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City Bar Contemplative Lawyers Group: Overcoming the Lawyer's Plague of "What Ifs"
Thursday, November 4, 2010 7 PM

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Our legal training focuses us on how to manage risk. Trying to foresee all possible outcomes for our clients, imagining the future, and interpreting the past, we quickly become masters of risk aversion. Soon, we find that a “dull roar in the skull” fills our minds with “what if” stories about what could go wrong for our clients and ourselves. What gets sacrificed is the creative openness of the present moment in which our most effective analysis and planning is done. Contemplative practices can help us reclaim the ability to perceive and listen deeply, even in the midst of strong emotions and discursive thinking. Simple contemplative techniques can help us achieve the stability to work at our best under any circumstances. Challenge: bring a short, favorite quotation, phrase, prayer, or poem to the session.

PETER V. ARCESE, Solo Practitioner; Professor of Humanities, New York University and Molloy College