Mindfulness at Work
By: Ms.Bless De Asis
An eventful talk transpired last August 25, 2015, at the ESI Bldg., Miriam College. Dra. Honey Carandang, gave her annual talk on mindfulness, specifically tackling about “Mindfulness at Work.” Despite the bad weather that Saturday, participants braved the rains to attend her talk on this relevant topic. Dra. Carandang, who has pioneered family and play therapy and trauma management, has also pioneered mindfulness practice and training in the Philippines. She is currently a practitioner and teacher of mindfulness, having received intensive training from the Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh in 2009 and 2013. She also had her training in MBSR Program of Jon Kabat Zinn in the University of Massachusetts and the teaching of the Dalai Lama in Boston, in 2015.
The day started with Dr. Milagros Du Lagrosa’s giving a brief overview of the context of the workplace. She said everything we do in our lives has an effect on our work. It was followed by Dra.Carandang’s talk, which refreshed and gently reminded the audience that there is a way – that we can pay attention to what is inside us and around us. The participants resonated with the context of our hurried lives now. She says the traffic we experience, the violence we see and feel, the growing culture of hate, the verbal abuse felt by many can be assaulting on our dignity as a human being. Because it can be overwhelming, it can erode us. But we are reminded by the talk that despite these things around us, we can still be warmed by kindness. Mindfulness, as shared by Dra.Carandang, is pausing and being attentive to the present, to one’s environment. One thing she always points out is that because it is a way of life, it is not trying to perfect it, but rather,you try to catch yourself, and practice being mindful again. She points out that whatever we do, “whether you are teaching a course, doing administration work, parenting your child, etc., there is always your INNER LIFE that needs attending in order for you to do you job well.” Dra.Carandang also gave some exercises which the participants can do at home or at their workplace. A lot of people shared their reflections and insights. The questions asked stimulated everyone’s attention leading to some key people getting together to continue and apply what they have learned that morning. A fruitful morning it was as we were reminded that when we connect with ourselves thru mindful practice, the more we are able to connect more deeply with other people.