The Happy Warrior in Asia
Special thanks to XPAN's Brian Ng, and Jerome and Joy Gonzalez who helped make the session happen. It was also good to meet Assistant Principal Frederick Perez.
The Happy Warrior reached a milestone by holding its first mindfulness session in Asia. Over a hundred parents of schoolchildren from Xavier Nuvali, Philippines experienced an interactive introduction to mindfulness as a means towards strengthening resilience, focus and wellbeing in general.
Claire Robinson Gonzalez heads the project to bring mindfulness to Philippine schools while Jason Gonzalez leads the initiative to bring mindfulness in the workplace across Asia. The vision is to give access to mindfulness-based interventions to the widest variety of cultures across different economic backgrounds.
East to West to East
Mindfulness-based interventions are a result of the melding between wisdom traditions of the East and the science of the West. There have been ancient clues of how mindfulness and mindfulness meditation can create trait-like changes that facilitate the enhancement of attention and compassion--bringing about imperturbability, clarity of thought and happiness. Now the process of mindfulness coming into full circle, ie., returning to Asia equipped with a growing body of evidence, has come.
We see scientists from the US and the UK as well as other parts of the West holding conferences and training retreats in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and other parts of the world with a more pleasant winter or no winter at all.
It is also a joy that the list of speakers/leaders at the International Conference on Mindfulness 2018 in Amsterdam includes Professor Samuel Wong and Dr. Helen Ma. There are also ongoing mindfulness accessibility initiatives by Oxford Mindfulness Centre and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This ongoing wave of purposeful inclusion is an imperative for practitioners who carry out a mindful life with integrity.
Train the Brain: Need to Update the Hardware
In the age of social media and cheap travel that render cultures almost boundary-less, the universality of the mind needing its own fitness training has become widely evident. We are producing enormously fast technology that rewires the human brain. And the brain can't keep up! There's too much information resulting in poverty of attention--an experience common to all races and a wide range of ages.
Oxford Mindfulness Summer School 2017: Where the vision became clear. Diversity was a hot topic in two Oxford summer schools (2016 &2017). It's a good thing that gatherings like those translate into action.
Universal Need, Universal Answer
Henry James, Father of American psychology, once said, "The faculty of bringing back a wandering attention over and over again is the very root of judgment, character and will" (Principles of Psychology published in 1890 and quoted in The Science of Meditation by Goleman and Davidson, 2017) Here's the universal means to improve this faculty--mindfulness meditation!
There's a universal need and a universal means to answer that need. That's why The Happy Warrior goes beyond the borders of Europe.