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Stressed out? This Buddhist workshop is designed to help you practise mindfulness

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An upcoming online workshop, teaching mind-study and meditative techniques, is led by Buddhist teachers such as Ven Geshe Dorji Damdul, the official translator of the Dalai Lama

The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health, Chennai, in partnership with ARTH, Mumbai, a mental health and wellness initiative based in Mumbai, opens admissions for its fourth course titled Healing the Mind Through Knowing The Mind.

The course, which was designed under the guidance of the renowned Buddhist teacher, author and film maker Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, follows the Nalanda tradition of mind study and includes lectures, discussions, group exercises, hand-outs and various other practices such as ‘shamatha’ or calming meditation.

One of the guest teachers for the course will be Ven Geshe Dorji Damdul, who has served as the official translator of the Dalai Lama since 2005. He has worked with the Dalai Lama on a number of his books including the bestseller The Art Of Happiness, which was translated into 50 languages.

All three previous courses in 2018, 2019 and 2020 drew an eclectic group of people from all walks of life including retired judges Prabha Sridevan and K Kannan, former Director General of Police Latika Saran, retired senior psychiatrist from the University of Trieste, Italy Dr Pina Ridente and well-known dancer and choreographer Preethi Athreya.

“The best part of the course for me,” says Preethi, “was the persuasive logic and analysis that kept belief and dogma out of the way. It gives new dimension to the idea of spiritual growth in an age when religious belief has often come to mean borders and exclusive rhetoric.”

Laxmi Ravikanth, principal of the Banyan Academy Of Leadership in Mental Health, says, “The course was initiated for people who are interested in studying the basic principles of applied Buddhist psychology, understanding one’s mind and being able to practise mindfulness and meditation, to benefit themselves and society. The aim of this programme is to work with wisdom and compassion in one’s own vocation and be able to inspire and initiate change for the better.”

The first two batches in 2018 and 2019 were held at BALM in Chennai, but the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the team to continue the course online, enabling a number of people from the UK, Italy, Delhi, Bangalore, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai to attend it in 2020.

Says Justice Prabha Sridevan, “The course has taught me many priceless things, one of which is that I have learnt not to react but to pause, and only if necessary, respond. This is very calming.”

Latika Saran, IPS (retired) who also attended the course in 2019, says, “Being mindful is something that can be incorporated into all we do and when done with focus, I find the work is completed quickly.”

“We often live in the future,” says architect Priya Aiana “and we tend to believe that, ‘If I had this possession, or that experience, or had met the right person, or had more money, that would make me really happy’. The promise of this future happiness draws us into endless cycles of pursuing, striving and achieving — and we live with all the repercussions — anxiety, dejection, frustration, and all the worry and agitation that comes with depending on an outside source for happiness. This course taught me that inner happiness that does not rely upon me getting something externally or getting rid of something externally, but to rely upon the resources that lie within my own heart and mind. This was a wonderful discovery for me. ”

The online course for 2021 will commence on September 18. For registration contact admin@balm.in or call 91-8754495498.

sourced  —  The Hindu

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