Leonard Cohen and the Meaning of Life

November 29, 2018

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

Everything is weird right now . . .
 
Today for example, reflecting on how our president gave thanks for himself on Thanksgiving Day while the darkest Black Friday to date kicked off the holiday season with mall shootings and stabbings . . . Well, I’ll just say . . . it’s freaky out there and I feel I should do my best to do something.
 
I sent you an email with our newly minted meditation kit about a month ago. We are thrilled that so many of you signed up and are benefitting from the meditations. Meditation does have many health benefits, but it is not enough if you want to create a meaningful life. And meditation cannot replace a thorough examination of your values or help you establish your life around strong principles.
 
By looking at what great thinkers have said and done with the Good, and looking at what Good things have been accomplished, we can inoculate ourselves against darker visions and construct more positive notions that are both practical and relevant in our lives today.
 
If you have a moment, check out one of the Greats in this piece I recently wrote on my friend Leonard Cohen. He has inspired multiple generations and this short article published by The Millions explores his kindness, humor, dark optimism and generosity as a musician and poet.
 
Why do I feel compelled to explore the Good now? The bleak details of the news are endless and the problems, unnerving. There is a vacuum where there should be abundance.

The subject of the Good Life and the meaning of life are not part of our social discourse. We are either too busy, distracted or too despairing to care about these important matters. I’d like to change that.

I love this subject and want to share it with everyone I know.
 
So, in next few weeks, as we all end the year and before I go on retreat to our temple in Kyoto to study over the Holiday season, I will share some ideas to help preserve our human-ness, cultivate our goodness, and protect meaning and hope in our lives.