Exploring mindfulness in the African context

The second international conference on mindfulness to be held in South Africa, takes place from 22-25 March.

The Institute for Mindfulness South Africa (Imisa) is particularly excited about this year's venue says its chairman, Dr Simon Whitesman.

Apart from the content and the speakers, we've been very specific about choosing the Cradle of Humankind as the physical space to hold the conference. It's the Maropeng Conference Centre, so that feels especially significant given the historical space...

Dr Simon Whitesman, Chairman - Institute for Mindfulness South Africa

Dr Whitesman says mindfulness is basically about the human capacity for 'presence'.

Many people have many definitions, some of them scientific, some philosophical, some of them spiritual. I'd say from a most usable, practical perspective you can say mindfulness is the innate capacity to be present.

Dr Simon Whitesman, Chairman - Institute for Mindfulness South Africa

As you start to develop that capacity it becomes apparent very, very quickly how much we are mindless, how much we're on autopilot, lost in thought and actually not that present or not present at all.

Dr Simon Whitesman, Chairman - Institute for Mindfulness South Africa

It's understood as paying attention on purpose in the present moment, without judgment... to infuse that attention with the quality of curiosity and compassion.

Dr Simon Whitesman, Chairman - Institute for Mindfulness South Africa

The theme of the conference is Mindfulness Approaches in an African Context.

We're looking not only at how this approach can be valuable here, but also how African contemplative tradition can influence mindfulness, so it's a two-way conversation about existing wisdom and contemplative traditions here in Africa and how the two interact.

Dr Simon Whitesman, Chairman - Institute for Mindfulness South Africa

For details on the conference, follow the link on the website https://mindfulness.org.za/

Hear more from Dr Whitesman below:


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