Mindfulness across cultures

On 10th Aug. I attended the Boost Camp organized by the Impulse Foundation in Saxony, Germany, to support young socially and environmentally engaged people from across Europe and northern Africa. I could contribute by leading a workshop on "mindfulness for activists" that was intended to help them take care of their health and wellbeing, but also to find constructive and mindful ways of how to approach their work. I was very impressed how interested and courageous all people were, and how mindfulness and the wish and hope for being well and doing good (and also how we suffer at times) was present across all nations, irrespective of our religious or cultural background.

There were people from Egypt attending, and I remembered the history of corn or barly to start there. Since there was barley growing just outside our doorstep, I it as an example to illustrate dependent origination, the fact that one thing exists, because another things exists, and vice versa. In fact, this was a teaching given by the Buddha at the example of a rice seedling many centuries back. Why not use barly, too? :) Given the complext contexts of their engagement / work in social and environmental domains, people seemed to agree with this point. In this case I especially tried to highlight that they must take care of themselves including their minds and bodies as best they can, so they can continue to take care of their worthy projects, too. I am very glad I could lead that workshop, meet with the people and learn with and from them.