Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Thursday, January 30, 2014 and is the twenty second talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We are on the eve on Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. This is an English translation, available below, by Sr. Tue Nghiem.
The time is 3:00pm on Vietnamese New Year’s Eve (Tet) and it is an occasion to connect with our ancestors. Without our roots then we cannot survive. In Asian culture we try to connect with the other realms. The world of nine sources. In Vietnam we have a tradition of worshiping our ancestors. Every family has an altar in their home. Every day people offer a stick of incense to their ancestors to help connect to their heritage. It only takes a minute and it is a sacred and scientific act. Connect with our roots. It is good mental health. It is a way to express our love and loyalty. Thay shares a little about the Rose Ceremony. Here in Plum Village, as we study Buddhist teachings, we can see these two realms are one. It is a stream. Scientists are also on this path. Matter and energy are not two deprecate things. There are no boundaries between heaven and earth.
At 25-minutes into the talk, Thay shares about Tale of Kieu Oracle reading, a Plum Village Tet tradition. We learn the story and background of this classical Vietnamese poem.
"I bowed, humbled, and began to leave. Then Ejo yelled, “Intellectual, learn to die!” These words, spoken in an atrocious Japanese accent, changed my life."
–Author and acclaimed Film Director, Alejandro Jodorwosky on finding a spiritual master in “Learn to Die!” from our Fall issue. Read more here
Support Parabola Magazine by subscribing here.
Photograph: Alejandro Jodorowsky with Roshi Ejo Takata
You might think that the things that get people to change their behavior are things that are memorable, that they can use their analytical brain to set down a long-term trace, or even just emotional, but surprisingly what we see is the brain regions that seem to be involved in successful persuasion. We can predict who will use more sunscreen next week based on how their brain responds to an ad today. The brain regions that seem to be critical to that are brain regions involved in social thinking, in thinking about yourself and thinking about other people. So this seems to be more about our identity and the identities that we’re capable of trying on. If I can’t try on the identity that you’re suggesting to me—being a sunscreen-using person, or a nonsmoker, or something like that—the ad is much less likely to stick.
William James said long ago that we have as many identities as people that we know, and probably more than that. We are different with different people. I’m different with my son than I am with you. We have these different identities that we try on, and they surround us… I’m really interested in looking at that as a mechanism of persuasion when it comes to regular old persuasion, when it comes to education, when it comes to public health, and when it comes to international issues as well. It’s finding that latitude of acceptance and finding out how to use it successfully.
UCLA neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman, author of Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, studies "latitudes of acceptance" to understand what makes us change our minds – something we’re notoriously reluctant to do.
Also see Dan Pink on the psychology of persuasion.
Lieberman’s full Edge conversation is well worth a read.(via explore-blog)
Would you #tattoo this on your baby’s body? Then why do we tattoo damaging beliefs on their minds? http://nakedpastor.com/2014/09/tattoos-and-why-do-we-inflict-damaging-beliefs-on-our-children/
Acclaimed actor, producer, and director Richard Attenborough died this week on August 24. He was 90. His 1982 movie Gandhi brought the nonviolent leader alive for audiences around the world.
Attenborough said journalist Louis Fischer’s 1950 biography The Life of Mahatma Gandhi was the basis for the film. In his book Fischer wrote: “How did Gandhi worship God? He believed in the efficacy of prayer. ‘Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening….As food is necessary for the body, prayer is necessary for the soul… .No act of mine is done without prayer… I am not a man of learning, but I humbly claim to be a man of prayer. I am indifferent to the form. Every man is a law unto himself in that respect.’ But ‘it is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.’ One can pray in the silence that has banished words.” Attenborough also directed the 1993 movie Shadowlands, about the Oxford professor, author, and lay theologian C.S. Lewis.
Via Religion & Ethics Newsweekly