Notes from the first Dharma Talk.
OPENING MEDITATION – 2 mins
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
GROUP QUESTION: Say your name and favourite childhood toy
WEEK #1 Introduction
- grim state of the world (extinction)
- economic and climate catastrophes
- 50% reported they were unhappy at work
- world hunger and poverty
- crisis is the result of our current story
[PLAY] ALAN WATTS CLIP: 11 mins
WATTS QUOTE FROM ‘THE BOOK‘
“The startling truth is that our best efforts for civil rights, international peace, population control, conservation of natural resources, and assistance to the starving of the earth -urgent as they are – will destroy rather than help if made in the present spirit. For, as things stand, we have nothing to give. If our own riches and our own way of life are not enjoyed here, they will not be enjoyed anywhere else. Certainly they will supply the immediate jolt of energy and hope that methedrine, and similar drugs, give in extreme fatigue. But peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”
GROUP QUESTION: We hear a lot about living in the “now.” What does living in the now mean to you? What keeps you from living in the now?
BONUS: ALAN WATTS – MONEY & LIFE
We also hear a lot about the idea that we need to “change ourselves before we can change the world.” Very valid point, though the nature of spirituality has shifted. The call to engagement has shifted. Will there be a world left to save?
[PLAY] MICHAEL STONE CLIP: 4 mins
Need to understand our current story, not only from the “thinking” mind, but in the intuitive heart.
GROUP QUESTION: objectively speaking, how would you describe the story of our Western society? What is the typical script? How do we define success? What do we seem to value? Who do deem important? How do we create meaning?
If an alien landed here, how would you describe our society to them? (Bonus: my mom pointed out a song from the 70′s “I’m A Stranger Here” which answered this question. Read lyrics)
CASE FOR OPTIMISM
- good news: shifts are happening
- connections are being made
- community is being rebuilt
- imagine you had a choice to be born at a certain moment in time, of great change and potential…
TASKS FOR THE WEEK
- daily meditation – 5 mins
- practice awareness of habitual mind patterns
CLOSING: ZEN SAYING
Let us be respectfully reminded:
Life and death are of supreme importance
Time swiftly passes by, and with it our only chance;
Be aware! Do not squander your life.