Special Experience, International Conference on Human Completion 2014






 

To be honest, I have often seen academic conferences as boring with an uncomfortable atmosphere. This has become my prejudice. However, I came to know that some kinds of events called ‘academic conferences’ could have different atmospheres depending on which topics they discuss. My realization came about soon after I attended the International Conference on Human Completion held at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) this May.

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The title was Meditation: Happiness, Peace, and Coexistence. This conference was deeply meaningful and significant because it discussed how mankind could peacefully coexist, not simply in relation to academic knowledge and theories but with an actual practical plan of action. Many scholars have presented about dignity and happiness for human beings, and the correlations between individuals’ inner values and world peace. This was attractive enough to grasp the attention from many types of people including myself. That’s probably why most of the attendees did not leave even after the lunch break and listened attentively until the end of the conference that was held from morning till the afternoon. This was also impressive.

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Among a number of interesting speeches, a speech by Michael Furlong, an authority of school psychology, of UCSB, <When the Sum is Greater than the Parts: Combined Strengths Build Youth Subjective Well-Being> discussed about solutions for children’s self-awareness, sense of happiness and well-being. Moreover, Dr. Namin Shin, a doctor of pedagogy in Korea, presented the results of her study on the role of the mind subtraction program of this meditation in the reduction in depression and aggression of primary school children. This study has systematically suggested how we could help our children to build a life of well-being from their childhood.

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Furthermore, a number of presentations provided good information not only for children but also for adults who are suffering from many modern illnesses. Dr. Mi Ra Yun’s The Effect of The Meditation Program on Breast Cancer Survivors’ Psychological Well-Being has verified the excellent effect of the mind subtraction method that has been actually used as a nursing means for mental relief and recovery for breast cancer survivors. Having listened to those presentations, I could be sure that the mind subtraction would help not only patients but also the general people, in various aspects, as we also suffer from stress in our daily life.

The following agendum was the lecture given by Michael Treacy, the director of Las Vegas Meditation Center. His lecture about the mind appealed to all of the audience members including me as he explained about the human mind and that we should escape from our narrow mind in order to coexist with the world. His lecture made me feel that the human completion that everyone has been, at some level, yearning for, is not far away and that we can actually reach it in practice.

There was a Meditation workshop as a part of the academic conference. I decided to attend this workshop after listening to Treacy’s lecture. The workshop started with a brief explanation about the mind and why we need to subtract the mind. I could see that the workshop was very popular as most of the audience members of the conference attended.

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The mind subtraction method that I had experienced as a trial for one hour had a big effect on me. I simply threw away the random thoughts and stress that came up from my mind but my heavy head felt refreshed and my footsteps going out of the lecture room were rather light. I could see this meditation method as a method designed for anyone to easily understand and follow.

And, I came upon a message from Dr. Charles Mercieca of the International Association of Education for World Peace, who delivered the congratulatory message for the academic conference. “The real peace for world could be actualized if every individual introspects his mind and recovers his original nature, and this meditation plays such a role.” As I have actually experienced myself, I could see how we can recover our original nature and that the solution for peace that mankind has been seeking for such a long time, might lie in this method of mind subtraction.

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On the outside of the venue, the painting exhibition called ‘Youth, Imagine the Beautiful World’ was going on. It was a collection of pictures painted by youth from 35 countries around the world about the beautiful world. It was so good that it was the highlight of the entire conference. Beautiful pictures healed my mind.

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While seeing the pictures, I felt that happiness wasn’t far away. The realization came to me: happiness is already within me but only I have been wandering to search for that happiness from outside. The reason why children can paint pictures that can heal us is because they have less dirt in their mind; they are pure. I realized once again that I gradually became distant from the pure happiness due to the dirt in my mind so I wanted to wipe out that dirt quickly from my mind. I thought that I should cleanse my mind with the method of mind subtraction that I tried on this day, like I take a shower every day.

The prejudice that I had about the academic conference had disappeared by the end of the day. Throughout the event, there was a cozy atmosphere. It was a perfect day as the conference was followed by wine and cheese. The Academic Association for Human Completion of Korea hosted the conference, and it was the first conference held in America by this association; still, it was a successful one. I hope that they regularly hold such conferences with various and meaningful content so that they can share such special enlightenment with many others.