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Monk to Discuss ‘Mindfulness: the Force is With You’

July 1, 2016, 6:00 AM HST (Updated July 28, 2016, 12:21 PM) · 0 Comments
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Dr. Jeff Wison. Courtesy photo.

Dr. Jeff Wilson. Courtesy photo.

Dr. Jeff Wilson, a Buddhist monk and author of Mindful America, will discuss the concept of mindfulness on Thursday, July 21, 2016, at the North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center  in Honoka‘a at 7 p.m., following a potluck dinner at 6.

A second talk will take place at the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, on Saturday, July 23, from 9:30 to11:30 a.m.

Both programs, presented by the Commission on Buddhist Education, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i, are free and open to all, regardless of faith or religious background.

What do Yoda and a Seattle Seahawk have in common? They both apply the meditation practice of mindfulness in their daily lives, said Wilson, and so do many others.

Wherever people need to stress less and focus more, mindfulness has arrived in modern culture, ballooning into a multi-billion dollar industry along the way, Wilson said.

When the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl, Pete Carroll had Michael Gervais leading mindfulness practice.

Today’s mindfulness practitioners are found in schoolrooms, locker rooms, hospitals, prisons and corporate offices, Wilson said.

Defined as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis,” mindfulness is a type of meditation focused on the breath.

It can be done in the familiar posture—seated, cross-legged, eyes closed—or while walking, working, eating or countless other activities,” Wilson said.

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“Hospitals are one of the first and biggest, because people experimented with using mindfulness for stress and pain reduction,” said Wilson.

“In the work place, mindfulness has proven effective in reducing stress—and work stress reduces work productivity,” said Wilson.

“Buddhism in general is one of the main themes just below surface in Star Wars,” said Wilson. “Yoda is a Zen master; the way the Jedi use the Force is mindfulness. The student says something like ‘Master, I feel anxious,’ and the Jedi master says, ‘You need to be mindful of your emotions.’”

Star Wars fans and others interested in learning more about mindfulness in modern America can attend one of Wilson’s talks July 21 and 23.

The Honoka‘a event on July 21 begins with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m., for which participants are asked to bring a dish to share, as well as their own plate, cup and utensils.

Dr. Wilson’s talk starts promptly at 7 p.m.

For information, email misterokumura@yahoo.com.

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