'Bad Times, Good Books' Online Reading Talks

In September, we take a break but keep learning. We have invited Lok, Benny and Dora to be our speakers of September reading talks. They will share books that could help cultivating spirituality at bad times. Though spirituality thinking is always be neglected and even belittled by the public, we truly believe that spirituality is the key to support ourselves to keep walking.

The worse the times, the richer knowledge we should equip. The series of 'Bad Times, Good Books' Online Reading Talks introduce new inner resources, ideas and inspiration, so as to broaden our path.

> Sign up <

【Basic Infos】

Venue: Cisco Webex

Language: Cantonese

Preparation: no need to read the selected books and just be open-minded when joining the talks

7/9 (MON)8-10 p.m.
Take a life-long stroll with Zen Master Thich Nhât Nanh

Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Thich Nhât Nanh is the key character of promoting Engaged Buddhism and Mindfulness. He has spent a life time to figure out how to merge mindfulness practice and social transformation.

Protests happen all the time.Thich Nhât Nanh has undergone similar paths of protests. During the era of Vietnam Civil War, he chose to stand at frontlines, instead of staying at temple, to negotiate with powers of Southern and Northern Vietnam. He therefore suffered from persecution of friends and being forced to leave the country and exile. How did he keep walking with faith? Let us read Thich Nhât Nanh: Une vie en pleine conscience and listen to his feelings and responses to sufferings, which will bring us insights into struggles of the great age.

Speaker|Chow Ming Lok, the founder of Mindful Practice Group 'StillTogether', has been practising mindfulness at Hong Kong Plum Village for 10 years. He believes that social transformation is driven by everyone's inner transformation. Therefore, he is passionate in building up mindful practice groups.

15/9 (TUE)8-10 p.m.
Spiritual thinking of Protests

At the beginning of 2013, Benny Tai published an article called 'The most Powerful Weapon of Civil Disobedience' and echoed a lot. Last 8 years, he transformed from a law professor in ivory tower to an activist of peaceful protests at frontlines. Behind the scene, he was intimidated, criticized and caught in jail...The worst part was not only pan-establishment camps censured him, but also protestors and his ownself.

How dare could he strive till now? Benny spent a year to write the book 'Protests: Spiritual thinking', which concludes his experience and reflections of these years' failures,as well as reminders to Hongkongers who are undergoing tough times.

Speaker|Benny Tai, Christian legal scholar,Co-founder of Occupy Central with Love and Peace. In 2019, he was in jail. In 2020, he was sacked by University of Hong Kong. Now, he focuses on Hong Kong's Rule of Law Rebirth Project, writes the relevant readings and support the needy. For more details:http://patreon.com/bennytai

22/9 (TUE)8-10 p.m.
When monk meets priest - the possibilities of strengthening belief at bad times

In 1974 when Vietnam War still continued, Zen Master Thich Nhât Nanh exiled to France and met Catholic Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan, who just left jail. He was caught because of taking part in anti-war events and hard to merge into mainstream churches. For many mid nights with a cup of tea, Thich Nhât Nanh and Berrigan discussed religion, justice, war, pain, death and salvation. Someone recorded their conversation and turned into a book calledThe Raft is Not the Shore: Conversations Toward a Buddhist-Christian Awareness.How to maintain our faith and continue our religious practice?Protests happen all the time.Maybe dialogues in the books provide hints to us.

SpeakerDora Choi, retired Professor from Faculty of Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.Her mother is a devoted Taoist and Buddhist but she studied at Catholic schools since childhood.Since 1999, she has been engaging in meditation and used to join 10-day Vipassana meditation and Plum Village's meditation camp. In recent years, she studies Zen at Su Bong Zen Monastery.

Jun 2020 / 2nd Series of 'Rewinding Summer'

Summer returns with an oppressive atmosphere where a storm is about to burst. 2020 is even more suffocating than 2019.

How to live freely in a place where freedom has been deprived? How to stay calm and determined in the seemingly endless night?

Is the yellow economic circle merely a close market among a small group of people or a uniting force? What enlightenment can be gained?

