michael stone on cultural addictions, new narratives & the heart of practice


“Our culture is addicted to a way of life that we all know is unsustainable, and underneath “addiction” is a holding on to fixed and rigid narratives. In meditation practice, one of the things we all learn is to be able to see how stories operate and just see them – as stories, and how powerful it is to see that thoughts and narratives have no power other than what we invest in them. They’re just a little more than air. Then I thought, how do you scale this up culturally? Because our culture is also addicted to stories and we also know from anyone who suffered from addiction that the opposite side of addiction is imagination. When we are addicted to something, because we are caught in a singular narrative, what’s not possible is the free flowing of imagination. We can only imagine to a certain point.”

In this talk, recorded at W2 Media Cafe on December 2, 2012 in Vancouver, BC, author, activist and yoga/Buddhist teacher Michael Stone explores the cultural addictions that keep us bound to old stories. The talk was a fundraiser for the upcoming short film REACTOR, directed by Ian MacKenzie and co-produced by Stone. The short film covers their pilgrimage to Japan in the wake of the tsunami and Fukushima meltdown, as they explore the ways Japanese people are responding to the disaster.

Unrelated but great, here is a charming video of Michael Stone eating pastry on a Japanese train.

[via the Adbusters blog]

  1. he sure loves the pastry 😉

  2. Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!