OM Work / Blissology Discussion Question #3

Here is an excerpt from a Podcast with Laurie Santos. She teaches a class on happiness which is apparently the most popular class at Yale. (If you listen to the podcast it is between 18:30 and 20:30)

She talks about how students no longer turn to the humanities, philosophy or literature to learn about how to live a good live. We need research, statistics and data.

Here is what she said in particular that caught my attention: 

  • "I think people really want to figure out what they can do to be happy you know. And I think in this day and age people really want evidence-based strategies for what they can do to be happy, you know. These days I think students aren't as much drawn to the humanities or great literature to explore this question of how to live a good life. 
  • I think they're, like, what does the science say about living a good life? You know, give you the neuroscience is a good life.  So, I think that's part of what drew people to my and Tal's class, which I think is a fall. 
  • My read is a lot of this stuff in science right now is just validating what great literature, philosophy and good religions told us before. But, I think what students want is they don't just want, you know, to hear what somebody did. They're like show me the graph that this makes my anxiety better and then I'm going to do it."

Blissology Discussion Topics/ OM Work Questions:

What are the implications of a culture that relies on data more and more to accept things into their belief systems?

Why is skepticism the new normal? 

What does this mean for meditation and yoga research?

There will most likely be a whole list of pro's and con's. 

Share you opinion in your journal, on this page and in your small groups.

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Here is another example by a neuroscientist Sara Lazar. 

In this TedX talk, she shares about how she doubted the claims of her yoga teacher and just wanted to go to a class to stretch.

But she felt the changes happening so she decided to research them. The research validated what meditators have felt for thousands of years. 

You can think about this in terms of the Blissology Discussion Topics above.


Discussion

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