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Silver Lining Moments with Kerry

Jun 23, 2019

A SLM conversation with Theodore “Ted” Mayer

Silver Lining Moments:

a space for conversations, thoughts, and ideas that expand love and light

Can we save the world by restoring our sense of connection?

My guest this week is Ted Mayer.  He is an anthropologist, educator, an Academic Director of The International Network of Engaged Buddhist (INEB) Institute and help design INEB’s School of English for Engaged Social Service (SENS) program. Sulak Sivaraksa and others founded SENS in 2015  “…to meet the crises of climate change, increasing social inequality, and individual confusion and despair about what to do. Its aim is to create a safe and supportive place for learning English as a tool for leadership, self-cultivation, and social transformation.”[1]

In our conversation, Ted points to DISCONNECTION as an underlying force of these global crises. Think about it. While we are connected to our phones, social media, and apps, there is a growing and steady disconnection from ourselves, from our communities, from society, and from nature. This disconnection ushers in a sense of overwhelm, anxiety, cynicism and hopelessness. Restoring our sense of connection restores our collective hope and resilience. And, these are stepping stones to positive change.

Putting these ideas to action, TED shares how he used care and concern about these global crises to design the curriculum for SENS that addresses these crises while empowering SENS’ participants through a restored connection to themselves and their purpsose, to others, and to our shared world. He shares some of his techniques and practices including creating a culture of appreciation and using co-counseling principles. 

Through SENS, Ted and The INEB Institute restore CONNECTION – deep, genuine, and lasting connection. He creates a culture of appreciation where each participant is valued and where they are taught English, communication skills, relationship building, and most of all, self-love.

After completing SENS, participants, many of whom work for NGOS, community projects, or schools, take their restored and empowered selves back to their communities. As a former volunteer tutor with SENS, I can say with 100% confidence that Ted, INEB, and SENS are transforming lives and adding light to our world – one person a time and one course at a time.  With participants from across the world, their positive impact expands in all directions.

From my conversation with Ted, I realize how: a moment of crises is lined by connection.

Thank you for listening to Silver Lining Moments. By Ted sharing and by you listening, together we are:

expanding love and light,

one person at a time,

one story at a time,

one Silver Lining Moment at a time.