Spirituality for the Skeptic – Platform/Book Review

January 17, 2016

The platform meeting focused on a review of Spirituality for the Skeptic, by Robert C. Solomon, facilitated by Trish Taylor, with members of the Board of Trustees serving as panelists. Each panelist presented highlights and commentary on individual chapters accompanied by questions for thought and discussion. The questions themselves were also presented as a slide show with complementary artwork, posted here for your additional review and consideration.  (CP)

Spirituality for the Skeptic

Success: What Does Success Mean to You?

Sunday, January 10

Bob Warren, today’s leader, chose “I Can See Clearly Now” for our song. Joyful voices and some mild dancing were accompanied by this old Johnny Nash hit.

Adam Gravois set up the colloquy on “success” by reminding us that “success” did not necessarily mean “happiness.” Some members attempted to define success in their lives; some talked about what impact the concept of success–as defined by others–had had on their lives.

Speaking from the heart, sharing joy as well as pain, members provided a spectrum of thought on success that included goals, failures, and personal change and growth. (cp)

 

Mindfulness in Everyday Life

David Zuniga, ordain Buddhist priest and practicing psychologist, spoke at ESOA’s November 22 meeting regarding the practice of mindfulness and practical strategies for incorporating it into our daily lives.

Dr. Zuniga presented several definitions of mindfulness, honing in on awareness of the present moment while calmly and compassionately acknowledging one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. He offered tips both for entering the state of mindfulness and for integrating it into our daily activities, e.g., pause before a potentially stressful event to meditate briefly.

There’s even an app for it. Indeed, several apps and recommended readings to help one start and then continue living with mindfulness are posted his website: http://www.drdavidzuniga.com.­­ cp

 

Music Appreciation

MOMENT MUSICALE

 

The musical appreciation group within ESA likes to attend mainly — but not exclusively – classical music offerings on an intermittent basis. Many of our gatherings are at UT where students,as part of their curriculum, are required to give public performances in order to complete their course. Many of these performances are free, and the doctoral candidates in particular are usually of an excellent level. There is often an opportunity to meet with the artist afterwards and not infrequently refreshments are also offered!

This was the case last Thursday when Nicholas Councilor gave a wonderful recital on the clarinet. It was a beautifully balanced program of classical pieces by composers such as Robert Schumann and Carl Maria von Weber and more modern offerings by Jean Francais and Olivier Messiaen. He even introduced (to me at least) the piccolo version of the clarinet which was the first time I had heard that instrument.

If anyone not familiar with our group is interested in being kept informed of future outings, please contact me, Rich Harrison who is submitting this blog.

Meditation is good for you

Last Sunday’s meeting of ESA was a very interesting presentation by Stephen  McNally, longtime friend of the society, on meditation. Not only did he remind us of the different types of meditation– mindfulness, compassion, Metta etc — but he explained how a large number of studies indicated that the practice of meditation leads to improvements, both physical and mental .

The presentation was followed by a class meditation session that was very popular and much appreciated. For those who want to learn more, there are many sources on the Internet and in print. Thus now we have no excuses: go forth and meditate.

Submitted by Rich Harrison (Blog Editor)