Opening to transformation

Is ‘voluntourism’ the new colonialism?
by David Rutledge, Margaret Coffey, Gary Bryson, Kerry Stewart
ABC RN: Encounter

This article invites us to reflect on our assumptions and intentions when engaging in service. Rather than presume our capacity to ‘”fix” a perceived problem, we are reminded of the value in cultivating “a willingness to listen, learn, ask questions and be willing to challenge some of the assumptions you have when you get off the plane. It's also important to have a sincere desire to improve the world and in doing that to improve yourself.” How might challenging your assumptions lead to transformation – not only in relationship to others, but also to yourself?

Thich Nhat Hanh: is mindfulness being corrupted by business and finance?
by Jo Confino
The Guardian

As Where's the Spirit? always aims to highlight, the benefits of spiritual practices such as mindfulness have increasingly found their way into mainstream media and business culture. In this article, Confino asks, “by focusing on the bottom-line benefits of mindfulness, are business leaders corrupting the core Buddhist practice?” Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, reminds us that, if practiced with truth and purpose, “[w]e need not fear that mindfulness might become only a means and not an end because in mindfulness the means and the end are the same thing.” What does this mean to you?

How to Cultivate the Art of Asking Good Questions
by Warren Berger
The Wall Street Journal

How do you navigate new challenges? What practices offer you insights as you engage with the world around you? This article offers a seemingly simple, yet often difficult way of engaging to consider: what is “our aptitude for asking questions”? As Berger notes, “It starts with releasing your inner 4-year-old: Good questioners try to look at the world around them with a curious, observant eye and a ‘beginner’s mind,’ taking time to wonder about things others take for granted.” How might you build the art of asking open questions into your spiritual practice? 

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