Mrs. Maria Lucia Uribe, Director of Arigatou International Geneva participated in the Global Mindfulness Summit that took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 23 to 25 February 2018.
The summit, organized by the Sati Pasala Foundation with the cooperation of governmental, non-governmental and cooperate-sector institutions, brought together speakers and panelists from around the world for three days of influential discussions regarding mindfulness.
The speakers and panelists at the Summit came from all sectors of society, as it was an assembly of academics, scientists, management consultants, government leaders and politicians, diplomats, medical specialists, school leaders, and religious leaders of all faiths.
The summit served to build partnerships among different nations, cultures, ethnicities, and religions to spread the message of the power of mindfulness and the influence it can have as a peacebuilding mechanism. As Venerable U Dhammajiva stated in his opening statement, “All the parts, all the religious and other groups must come together, and work together, and mindfulness binds it all together.”
During the three days, there were discussions regarding the role mindfulness can play with promoting diversity and acceptance, helping our environment and promoting sustainability, strengthening children’s spirituality to end violence against children, and the positive mental and physical impacts mindfulness can have on a person.
Mrs. Maria Lucia Uribe presented about the importance of spirituality in young children and how violence harms this feature as children grow and develop. As she described in her presentation, spirituality is “an innate and natural capacity…[it is] a capacity to see ourselves as part of something bigger than us and that helps us move beyond, [and] to transcend.” Violence hurts children not only physically and mentally, but devastates their spiritual wellbeing and their trust, connection, and respect for other people. Spirituality goes hand in hand with mindfulness, as it promotes the concept of “moving beyond,” creating an emphasis on ultimate fulfillment, as opposed to just immediate satisfaction.
“Ultimately, mindfulness as a tool for spiritual development should help children and youth to develop their sense of belonging, of being, of connecting with others, of becoming who they want to become and transform themselves and their societies”, said Mrs. Uribe when looking at the connection between mindfulness and spirituality.
When dealing with the repercussions of violence, mindfulness goes beyond just allowing the victim heal, but can also be used as a preventative strategy to stopping violence before it happens. Caregivers and parents should use mindfulness when raising a child, as it allows them to see the impact their actions have on the child, and how it might hurt their child’s spiritual wellbeing.
Thanks go to the conference organizers and other presenters for organizing the event and inviting Arigatou International.