The Mangalam Research Center, an independent operating division of the Head Lama of the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center based in Berkeley, California, will host a two-day conference to discuss mindfulness. The conference will look at the ways that mindfulness has been received in the modern world, often stripped of cultural and religious contexts, examining problems that have arisen and benefits from the practice. The event will be open to the public in person and can also be attended online.
The conference, titled “Mindfulness: What’s Next,” will take place on 7–8 October. It will feature scholars and meditation teachers addressing issues such as what aspects of mindfulness are working well, what is problematic, and where are we headed next.
“This conference will gather scholars and Buddhist meditation or mindfulness teachers to address such concerns, evaluate the status of mindfulness practice and teaching today, and discuss where it is headed,” the Mangalam Research Center announced.
The Mangalam Research Center states on their website:
The past two decades have witnessed a tremendous burst of interest in “mindfulness.” But there are problems. First, mindfulness is often amorphous in its presentation, making it unclear what is really being presented. Second, secular mindfulness is deliberately cut off from its Buddhist roots, where it is part of a holistic model for practice that involves the cultivation of ethics and wisdom. This has led to concern that mindfulness is at risk of becoming just another self-help method rather than a liberatory practice. Also, while many studies have shown mindfulness of all varieties to be of practical benefit in relieving some of the conditions of suffering, conflicting data has also accumulated. Some teachers also worry that a rootless mindfulness may even be harmful when it is practiced without appropriate preparation or supervision. Others are concerned that it can be used to gaslight, placing blame for unhappiness or dis-ease exclusively on the individual without casting a critical eye on external conditions, such as social and economic structures or the climate and ecological crisis.(Mangalam Research Institute)
Those attending in person should know that the event is fragrance free to accommodate the health needs of attendees with chemical sensitivities.
9:30–9:45am – Welcome & short opening meditation
9:45–10:30am – Erik Braun, ““Seeing through Mindfulness: The Fortunes of Sati in America”
10:40–11:25am – Ayya Santacitta Bhikkhuni, “Working with the Elements”
11:35am–12:25pm – Donald Rothberg, “The Nature of Awakening: Traditional and Contemporary Paths of Awakening”
12:30–2:00pm – Lunch break
2:00–2:20pm – Guided practice
2:20–3:05pm – Jody Greene, “‘Read a Little Dharma Every Day’: Deep Reading as a Contemplative Practice”
3:15–4:00pm – Nikki Mirghafori, “The Perils of Impatience for ‘Achieving’ Not-Self”
4:00–4:30 pm – General discussion & short closing meditation
9:30–9:45am – Welcome & short meditation
9:45–10:30am – Jack Petranker, “Attention Must Be Paid”
10:40am–12:10pm – Mushim Ikeda & Rev. Eli Brown-Stevenson, “Inclusive Mindfulness for Gen Z & Beyond: Emphasizing BIPOC Youth & People with Disabilities”
12:10–2:00pm – Lunch break
2:00–2:20pm – Guided practice
2:20–3:05pm – Hozan Alan Senauke, “The Social Practice of Mindfulness”
3:15–4:00pm – General discussion & short closing meditation
Summaries of the speakers’ talks and registration information can be found on the Manglam Research Center website.
The Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages aims to create a body of knowledge to help with the translation of Buddhist writings from their classical languages to English. The center offers programs in Buddhist studies and works to create tools, including philosophical and philological insights, that can help with translation. It was founded in 2009.
Special Events (Mangalam Research Center)
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