8 Mindful Moments from Wisdom 2.0

cairn of stones on a rocky beach

Connecting mindfully in a digital age might be a good shorthand for Wisdom 2.0, a series of events focused on the intersection of wisdom, technology, and society. The Fetzer Institute was among this year’s Wisdom 2.0 Conference sponsors, and as you might imagine such an event is chock o’ block full of sessions led by wisdom teachers, researchers, and practitioners of all sorts. There’s a lot to choose from and to track. We came away with an abundance of gratitude for being enlightened about the many ways mindfulness and compassion are at play in a world aching for such “interventions.” Here are eight such moments.

1. “Pain is where people pay attention. It’s a mistake for us to try to alleviate people’s pain.”
“’Inside work’—not everybody wants it right now. It’s important to meet people where they are.”

George Mumford and Michael Gervais, Sports Psychologists
Playing in the Zone: Presence and Performance in Sports

2. “How might we infuse our contemplative commitments with a deep reflection on what these incidents [like Ferguson] mean about our culture and our communities?”
“How can we develop a capacity of heart, of mind-body-soul, to help hold ourselves as we turn toward these incidents—to be present and stand in that suffering; to be witnesses and stronger vessels for change?”

Rhonda V. Magee, University of San Francisco School of Law
This Bridge Called “Ferguson:” Mindfully Engaging with Racial Experience to Transform the World for All
Lessons from Ferguson: Mindfulness, Justice, and Community Healing

3. “The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener. Open mind. Open heart.
Open will.” 

Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer, MIT
From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies: How Mindfulness Can Transform the Collective

4. “Contemplative practices nurture qualities that are already there. The seeds of compassion are there from the start, but in order for them to flourish, we need compassionate community.”
“Doing these practices is not primarily for me, but for other beings. It’s considered a radical act of generosity. We should study the simple invocation of this intention.”

Richie Davidson, Neuroscientist, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds
Well-being Is a Skill: Perspectives from Contemplative Neuroscience

5. “You are an architect of the culture.”
“Part of diversity is deep relationship. Mindfulness helps create compassion and connection.”

John A. Powell, Executive Director, Haas Inst. for a Fair and Inclusive Society
Expanding the Conversation: Inclusivity and Diversity in Tech and Society

6. “Cultural humility is a practice of humbly carrying one’s own culture and assumptions while engaging different cultures and perspectives with great curiosity and compassion.”
J. Miakoda Taylor, Director, Fierce Allies
Embracing Discomfort: A Gateway to Innovation and Altering the Status Quo

7. “How do we nurture compassion and character and disrupt complacency?”
“Compassion is a sane, healthy, collaborative, radical necessity.”

Roshi Joan Halifax, Upaya Zen Center
Compassion As the Radicalism of Our Time

8. “Spiritual practice, in the end, is not a self-improvement thing. It’s not about perfecting yourself, it’s about perfecting your love.”
“In the oceans of suffering, we need the quality of joy.”

Jack Kornfield, Wisdom Teacher, and Trudy Goodman, Founder, InsightLA
Loving Awareness Toward Ourselves and Others in a Hyper-connected Age
Lessons from Ferguson: Mindfulness, Justice, and Community Healing

This is only a peek into an event that showcased the tradition and innovation of mindfulness from science, to self and society. Take a deeper dive and access the recorded presentations at this link and find the full list of presenters here