Responding to Global and Local Challenges with Compassion and Equanimity: The Role of Mindfulness


As part of the student curriculum, the TY Lee Mindfulness virtual workshop was held on 23 October to address and explore ways that mindfulness can be used in everyday lives.  The third in its series, it was attended by more than 500 participants and organised by the Office of Core Curriculum, in collaboration with the Wee Kim Wee Centre to provide a holistic approach to learning.

Delivered as part of the Core Curriculum office’s Big Questions module taken by all freshmen in the Singapore Management University, the series aims to provide students an opportunity to engage with a range of multi-disciplinary perspectives, debates and discussions that surround a particular theme.

The lecture was delivered by Ms Mirabai Bush, author and a senior fellow of the Centre for Contemplative Mind in Society, where she served as Executive Director until 2008.  She has taught contemplative practices for 50 years, integrating her experience in organisational management, teaching and consulting. Mirabai also co-developed the curriculum for Search Inside Yourself for Google, the first programme in mindfulness-based emotional intelligence.

The theme of this year’s lecture was ‘Global and Local’, which examines how we should face the today’s challenges in our local environment and the world. During the session, Mirabai shared that “mindfulness is a practice of waking us up to who we are, in investigating and questioning what is really real. And we need that calm equanimity to get us through every day.”

Of the many benefits of mindfulness, it enables us to discover our deepest motivations, which is important as we need to know why we are doing something. It cultivates emotional intelligence, which helps us be kinder, more compassionate and more loving. It also allows for us to see more clearly and understand life.  This would form the basic guide to how we lead our lives and how we react to local or global problems that impact us.  In essence, Mirabai says “If we are aware, we learn from everything that we do.”