When it grows darker and darker and we do not seem to find the dawn, and the social trauma seems to be worsened instead of being transformed, what can we do?

The worse the times, the greater the needs to enhance knowledge. In each session of the 'Bad Times, Good Books' online reading talks series, we will introduce books related to social change, so as to suggest some new resources, concepts and imaginations to help us keep going.

Jun 11 (THURS) | 8-10 p.m. 

Power of Calmness:
Meditation and Reading

Chan Kin Man(Co-founder of Occupy Central with Love and Peace, read 50 books in one-year-jail )

Professor Chan Kin Man once shared that at the first day of jail, a fellow prisoner spoke wise words, ' In jail, time flies quickly while life runs slowly.' How to live freely in a place where freedom has been deprived? How to stay calm and determined in the seemingly endless night? Unfortunately, Hongkongers need to prepare these answers. In response to public readers' demands, Kin Man will share his readings in jail, how to stay calm through mediation and reading. Walden and Civil Disobedience written by Henry David Thoreau and Our Appointment with Life written by Thich Nhât Nanh.

> Reviews(Part 1) <

> Reviews(Part 2)<

Jun 18 (THURS) | 8-10 p.m. 

Solidarity Economy:
BDS Movement and Yellow Economic Circle

Pong Yat Ming ( raised the campaign of 'Boycotting the City's Property Giants for a year', 'Kong Yeah' and 'Tin Yeah' )

Tackling current difficulties, we learn from the past. One of the successful civil disobedience cases is South Africans overthrew apartheid policy. Boycott movement counted a lot. Nowadays, Palestinians continue the actions and develop BDS Movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) to against Israelis. Yat Ming pays attention to the development of democratic movements in non-English-speaking countries for years. With the book Generation Palestine: Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement , he will share views and possibilities of sustainable development of local yellow economic circles.

Jun 25 (THURS) | 8-10 p.m. 

Social Trauma's transformation and Deterioration:
Reminders from Theories

Siu Cho and Chi ( practitioners of Non-Violent Communication, founders of T2T Project )

After 365 days of the Movement, social trauma seems like worsening rather than bringing transformation. What should we do? Siu Cho will continue shares his thoughts of trauma and transformation after last time's reading talks. He will also discuss harms from Power-Under. Chi prepares advanced sharing of Internal Family Systems and Non-Violent Communication to talk about ways of trauma transformation. The talk should not be missed.

May 2020 / 1st Series of 'Bad Times, Good Books'

Speaker: Chan Kin Man

▌Speaker's info
Chan Kin Man, former Associate Professor of Sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and co-founder of Occupy Central with Love and Peace. Before retirement, his last lesson named as 'A Tribute to the Enlighteners'. In 2019, he was sentenced to 326 days in jail owing to actions of Civil Disobedience. The most free moment in jail was his soul flying back home's study room to pick books. On March 14 2020, he left the prison and decided to publish his writings in jail as book.
May 7 (THURS) | 8-10 p.m. 

Chan Kin Man has read 50 books in prison. After reading the whole book 'A Hundred Years Pursuit' which depicted the history of democratic movements in Taiwan, he wrote 'Soul-Stirring' in Chinese. In the coming reading talk, he will share another book 'Her Journey' which inspires him to imagine the future of protests.

> Reviews <

A Hundred Years Pursuit: stories of democratic movements in Taiwan
Publisher: Acropolis(2013)

Author: Chen Tsui-Lien, Wu, Nai-Teh and Wu Wai-Ling

Her journey:
Chinese Females' Roads to
Awakening of citizenship
Publisher: Gūsa(2017)

Author: Zhao Sile

Speaker: Siu Cho ( T2T instructor )
小曹博士,香港中文大學性別研究課程 講師,國際非暴力溝通中心非暴力溝通認證培訓師候選人,參與香港同志運動十多年,近數年醉心非暴力溝通的學習和分享,希望推動個人與社會的轉化。

Social Oppression and Human Nature

3月28日(周六)|  下午3時至4時半

所有推動社會變革的努力或多或少都隱含對人性的猜想與假設。系統科學家Riane Eisler與人類學家Douglas P. Fry於2019年合著了Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future,結合了多個最前沿的知識領域,嘗試解釋社會情境與腦神經的發展如何互相形塑,造成偏向宰制(domination)或偏向平等(partnership)的社會基調,並基於這些研究成果,提出改變的方向和策略。

Riane Eisler and Douglas P. Fry,

Nurturing Our Humanity:
How Domination and Partnership
Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future
(New York: Oxford University, Press, 2019).

