Thursday, 9 May 2013

The First International Conference on Mindfulness - day 2

Today I have heard many presentations on the application of mindfulness and how it is being changed slightly to meet the needs of many differing groups of people, that it is all quite amazing and overwhelming. There are people teaching mindfulness to parents who have children on the autism spectrum, adults with autism, university students, parents who cannot afford the time or money to attend an 8-week course and so are being offered 3 workshops instead, to name but a few. And that's just in one day! And to top it off we had the key note speech from Jon Kabat-Zinn, which was extremely delightful, reassuring and challenging.
Some of the questions he posed (which I intend to address for myself when I have more time) are;
what is our abiding vision? our passion? our love?
what is our dharma?
what are our intentions and motivations regarding this work (of mindfulness)?
how can we channel these energies if they are to be authentic?
where are we going, if anywhere?
what do we fear?
what do we cherish?

The main point he expressed was that he feels we are facing a potential renaissance, a confluence that could be vital to our survival as a species by connecting with the heart as well as the mind (in many Asian countries the word for heart and mind are the same). He uses the word heartfulness as well as mindfulness. And he concluded by saying 'we are at a very privileged moment on this planet together. Can we love it? live it? We need to cultivate non-dual wisdom'.
Non-dual wisdom, recognising the interconnectedness of all beings, that we all (plants, animals and human beings) need each other. Easy to say and more difficult to live! Yet when we bring mindfulness to be the central aspect of our lives we know this to be true.
Lots to think about!


  1. Thank you so much for posting your comments regarding the conference! I love to read it. It is very inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to write about it and letting others participate in the conference, too (via your blog)!!!
    Warm greetings from Berlin,

    1. Thanks Barbara, it's good to hear the blog is both helpful and interesting! There is an awful lot more to say about the conference and that will come soon, but I'm off for a bit of sightseeing first!