[Podcast] Finding Your Guru, Finding Yourself: Interview with Joseph Houseal (2/2)

Joseph Houseal is an ancient dance specialist. He is the director of Core of Culture – a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to safeguarding intangible world culture and assuring the continuity of ancient dance traditions.

Joseph Houseal performing in Japanese play Kokaji. Image courtesy of Joseph Houseal 

In the second half of our interview, Joseph reveals more about himself – his professional and spiritual journey. He explains how his Catholic upbringing prepared himself for embracing the polytheism of Hinduism, and how his interest in ancient Greek theatre led him to study Noh theatre in Kyoto.

Recalling fond memories with his Noh Sensei and Vajrayana Buddhist masters, Joseph elucidates the aesthetic approach to religion in Buddhism, and moreover, demystifies what a guru means. I was particularly touched by his stories with his dance and meditation guru, the late Lama Sonam Kunga Rinpoche, who was one of the mostly highly trained in Drikung Cham transmission as well as Drikung meditation practice.

In the end, Joseph explains why dance gives him bearings in the universe. In this heartfelt conversation, I learned so much. If you want to know more about Joseph Houseal, you can visit the website of Core of Culture You can also read his column on Ancient Dances at Buddhistdoor and other writings at Ballet Review.

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© 2020 by Guoying Stacy Zhang