Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life

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IAP - Decoding Happiness
Jan/18 Tue 11:00AM–12:00PM

While everyone seeks happiness seldom does one find true happiness. 

Modern cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience still find it hard to explain the complete science of happiness. In a world where various companies and advertisements create hope for people to find happiness in their products, happiness is seldom found in those products, while even if found it is short-lived. In such a scenario, it is imperative for a man of intelligence to explore the science of happiness and how to find true happiness. 

Why each individual has a different degree of happiness? Why aren't we happy always to the highest degree? Is there a science to understand happiness? Is there a set of principles that would help us improve the quality and extent of happiness? If these are some of the questions that bother you, join us for a unique enlivening session to explore the timeless Vedic understanding of happiness.

When: 11 am, Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022

RSVP: tinyurl.com/mithappiness

IAP - Yoga Sutras 101
Jan/17 Mon 11:00AM–12:00PM

Yoga Sutras 101 introduces fundamental concepts of yoga principles. This is an introductory workshop is based on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. This practical class presents the fundamental concepts of yoga, the various yoga paths, and practical insights on how to practice yoga. This workshop would also highlight some of the misconceptions of modern yoga systems and how to avoid common pitfalls in practicing yoga. 

Students will be able to learn simple, practical, and effective yoga techniques which can be applied in one's daily living. Join us to deepen your yoga practice and lead a life of joy, peace, and good health. This workshop is offered by the Vaishnava Hindu Chaplain at MIT, Sadananda Dasa, who has been a yoga practitioner for more than a decade.  

When: 11 am, Monday, Jan 17, 2022

RSVP: tinyurl.com/mityogasutras

Isn't Religion Just a Psychological Delusion - Just Wishful Thinking to Comfort People?
Jan/27 Thu 07:30PM–09:00PM

Many today would say they do not want to believe in God, but that those who do are driven to do so as a kind of wish fulfillment.  This “You wish” argument against belief in God goes back to Voltaire, Diderot, Darwin, and Feuerbach.  And it was most popularized and sharpened by Freud. Freud referred to religion as “the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity,” and claimed that the spiritual worldview “distorts the picture of the real world in a delusional manner.” Dr. Brandon Unruh will help us examine these claims and critiques from his own lived experience and his professional experience as a clinician.

DR. BRANDON UNRUH, M.D - Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and clinician at McLean Hospital

Reconstructing Religion: Can Religious Faith Contribute to the Public Good? Should it have a Place in the Public Square?
Jan/25 Tue 07:30PM–09:00PM

How did the church get to the point where Christianity as a tradition and Christians, in particular, are often looked at with derision and as an anchor around the neck of society rather than a cool breeze blowing into its sails? Is there a way to imagine religion (specifically Christianity) that promotes human flourishing and strengthens our Democratic Tradition? Is there a place for the faith in the public square and what contributions can it make, if any? Or is it no longer needed?

Dr. Ron Sanders - Affiliate Assistant Professor in Ethics. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology and Christian Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Biola University.

SOLD OUT IAP COURSE - HANDLING NEGATIVITY
Jan/06 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM
Jan/20 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM

Suppose we are trapped in a cell with a cellmate who constantly draws our attention to the many terrible images on the cell walls. While we may try to replace those images, we also need to deal with the cellmate effectively.

 

Similarly, our mind often highlights our negative memories in our inner world. While we may try to replace those memories, we also need to deal with the mind effectively to maintain our positivity or even our sanity.

Join us to know the techniques from ancient Vedic wisdom to make your inner world bright and right so that you make the best choices in your outer world for gaining worthwhile achievement materially and eternal fulfillment spiritually.

 

The workshop series will be a guided process of reflection and discovery to capture and transfigure your unique story. 

To apply, click here

Please submit your application by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 31st, 2022

UNBOXING RELIGION: Christian History: A Quick Trip Through 2,000 Years
Jan/25 Tue 02:00PM–03:00PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

Christian History: A Quick Trip Through 2,000 Years

Fr. Michael Medas (Catholic Chaplain), Pastor Andrew Heisen (Lutheran Chaplain) and Deacon James Wilcox (Saint Mary Orthodox Church, Cambridge)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: Jews and Judaism 101
Jan/26 Wed 12:00PM–01:00PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

 

Jews and Judaism 101

Rabbi Menachem Altein (Jewish Chaplain, Chabad)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: The Bahá’í Faith
Jan/27 Thu 07:00PM–08:30PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

The Bahá’í Faith

Brian Aull (Bahá’í Chaplain)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: Understanding Hinduism
Jan/28 Fri 02:00PM–03:00PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

Understanding Hinduism

Swami Tyagananda (Hindu Chaplain)

Registration Link

UNBOXING RELIGION: Understanding Islam and Muslims
Jan/26 Wed 04:00PM–05:30PM

In this series of virtual classes, ORSEL chaplains and guests will introduce you to the world’s religious traditions. Attend one session, or as many as you like.

Learn about the diversity of human beings -- the questions they ask and the answers they find. Better understand history and current events. And get to know your neighbors in a new way.

Understanding Islam and Muslims

Sister Nada El-Alami (Muslim Chaplain)

Registration Link

(also offered: Thurs. 1/13 12:00-1:30 and Tues. 1/18 2:00-3:30)

Understanding Islam and Muslims
Jan/13 Thu 12:00PM–01:30PM

Islam is frequently talked about in the media, but continues to be a mystery to most people. What is the Muslim's concept of God? The afterlife? Who was prophet Muhammad? What do Muslims say about Abraham, Moses, and Jesus? What are the core beliefs and practices of Islam? This session offers an opportunity to get to know our Muslim students a little bit better, see beyond common misconceptions, and learn from Muslims about their fourteen-century old faith, professed by 1.8 billion people worldwide. This is a 90 minute interactive workshop with participation from students and time allotted for Q&A. 

Understanding Islam and Muslims
Jan/13 Thu 12:00PM–01:30PM
Jan/18 Tue 02:00PM–03:30PM
Jan/26 Wed 04:00PM–05:30PM

Islam is frequently talked about in the media, but continues to be a mystery to most people. What is the Muslim's concept of God? The afterlife? Who was prophet Muhammad? What do Muslims say about Abraham, Moses, and Jesus? What are the core beliefs and practices of Islam? This session offers an opportunity to get to know our Muslim students a little bit better, see beyond common misconceptions, and learn from Muslims about their fourteen-century old faith, professed by 1.8 billion people worldwide. This is a 90 minute interactive workshop with participation from students and time allotted for Q&A.