Consciousness Cafe Upcoming Event
The Royal Seven Stars, The Plains, Totnes

Monday, 11th February, 2019

Arrival time: 7:30 for 8:00 to 10:00 


Dr Stephen Fulder on ‘Equanimity and Engagement: Appropriate Responses in Difficult Times’

Faced with difficult and uncontrollable circumstances, we often respond with switching off, despair or denial, and if we go out to change things, it can often be an exhausting, and an endless Sisyphean struggle. Equanimity is a key psychological and spiritual faculty, which allows us to face the known and the unknown, the challenges of life, with steadiness and lightness. Equanimity is not indifference, although sometimes the two are confused. Equanimity is letting the world right in. Indifference is keeping it right out.

How can equanimity be practiced? Insight meditation leads to equanimity as we learn to stay steady and receive whatever comes. ‘Let our meditation be like the earth’ said the Buddha, ‘for then satisfying and unsatisfying contacts with the world through the senses will not invade the mind.’ We may be in the most problematic situation, such as a family crisis, but can see it all from a bigger, more universal, and less personal perspective.

Equanimity supports tireless engagement in making a difference. Stephen will describe and illustrate this with an account of 20 years of engagement and grassroots peace-making in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, using Buddhist inspired methods. Awareness, kindness, deep listening and calm presence, can break down years of animosity and conflict. But equanimity and steadiness are antidotes to burnout, or despair if things don’t work out. We cannot be hurt if we are light and free.

During the evening Stephen will also describe some groundbreaking research work he is involved with on the experience of self and boundaries, and in deep meditation, the dissolving of self and experience of the limitless.  This is explored, mostly with Stephen as the subject, through psychoneurophenomenology, and brain activity measurements (Yair Dor-Ziderman, et. al., Self-specific processing in the meditating brain: a MEG neurophenomenology study. Neuroscience of Consciousness, 2016, 1–13)

Stephen was born in London in 1946, has a doctorate in molecular biology and has published 14 books on outer and inner health. He is the founder and senior teacher of Tovana (the Israel Insight Society), the largest organisation in Israel that brings dharma teachings to thousands of participants yearly. Stephen has been teaching for 25 years, mostly in Israel but also abroad, and teaches a large number of retreats, courses and classes annually, especially to more advanced practitioners. He has been deeply engaged in peace work in the Middle East. His new book is: What’s Beyond Mindfulness: Waking Up to This Precious Life. See also www.stephenfulder.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Fulder 


Format: Roughly 30 minutes introduction followed by round table and open discussions and breaks for refreshments. Entry: £5 at door. Booking: Contact Wendy at wendystt997@googlemail.com

 
 
 





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