Updated: Apr 18, 2020
"No one yet has made a list of places where the extraordinary may happen and where it may not. Still, there are indications."
The above verse is one of the many gifts from the poet Mary Oliver — a master of wonder and staying astonished. While we cannot be in community with one another at this time, we can continue to touch each other emotionally and intellectually. Our Coudert Institute team has compiled some suggestions for boosting your spirits and sparking imagination, and we wanted to use this space to share some of these with you!
Here are our FIVE offerings for wonder and wellness during this season of pause and social distancing. ONE... In Michael Sandel's New York Times commentary titled, Are We All in This Together, the wildly popular philosopher observes that the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to reconsider what social and economic roles matter most, suggesting, "we need to ask whether reopening the economy means going back to a system that, over the past four decades, pulled us apart, or whether we can emerge from this crisis with an economy that enables us to say, and to believe, that we are all in this together." Michael Sandel, who teaches at Harvard University, is recognized globally for his Justice course which emphasizes reinvigorating citizenship. Read Michael Sandel's Are We All in This Together through this link. TWO... Ralph Nurnberger, Ph.D. is a Principal with Gray Global Advisors. With four decades of experience working in (and with) the United States government, he has held senior positions in both the legislative and executive branches of government. At 1 PM on Tuesday April 21 Dr. Nurnberger will give a presentation for the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County — on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The talk will focus on the remarkable life of Nicholas Winton, who was able to arrange the rescue of 669 children from the Nazis in Czechoslovakia in 1939. The story of how this was accomplished remained a secret until 1988. It is estimated that about 6,000 people would not be alive today were it not for the efforts of Nicholas Winton. The lecture will be presented remotely via Zoom, and Dr. Nurnberger is generously making this program available to Coudert Institute members. Should you wish to join this lecture, please register in advance by following this link.
THREE... As many of you will recall, in 2016 the Coudert Institute was pleased to host Lama Migmar Tseten as he shared The Art of Meditation and Staying Calm. Lama Migmar has been serving Harvard University students, faculties, and staffs as a Harvard Buddhist Chaplain since 1997. He founded Sakya Institute for Buddhist Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1990. His timeless wisdom is well worthy of a revisit as we seek new routes for resilience. Please enjoy this program with Lama Migmar by following this link...
In this April 10 New York Times essay, entitled What I Miss Most Is Swimming, Bonnie Tsui trumpets the many therapeutic qualities of water. In her essay she consults marine biologist and author Wallace J. Nichols Ph.D who we were delighted to host here this season. “Being around water provides a sensory-rich environment with enough ‘soft fascination’ to let our focused attention rest and the default-mode network to kick in,” shares Dr. Nichols, with Ms. Tsui, in her exploration. He expands emphasizing that, "water is essential medicine more than ever." Read What I Miss Most Is Swimming through this link.
FIVE... Tony Nader, M.D., Ph.D., M.A.R.R., is a medical doctor trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and a globally recognised Vedic scholar. Head of the international Transcendental Meditation® organizations in over 100 countries, Dr. Tony Nader's vision is to bring happiness, health, and peace to the minds and hearts of the whole world family. Dr. Nader's Facebook meditations are available for public viewing so anyone around the world, including visitors without a Facebook account, can see his content and watch his livestreams. Enjoy his daily livestream guided meditations at 12 PM (eastern) by following this link...
How about you... what are the things stretching your mind and soothing your spirits during this springtime pause? We invite you to share among our Coudert Institute community those enthusiasms supporting your well being. What for you is wonder, right now? Please let us know by forwarding to us your suggestions for online content, books, stories or other practices which might uplift us all during this time. You can e-mail your suggestions to our team through this link here... We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you into this shared space! And, we leave you with this quiet poem, by Alberto Rios... When Giving Is All We Have
One river gives Its journey to the next. We give because someone gave to us. We give because nobody gave to us. We give because giving has changed us. We give because giving could have changed us. We have been better for it, We have been wounded by it— Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet, Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails. Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too, But we read this book, anyway, over and again: Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand, Mine to yours, yours to mine. You gave me blue and I gave you yellow. Together we are simple green. You gave me What you did not have, and I gave you What I had to give—together, we made Something greater from the difference.
Above image/artwork by Thomas Colligan, courtesy of The New York Times