On 17 July 2010, leading meditation teacher, eminent author, Buddhist scholar and practitioner Dr Alan Wallace conducted a workshop for 20 alumni and friends of National University of Singapore (NUS). During the three-hour workshop held in the tranquil setting of Capella Hotel in Sentosa, he shared with participants “A Taste of Meditation”, dispelling the common misconception that meditation is “about blanking the mind”.
Dr Wallace noted that conventional success comes with a price. It is dependent on outside stimuli which are beyond our control and “hunted and gathered” from our environment and relationships. He added that meditation cultivates the type of well-being that is not dependent on external stimuli but derived from voluntary acts of commission and omission. Meditation cultivates qualities of mind and heart and worthwhile values derived from harnessing our internal resources. He said: “It is a wonderful investment in our time, a non-renewable resource; an investment that we can take with us wherever we go.”
Dr Wallace led three 20-minute meditation sessions to provide participants with a “taste” of “stilling the body and mind, developing attentional stability and mental vividness and alertness. He provided a simple guide to meditation to help participants focus their minds and open their hearts to “genuine happiness”.
Also at the workshop was Ms Eve Ekman, co-author of “Mothers On The Fast Track”, and daughter of renowned psychologist, Dr Paul Ekman, who is an authority on emotions. Ms Ekman spoke about her father’s work on dealing with anger and the idea of “regrettable episodes”, incidents when we did or said something that we subsequently regretted. Such episodes suggest that we need to work on emotions that adversely affect our well-being and interpersonal relationships. Meditation is one way to cultivate emotional awareness for well-being to deal with destructive emotions.
The workshop was organised by NUS Development Office and sponsored by Capella. Some of the event participants included former NUS Board of Trustees member Mr James Loh and his wife Mrs Nathalie Loh and current Trustee Mr Michael Lien.