"How was it?" "What did you learn?" "Are you wise now?"
Distilling out answers to these questions is a challenge, considering the conference is built around consciousness thousands of years old. Mix in voices from some of the most disruptive tech companies of our age, and the resulting conversations are anything but simple.
The gathering has been called the Woodstock of Silicon Valley (with much less mud.)
Our host Soren Gordhamer described it as less of a conference, but more of a practice - with the goal of enhancing our "quality of presence."
I sat in the room with innovators who are pushing the edge of creation. Among them sat numerous modern stewards of ancient wisdom. As they took to the stage for conversations, in various combinations, I sat receptive in the front row.
Reflecting back, questions arise. As we experience an expansion in external technologies are our internal technologies expanding at the same rate? Can they? Should they? This conference was a reminder to honor the old while are embracing the new.
The integral theme of internal development (upper left) arose over and over. Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock Meditation Center spoke to the power and potential of a global connected consciousness. He encouraged the room to be less quick to judge ourselves and others - and enjoy the sweetness of the Dharma wherever you are. He reminded us to let go.
"The more you grasp for changing things, the more you get rope burn."
"I take my hat off to you - Bodhisattvas in training..."
Dr. Dan Siegel described "time in" as a crucial piece of the "Healthy Mind Platter." Focusing on inner experience cultivates and enhances different circuitry from outward experience.
Gopi Kallayil teaches meditation and yoga at Google, presented the concept of the smart phone as a second mind. (By the way, he was instrumental in developing Google Plus technology which connected the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu across the globe.)
"Yoga to me can be practiced all the time. In that sense, it is my inner practice from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. Every single moment of everyday, I try to be mindful, whether I am engaging with a janitor, a chef, an engineer, or a marketing colleague." - Gopi Kallayil
Eckhart Tolle led the eclectic room in a 30 minute guided meditation. During that time the room was the ultimately still - the moment(s) had a glow of presence I will never forget. That crowd, that speaker, talking about stillness and presence...it was a perfect storm of quiet.
Thupten Jinpa is a Buddhist scholar and the translator for H.H. the Dalai Lama. He dialogued with Soren Gordhamer and Pierre Omidyar (creator of eBay)
The list of speakers goes on and on. I recorded all presentations in audio format. In future posts I will dive into more content of what was presented