Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 136 – Real Change Series: Soren Gordhamer

For episode 136 of the Metta Hour, Sharon speaks with friend and colleague, Soren Gordhamer.

Soren is the founder and host of Wisdom 2.0, and the author of the book by the same name. He has spoken on and taught mindfulness to people around the world–from youth in New York City’s juvenile halls, to trauma workers in Rwanda, to the staff at Google’s corporate headquarters.

This is the ninth episode of the Real Change Podcast series. In this conversation, Soren and Sharon discuss the role that meditation has played in Soren’s life and how it has informed his work as a change-maker. They discuss the importance of voting and the role meditation plays in citizenship. Soren also shares about his #VoteKindness initiative for the upcoming US election of 2020. The episode closes with Soren leading a 10-minute guided meditation practice.

Uncovering Heartfulness: Teaching Meditation & Yoga

Reflecting on their first meeting after one of her meditation classes, Sharon invites Soren to describe the work he was initiating back then of bringing the tools of yoga and meditation to underprivileged and at-risk youth. Soren describes Sharon’s loving-kindness and compassion practices as potent foundational guideposts and inspirations for his life’s work in engaging with the loving heart through sharing and merging meditation, yoga, technology, and activism.

“If you study myths, often what is most precious is hidden where people are must unlikely to look for it. So, the amazing jewel is hidden in an old locket that looks worthless… In the same way, you all have what’s most precious inside you, even if the world doesn’t see it.” – Soren Gordhamer

Enjoy a brand new podcast from entrepreneur, activist, and teacher, Konda Mason, as she explores the intersection of spirituality and social justice on Ep. 2 of the Brown Rice Hour
Wisdom 2.0: Integrating Wisdom with the Modern World (8:42)

How can we adapt ancient spiritual traditions to flow with our quickly modernizing and evolving technologies? Wisdom 2.0, Soren’s global conference on merging spirituality and ethics with today’s rapidly changing technology, is all about integrating ancient wisdom traditions into the modern world in a way that is of mutual benefit to the well-being of ourselves and the planet. It is through these large and diverse conferences that Soren hopes to create the perfect melting-pot for cultivating and sharing ideas and wisdom.

“The same air that Mother Teresa, or the Buddha, or Jesus breathed – we breath. The same wisdom teachings are around now as much as they’ve ever been around. It’s not like they’ve gone anywhere. Life still teaches us so much, so how do we apply that within this domain of screens and social networks?” – Soren Gordhamer

For an illuminating discussion focused on applying Buddhist teachings to daily life in modern times, dive into Ep. 6 of Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck
Voting & Politics: Honor the Individual, Honor the Whole (16:52)

In society, how can we honor both the individual and the collective? Sharon and Soren speak to the current American ethos of individualist egos as an antithetical hindrance to feelings of community and togetherness. As corporations like Amazon and Walmart demolish small businesses, and as technology changes, develops, and adapts, it is up to us to re-imagine what a fair society looks like. Soren shares his perspectives on how to recreate a society more balanced for the collective whole, voting being the first and most important step in enacting lasting change.

“Society needs to begin to look at what’s good for the whole. Let’s not just look at what’s good for Walmart, Google, or Microsoft. What’s good for the whole? Voting is a beautiful step in that, and I think we need to even take that further and have laws put into place that not just represent the individual, but represent the whole.”– Soren Gordhamer

For another conversation from Sharon’s Real Change Series, tackling the subjects of voting, politics, activism, justice, & ritual, check out Ep. 135 of the Metta Hour

This is the first episode of the Real Change Podcast series. In this conversation, Joshin and Sharon discuss some of the themes from her new book, Real Change, exploring the ways that meditation practice can inform social action. They discuss working with anger, pathological altruism, finding long term resilience and joy in activism, and working to find balance. To close the conversation, Joshin leads a ten-minute meditation practice on equanimity.