Tuesday, 2 November 2021
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The Lebanese Mindfulness Association (LMA) in collaboration with the Professional Training Center of Saint Joseph University of Beirut, launched the first Mindfulness Conference on October 23rd 2021 from 9:00am to 2:00pm (Beirut time) at Gulbenkian Theatre Beirut – Campus of Social Sciences.
Ms. Aline Alam, Head of the Math Department and pioneer of the Mindfulness Club at BHS attended this interesting conference as part of professional development. She believes that Mindfulness supports students and teachers in developing self-awareness and self-regulation of emotions among other aspects of pastoral education.
The keynote speaker was Professor Rebecca Crane, Head of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, UK. Prof. Crane inaugurated the event and shared her UK experience in establishing and developing mindfulness.
Other prominent speakers shared their research studies and highlighted the importance of bringing kindness and awareness to navigate challenges amidst multiple crises. They also elaborated on how meditation affects the brain’s functionality, its structure, and its thought patterns. The more mindfulness is practiced, the more the brain’s synapses strengthen, which can help improve life. Neuroscience findings confirm that mindfulness results in an increase of gray matter density in the hippocampus, a structure associated with storing memories and emotion control.
Ms. Alam has been advocating mindfulness in education for years and affirms that mindfulness must be embodied because it is caught before being taught. Mindfulness is a pragmatic way to train the mind, body and heart to focus on the moment in order to reduce distress, depression and anxiety for example. It shifts ancient contemplative meditation to modern cognitive science, which is highly appreciated in healthcare, the workplace and especially in education.