Of the multiplicity of amazing and not-at-all amazing features that appear on the web, my hands-down favorite is RSA Animate. It’s never failed to please me. In a nutshell, the Royal Society of Arts in London invites authors and innovators to give short talks on new and challenging thinking. The talks are then given to animators who take the ideas and turn them into pictures, capturing short phrases that summarize what’s being said and the RSA produces a short YouTube video with the talk providing the voice-over for the animation. For some magical reason, it makes it so much easier to absorb the information. Sometimes, I wish I could RSA Animate a table conversation, or even a column or blog I’m reading. The visual and the aural interplay so beautifully.Read more »
Mindful publisher Jim Gimian and I were recently invited to take part in a special gathering of a group of people doing work in contemplative leadership that convenes periodically at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The group was the brainchild of Arthur Zajonc of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (and now president of the Mind & Life Institute) and Jerry Murphy, a current faculty member in the grad school and a former dean.Read more »
One of the bloggers who contributes to Mindful Voices is Janice Marturano, who shares insights and ideas from her work training leaders in how to apply mindfulness to help navigate the chaos and conflict they face. Janice’s posts always keep me exploring what’s involved in being a good leader—and we are all leaders at least some of the time. Leadership is not reserved only for big L leaders, and yet we look to those kinds of leaders—the ones who are called to bear the burden of leadership for long periods under great pressure—for inspiration and guidance. We choose them to lead us presumably because we hope and trust that they will call out the better angels of our nature.
Too often, though, leaders end up just being cheerleaders for our side. Our side is good. The other side is bad. Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah. Let’s beat them! And in the worst cases, leadership descends into demagoguery—leading us by playing on our fears and our lesser emotions. A steady diet of lesser leadership can make us weary. And wary. We distrust leaders before they’ve even spoken.
Occasionally, though, a leader comes along who shows us something larger, who takes us beyond ourselves, who embodies the kind of aspirations and humane qualities we celebrate at Mindful.org.Read more »
One of my brothers turned 65 the other day. He didn’t make a whole lot of it. He became eligible for Medicare; a friend bought him a really nice golf club; lots of family and friends called. But it hit me as a milestone. 65 is a special number. Some people still think of it as retirement age, even though most people I know don’t subscribe to the fictive notion of retirement—despite the fact that one’s powers will eventually decline to the point where work will be pointless. 65 is also one year older than 64, of “When I’m 64” fame. It gets you to thinking.Read more »
Welcome to Mindful Voices, our new blog area. It’s populated by prominent teachers, leaders, and writers in the world of mindfulness. I’ve come to know each of them over the years and I can tell you they’re fine people who are good at what they do and have interesting things to say—and they are all good listeners. So hit them with questions and comments. They’re only a click away.Read more »
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