A special opportunity to learn about the meditation practice of mindfulness takes place Sunday, June 12, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. The Day of Mindfulness will be led by Phap Dang, a monastic from Plum Village, secluded Buddhist monastery established by global spiritual leader and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.
Mindfulness has become an increasingly popular aspect of Buddhism in the U.S., and various types of mindfulness practices are adapted for use in schools, hospitals, therapists offices, the military, and elsewhere. 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 focused on the breath. It can be done in the familiar posture—seated, cross-legged, eyes closed—or while walking, working or eating.
Phap Dang has been a monastic Dharma teacher in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh since 1996. He was Abbott of Maple Forest Monastery in Vermont, and has helped lead retreats at the Omega institute, the University of Massachusetts, and many countries around the world, including North and South America, Asia, and Europe.
He is currently on a team of Plum Village Dharma teachers, training about 400 novice monastics in Vietnam. Interestingly, he also holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State University.
The opportunity to learn and experience mindfulness includes guided sitting and walking meditations, mindful (silent) eating, Dharma discussion, and a time for questions and answers. It is open to everyone, regardless of faith or meditation experience. Brother Phap Dang will address the interest of those who have no experience with meditation.
Participants are asked to bring their own lunch; vegan or vegetarian diet is encouraged. Water will be provided. No charge, but donations are encouraged.
The Day of Mindfulness is a project of the Peace Committee of Honoka’a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. To reach the temple, take Highway 19 to Honoka’a. Between 43 and 44 mile markers, turn down (makai) on Plumeria Street for 0.6 miles. Temple parking lot driveway will be on the left, just past the Catholic Church. RSVP to email@example.com , or call/text 808-640-4602.
Brother Phap Dang will also be making a presentation 7 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the Sweet Cane Café, 48 Kamana Street, Hilo (1/2 block mauka of the Hilo Shopping Center); 934-0002. The theme will be “How to Be Mindful in the Present Moment.” The public is invited free of charge; donations encouraged.