I have just had a remarkable weekend in Barre, MA at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies at the Contemplative Development Mapping Project weekend. The density of people who were simultaneously deep, accomplished meditation practitioners and also serious scholars with sharp scientific minds was remarkable, perhaps unheard of, and certainly was like no other gathering I have been to in my life.
What was even more amazing was the wide variety of traditions represented, including Christian Mystics, Greek Orthodox, Dzogchen, Sufism, Zen, Theravada, and people with other influences sharing practices, terminologies, maps, stories, and their rich fund of knowledge in general in a way that you almost never see with that degree of openness, ease and honesty.
It gives me hope for this world, as that fusion of abilities, talents, and interests promises to do things such as being the meditative technologies that have been so helpful to me and my friends into the world of colleges, high schools, the corporate world, medicine, and the like in ways that are unprecedented and hopefully do it as safely and sanely as possible. When the stages of insight are taught in high-school biology classes as just another accepted part of human development and physiology, we will really have gotten somewhere.
Beyond that, the conversations I got to have with some truly remarkable, thoughtful, deep meditators were of the rarest variety, and it is hard to explain how much fun that was. More and longer gatherings like this need to occur.