Practicing Mindfulness, No Experience Required

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Teachers from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Deer Park Monastery will visit campus.

Deer Parks nuns and monks
The Deer Park monastics pictured, clockwise from upper left, are Sister True Spirit (Than Nghiem), Brother Embrace (Phap Dung), Sister Le Nghiem, Brother Insight (Man Tue), Sister D (Dang Nghiem), and Brother Stream (Phap Luu). (Photo courtesy of Deer Park Monastery)

If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness, there’s good news afoot. Senior monastic Dharma teachers from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Deer Park Monastery in California will visit campus from April 17 to 23 for a week of mindfulness activities.

Engaged Mindfulness: A Week With Thich Nhat Hanh’s Mindfulness Teachers offers something for everyone, says Caitlin Barthelmes, director of the Student Wellness Center.

“There are ways for our whole community to be engaged, regardless of a person’s level of experience, whether you are a novice or lifetime meditator,” Barthelmes says. “The opportunities range from public talks to learn more about how mindfulness can improve well-being in our daily lives, to applied practices like mindful eating or movement, as well as culminating retreats for a more immersive experience.”

In addition to the talks and retreats, the schedule includes guided morning meditations from 8 to 9 a.m., April 18 to April 21, in Rollins Chapel. Afternoon meditations, both seated and moving, are set for 4:30 p.m. on April 19 and 20, with locations to be announced.

The 10 monks and nuns include Brother Phap Luu ’97, formerly Douglas Bachman, who has played a key role in arranging the visit out of gratitude to Dartmouth.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master, poet, and peace activist, was known worldwide for promoting the integration of mindfulness practices into daily life and for spreading “engaged Buddhism,” the connection of meditation practice with global ethics and social action.

“To learn from individuals who were trained by one of the greatest spiritual leaders of modern times is truly a unique, and for many, once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Laura Beth White, assistant director for well-being.

The events are sponsored by Biology 3: Mindful Physiology; the William Jewett Tucker Center; Student Wellness Center, with additional support from Dartmouth Center for Advancement and Learning; Hopkins Center for the Arts; Dartmouth Sustainability Office; Irving Institute; Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies; Geisel Wellness; Office of Pluralism and Leadership; Allen, West, North Park, and South houses; and Shabazz Center for Intellectual Inquiry.

Aimee Minbiole