May 31, 2006

The Ceaseless Society

Today I listened to a webcast of a program that was held at MIT awhile ago called The Ceaseless Society. The primary speaker was Jon Kabat Zinn who spoke on a wide range of topics around the state of society today. Some of the points that stuck in my mind included:

  • Being in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction
  • Continually living for the future causes us to miss our current life
  • Digital revolution changed the relationship to work
  • Connected with the world has led to being disconnected with ourselves
  • Not stepping back and asking why are we doing this
  • Buddhism is not about duality
  • What is meditation? It's about mindfulness: paying attention, in the moment, non judgmentally

He has a book out called Coming to Our Senses which explores these and many more topics in detail. I'm going to add it to my to read list as I found his way of approaching the topic spot on.

Tags: books ceaselesssociety mit tac

April 30, 2006

Grand Mufti of Bosnia

Tonight I attended a lecture by the Grand Mufti of Bosnia one Dr. Mustafa Ef. Ceric. His talk was on "European Muslim Identity in the New Millennium". The focus was a doctrine he has laid out to help unite Muslims and Europe. While I can't find a link to the core of his talk, it is one he has laid out before and I would not do it justice trying to summarize it here. Instead I'm inclined to mention some of the other nuggets of wisdom he imparted. These are all paraphrases of what he mentioned:

David Irving is an example of a new president where denial of a crime maybe a crime in itself.

Religion is about community and organization. Morality is about good and evil. Faith is a personal matter.

One of many jokes he interjected: Politicians can't tell the truth. Preachers can't tell a lie. Journalists can't tell the difference.

Islam has many faces: political, cultural, spiritual/religious, economic, and a new one terrorist. The problem well known faces are not attached to each.

Need to find a balance of dialog that needs to take place to help integration. Focus on politics is too powerful, focus on theology is too precious, and a focus on war is to costly.

Tolerance is a sign of strength, intolerance is a sign of weakness.

Tags: lecture religion tac