“Hardwiring Happiness”: How to Have More Positive Experiences in Your Life

This summer Magin and I had the opportunity to attend an eight-day meditation retreat in North Carolina through an organization called Buddhist Geeks. One central question for this group is “How can we serve the convergence of Buddhism with rapidly evolving technology and an increasingly global culture?” I described this approach in a post a few years ago on Pragmatic Buddhism, Westernized Dharma, and 21st-century Sangha. The basic idea is that in contrast to believing stories of what someone a … [Read more...]

People, Planet, Profit: Money Is Not the Only Bottom Line

In addition to spending time with family and friends on Labor Day Weekend, I try to be mindful that Labor Day is about much more than a three-day weekend, symbolically marking the end of summer. The first Monday in September was set apart as a time to celebrate the labor movement’s role in securing worker’s rights. In the late nineteenth century, an increasing number of states officially recognized Labor Day as a holiday, culminating in Congress declaring Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. An … [Read more...]

“Becoming Wise”: The Practice of Generous Listening

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I've responded to that question many different ways over the year. As I approach middle age, I'm beginning to consider that one thing I might want to become one day is an elder — with the connotation not only of being “older than I once was,” but also of being wiser. Our invitation is to move from “Age-ing to Sage-ing.” Have you ever been in the middle of a meeting — especially a heated debate — and heard an elder speak? In the midst of sparks flying a … [Read more...]

Falling Down & Rising Strong

I've posted previously about Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. I’m a fan of Brown’s work. Another accessible introduction to Brown’s work is her TED Talks. What I appreciate most about Brown’s work is that she courageously and compassionately addresses topics that most of us have been taught to avoid. Almost two decades ago, she told her husband, “I want to start a global conversation about vulnerability and sha … [Read more...]

Modern Uncertainty: “Meeting the Universe Halfway”

A member of the congregation I serve emailed me recently on the topic about modern uncertainty:In the nineteenth century, Robert Browning could write, “God 's in His heaven — All’s right with the world!” There was a high level of certainty that we were on the path to an earthly paradise. At the dawn of the twentieth century, quantum effects disrupted the view of science that nature was predictable at the most basic level. Wittgenstein questioned whether there indeed were any philosophical q … [Read more...]

Gender Liberation

Last summer, when The United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, we celebrated a watershed moment in the struggle for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual equality. And as significant as that victory was, the struggle for equal rights — for equal protection under the law — is not yet complete. Even though same-sex marriage is legal in all fifty states, “Twenty nine states lack anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation or gender identity, and there is no federal law protecting ac … [Read more...]