EconTalk host Russ Roberts took a deep, different, and quite personal turn in this week's episode, in which he welcomed Robert Wright to discuss his newest book, Why Buddhism is True. Roberts admits to being a regular practitioner of mediation, though having begun the practice with his usual skeptical bent.
Since this week's episode was so different, we thought we'd try a slightly different tack here as well. Rather than reflect on specific topics from the conversation, this week we're more interested in your own experiences with mindfulness and meditation. What does mindfulness mean to you, and how do you strive for it? Is it just a catch-phrase for the self-help section of your local bookshop, or are there real and lasting benefits for individuals? For communities?
1. Do you meditate on a regular basis? If so, how long have you been practicing? Why did you start? What challenges have you faced, and what benefits have you reaped from the practice?
2. For those of you who don't meditate, has this week's conversation prompted you to consider it? Why or why not? Are you skeptical about the benefits both Wright and Roberts attribute to the practice, and again, why?
3. If you're a regular practitioner of meditation (or any other practice for mindfulness), can you suggest some of your favorite references and/or techniques?
4. Do you believe suffering is an inherent part of the human condition? Why?
5. Why is (or has?) wonder become so devalued in society today? What efforts might we make to bring more wonder to our own lives? What has struck you as wonderful recently?