by @gassee Valley Spirituality – Monday Note

While our range of worship choices is, in general, commendable, it’s easy to become disconcerted by the anything-goes, make-your-own-religion attitude. But I’m not completely confused: Even if they intersect, I don’t equate religion with spirituality. Actually, I fear the excesses of organized religions, amply documented over centuries of oppression and bloodshed.

As the title of Les’ and Teresa’s book signals, we’re yearning for something better than our material selves. This hunger, or worry, is gaining intensity as technical innovations force us to contemplate our nature. The gene manipulation that’s “permitted” by promising and potentially lifesaving technologies such as Crispr has recently led to gene-edited infants. Are we just things? Will we use technology to create new and better things, smarter students, better soldiers, more obedient factory workers, and, (why not?) slaves?

I chose to see the meeting as an example of spiritual pursuits living in quiet, comfortable coexistence with hardcore business.

So is Buddhism the answer to our spiritual quests? That’s above my pay grade. But what I can say is that Buddhism is alive and well in the Bay Area. …

By now you can accurately guess one of my 2019 New Year wishes: Time for us to quietly contemplate who and what we are.