Liology Workshop: The Most Important Relationship of Your Life

Join us on Wednesday, May 4 at our next Liology Workshop for an exploration of The Relationship Between “I” and My “Self.”  We’ll begin at 7:30 p.m. at Terra’s Temple, 3051 Adeline Street.

How do you get along with your self? Do you push your self? Are you kind to your self? Have you found your self? Do you love your self?  

Your relationship with your self is the most important relationship in your life. You are always in it as long as you live. And how you conduct that relationship affects the quality of your life more than anything else you do.

Together, in a container of kindness, we’ll investigate who is “I” and who is “my self” and – most importantly – how they can get along together in love and harmony for a life of sustained well-being.  

Choosing who to be

As always, we’ll conduct our journey with a mixture of qigong, guided meditation, group discussion – and an unforgettable embodied practice.

Please RSVP if you’re planning to attend. If you live in Marin, let me know if you’re interested in joining a carpool.

You don’t need to know anything about Liology beforehand – just come with an open mind and be prepared to learn and enjoy yourself.

Please pass this message on to any friends you think might be interested. Liology is open to all!

I hope to see you there.



Stay in touch! Like the Liology Facebook page


Liology Workshop: An Exploration of Love, Harmony and Kindness

Join us at the second Liology workshop of 2016, on Wednesday, April 20. The topic: An Exploration of Love, Harmony and Kindness.

Liology investigates the web of connectivity in the universe, and we can understand the three core principles of Love, Harmony and Kindness in terms of that connectivity:

Love is the realization of connectedness.

Harmony is the embodied experience of connectedness.

Kindness is the expression of connectedness.

Next Wednesday, we’ll explore what each of these principles means for our daily lives, and how they can cohere together, providing a framework for a life of sustained wellbeing.


As always, the 2-hour workshop will incorporate group discussion, guided meditation, qigong, and other embodied practices – including some music and dance.

We’ll begin at 7:30 p.m., at Terra’s Temple, 3051 Adeline Street. Liology workshops are free (suggested donation of $10-20). Please RSVP if you’re planning to attend. If you live in Marin, let me know if you’re interested in joining a carpool.

You don’t need to know anything about Liology beforehand – just come with an open mind and be prepared to learn and enjoy yourself.

Please pass this message on to any friends you think might be interested. Liology is open to all!

I hope to see you there.



Stay in touch! Like the Liology Facebook page


Liology Workshops in Berkeley, starting April 6, 2016

A new series of bimonthly Liology workshops will begin in Berkeley, starting on Wednesday, April 6, at Terra’s Temple, 3051 Adeline Street.

This is the third year of Liology workshops. The first two series in Fairfax were tremendously enjoyable and transformative. If you’ve already attended one, then you know that, in addition to meeting new friends and building intentional community, you will explore a new, integrated way of being alive. And you will learn how to relate to yourself and others with a greater degree of kindness.


The Liology Workshop Series will be held at the lovely Terra’s Temple in Berkeley

Liology is a practice for experiencing life in an integrated, embodied and connected manner. The underlying theme is kindness: allowing each part of ourselves to feel loved and in harmony with our being.  

In each 2-hour workshop, we investigate how a particular topic relates to our lives. Each session incorporates group discussion, guided meditation, qigong, and other embodied practices – frequently music and dance. They are fun, educative, and transformative.

The first workshop on April 6 will be an Introduction to Liology. We’ll explore how Liology offers a framework – based on traditional Chinese wisdom and modern systems thinking – to integrate all the different parts of our lives into a meaningful coherence.

You don’t need to know anything about Liology beforehand – just come with an open mind and be prepared to learn and enjoy yourself.

You will gain the greatest value from attending the workshops regularly. However, each workshop is self-contained and you are welcome to drop in at any time.

More information:

Discover Liology

Workshop FAQs

Workshop Series Schedule

Or contact Liology founder Jeremy Lent at:

Louis C.K. and the Democracy of Consciousness

That wise philosopher of our modern age, Louis C.K., has caused quite a stir on the web recently by confessing in an interview with Conan that he didn’t want to get a smart phone for his kid.  He told Conan: “You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something – that’s what the phones are taking away.”

What’s amazing about the interview, though, is what came after this.  In a deeply insightful expression of inner angst, Louis C.K. told the entire world what it feels like to experience that ultimate sense of what Buddhists call dukkha – the unmitigated dread of being alone in the universe.

