I like giving talks. Send me an email if you want me to speak at some event or conference. For a description of a few talks I do, click here. The stuff below is all wildly out of date.
Giving a talk at the European version of the 2013 Science and Nonduality Conference. Very psyched – this years theme is science and the mystery of perception. Hack the umwelt!
‘Nonduality: Time for the World’s Most Boring Genre to Grow up.’ Here is the abstract:
I like reading nondual accounts of reality. They shiver me perceptual timbers and flicker me, deliciously, in and out of the feeling of being. And then I share them with my humanities friends, and their eyes glaze over. I can hardly blame them. The accounts are so absolutist and idealized that they have little to do with the lives of real human beings.
Have a look at the list of titles at the back of any Nonduality Press book: Life Without a Centre, You Were Never Born, The Book of No One, You are No Thing, The Light That I Am, etc etc. This is a literary critic’s worst nightmare. The same plodding set of insights retooled in a hundred different ways. Of course, this is the point. Well, the point needs to expand. If nonduality is going to be taken seriously by the intellectual mainstream – and it should be, both for the scientific insights it promises and its potential to help address human suffering – then accounts of nonduality need to become more honest and more creative. They need to reflect the real richness and complexity of being a (mostly) selfless human on the 21st century street.
How does nonduality affect your sex life? Your marriage? Your kids? Your Smartphone addiction and your antidepressant meds? What does it feel like to get drunk? To get beat up? (not a hard to imagine scenario). It’s not only that nondual content needs to become more honest and creative, so does its form. Where are the nondual hip-hop artists and documentary filmmakers and interface designers? For nondual insights to maximize their helpfulness, The One needs to join the parade of The Many, the messy relative world where the rest of us live and love and play.
Lama Foundation, New Mexico – July 28th – Aug 3rd, 2013
Back in New Mexico this summer, teaching the meditation portion of a week-long “contemplative environmentalism” summer institute to a group of professors. Love my co-facilitators, among them my friend, environmental politics prof Paul Wapner, who described the week this way: “This workshop focuses on the role of contemplation in environmental education. It explores the relationship between teaching environmental studies and cultivating our inner lives. Through scholarly discussions, artistic exercises, and regular contemplative practice (meditation, yoga, journaling, and nature walks), participants will investigate ways to deepen their teaching and enrich their lives at this historic moment of environmental intensification.”
For more information, click.
SOME PAST APPEARANCES:
University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall, Toronto – September 23, 2012
Big talk on mind and technology and the super kitted-out 2-day Dreamers, Renegades, Visionaries festival in Toronto. Other speakers and performers included Norman Jewison, Lang Lang, Chille Gonzales and many others. A lot of fun. To watch a video of the talk, click here.
Lama Foundation, New Mexico – July 2012
Taught a week-long “contemplative environmentalism” workshop to a group of 25 professors in the mountains of New Mexico. Lama is a very special place – it’s where Ram Dass wrote Be Here Now. Fellow teachers included Paul Wapner, David Abrams and Nicole Salimbene. For more information, click.
Toronto Reference Library, Toronto – June 2012
The Treehouse Group is “a collective of Toronto-area thinkers who promote the exchange of ideas by bringing together people from diverse backgrounds.” I spoke to a large group about how to be a “Field Naturalist of the mind,” with guided meditations. For more information, click.
Octopus Garden Yoga Center, Toronto – April 2012
Gave a talk on “The Next Age of Exploration,” to a community of yogis. All about how science is slowly wending its way towards what will be a very surprising encounter: genuine contemplative transformation aka self-realization aka enlightenment. For real!
York University, Toronto – October 27th, 2010
Was happy to learn that York University prof Greg Malszecki has been using my Head Trip as a text book for the past three years for his course ‘Body as Light: Survey of Meditation Practices Ancient & Current.’ The best part is these are kinesiology students. Greg figured that in order for them to understand the body properly they also needed to understand the mind. Higher education.
Santa Fe, New Mexico – July 22nd, 2010 – Lindisfarne Fellows Conference
Gave a talk on empathy, animal consciousness, and the boundaries of human knowledge to a room of visionaries as part of the annual Lindisfarne Fellows conference, held that year at the Upaya Zen Center. Lindisfarne is an association of scientists, artists, scholars, and contemplatives devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary culture. Other speakers included Joan Halifax, Dorian Sagan, Lynn Margulis, Wendell Berry, Jane Hirshfield, Mary Catherine Bateson, Evan Thompson, David Abrams and others. More information on Lindisfarne here.
Tuscon, Arizona – April 13th, 2010
Headlined “Club Consciousness” at the 2010 Towards a Science of Consciousness Conference in Tuscon. In addition to my Head Trip show, the evenings featured a poetry slam, a talent show, a stand-up comedy routine, and something involving a lady from Star Trek. Also reprised the now infamous Zombie Blues, starring consciousness-raising (and, sometimes, diminishing) philosopher king and HardProblemMan … David Chalmers.
For event details and directions, the conference homepage is here.
Winchester, UK – June 27th, 2009
Presented my Head Trip multimedia show at the Art and Mind festival in Winchester. The festival’s mandate is to “bring together some of the world’s most eminent thinkers, scientists and artists to examine the way we experience and create contemporary culture.” This year the topic was “Dreams, Art and the Brain.”
For more details, go to: www.artandmind.org/pages/Events.htm
Hong Kong – June 5th and June 13th, 2009
Gave two talks at the Asia Consciousness Festival and the Towards a Science of Consciousness conference in Hong Kong, June 2009. The TSC is the oldest and most reputable international conference on consciousness, and has been host to most of the world’s influential consciousness thinkers. It is also thrillingly multidisciplinary; in the words of the event organizers, “the conference brings together visionaries and leaders in the field of consciousness, spanning neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, cognitive science, education, and spirituality.”
For event details see: www.asiaconsciousness.org/events.html
Ucluelet, British Columbia -March 21, 2009
Had a fine time at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, where I was invited to speak on animal consciousness and the interior world of whales. For a description of the talk click here.