THE TRUTH ABOUT POWER
According to an article published in the Harvard Gazette, 47% of our waking hours are spent thinking about what’s not going on: “A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind; the ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost. Unlike other animals, humans spend a lot of time thinking about what isn’t going on around them: contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or may never happen at all.”
When Dalai Lama Fellows are selected from countries around the world, they are immersed in our Head, Heart and Hands Ethical Leadership curriculum. In our first module, “Getting to Know Your Mind,” Fellows are introduced to mindfulness, they commit to a meditation practice and learn how to regulate their emotions to lead well.
Since 2011, Fellows have told us how powerful this training has been for them. Here are some of the comments they've made:
“Because of our coaching calls and conversations about mindfulness, I began to notice when I became distracted. Whenever I noticed it, I tried to bring my attention to my breath in order to come back into the present, especially when I was feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.” - Gift Kity, African Leadership Academy, working to increase access to health services and education in rural Kenya. (Pictured below, in green blouse, working with colleagues at the project she leads.)
"Integrating meditation into my daily life has been really helpful for self-care and managing stress. I'm more aware throughout the day when I'm getting stressed out and then I take a moment to take a deep breath and practice a mindful minute. This really helps me come back to the present moment." - Iman Siddiqi, University of California, Irvine, working to enhance education for refugees.
“I meditate daily because it helps me to accept myself and what I am going through. Three days ago, one of the freshmen at my school texted me that we should meet urgently. When we met, she was crying out loud. I had no idea what was going on, but I comforted her. She explained that she was having too much pressure academically. What came to my mind was to guide her through meditation the same way that my coach does for me. After meditation, she started smiling, showing how relieved she was. Immediately she went back to finish her academic works with morale. This taught me that the fellowship is not only there to benefit me as a Fellow but also the people around me. Now it is a must for me to illuminate the skills I gain for the greater good of humanity."- Dejoie Sylvain, Ashesi University, working to empower students in Ghana through scholarships and mentorship.
Your donations to Dalai Lama Fellows will enable us to:
- Continue selecting and supporting extraordinary young people, like these, worldwide who are trained in mindfulness and emotional awareness as a leadership tool.
- Host our annual summer Assembly, where we gather Fellows for an immersive in-person exchange and orientation to our curriculum and methodology. (Due to insufficient funding we were unable to hold an Assembly in 2017; we will bring it back in 2018 with your support.)
- Continue to shift the narrative on leadership and to inspire deeper and broader connection and action.
With gratitude and warmest year-end greetings,