Monday, February 25, 2013

What does the world want to do through you?

I just spent a fascinating and enlightening weekend watching a live-stream from something called the Wisdom 2.0 conference, from silicon valley. Personally, I never gave much thought to the idea of mindfulness/wisdom/spirituality connected with the tech industry. I'm overwhelmed by my ignorance. The industry is crawling with people who care about the world, and about other people, and who do something about it. Who knew.

I don't know how long they'll leave the various videos up on the above-referenced page, but they do say that all of them, plus the ones from last year's conference, will be available online somewhere. I just didn't catch the 'where'.

It's hard to choose one speaker or panel to highlight, because each and every one had much to offer, much to make me think, much to raise my own awareness and already-existing drive to do something with whatever remains of my life to make this world a better place. Still, I can point out some highlights for me personally. You might connect more with the veterans, or the inner-city kids, or any one of the others.

For me, the most powerful talk was that given by Marianne Williamson. In fact, I just watched it again while working out. I don't know who she is -- never heard of her before -- but I sure like what she had to say. She talked largely about addressing the poverty and suffering in the world -- and she issued a challenge to the tech industry that I think will not go unheard (since a whole lot of tech execs were in the room). Powerful. Her talk was Sunday before the lunch break, so you won't have to scroll down too far on the page to find it.

Perhaps the most fascinating, for me, was an interview of Bill Ford (as in Ford Motors) by Jack Kornfield, one of the best meditation teachers this country has known. Turns out they've been friends and teacher/student for 20 years or so, which in and of itself isn't surprising. What's surprising to me is Bill's humanity, his compassion and caring and how he uses that love, compassion, caring and such that he's learned from Jack in his life, and in the way he runs FMC. That's what it's all about, people. Meditating, being spiritual (whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Islamic or secular), sending loving kindness into the world -- all great stuff to do for yourself. But what makes magic out of it is when you take it into your workplace, into your relationships with others, into the world at large, and not in a proselytizing way where you try to convince others that your way is the right way, the only way, but in a way of shining your own love and compassion and caring into the life of every sentient being you encounter, without judgment. Bill Ford is doing that, and the simple knowledge that the CEO of a major corporation in this country is running that corporation from that viewpoint gave me more hope and inspiration for the future of the country than I can say. He battled the board of directors over environmental issues at their plants. He says we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels. An auto manufacturing exec? It's a lengthy talk, but worth the time. It was the final event on Saturday, so you'll have to scroll down a bit to find it.

Another was a young woman named Leah Pearlman. Her talk is short, and sweet, and personal -- expressed with drawings she calls Dharma Comics. It's all about loving yourself -- all parts of yourself, even the mean and ugly parts.  You'll have to scroll past the Bill Ford interview to find it -- I think it was Saturday morning.

So -- have a look, and have a listen. There's something there for everyone.

Onto more mundane things, after a week of pouting and not exercising and eating whatever I wanted, today I have returned to the trenches. Interestingly enough -- no weight/measurement gain or loss for the week, so clearly it doesn't matter what I eat or how much I exercise. This old body is stuck where it is. I guess I do it for health, to keep the body and mind able to grow old gracefully and healthfully.

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