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Journey Notes: Conference in Montana & Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

Updated: Mar 11

Dear Friends:

I've been traveling a bit lately and wanted to share a few notes about two of my stops.

In October, I headed to the 2019 Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference on Contemplative Rhetorics, which took place in Bozeman, Montana, at Montana State University. I attended the conference to present a paper I co-authored with Martha S. Cheng, professor of writing and rhetoric at Rollins College. The paper "The Rhetorical Construction of ‘Authentic’ Yoga: B.K.S. Iyengar’s Recasting of Patañjali’s Sūtras” explored the rhetoric of authenticity and claims of ancient lineage by B.K.S. Iyengar. More specifically, we dissected how Iyengar reshaped Patañjali's metaphysics to support his claims. I can say without reservation that my time at the conference was very positive. The reception of the research was more eagerly embraced by this audience of academics (many who practice yoga) than I've ever received in a yoga studio context. This led to some great post-presentation questions that also highlighted the value of breaking down silos between departments and research specialties; our paper was the only work at the conference that specifically examined rhetoric within yoga studies.

After Bozeman, we headed to Yellowstone National Park for an incredible few days of unimaginable beauty and wildlife. Because we went at the end of October, just days before they closed the park in November, crowds were non-existent. The views were expansive and unobstructed; the geysers were deep turquoise blue, the hot steam danced in the winds, and wildlife was abundant. I would have considered myself lucky to glimpse just one bison at close range, but I lost count of the many bison sightings, often just a few feet away. I didn’t know I would be in Montana or Wyoming until late last summer, so the experience in Yellowstone National Park felt more like an unexpected gracious gift for my 40th year. Yellowstone sparked a heightened awareness of my smallness and connectivity to nature’s expansive embrace, a sensory-filled insight that only wild spaces and profound spiritual experiences seem to generate.

Right now, I'm floating around Florida to spend time with my family for the holiday season. Once I return to Norway, I plan on getting to work launching my next two bespoke education programs and other small education offerings. Also, I have a special winter sale on Metaphysical Roadmaps that runs until January 6. You save $260! If you have any questions about this program, feel free to email me or just set up a free 15-minute consult on the appointments page of my website. I hope to see you soon for an upcoming online educational adventure!

Warmest Regards and Happy New Year



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