On Monday, March 7th, Gilli, Deborah, Wilfred and I went to an Inspirational Public Talk & Meditation at The Country Club in Johannesburg. The talk was called “Living Fearlessly,” and went from 19:00-20:30, with two guided meditations and breathing exercises.
International teacher and Buddhist Monk, Gen-la Jampa, is visiting South Africa from Texas. His journey to and time in South Africa is part of the South African National Festival, Fearless Wisdom. During his time here, he’s sharing his learnings and insight and special methods on how to control your mind to reduce fear and anxiety.
The room was full, and I’d estimate there were 200+ people there for the evening. The evening started with a guided meditation and breathing exercise, and ended with the same. Gen-la Jampa presented from a comfy chair, on stage at the front of the room. His voice was so calming and relaxing, even when he accented his presentation with some jokes and stories, as he shared his wisdom. When one would think of a motivational talk, you’d think high energy, a few sad stories and how they’ve been overcome, and a hooraaahhhh at the end, like I CAN DO THIS! … this was the complete opposite, but still left everyone feeling like they could all grasp for more control of their mind and their life.
As a teacher who has taught in more than one place, I’m exposed to different teaching methods and values shared within different teaching institutions. Mindfulness and stillness and self awareness is being included and incorporated in schools everywhere nowadays, and is becoming highly recognized as a necessary element for success. I’ve always been fascinated with the Buddhist philosophies and ways of thinking and controlling the mind, and it’s of growing interest in our communities today. I even think of the huge spike in interest amongst my friends and family in yoga and meditation… so much of meditation is explored and perfected with Buddhism.
If you’ve ever tried to meditate for five minutes or more, I’m sure you can related to how difficult it can be to push aside the thoughts that flood your mind. It’s really quite difficult to push thoughts out of your mind, when life is busy and there’s lots going on around you. It takes time, and practice!
I like to think of myself as a confident and happy individual, who generally marches to the beat of my own drum. Although I could align myself with so many strategies and ways of thinking as presented in this talk, I truly think everyone in the room took something away with them to think about. I even bought two books to continue my learning and insight into controlling the mind… Never stop learning.