“The Tree of Contemplative Practices”

This graphical representation of the many paths seekers have forged or followed to increase their understanding of the human situation is elegant and useful, is it not?

I especially like the seven categories used to group these distinct-but-related practices.

(Sidebar: In addition to being a sometimes/would-be seeker, I am also a longtime taxonomy freak.  My interest in the graphic representation of data, my appreciation of brilliantly-conceived satire, and my inveterate skeptical nature were recently stimulated by the Internet posting of artist Crispian Jago’s only-semi-spoofy Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense. I mention this here because I noticed that several of  the Practices from the “Tree” show up on Jago’s Table.)

The website of the Massachusetts-based group that formulated the “Tree” (and sells a poster of it) is full of interesting information, including brief descriptions of each Practice, and a list of recommended books for enlightenment seekers.

Someone from a twenty-year-0ld organization of gay men I greatly admire, Gay Spirit Visions, recently posted to GSV’s Facebook page a link to the “Tree,” and I am glad they did, so I could post it here.


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