Join us on Sunday, October 6th at 10am Pacific for a dialogue with the brilliant, unorthodox, and irreverent scholar and activist Jay Michaelson entitled “Evolving Dharma — and Evolving Practitioners”.
I appreciate that Jay embodies both a skeptical, rational perspective AND the openness and sincerity that comes with actual long time, dedicated practice. Perhaps this explains why he is able to so skillfully navigate his diverse roles as a political activist, religious scholar and spiritual teacher.
Many of us sense that that consciousness is evolving to become ever more self-aware. What happens when, over the course of practice, this belief itself relaxes and evolves into something else? Jay and I will be leaning into this inquiry during Sunday’s dialog.
We’ll also look at the relationship between panentheism (seeing everything as Divine, a non-mythic God both immanent and transcendent) and agnostic materialism that just “doesn’t know” about God. Are we realizing a luminous, numinous Divine Nothing, or an empty, existential nothingness? (There’s a world of difference between the big and small “N”s!)
And how might that relationship evolve over the course of our spiritual lives? How do we negotiate that relationship in our own practice, as we evolve into and beyond different ways of knowing the reality of our existence?
These questions become especially intriguing in relation to upcoming generations of practitioners who have access to all the world’s spiritual traditions through a rich variety of new technology platforms (what some have called iSpirituality). It’s complicated by the fact that these new generations of practitioners often emerge from and participate in a “marketplace” built upon the tenets of rational materialist values.
Jay feels that we are in a historic transitional moment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming widely accepted as a way to achieve another kind of excellence— “contemplative fitness” and often without a spiritual agenda. The secularization of practices traditionally reserved for “awakening” will inevitably trigger beneficial shifts in communities, cultures and the world at large.
I hope you’ll join us for this leading-edge conversation on evolving Dharma and practice!
About Jay Michaelson
Jay Michaelson is the author of five books and two hundred articles on religion, sexuality, ethics, and contemplative practice. His new book, Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment, is being published in October 2013 by North Atlantic Books. Other books include God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality, an Amazon.com bestseller and Lambda Literary Award finalist; Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism; and Another Word for Sky: Poems.
Jay holds a J.D. from Yale, a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, a B.A. from Columbia, and an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence. He has held teaching positions at Boston University Law School, Harvard Divinity School, City College of New York, and Yale University, and is currently an advisor to the Varieties of Meditative Experience project at Brown University.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Sunday, October 6th at 10am Pacific; 11:00 am Mountain; 12:00pm Central; 1:00pm Eastern
*Find Your Local Time
Please Note: There will be a limited number of lines available on the live conference call, so we encourage you to listen online if possible. To make sure you can get through by phone, we encourage you to dial in early.
- To listen live by phone, dial: 206-402-0100 (alternate #: 501-707-0312)
- Then, enter Access Code: 272072#
- To listen live online go to: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventID=46462467
- To download the audio after the teleseminar is complete go to the Beyond Awakening Audio Page
Join the Dialogue: About one hour into the dialogue, we’ll open up the lines and you’ll have the opportunity to interact with us directly over the phone or via instant message. Here’s what to do:
To interact live by voice, dial into the conference line number and wait until we ask for a question from someone in your region, or
Send us your question via instant message in the teleseminar window on your computer
Send us your questions and comments before or during the live dialogue by posting them on our Beyond Awakening Community Facebook page
We look forward to your attendance!
The Beyond Awakening Team