Peace of Mind: Self, Sanity and the Pursuit of Happiness
An evening of contemplation and music to benefit Still Waters in a Storm and Mission 22. Featuring readings and conversation with Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness, and Susan Cain, author of Quiet and a keynote speech by Bob Kerrey, former United States Senator, Governor and veteran of the Vietnam War. The show closes with music by a star to be announced at the end of March, guided meditation led by The Big Quiet and chanting by Nina Rao, accompanied by cellist Noah Hoffeld.
Still Waters in a Storm is a one-room schoolhouse, a reading and writing sanctuary for immigrant children ages 5-17 in the neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. The structure of our meetings is the same in English, Spanish, Latin and Musical Notation: children and grown-ups study a text together, each writes something inspired by the text, then they take turns reading their writings out loud while everyone listens in a sacred hush. The one rule is, "Everyone listens to everyone." The simple grace of this ritual changes lives for the better.
Mission 22 is a non-profit who combats the ever-rising veteran suicide rate. Every day, more than twenty veterans are lost to suicide. Mission 22 wants to bring that number to zero. It does this with three main programs; veteran treatment programs, memorials and national awareness. Mission 22 provides treatment programs to veterans for Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and other issues they might be facing. It organizes events and builds memorials to create social impact and awareness for these issues. Mission 22 also has an Ambassador volunteer program for people to get involved as well. Ambassadors educate the public on veteran issues, help get veterans into Mission 22 treatment programs and create resources in their communities. Through these three programs, it enables a push for the betterment of our nation's heroes and stands united in the war against veteran suicide.
Bob Kerrey is Managing Director at Allen & Company. He is also Executive Chairman of the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship, supporting The Minerva Project, an exceptional liberal arts and sciences education. From 2001 to 2011 Mr. Kerrey was President of The New School, a university founded on democratic ideals and daring educational practices. On his watch, The New School experienced unprecedented growth in enrollment, faculty, scholarships, capital projects, research, and international engagement. From 1989 to 2001 Mr. Kerrey represented Nebraska in the Senate, where he promoted equity for rural communities, led in farm and environmental legislation, strengthened taxpayers' rights, led in restructuring our intelligence agencies, and partnered with local leaders to build projects of lasting value to Nebraskans. His public service since leaving the Senate includes: the 9/11 Commission, advisory board of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, co-chair of the Concord Coalition, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Prior to his Senate service, Mr. Kerrey served one term as Nebraska's Governor. Before entering politics he was a businessman who helped build a chain of restaurants and health clubs employing over 1000 people. Mr. Kerrey served as a U.S. Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War. For his service, he received the Medal of Honor. While in Vietnam, he was wounded, permanently disabled, and received from this injury a great gift: sympathy for those who are suffering and an appreciation for the capacity of government to save your life.
Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and NYT bestselling author. She has played a crucial role in bringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and the author of ten books including NY Times bestseller, Real Happiness, and Real Love, her latest release by Flatiron Books. Acclaimed for her humorous, down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon is a columnist for On Being and hosts her own podcast: The Metta Hour. More details at www.SharonSalzberg.com
Susan Cain is the Chief Revolutionary at Quiet Revolution and author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking and QUIET POWER: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids. These days, she is hard at work on two new books, is dreaming up a new podcast, and also seems to play an awful lot of tennis.
The Big Quiet creates massive moments of meditation and culture. We've brought this experience to thousands of people in cultural sites like One World Trade, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center and Fox Theatre.
Purpose-driven cellist, composer and producer Noah Hoffeld plays kirtan, scores films about spirituality, and sings rock songs with a message. His cello solos have been featured with artists like Natalie Merchant and Renee Fleming, and in films like A Walk in the Woods with Robert Redford. His playing is heard on the new album by Krishna Das, Trust in the Heart.
Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. For many years Nina has been Krishna Das' business manager and assistant, often touring with him playing cymbals and singing. In 2007, she recorded the track ‘Nina Chalisa' on Krishna Das' CD "Flow of Grace " and in January 2013, she released her debut album, "Antarayaami - Knower of All Hearts". Nina regularly leads kirtan, chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, and sings for yoga classes in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY and beyond.