A year ago I was going to my first Wisdom 2.0 conference in 2014 on Valentine’s day. I have to honestly say that this is the best conference I have attended. 2,000 people attended to come together to talk about wisdom, compassion, technology.
At the conference you were surrounded and amongst some of the greats that started the mindfulness movement; for example Jon-Kabat Zinn, Sharon Salzberg and Krsiten Neff. At the time and while I was there people kept asking me what do you think of the conference, what have you got out of coming, will you come next year. While I was there I was trying to be there, present in the moment. Unable to answer these questions at the time. I went open to what would emerge, with no real expectations. A year later I am ready to share some of the moments that gave me great joy and sorrow. As my favourite zen buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Han says ‘No mud, no lotus.’ During the conference I met so many people that blew me away with the work that they were doing. Very young people developing apps to help homeless people to get food. As a society we think of young people as being self-centred and only concerned with themselves and making money. The connection with the people I met was a heart, to heart connection that I had not experienced before. You meet some people on the first day and the next day they are your friend. This is rare. I had not met people before that were into consciousness and running their business with wisdom and compassion. On the final day we went out for lunch with a diverse group of people, some technology people, mindfulness experts, legal professionals. During that lunch I met Justin Broglie from Philadelphia, as a group we had lunch together. He was only 23 at the time, he achieved and did so much, he started the Penn Consciousness club at his university. Some of us will never achieve as much as he did in his short life. He connected deeply with me and shared wisdom with me, for that I am forever grateful as Justin is no longer with us. http://beingwithjustin.net My only wish is I had spent longer talking with him. After the conference I wanted to keep connected with the people I met from all over the world. One way to do this was to use technology. I started a google hangout in June 2014 where we could meet once a month online for an hour and guide each other in a meditation practice together. This is a small group of people coming together as a community a sangha to share, learn and develop together from each others wisdom. (https://plus.google.com/events/c3hs4up6eeba3v5evnm3f50rdts?authkey=CNby7bbx1-TfbA)
Just before the conference I went to the Compassion day of research at Facebook to meet Dacher Keltner a professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Greater Good Science Centre. We talked about his work on compassion with executives and also self-compassion and leadership. His presence and sharing of knowledge with me was AWEinspiring! During the conference there was a wisdompreneur’s party I went to, Californian style with a hot tub and swimming pool in the living room, a roof terrace with beautiful views of San Francisco. Afterwards I joined the Facebook group for wisdompreneur’s and was interested in meeting people like this is London. I started running meetup’s in July 2014 and now am the local liaison lead for wisdompreneur’s in london. (http://www.wisdompreneurs.com)
I am now ready and in anticipation for Wisdom 2.0 2015 and all that it will bring and looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. My intention is to practice being more present while I am there. Also this year I want to make more video’s asking people about compassion and wisdom in life and work, learning more about the different ways people practice it? How can we make it a part of our life and not an added extra? How can we really be and find our real purpose and make deep connections with the people we meet in the digital age where we are constantly being distracted?
One way is to practice sitting still in silence, when was the last time you just sat and did nothing, focusing on your breath as if your life depended on it as Jon Kabat-Zinn often says?
See some of my short video highlights from Wisdom 2.0 2014 below-
James Doty from CCARE the most compassionate man I met at Wisdom 2.0- Interview with Austin Hill Shaw at Wisdom 2.0- Volunteer at Wisdom2.0 Shelly Smith from ‘living into grace’ that I gave my superwoman top away to-
Suzukhi on the open mic Oskar talking and hugging Brother David- Meng from Google managing conflict mindfully- Drumming at the end of the first day of the conference-