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What does wisdom mean to you? This fall at the Rubin we’ve proposed variations of this question to guest speakers from all walks of life: a liquor magnate who worked with Mother Teresa, a rabbi, a Zen teacher, a climate scientist, a historian, an actress, and more. Each discussion has explored the role of the head, heart, and gut in guiding life choices and illuminating different aspects of wisdom.

Looking for your own bits of wisdom? We’ve compiled a few highlights from recent Rubin speakers:

1) Ilana Glazer on destiny

“I think your destiny is written inside of you. By engaging you are inspired to find that thing. It’s daring to hear your instinct for what you should be doing, seeing where you belong. Everyone can access that personal destiny if they let themselves”.

Ilana Glazer

2) Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche on a judgemental mind

“A judgmental mind is not a good habit, it will make you miserable and nothing will make you happy.”

Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche in conversation liqueur heir and activist Tony Cointreau

3) Norman Fisher on the journey of life

“We are all walking on a journey that’s a circle, and every step is both away from and toward the origin”¦ we’re already home, there’s nowhere to get to and yet we are alienated and feel the need to return.”

Norman Fischer, a Zen Buddhist teacher

4) Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein on the power of contemplation

“By contemplating [our decisions] we get back to our humanity”¦ coming back to the essence of our humanity is the best chance we have to repair the world because we cannot repair it if we are broken souls”¦.”

Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein

5) Sunil Khilnani on how representation can change minds

There are many fewer historical records for significant females than males, [such records can] turn real women of intellect and bravery into goddesses who should be worshipped”¦I hope to fill into the story sophisticated intelligent women who today’s young women might emulate.”

““Sunil Khilnani, who wrote a history of India called Incarnations: India in 50 Lives

6) David Bodanis on genius

“A talented person does something you can do and does it better. Genius is different. It’s when people do things and you have no idea how you got there”¦ They do things we can’t imagine.”

““ David Bodanis to playwright David Auburn in a discussion on Albert Einstein

Want to hear more? You can hear words of wisdom for yourself at our upcoming Wisdom talks.