TEACHER: Avi Craimer
THEME: Befriending Wisdom
MEDITATION: Contemplative Reflection
INTERACTIVE: Let’s get Socratic
Avi: Philosophy was my first contemplative practice, long before I’d ever heard about mindfulness, I took up Socrates, John Stuart Mill, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty as my gurus. A philosopher is somebody who seeks philos (deep friendship) with sophia (wisdom). This is achieved by asking questions about seemingly obvious things like, what am I? What should we do? What is true and how do we know it? These are questions we ask as small children, and although we never get satisfying answers to them, eventually most of us become conditioned to stop asking. The philosopher is somebody who stubbornly keeps asking, often to the annoyance of those around him or her (Socrates was executed for asking his annoying questions).
The original English meaning of “meditation” was to think deeply about a topic, as in the title of Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy. For tonight’s sit we’ll experiment with meditation as a focused inner reflection on a topic of deep importance.
In the interactive, we’ll break into groups and read a classic philosophical text. From this starting point, you’ll have the chance to engage in an authentic philosophical dialogue.