The New Meditation

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation.

By:  Richard Woo

The New Meditation

The next time you walk into a breakout room shortly before or after the presentation of a conference session, take note of the reflective meditation underway.  More often than not, the sparse gathering of people are sitting quietly with their heads bowed, eyes cast downward and hands folded in their laps.  It appears to be a remarkable moment of collective meditation.

I call this phenomenon the “BlackBerry Prayer” because upon closer inspection everyone has a BlackBerry, iPhone or other electronic device resting in their palms with their thumbs racing across the miniature keyboards!

No doubt we are attempting to send some prayerful message to a higher power-be that simply the nearest WiFi connection or cellphone tower.

Oh by the way, if you see me deeply engrossed in the BlackBerry meditation in the midst of a workshop presentation or plenary speaker’s remarks, I’m not praying, I’m taking notes…most of the time.

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