Underneath everything else in your life, there’s that thing – that forever empty – you know what I’m talking about? … That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and you’re all alone.  You know, it’s down there, and sometimes when things clear away and you’re not watching anything, you’re in your car and you start going, “Oh no, here it comes, that I’m alone…” Like it starts to visit on you.  You know, just the sadness, life is tremendously sad… That’s why we text and drive… People are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own, because they don’t want to be alone for a second, because it’s so hard.

Having diagnosed the existential predicament of the human condition, Louis, our urban sage in  disguise, then goes on to offer his millions of viewers a way of living with it and achieving well-being:

Just be sad, just let the sadness… and I let it hit me like a truck… and I pulled over and I just cried like a bitch, I cried so much and it was beautiful.  Sadness is poetic, you’re lucky to live sad moments.  And then I had happy feelings, because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has like antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness.  So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness…  The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with the phone… You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kind of satisfied with your products, and then you die.  So, that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.

Go for it, Louis C.K!  What’s so bizarre about the whole episode is that it’s delivered by Louis with a humorous tone and a smiling face, and virtually every sentence is received by the audience with a burst of inane laughter.  What does this tell us about the state of our modern society?  Should we be grateful to Louis who so skillfully uses humor to tell the most profound truths to the world?  Or should we be despairing of the fact that our modern media encourages people to laugh at such expressions of inner truth and then just go back to whatever video game they’re playing on their cell phone?

What I appreciate so much about the whole thing is that Louis C.K. has done such a great job in describing what in Liology I refer to as the Democracy of Consciousness – the inner arena of consciousness that can honor all the feelings that arise in us – good and bad, easy and difficult, loving and hating – recognizing that giving voice to them all is the only way to reach the state of true integration as an organism: what the ancient Chinese called cheng.

An important part of Liology, I believe, is that it shows how ultimately that feeling of existential loneliness is not based on the reality of existence.  It’s something brought about the by the cognitive barriers created by our conceptual consciousness mediated by our prefrontal cortex.  By recognizing the ultimate interpenetration of the li within ourselves and between ourselves and the rest of the natural world, we can permeate those barriers with connectivity, and feel in to what it means to be fractally connected with the entire universe.  Through a true integration of consciousness, it’s possible to deeply recognize, in the words of that other sage, Zhang Zai, that:

Heaven is my father and Earth is my mother, and such a small creature as I find an intimate place in their midst.

Here’s Louis C.K.’s 4-minute episode:

Are radical ideas becoming mainstream?

Will our global civilization still be around centuries from now?  Only if some of the more radical ideas currently being discussed can become the mainstream thinking of people around the world.  That’s the only way in which the global forces currently pushing us towards environmental catastrophe can shift direction and offer humanity a hopeful future.

A remarkable report published by the German Advisory Council on Global Change called “World in Transition, 2012” suggests this is already happening.  The  authors believe that a global consensus is forming that supports a sustainable approach to our environment and is willing to prioritize choices that enhance the quality of life rather than economic growth and increased consumption.  Here’s what they say:

There is ample evidence… to suggest that the core values of a large part of the world population include the protection of the natural environment…. There appears to be a relatively wide, cross-cultural consensus that the prevalent way of doing business should be embedded in higher-ranking goals of sustainability, environmental conservation, and climate protection, or generally in aspects of a more caring and careful resource management. To put it another way: anyone supporting sustainability is not, or no longer, swimming against the tide.

If this were true, this would be one of the most important shifts in global history.  It would imply that the overwhelming force in the world that has propelled globalized capitalism and ever-increasing economic growth at the expense of our natural environment and sustainability is being subsumed by a force for hope that’s pushing in the other direction.

Environmental degradation: scrutinized rigorously in the report

Environmental degradation: scrutinized rigorously in the report

Not that the report is already claiming victory for a sustainable future for our world.  They carefully scrutinize all the different factors that are driving us towards the cliff: climate change, environmental degradation, ocean acidification, lack of freshwater, and lack of any agreement among governing bodies that could keep our global warming to less than 2 degrees.

What we need, they say, is nothing less than a Great Transformation – a new, revised social contract where the nation state is no longer the “sole basis for the contractual relationship,” recognizing the “disproportionate distribution of resources” in our world today, and giving increased consideration to the natural environment.

