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Learning paths content lists

Sister Joan Chittister, the iconic spiritual feminist and activist, asks us to consider spirituality as a call to action in our culture. More
Tara Brach, meditation teacher and author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge, describes the process of moving through pain and fear into unconditional love and acceptance. More
Joan Halifax Roshi, Zen Buddhist priest, author, and founder of the Ojai Foundation and Upaya Zen Center, describes the three "transparencies" of socially engaged, full-hearted Buddhism. More
Esther Armah, award-winning journalist, playwright, and radio host, recalls her Ghanian childhood and defines a process of "intimate revolution" to transform personal and collective trauma. More
Activist, youth educator and cofounder of A Call to Men, Tony Porter describes the fears that hold men back and expresses his optimism for a future of equity and social justice. More
Gloria Steinem, writer, activist, and women’s rights movement leader, explains how race is a divisive social construct and reminds us of our shared evolution and humanity. More
A national voice on economics, Mellody Hobson is President of Ariel Investments and Chair of the Board of Directors of DreamWorks Animation. Here she tells a story about Ram Dass, freedom, and the wealth that allows spiritual transformation. More
Sister Joan Chittister encourages us to consider the four steps of major transformative change when culture is in chaos and society is in upheaval. More
Sister Joan Chittister, an iconic spiritual feminist and activist, tells a story that illuminates our need to take bold action in the world without waiting for it to be sanctioned. More
Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder of Omega Institute and the Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC), makes a case for a society that incorporates the full range of human intelligences, with a focus on the benefits of emotional and spiritual intellegence. More
Omega: Why do you think mindfulness has become so popular in the West? Saki: In the West we’re very interested in the mind. We identify powerfully with our mind and our thoughts. Mindfulness helps us realize we have the capacity to know ourselves more directly, to step back and say, “Wait a second; the mind that I have thought about as the mind is only one small aspect of mind." No one is diminished by offering love. —Saki Santorelli More
Omega: In your book Compassion in Action, which you wrote with Ram Dass, you say, “Acting with compassion is not doing good because we think we ought to. It’s being drawn to action by heartfelt passion.” What is your heartfelt passion?  More
Walking through the doors of the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles was a form of time travel for me. Instantly, I was transported back to the five-year-old me, in the hospital on Halloween and dressed as a bat, leaping, limping, and flapping my wings as I went trick-or-treating down the corridor of the administrative offices. I watched that silly apparition, wistfully reliving the last days of having my own two feet. More
Omega: Can you explain how the brain’s way of learning sets us up for addiction? Judson: Our brains operate with a reward-based learning system, or habit loop, that has a couple of key pieces: a trigger, a behavior, and a reward. This evolved to help us remember where food is. If we were hungry and we saw a berry (the trigger) and we ate it (the behavior), the stomach then sent a dopamine signal to our brain (the reward) that said, “That was good! Remember what you just ate and where you found it.” More
Omega: How did you develop your natural talent for communicating with spirits and what practices remain important to you today? Tony: I was very lucky, because I was invited to join a development group. A woman named Joan, who has now passed over herself, took me under her wing. She saw something in me. I was allowed to sit in her home circle, which was a very small group that met every Thursday. More
Omega: What's Buddism's take on happiness? Robert: Buddhism has a very positive view of life. Buddha, when he became enlightened, smiled with glee and happiness. He was actually announcing that happiness is possible to people. The only reason he mentions suffering is that if one remains confused and doesn't find the reality of oneself, then one will automatically bump into things and then one will suffer. More
It’s rumored that when the artist Michelangelo sculpted the statue of David, he observed a singular slab of marble and began steadily chipping away, removing everything that "wasn’t David." His approach wasn’t to shape the stone itself, but rather to reveal the Renaissance masterpiece within. More
The divine is summoning us to sacred activism, asking us to fuse together in the depth of our being the profound depth of awareness that we’re capable of and the wise and radical action that’s urgently needed. To do this we need to fuse together these five different kinds of service. 1) Serve the Divine The first kind of service is service to the divine, by whatever name you know and love the divine. This is a service of praise, thanksgiving, celebration, and prayer. This service will call down divine grace and divine guidance. More
It’s a common belief that work (what we do in order to make a living) and spirituality are incompatible. Work binds us to the material world, whereas spirituality frees us. This view is supported by traditional cultures, especially Eastern ones, in which turning attention to the spiritual path came only after a certain age when one’s life’s work is complete (“retirement”) or as a complete renunciation of the worldly life (monasticism). Women, in particular, if they were tied to the traditional role of child-bearer and homemaker, were even less likely to commit to a spiritual path. More
On Oct 9, 2017, my home and office in California were incinerated by a massive wildfire. My wife, Christine, and I got out with moments to spare. We woke up at 12:45 a.m. and saw the flames racing toward us. Running to the car, we got out just ahead of the inferno. Many of our neighbors weren’t so lucky. Reports from firefighters later estimated that the fire traveled the length of a football field every three seconds. Forty-two people didn’t escape in time. But thousands did. Why? More