*New Event Dates!*S. N. Goenka's Influence on Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

 *New Event Dates!*S. N. Goenka's Influence on Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Brought to you by Odyssey
October 26, 2021 - November 16, 2021
Tuesdays, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM ET (8 course hours)

Daniel M. Stuart's biography S. N. Goenka: Emissary of Insight will serve as a guide to Goenka’s meditational practices and teachings. Yuval Noah Harari writes (in 2018) of his first meditation retreat with Goenka, “Since that first course in 2000, I began meditating for two hours every day, and each year I take a long meditation retreat of a month or two.”  This class will investigate how Goenka’s teachings and practices helped form a base for Harari’s work 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.  Harari recounts many of the effects Goenka had on him in the book’s final chapter, “Meditation.”  We will analyze Goenka’s influence on Harari in terms of Harari’s ideas, meditation practice, and writing process, with meditation being a major lens by which Harari shapes his works.  


Classes 1 and 2: S. N. Goenka: Emissary of Insight by Daniel M. Stuart. Stuart’s biography of one of the major meditation teachers of the twentieth century presents a nuanced view of Goenka’s work and influence and provides a representative collection of his writings, practices, and teachings.

Classes 3 and 4: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari.  A #1 New York Times bestseller. Harari’s work is a penetrating and stimulating presentation of today’s most urgent issues.  This class idea was brought together through my first encounter in 1974 with my first meditation teacher, Burmese teacher Satya Narayan Goenka, and the impact Harari's book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century had on me which helped to balance and renew me during this difficult past year.


S. N. Goenka: Emissary of Insight by Daniel M. Stuart, ISBN 978-1-61180-816-6

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari, ISBN 978-0-525-51219-6

Class participants should read through part one in Stuart's work, "The Biography,” Chapters 1 through 7, in preparation for the first night’s class.

About the Instructor

Jerry Webster Headshot






Jerry Webster, PhD, (Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland) has taught numerous courses in literature for the U. of MD. and in multiculturalism for Montgomery County Public Schools (MD).  He has taught English full-time in public school systems for forty years.  He served as the Shastri, or head teacher, for the Shambhala Buddhist Center in Washington, D.C. for 10 years until he retired in 2020.  He teaches regularly for the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program, as well as the D. C. Politics & Prose Bookstore, the Frederick Community College ILR Program, and the D.C. Shambhala Buddhist Center.

Tuition Remission and Refund Policies

Full-time JHU faculty/staff, their spouses or same-sex domestic partners, JHU retirees and their spouses or same-sex domestic partners are eligible for tuition remission. The tuition remission form is required. All tuition remission forms and details on eligibility can be found here and should be returned to odyssey@jhu.edu. 

After registration, tuition remission eligibility will be confirmed by the Odyssey registrar. If eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be required to pay full tuition for the course. Under the terms of the University’s remission program, Hopkins employees must withdraw in writing at least five working days before the first class to receive a 100% refund. No partial refunds are given to JHU employees and affiliates.  

Please visit the registration and policies page for more information. 

While participating in on-campus events and meetings, participants must follow all public health guidelines required by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine at the time of the event. If you are not fully vaccinated, we require that you wear a face covering during your visit to campus, even when it is no longer required for those who are vaccinated.  

While participating in off-campus events and meetings sponsored by the JHAA/JHM/JHHS participants must follow all public health guidelines mandated by the local jurisdiction and venue at the time of the event, including vaccination and masking and distancing guidance. Johns Hopkins strongly suggests that attendees who join in person be fully vaccinated. 



 Event Date
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
6:30pm EST

Tuesday, November 16, 2021


Virtual via Zoom
Baltimore, MD 21218