Episode 112 :: Eric Weiner :: Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine

| April 14, 2012 | 2 Comments

Eric Weiner

Author Eric Weiner speaks about his book, Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine.

In some way or other, we’ve all been seekers. Even if we’ve found that which satisfies us and fulfills us, getting there may have taken some experimentation. I suspect it’s fairly uncommon for someone to alway be satisfied from the moment of birth!

This challenge of finding fulfillment is complicated when one is riding the edge of being a skeptic, but maintaining an openness to being spiritual. We may or may not mean spirituality in a supernatural sense, we may take it to be a perfectly natural way of living. But the endless choices remain. Do we join the local church because it’s convenient, or because we deeply and truly believe in what is being said? Do we find our fulfillment comes from learning about science, or from joining a cult? Or do we simply donate our time at a homeless shelter?

These questions are often background noise that we don’t really face directly. Even as meditators, though we may be looking moment by moment at physicality, our responses to stimulus, our perceptions, our thoughts, we may not be looking too closely at the context in which we do that examination. Does this teacher or center have a hard line about rebirth? Do I? And sometimes it takes a specific event in our lives to prompt us to take that ten-thousand foot view.

Eric Weiner became the first full-time foreign correspondent for NPR in India in1993. He spent two years based in New Delhi, covering everything from an outbreak of bubonic plague to India’s economic reforms, before moving on to other postings in Jerusalem and Tokyo. Over the years, Eric reported from more than 30 countries, everywhere from Algeria to the Indonesia. Those experiences led to his writing The Geography of Bliss, a New York Times Bestseller that has been translated into 18 languages. In his latest book, Man Seeks God, Eric searched for a taste of the divine. He traveled to Kathmandu and Istanbul, and even Vegas, where he experienced first-hand the varieties of religious experience. Eric’s commentaries and essays appear in the Los Angeles Times, Slate and The New Republic, among other publications. He writes regularly for a new travel magazine called AFAR, and is a former reporter for The New York Times.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Nepal Guranse Estate.

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Music for This Episode

Shakuhachi Meditations

Shakuhachi Meditations

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez’s CD, Shakuhachi Meditations. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Kyuden No Kurayami

Tags:

Category: Book Reviews, The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society.

Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (2)

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  1. Dana Nourie Dana Nourie says:

    Eric, brought up right away the main problem I have with “seeking” or “spiritualism”, “I wanted to see if there is more to life than this.”

    I suspect this is the main driver for why so many people seek “spiritualism”, that the idea that there must be more than this, that they hope there is more than this. But this world has a LOT! It really shows how badly people want out of the dukkha of their lives.

    What I like about secular Buddhism so much is that is shows us how to be with what is here, no matter how we judge what’s happening in our lives. I no longer seek happiness, seek something other than this, want for more, etc. The practice helps us see what is here, right now, in our lives and how to be present for all of it.

    When I hear people says, Is this all there is? I want to yell, “Yes, and what there is is friggin’ amazing!” But you have to learn to look and see what is here.

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