After-Action Report: RVM #68 with David Duncavage

RINGKNOCKER Virtual Meetup guest speakers come to us in a lot of ways.

Many are by referral: one of our regulars knows somebody with a great story to tell. Increasingly, many submit themselves: if you’ve got a great opportunity to share, a RINGKNOCKER Meetup is a great place to get the word out. It’s why we’re here!

But every once in a while, somebody shows up for their first Meetup and delivers an intro that just prompts FAR more questions that anybody could answer in three minutes. And then we’re like that guy hacking a thousand-foot staircase out of the Balinese jungle: we just HAVE to hear the rest of the story!

So this was the case a few weeks ago with Dave Duncavage (USMA ’75).

Dave is a former U.S. Army infantry officer and an accomplished technology exec with many years for foreign service under his belt. But between those two lives, Dave spent several years cloistered as a Trappist monk, a path that ultimately brought him to doctoral studies at Harvard Divinity School.

This is a story that creates a unique perspective. Dave now has a performance coaching practice that focuses on mindfulness, vision, and leadership for individual and corporate clients. During today’s wide-ranging conversation, we covered…

  • The drive to monasticism. Who becomes a monk, and why do they leave?
  • The true lives of monks: how does a cloistered servant of G-d step into the world of high-tech?
  • Mindfulness & meditation: what they are, and why we do it.
  • Comparisons between meditation practices and effects: Eastern and Westerm, religious & secular.
  • Beer.

This was really one of the best kinds of RINGKNOCKER Meetups: we had no idea where the conversation would go, and it went there! 😂 Many thanks to everybody who participated, particularly in light of today’s competing NFL opener game!

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