I recently had the pleasure of organizing a student-centered event led by Master Li Siming, on the topic of Daoist philosophy and religion, for Macalester College’s Department of Religious Studies. I highly recommend Master Li to similar groups.
In the academic study of religion, our department prioritizes history, context, and social process and change. We do not prioritize personal spiritual development or practice. However, many of our students have a deep interest in the latter. Moreover, while I teach several Asian traditions in our department, I have no particular competency in Daoism. As a result, Master Li’s presentation met two needs of our student body that complemented our departmental offerings, and which increased interest in the academic study, aiming at the spiritual and practical needs of our student body.
Master Li began with a compelling demonstration, and segued into a discussion of his own path and development, leading from his days as an engineering student at MIT to his current existence as a family man and teacher, ending with a question and answer period with the students. The entire presentation was compelling, and Master Li was able to hold student interest very easily. I was particularly impressed with the question and answer session delicate and brave questions were asked by the students, and the answers given were thoughtful, careful not to overreach, and provoked additional reflection.
In summary, I highly recommend any institution of higher learning to consider inviting Master Li to present; I believe that both the institutional goals, and the private goals of individual students, will be well-served through such a presentation.