Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Faith and meditation

I don't mean the 'faith' in the title as a reference to a religion although many people find basic faith there.  I mean a faith that things will work out, that even if we are on a wrong track, we will be able to correct ourselves or find a right track or learn how to make this wrong one right.

Just a few minutes ago, I read another essay in "This Will Make You Smarter" by John Brockman.  The sections come from contributions to his website, Edge.org, sometimes called "the smartest web site in the world".  The essay was from a Danish author and scientist, Tor Norretranders.  I was looking for an email address I could use to urge him and his publishers to get his books (in English) out in Kindle format.  I saw the current feature in the ongoing conversation there, by Nicholas Christakakis.  "NICHOLAS A. CHRISTAKIS is an internationally recognized physician and social scientist. He is a Professor at Harvard University with joint appointments in the Departments of Sociology, Medicine, and Health Care Policy, and he was formerly a Professor at the University of Chicago."  I never heard of the man but I saw that he considers both the newest technology and the emerging state of humanity ripe for terrific improvements in human understanding of individual people and of groups of them during the next 100 years.

I saw a comment by Howard Gardner, a good candidate for the currently best known professor of education in the US, that it really doesn't matter whether a young person in the Kindergarten to 12th grade years studies physics, chemistry, biology or geology.  I would throw in humanities and arts, as possible candidates.  It only matters that the study is in some depth, that the studies engage the student in some depth.

The latest meditation news from Google came in today.  It can be found at the bottom of this linked page.  Meditation is still a valuable tool for knowing what you think, what you feel and what you are trying to tell yourself, even if some of the message isn't right.  During these times of great change, it helps to give yourself 10 minutes of quiet and stillness, sitting or lying down each day.  The link in this paragraph can lead to examples of children, senior citizens and everybody in between, on every continent we have, finding the value in quiet concentration of a sight or sound and pausing thought for that long.  Doing so helps anyone see that we will continue to face obstacles and to suffer losses but we and our children and later generations will not only overcome them but will find ways of enjoying doing so.

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