Zen and the Art of African Initiation | KCET
In this episode, Taoist professor and psychologist Dr. Benjamin Tong meets environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, the world's most famous "tree-sitter." Julia became an international symbol of environmental activism by living for over two years high atop an old-growth redwood tree in northern California, a tree she named "Luna," which she ultimately saved from destruction.
As she sautes pine nuts and herbs for her up-coming garden-lunch pasta dish, host Bokara Legendre brings forth a more serious tone than usual: "At the end of the Cold War, all of us thought that we were going to have a peaceful world. But in fact, we don't. Fifty- nine wars are presently being fought, and of these, many of them have to do with differences in religious faith.
In her debut show, Bokara Legendre hosts meditation teacher Jack Kornfield and psychologist Paul Ekman. Meeting for the first time, the scientist and former Buddhist monk share insights on that exciting edge where the study of science meets the study of mind. What do scientists and psychologists understand about our minds and about our emotional states, and how does this compare with what meditation masters and spiritual traditions have studied and learned over the centuries? What do facial gestures tell us about a person's internal state?
Host Bokara Legendre hosts a memorable lunch with internationally- renowned comparative religion scholar Huston Smith, along with spiritual teacher Ram Dass, (formerly Dr. Richard Alpert, who along with Tim Leary was fired from a tenured position at Harvard following experiments with LSD). Here together, the scholar and the guru share their thoughts on consciousness, mortality, love, grace, faith and hope.
Over a lively lunch, Bokara compares notes with West African healer Sibonfu Some and psychologist and author Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen on the importance of family, community and ritual in the healing process. Dagara tribal concepts of "wholeness" and "purpose" in life are discussed from both African and western points of view. How do emotions cause illness? How can broken families heal? What is the difference between approval and acceptance? Insights abound as host and guests compare the strengths and weaknesses of western and African approaches to healing, family and community.