Contemplative Practices in a Technological Society Colloquium

Organized by Douglas Lindner, Frederick P. Lenz Residential Fellow in Buddhism and American Culture and Values

Explore the possibilities of integrating contemplative mind-body practices into a society increasingly steeped in technology. Society faces increasingly complex global, social, and environmental challenges, and technology is often proposed as the solution to these challenges. So, too, are contemplative practices often touted as practices for living in a fast-paced technological world. In this colloquium, we investigate the idea that integration of these two solutions provides a holistic approach to the challenges of the 21st century and provides a greater possibility for an enriched life experience.

Upcoming Lectures

"Contemplative Considerations in Planning & Building Sustainable Communities" Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 5:00–6:30 p.m.
Thalacker Conference Room, Wulsin Hall (2nd floor), Arapahoe Campus, 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder

This panel discussion will address current trends of sustainability in urban planning and building design and construction. Panelists include Amir Massihzadeh (PE, Orion Architectural Systems, LLC), Carl A. Worthington (AIA ASLA, & Associates), Eric Doub (CEO, EcoSmart Homes), and Kyle Callahan (Kyle Callahan & Associates).

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Please contact Traci Darnton at 303-546-3588 or at  to inquire about accessibility and disability accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.

Past Lectures

You can find .pdf and .mp3 files of the following lectures here.

December 5: "Did the Buddha Invent Black Holes? A Short Cultural History of Zero" with Douglas Lindner
Lindner discusses the impact of the number zero on the scientific revolution, western culture, and modern scientific thinking, and also offers speculations on the relationship between the concept of zero and spiritual experience.

January 23: "Explorations of Number, Part 1: Sacred Number" with Douglas Lindner
Lindner offers a brief introduction to several belief systems around numbers, exploring Greek, Islamic, Buddhist, and Chinese interpretations of the first five numbers and comparing early interpretations of these numbers to their use in modern science.

January 30: "Explorations of Number, Part 2: Sacred Geometry & Islamic Art" with Douglas Lindner
Exploring the idea of sacred geometry and its use in Islamic art, Lindner covers proportion, concepts related to infinity as related to Islamic tile patterns, as well as sacred numbers and geometrical patterns.

February 6: "Mindful Tech: Learning to use Digital Technologies More Attentively & with Less Stress" with David Levy
Levy explores methods to develop a more focused and engaged relationship with digital tools, emphasizing exercises he developed to help students achieve greater contemplative balance.

February 27: "Climate Change, Shelter, & Community" with Matthew Jelacic
Jelacic reviews current approaches to community development and explores future potentials for addressing the effects of climate change and the resulting permanent mass displacement.

March 6: "Engineering in Sustainable Human Development: Challenges & Opportunities" with Bernard Amadei
Amadei suggests a new epistemology of engineering practice and education, based on reflective and adaptive practice, systems thinking, engagement, and a holistic approach to global problems.

March 13: "Everyday Science & Buddhism" with Douglas Lindner
Lindner explores the scientific method, identifying connections with the meditative experience and discussing areas of overlap and disagreement between science and Buddhism.

March 18: "Science Meets Spirituality: A Scientist's Personal Journey" with Asa Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur presents ideas around how science can benefit from the insights of contemplative practice, how contemplative practice can benefit from the scientific worldview, and why it matters.

April 8: Meditation in the Workplace: A Conversation with Practitioners
Corey Kohn and Judy Frantz explore how contemplative education can impact a professional career.