As awareness of the school’s program spreads, the school community continues to attract some of the world’s foremost minds on meditation, happiness and mindfulness including the “world’s happiest man” Matthieu Ricard and one of the most progressive Buddhist scholars in the West, B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D.
Ordained by the Dalai Lama after spending 14 years training as a Buddhist monk, Wallace (Stanford University) has dedicated the last 40 years to philosophical study, Buddhism, and teaching. His translations, popular publications, talks, and academic essays give testimony to his fervent desire to share knowledge. Wallace continually seeks innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind.
In a rare opportunity, Wallace will be in Phuket to give a complimentary two-day lecture hosted by UWCT from November 17 to 18. The seminar will focus on four types of intelligence that are essential for bringing about optimal mental health and balance: conative, attentional, cognitive, and emotional intelligence. Over the two days, Wallace will explore how mental illness occurs when one or more of these mental faculties is hyperactive, deficient, or dysfunctional, while also discussing how exceptional levels of mental health and well-being can be developed by cultivating each of these four kinds of intelligence individually and synergistically.
To clarify how this may apply in the context of our daily lives, Wallace explains: “For many people most of the time, our default mode is rumination, or semi-conscious mind-wandering, and this has been found to be exhausting, unsatisfying, and counterproductive. To counteract this habit, I encourage people to cultivate a sense of ease, stillness, and clarity in their body-mind, and sustain this with a flow of mindful, discerning presence. This prevents stress, rather than treating it, like a band-aid, for it addresses the underlying causes of stress, rather than just treating its symptoms.”
Wallace’s visit underpins the school’s perspective that mindfulness is integral to a 21st century education. While on campus, Wallace will also participate in the official opening of UWCT’s very own Mindfulness Centre. The centre is used each day for secular mindfulness practice by classes ranging from Nursery to Grade 12, where students explore how to ‘pay attention to the present moment, on purpose, with kindness and curiosity,’ with the school’s Mindfulness Mentor Kru Lucy Keller. UWCT’s boarding students also use the space for meditation and yoga in the evenings to ready themselves for a restorative night’s sleep.
To attend the two-day seminar at UWCT, which runs from 9am to 3pm each day, please book a seat by emailing the school on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the seminar is free of charge so seating is limited.
UWC Thailand International School is located adjacent to the event’s co-sponsors Thanyapura Health & Sport Resort. Akin to what UWCT’s Mindfulness Centre offers to parents and students, Thanyapura offers members and guests access to a bespoke Mind Centre. The resort’s team of Mind Trainers is led by Pierre Gagnon, who has experience coordinating concentration and insight meditation retreats, and teaching the relationship that exists between Buddhism and neuroscience.