On February 2, 2019, Rebecca spoke as part of the Tricycle team at A Night of Philosophy and Ideas held at the Brooklyn Public Library. The event was a 12-hour long feast of intellectually-stimulating talks, music and films from 7 pm to 7 am on Feb 2-3. Her talk entitled “Community Building as a Social, Political and Spiritual Practice” at 8 pm opened the series of talks following the keynote speech by Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton University. Her talk can be viewed at the one-hour mark of this livestream recording here. In this talk, she brings together sociological insights of how a sense of belonging is generated when we gather in groups and Buddhist insights using Chan practice to cultivate awareness of how we may be creating suffering for ourselves and others without intending to while doing so. She also discusses how Chan practice can help us build communities that are connect and support us without generating hatred and anxiety. One of the questions we can ask in our practice is: “Do we know how we are building a sense of belonging in our community?”
She wants to acknowledge Julia Hirsch at the Tricycle who encouraged her to explore this subject matter in deciding a topic for the event. Her Tricycle team worked hard in this incredible event.
It was a real pleasure to meet Mindy Newman who teaches at the Tibet House.
it was lovely meeting Bo-Mi Choi, director of Cambridge Zen Center, and learning about her dissertation work on Adorno and how she connected his work with Zen practice.
The rooms were packed with people and there were long lines going in and out of every time, even between the stacks!