I occasionally volunteer with an events company that coins themselves as an agent of change. Their core work is in producing live events for organizations that impact change related to women’s rights, political advocacy, social justice, and the arts.
Last night my assignment was at check-in and registration at the Impact & Insights Awards for the Garrison Institute, a retreat center nestled in the hills of Hudson Valley. Once guests seated for dinner, I had the opportunity to attend the evening as a spectator.
The presentation was a thoughtful and intentional conversation about mindfulness and compassion. The event opened with a 10-minute meditation led by Sharon Salzberg, a well-known practitioner and at each interval of the meal, a celebrated lineup of guests interacted with the attendees. There was a performance from Lisa Fischer, a renowned jazz musician.
Followed by a panel discussion with award honorees Eileen Fisher, Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, and Edward Burtynsky on the state of the world and how to bring mindfulness into the conversation, and of course a live auction to raise funds for the Institute.
As a general rule, I don’t carry my cell phone with me as I fulfill my volunteer assignment. I try to be present at this moment, mindful of the space and time. And although I wish I could share intimate details from the program, there is only one moment that made the most profound impression on my mind, and my heart.
When asked about the state of the world and what one could do on an individual level, Reverend Williams shared:
We should be enriched by resistance not undone by it.