence and extraordinary energy, Bly is one of the most respected and widely read poets of the age, as fully human as anyone I’ve met.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Instrument Of The Immortals

It’s a Steinway vertical, the “professional” model, taller, with longer strings than a spinet, and three pedals like a grand. It has a satin finish, each of its five coats of black enamel applied and then rubbed in turn with fine steel wool, producing a sheen rather than a hard shine, the elegance of a top hat. It’s an aristocrat, born with a patina and a name. It bears in fact the autograph of John Steinway — now seventy-two, great-grandson of the founder — on the rear right-hand corner under the lid, in magic marker.


What Miss Lena Prays For

Miss Lena goes into the dressing room, closes the folding three-way mirror, gets down on her knees, and prays. I wonder if she’s really praying for customers, as she tells me, or if she’s praying for bigger things, like peace in Yugoslavia, where she is from and which she calls Yugo, or maybe an end to homelessness. It seems to me you shouldn’t waste a prayer on attracting customers.


The Mayfly Glimmer Before Last Call

Jackie was nineteen, a cocktail waitress in Niagara Falls, New York. She worked in a bar on the other side of town and would come into our place with the other waitresses after her shift was up. Jackie was something else, the way she shook her hair. She had a face that you immediately liked and wanted to examine closely and maybe figure out what it was that made it so nice. I’d invariably flub her order, come up a drink short, forget to put amaretto in her slammer, grenadine in her sunrise. I failed her because I wanted to please her. She tipped me anyway — she made her living on tips, couldn’t not tip me — but tipped me with disdain, as if I were a leper on a pleasure cruise hanging out by the shuffleboard courts selling fake Hawaiian jewelry.

The Sun Interview

Saving The Indigenous Soul

An Interview With Martín Prechtel

For the majority of human history, shamans have simply been a part of ordinary life. They exist all over the world. It seems strange to Westerners now because they have systematically devalued the other world and no longer deal with it as part of their everyday lives.

The Sun Interview

The Myth Of Therapy

An Interview With James Hillman

What one feels is very important, but how do we connect therapy’s concerns about feeling with the disorder of the world, especially the political world? As this preoccupation with feeling has grown, our sense of political engagement has dropped off. How does therapy make the connection between the exploration and refinement of feeling, which is its job, and the political world — which it doesn’t think is its job?