> 講座閱讀筆記 <


4月18日(周六)|  下午3時至4時半

抗爭者都渴望付出的努力可以帶來深刻而持久的社會改變,但往往對於「改變如何發生」只有模糊的想法。成立於2001年的Gender At Work,多年來與超過100間規模小至只有幾個義工的團體到擁有上千員工的跨國非政府組織合作,協助它們在自己的機構內達到真正的性別平等。結合了長達15年的追蹤研究和合作經驗,Gender At Work提出了一個分析框架,解釋改變發生的原理。

Aruna Rao, Joanne Sander, David Kelleher and Carol Miller,

Gender At Work:
Theory and Practice for 21st Century Organizations
(London and New York: Routledge, 2016).

> 講座閱讀筆記 <


5月14日(周四)|  晚上8時至9時半

願景越宏大,撼動的利益關係越廣越深,面對的打壓亦會越趨劇烈。當抗爭者長期投入卻不見曙光,很容易會陷入絕望與無力的深淵。在伸手不見五指的黑夜裡如何保持心的熱度,是所有在不同領域奮鬥的抗爭者共同面對的課題。Gretchen Ki Steidle在Leading From Within: Conscious Social Change and Mindfulness For Social Innovation講解「靜觀」(mindfulness)如何滋養抗爭者的內在資源,並配合多個體驗練習,發展抗爭者五項能力:

1. What is happening?

2. What is true?

3. What is needed?

4. What is helpful?

5. What is possible?

Gretchen Ki Steidle,

Leading From Within:
Conscious Social Change and Mindfulness
For Social Innovation
(Cambridge, Massachusetts; London: The MIT Press, 2017).

Speaker: Chi ( T2T instructor )
池,非暴力溝通實踐者、ICF Professional Coach in Transformation。 鍾情於探索人的內心,對「轉變的力量」有獨特的感應力。核心工作是糅合非暴力溝通及Internal Family Systems的精神和原則於個人、群體和社會的轉變當中,擅長引領和支持人的療癒和轉變。


4月9日(周四)|  晚上8時至9時半

作為行動者,我們的內心可以是最好的朋友,也可以是最壞的敵人。社會的意識形態往往影響著我們如何行動,我們也會內化了壓迫的結構到內心世界,最後阻礙了我們想要推動的轉變。Internal Family Systems 對創傷療癒和轉化有突破性的發現和實踐,幫助我們清晰有系統地轉化創傷,以及從內而外地整合自己,支持我們更有效地推動改變。

Richard C. Schwartz and Martha Sweezy,

Internal Family Systems Therapy,
Second Edition


4月30日(周四)|  晚上8時至9時半


Beyond You and Me: Inspirations and Wisdom for Building Community是全球致力推行生態村的朋友合力撰寫,從不同層面分享建立社群的成敗經驗:






Kosha Anja Joubert and Robin Alfred,

Beyond You and Me: Inspirations and Wisdom for Building Community


5月28日(周四)|  晚上8時至9時半

一套為個人和社會帶來整全改變的世界觀、意識和技巧是怎樣的?我們如何支持彼此成為真正的自己,找到自己的力量,改變自己和世界?Coaching for Transformation交出了一份答卷,也在全球培養了眾多促成轉化的教練。這是從第一天起就是由數以百計的教練,匯聚眾人智慧和愛的共同努力成果。

Coaching for Transformation融合不同的學派,幫助人帶來身、心、靈魂和頭腦整合的轉化。

Martha Lasley,
Virginia Kellogg, Richard Michaels
and Sharon Brown,

Coaching for Transformation:
Pathways to Ignite Personal & Social Change

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