The Wisdom 2.0 Conference: live and free

“The digital world can do so much good. I just hope people in the technology world can feel on a mission here to ask the deep moral questions. Because if you don’t ask these questions, they get decided for you”.

Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher, on the opening panel of The Wisdom 2.0 conference, quoted by Jay Michaelson for Tricycle.

How can we live with greater presence, meaning, and mindfulness in the technology age is the question asked at the fourth annual Wisdom 2.0 conference, happening in San Francisco on February 21-24 and addressing the intersections of spirituality, mindfulness, and technology. Watch live now.


The Compassionate Brain – FREE seven-part video series

The Compassionate Brain— Activating the Neural Circuits of Kindness, Caring, and Love – Practical Neuroscience for Transformation is a FREE seven-part video series with Dr. Rick Hanson, exploring the effective ways to change your brain and heart and life through the power of self-directed Neuroplasticity. Each week, Dr. Hanson and his seven guests will explore the profound implications of this cutting-edge science—and how you can use it to guide your own transformation.

“Perhaps the most valuable result of our new discoveries about neuroplasticity is that it helps us bring our brain into harmony with the greatest virtues of our heart.” (Dr. Rick Hanson)

The series begin TODAY, October 8, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –4), but on-demand streaming videos will be available a few days after each session’s conclusion. The host is SoundsTrue – I truly trust and recommend their work. I love the Insights at the Edge podcast, Tami Simon’s in-depth interviews with leading spiritual teachers and luminaries exploring their latest challenges and breakthroughs. Check it out!


Each week Dr. Hanson will be joined by a world-class scholar/teacher, including Richie Davidson, Dan Siegel, Tara Brach, Dacher Keltner, Kelly McGonigal, Kristin Neff, and Jean Houston. They’ll discuss different ways to use the power of neuroplasticity—how the mind can change the brain to transform the mind—to open the heart, build courage, find compassion, forgive oneself and others, and heal the world.

Session 1: How the Mind Changes the Brain
Monday, October 8, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –4)
With Dr. Richie Davidson, professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin and co-editor of The Asymmetrical Brain

Session 2: Mindfulness of Oneself and Others
Monday, October 15, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –4)
With Dr. Daniel Siegel, executive director of the Mindsight Institute and author of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

Session 3: Cultivating a Forgiving Heart
Monday, October 22, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –4)
With Dr. Tara Brach, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

Session 4: The Evolution of Compassion: From Gene to Meme
Monday, October 29, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –4)
With Dr. Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

Session 5: Balancing Compassion and Assertiveness
Monday, November 5, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –5)
With Dr. Kelly McGonigal, senior teacher and consultant for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

Session 6: The Power of Self-Compassion
Monday, November 12, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –5)
With Dr. Kristin Neff, professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas, Austin and author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind

Session 7: Compassion in the Wider World
Monday, November 19, 2012, from 8–9 pm Eastern Time (GMT –5)
With Dr. Jean Houston, co-founder of The Foundation for Mind Research and author of The Possible Human: A Course in Enhancing Your Physical, Mental, and Creative Abilities

Occupy Yourself lessons for mindful democracy

"Wake up" – Original photo/image by David Shankbone

“Wake up” – Original photo/image by David Shankbone

From, I share this post: Occupy Yourself lessons for mindful democracy, by Mark and Susan Szpakowski, providing a look into the movement against economic injustice, and some lessons for mindful democracy.

As the global Occupy movement spreads (1,500 cities and counting), what are we witnessing? Are we on the verge of mass awakening, or are we fooled by illusions of grassroots power? Will we return to the status quo in a month or a year?

The experience of mindfulness tells us that a moment of openness can serve as a powerful interruption in stuck patterns, but much depends on what happens next. What follows is a reflection that weaves between the personal practice of mindfulness and the social practice now emerging through the Occupy movement.


Know thyself

If nothing else, mindfulness is humbling. Even when we see with sharp clarity the ways we undermine ourselves and short-change our potential, there is seemingly no end to the momentum of impulse and habit. Over time we see not only the moment-to-moment details of our mind and emotions, we also see the longer cycles and big patterns. With discipline, gradually we become wiser, more gentle, and more fierce.

After the shock of 9-11 came an eerie silence, then a spontaneous moment of collective grief and compassion. What happened next? We weren’t ready to occupy or defend that space. We didn’t have language or self-awareness about our collective patterns. We let ourselves be manipulated by fear and spin.

Now again, this is a moment. Do we have the collective discipline and self-awareness to occupy the space, so that together we can create what will happen next?