Strength, doubt, change

The Morality of Meditation
by David DeSteno
The New York Times

What is the purpose of meditation?  In promoting the cognitive benefits of meditation, have we lost touch with the original moral goal of the practice?  "As Buddha himself said, ‘I teach one thing and one only: that is, suffering and the end of suffering.’ For Buddha, as for many modern spiritual leaders, the goal of meditation was as simple as that."  In this article, DeSteno explores these questions, citing evidence demonstrating that meditation truly does enhance compassion in the face of suffering.

The doubt essential to faith

by Lesley Hazleton
TED Talks

Is faith to doubt as the divine is to humanity?  How do these apparent opposites relate to one another?  In this TED Talk, Hazleton uses the story of Muhammad to challenge us to understand the intimate relationship between faith and doubt. Anecdotally, she leads us to the conclusion that doubt is a fundamental element of humanity from which we develop the capacity to experience faith. Whether we consider ourselves religious, agnostic, atheist, or otherwise, our humanity demands that we “…recognize that real faith has no easy answers, it is difficult and stubborn; it involves and ongoing struggle, a continual questioning of what we think we know; a wrestling with issues and ideas; it goes hand in hand with doubt in a never ending conversation with it and sometimes in conscious defiance of it.”

Nonprofit Emaciation: Confessions of a Do-Gooder Who Starved an Organization
by Kjerstin Erickson
GuideStar Blog

Commitment, solidarity, altruism, non-profit leadership…do they require intense self-sacrifice?  What exactly does it mean to sacrifice for the greater good?  In her honest reflection Erickson shares how she “…bought the hype: that to be truly altruistic and efficient, we needed to operate at the highest possible levels of self-sacrifice,” only to learn that it led straight down the road to the burnout, suffering and destruction. Her story is a powerful reminder that we need to invest in and care for ourselves, our communities, and our organizations in order to create meaningful change in the world. 

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