How will we get there?  We need “a new storyline,” to further develop human civilization, with changed narratives, guiding principles and meta-narrations, including a radically different relationship with the natural world.  Instead of the old paradigm of “conquering nature,” we need to recognize that we ARE nature – we are only conquering ourselves.

It is my hope that liology can help by offering a framework for this new storyline – a framework that integrates both science and spiritual wisdom to recognize that the deepest spiritual fulfillment a human being can experience arises from the understanding of our intrinsic connectivity with the natural world – both within ourselves and all around us.

One of the more astonishing things about this report is that it’s coming from an “independent, scientific advisory body to the German Federal Government.”  It’s heartening to realize that this is the kind of advice that the German government, responsible for the fourth largest economy in the world, is hearing from its appointed advisors.

Click here to download a copy of the report.

And here’s a presentation I gave last year on Humanity’s Changing Metaphors of Nature, which includes a suggestion for a new metaphor of nature as “integrally connected organism.”

Genuine economic welfare has been declining since 1978

An important principle of liology is that we humans can live sustainably on the earth only when we begin to harmonize with the natural world rather than seeing it as a resource to be utilized.  But, of course, that’s not what our global economic system measures.  Instead, countries measure their success by their increase in gross domestic product (GDP).

But GDP was never meant as a measurement of economic success.  Instead, GDP measures only the marketed economic activity of a country and ignores everything else.  This means that an oil spill that costs billions of dollars to clean up adds to a country’s GDP, whereas if millions of people are growing their own vegetables in their backyard, not a single cent’s worth of those vegetables get measured in a country’s GDP.

Oil spills add to our GDP…

… while homegrown vegetables aren’t counted

The problem is, there is a natural dynamic to human society that You Get What You Measure (or YGWYM for short.)  If a corporation starts measuring revenues as its standard of success, you can be sure those revenues will rise, even if its profits fall.  And presidents around the world get voted in and out of office based on what’s happening to their country’s GDP.

People are becoming increasingly aware of this mismatch, and have been developing different measurements to give a more accurate idea of a country’s welfare.  One of these is called the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) which factors in negative aspects such as income inequality, environmental pollution and crime, as well as positive aspects such as volunteer work and household work.

In a fascinating new study, called “Beyond GDP: Measuring and achieving global genuine progress” some researchers have looked at how different countries in the world have done in their GPI all the way back to 1950.  What did they find?  In contrast to GDP, which has been soaring for the past 70 years, they found that GPI peaked worldwide in 1978 and has been falling ever since.  This seems to confirm what many of us have been feeling instinctively for some time – that while our politicians and promoters of the global capitalist economy tell us that we’ve “never had it so good,” the real welfare of people worldwide has been in a state of decline.


Click on the graph to see a larger version

This is important news.  As more people around the world recognize that measures like GPI, rather than GDP, offer a more accurate assessment of their welfare, it makes it more feasible that the world can begin to move towards a more sustainable way of life, before it gets too late.

Liology getting taught at Harvard?

Well, not quite yet, but we’re getting there!  Here’s a heartening article from The Atlantic published yesterday talking about an undergraduate course on Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory given by professor Michael Puett, that has become the third most popular class at the university.  It’s an impressive achievement.

While Puett doesn’t seem to be connecting between Chinese philosophy and complexity theory (at least from the article), he does seem to emphasize the fundamental integration of body and mind in Chinese thought, and introduces students to the crucial practice of self-cultivation.  There is also mention of the Taoist emphasis on spontaneity in daily living.  The article makes an explicit connection to neuroscience findings that support the thrust of Chinese thought, in contrast to the mainstream Western mind/body dualism which still pervades virtually every aspect of our lives.

Congratulations to Michael Puett for making important inroads into the thinking of our next generation of potential thought leaders!  (And thanks to my wife Lisa for turning me on to the article.)

Click here for more on the connection between liology and traditional Chinese philosophy.



Welcome to liology

Liology is a practice of experiencing life an integrated, embodied and connected manner.  Instead of the conventional view that our human existence is split between mind and body, liology sees our human organism as an integrated whole, where our thoughts are embodied and our bodies possess an intrinsic intelligence.  Liology is dedicated to fostering a worldview that will enable humanity to thrive sustainably on this planet.

To find out more, click on this link to the liology website.

In the future, I’ll be connecting with people interested in liology through this blog.  Stay connected!