Sat, Jul 13 at 2 p.m. | 90 minutes
Considering the Tyranny of Choice: What the Tao and Zen Teach us about Our Addiction for Control
Join us up at OlioHouse for a weekend exploring what it means to take on a spiritual outlook. Is there some kind of unity which binds different religions? And if so how do we learn about that without all the other baggage that often accompanies organized religion? We will spend time together looking into some spiritual movements taking place right now as well as ancient practices and see what value we find in these messages. If we do see value, are there changes that need to be made to face our current society in a spiritual way? Or are these messages timeless, able to speak to any situation?
We will consider how choosing to live from this perspective, being deeply “spiritual” in our outlook, does not preclude being deeply and meaningfully involved in the world. This is NOT about asceticism, turning away from the material world, but rather, it’s about freeing ourselves from the burden of ego and personality so that we can more deeply and honestly be a part of the world.
This is not about losing our identity or merging into some mystical oneness. This is not about detaching from the world of form. It is about changing our default perspective from one of separateness to one of connectedness. It is about finding a balance between the useful power of ego and personality and the stillness of spirit.
We begin by accepting non-judgmentally that something is off; that our priorities, of the mind, of the heart and in the world are skewed; that we live in a world with too much dominance and not enough acceptance, too much Yang and not enough Yin.
A word from Michael Haltenberger:
I’d say striving to be happy is NOT the point. We didn’t evolve to be happy. I don’t think we evolved FOR any particular reason other than to perpetuate life. On the other hand, we can choose to find joy in that vacuum, in the empty space where we wish there were some sort of meaning. All it really takes is a change of perspective and giving up on trying to understand, on needing to be right. To live without judgment, with acceptance, is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Lazy, smart, dumb, good, bad are all just thoughts. We can choose to believe them or we can be free.
**OPTIONAL** For an additional $30, you can join an expert chef and forager on a mushroom hunt on Sunday afternoon. Includes a woodfired pizza lunch with the mushrooms we find.
Schedule of the weekend:
2pm: Arrive to a communal lunch.
3pm: Intro conversation: Accepting without judgment that we are unbalanced, that we don’t really understand what is important in life, that we are all a bit nuts and miserable :)
Exploring some of the ideas of Tolle, Sadhguru and Mooji.
Define some keywords: Thought, Ego, Personality, “I”, Mind vs Self, Being, Raw Awareness.
Hand out compassion cards
5pm: Free time to explore Wassaic and hike, swim, or hang out around OlioHouse
7pm: Dinner at The Lantern
10am: Start with guided with a meditation
Olio on the Tyranny of choice
A couple of short videos and conversation
12:30pm: Light lunch and conversations about Compassion Cards
2:15pm: Return train to Grand Central.
Michael D. Haltenberger has been teaching Comparative Religion at Hunter College for over a decade. His primary interest is the relationship between religion and science and how both affect the way we experience and behave in the world.