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Dean Sluyter
"The people dancing in the streets were thought to be insane by the people who couldn't hear the music."
- Nietzsche

A grateful student of yogis, lamas, and gyanis for over 40 years, Dean Sluyter (rhymes with "lighter") has taught natural meditation and self-inquiry in venues from Ivy League universities to maximum-security prisons. His books include The Zen Commandments and Cinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons from the Movies, and his CDs include The Zen Commandments and Just Being: Natural Meditation.

Known for his warmth, humor, and down-to-earth approach, Dean gives talks and workshops for organizations, churches, and yoga centers throughout the U.S. He has appeared at such venues as the Chautauqua Institution, New York Open Center, and Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and at colleges including Columbia, Rutgers, Wesleyan, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has been featured in various media, including Oprah & Friends Radio with Dr. Oz, National Public Radio, the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly, which called his work "extremely well written and joyously entertaining."

Dean's training has focused mainly on the nondual "Tag, you're It" approach of Dzogchen and Advaita. He has completed numerous lengthy retreats in the U.S. and abroad and has made pilgrimages to India, Tibet, and Nepal. When not writing or teaching, Dean narrates audiobooks, plays harmonium, sings kirtan, and happily rides his Vespa through the streets of Santa Monica.

Website (includes book excerpts and streaming video):

Entries by Dean Sluyter

Daffy Duck vs. Nirvana

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 10:32 PM

We're all Daffy Duck -- on acid.

Nothing holds still. Nothing is solid. Our world and our egos keep melting away. Who's doing all this?

Welcome to life.

Welcome also to Duck Amuck, the brilliant 1953 Daffy Duck short enshrined by the Library of Congress and chosen by animators as...

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We Are the Groundhog: Harold Ramis' Finest Moment

(2) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 6:01 PM

Harold Ramis, the wonderful comic writer-director, has died at age 69. He made us laugh, which is gift enough in this world. That his films, like Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters, usually succeeded in being funny while maintaining a gentle and generous spirit made the gift even richer. But beyond that,...

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John Goodman, Lord Ganesh, and the Hub of the Universe

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 2:51 PM

Good news. I'm not crazy ... at least, not totally crazy. John Goodman cleared that up for me.

Last Thursday night I attended a screening of the new film by Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis, followed by a Q&A session with Goodman, America's favorite man-mountain character actor, who...

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Backup Singers and the Divided Soul

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 4:45 PM

A few nights ago I attended a Los Angeles screening of "20 Feet from Stardom." It's rare that a documentary inspires the audience to cheer, clap and sing along, but this one did. It tells the story of the great backup singers -- Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and...

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Emily Dickinson and the Buddha vs. the WWF

(6) Comments | Posted August 5, 2009 | 11:00 AM

Wrestlers moan: "ARRRGGGHHH!" The Buddha sighs: "Ahhhhh!" We'll get back to them shortly.

I just spent a week as a turista in New England, visiting the green mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as the restored home of Emily Dickinson in Amherst, Massachusetts. After almost a lifetime of...

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The Dharma of Celebrity Death

(9) Comments | Posted July 23, 2009 | 2:46 PM

I've been out of the country on a couple of meditation retreats and so missed much of this summer's celebrity necromania. The same thing happened to me in 1977 when Elvis died; I was in the middle of a six-month retreat in an off-season ski hotel in Switzerland and read...

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It's Official: Nobody's Cool. (Kerouac Posthumously Blows It)

(8) Comments | Posted May 19, 2009 | 6:17 PM

So now we know. In case you missed the news, literary archaeologists have unearthed the evidence, more earthshaking and culture-shocking than any suppressed scroll Dan Brown could dream up. Jack Kerouac -- Mr. On the Road, the King of the Beats, who begat the beatniks who begat the hippies...

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Your Junk Drawer vs. Nirvana

(6) Comments | Posted May 11, 2009 | 4:58 PM

A friend asks: "I have a garage full of junk that I can't seem to get rid of. Not just junk junk, but clingy junk: books and pictures that were once meaningful to me, trinkets and tchotchkes from old friends and lovers, notebooks and papers from when I attended college...

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Spirituality ≠ Belief

(19) Comments | Posted April 13, 2009 | 11:38 AM

In bars, in churches, on cable news channels, and just about anywhere else, there's never a shortage of people eager to tell you what to believe. But at least when the guy on the next stool is busy convincing you who the Dodgers' greatest left-handed pitcher was, he'll trot out...

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Lord Shiva Kicks Ass: The Liberating Power of Loss

(16) Comments | Posted March 26, 2009 | 2:29 PM

I promise I'm not going to try and cheer you up. As far as I know, you won't get a new job, recoup the value of your 401(k), or save your house from the repo man. In fact, the one thing I'm sure of is that sooner or later...

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