Justin McDaniel is a religious studies professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a Buddhist scholar. He teaches a popular class called “Living Deliberately: Monks, Saints and the Contemplative Life”. For part of the course, McDaniel requires his students observe a code of silence, abstain from electronic communications and limit their spending to no more than $50 a week. Students must also practice celibacy and record their actions every 15 minutes. His goal for these practices is intended, in part, to create a state that many religious observers call “mindfulness”, the ability to live selflessly and show concern for others and the world. McDaniel will speak at the Chicago Humanities Festival this weekend. He’ll lecture on what it takes to live “deliberately” in the 21st century.
(Photo: Flickr/Mitchell Joyce)