Bodhi Touch

By | 4/29/2023

The Importance of Friendship, Harmony and Right Speech, Part 1 of 2

By | 4/29/2023
There is a famous anecdote by the Buddha about friendship. One day he was sitting quietly with Ānanda, his personal secretary, and with great enthusiasm, Ānanda said to him, “Lord, this is half of the holy Path! Dhamma friendship, Dhamma comrades, and Dhamma companions.” The Buddha corrected him by saying, “No Ānanda, don’t say that. Don’t say that. Good friendship, good companions, and good comrades are the whole of the holy path. Because if someone has good friends, good companions, and good comrades, then it can be fully expected that they will develop and come to fruition on the Eightfold Noble path.” The word the Buddha used was kalyāṇa – meaning good, beautiful, morally wholesome – that kind of a friend. Goenkaji himself sometimes used to describe his own role as a kalyāṇa-mitta, a good friend to us. Friendship leads to harmony, which leads to unity.

Uncovering Realities: An Interview with Yuval Noah Harari

By | 4/23/2023

Preparing to interview Yuval Noah Harari is no small task. The historian-philosopher-meditator is the author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, which have been translated into more than 65 languages and have sold more than 35 million copies. Yuval earned a PhD in history from Oxford University and lectures at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in the history of human evolution, global political history, and artificial intelligence. He is one of the most influential public intellectuals in the world. His ability to weave together grand narratives that cover every facet of human life has been a major source of inspiration to me for the last five years, so having the opportunity to speak with this charismatic and compassionate person was a real honour.

In this interview, I asked Yuval, over Zoom, about his spiritual journey and the role meditation played in his life as a public intellectual. We also discussed how meditation and self-reflection might help cut through the illusion of free will, better understand our personal biases, navigate through post-truth society, and shed light on our unwitting complicity in institutional oppression. Our conversation also explored the territories of artificial intelligence, big-data algorithms, and the function of storytelling, all from a contemplative perspective.
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