Peaceful Mind, Joyful Heart


Day of Mindfulness (one-day retreat)
Health Care and Human Service Professionals
from 9:30
to 16:30 on Saturdays July 14, Sept. 8 and Nov. 10, 2012


at Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong



Zen Master Nhat Hanh and Plum Village Monastics
on the DOM for Health Care Professionalson Nov. 3rd 2010 at HKU


Register online at Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are only 50 spaces available.


June 10, 2012

Dear friends,

You are cordially invited to attend a Day of Mindfulness (DOM) for Health Care and Human Service Professionals, co-organized by PVFHK Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism (AIAB) and HKU Centre on Behavioral Health. After the DOM with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for health care and human service professionals in November 2010, participants have set up several mindfulness practice groups to practice together. As a follow up to that effort, HKU Centre on Behavioral Health and AIAB plan to hold regular bi-monthly Day of Mindfulness at the Centre on Behavioral Health. For the year 2012, the dates are July 14, Sep. 8 and Nov. 10. The practices will be conducted by the monastics from AIAB.

It was told that during the Buddha time, there was a woman who lost her only child because of illness. She was so desperate and acted liked she had lost her mind. She asked if the Buddha could bring her son back to life. The Buddha first asked her to get mustard seeds from families in the village where no one had died. She could not find any families that did not have any deaths. The Buddha then taught her about the impermanence of life; about the interbeing nature of things in life – things manifested when conditions are sufficient, things do not manifest when conditions are not sufficient; and birth and death are just different notions when things take on different forms of manifestation. She recovered after hearing the teachings.

We may have many difficulties in life. If we do not know how to deal with them, things may get worse. The Buddha used the double arrows simile to illustrate this point. Suppose one was hit by an arrow, and then hit again by the second arrow at the same place. The pain inflicted by the second arrow may be 10 or 100 times bigger than the first one. This was what happened to the woman who was in despair of her lost child. Her child already died, but she could not understand and accept why it happened to her. And she almost lost her mind about it. The practice of mindfulness can help us deal with our emotions and calm our mind, enable us to looks at things deeply, developing insights from things happen in our life. We cannot avoid pains from the first arrow, but we can avoid pains from the second arrow, making things better instead of making things worse.

Working in the human service fields can be fulfilling. While taking care of others for their physical, emotional and mental sufferings, nourishing the mind is important for the helping professionals to support their work. On the Day of Mindfulness, we will learn the practice of coming back to our breath, anchoring our mind in the in-breath and out-breath. We become calm and clear when the mind and body are together in one place, with the help of our mindful breathing. We will practise listening to the bell, walking meditation, sitting meditation, eating meditation, mindful movements, and total relaxation … We practise to stop, to slow down the thinking in our mind via bodily actions. These are practices that help us deal with the restless energy when unpleasant feelings arise.We realize that things are not as bad as they look; that other elements of life are still there for us. This practice is called samatha meditation, or stopping/ calming down, in mindfulness practice.

After calming down, we have a chance to look at things more clearly and objectively, without any aversion or attachments. We look at things the way they are. This is call vipassana (or insight) meditation in mindfulness practice. It is the practice where we cultivate wisdom to transform suffering into peace and joy. We will learn how the mind works and look into the nature of our consciousness from the viewpoints of Buddhist Psychology, as taught by the Manifestation Only (Vijnaptimatra) school, which has existed for about 2000 years. Knowing how the mind works can help us sail through life with ease.

We will have chances to practise both stopping/calming down meditation and insight meditation as taught in the Discourse on Full Awareness of Breathing (Anapanasati Sutta) and the Discourse of the Four Establishment of Mindfulness (Satipatthana Sutta). Through daily activities, we can cultivate mindfulness, concentration and insight, which enable us to live a life full of peace and joy.

A sample programme schedule for the Day of Mindfulness is as follow:

9:30                 Sitting and Slow Walking Meditation (indoor)

10:30               Lecture

12:30               Lunch

13:30               Total Relaxation

14:30               Group Discussion

16:00               Walking Meditation (outdoor)

16:30               Farewell

Location:        Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong
2/F, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research,
5 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong


Fees:               HKD100.00 per day (including light vegetarian lunch and tea)

How to register:
Register online at, the Plum Village Foundation Hong Kong Website. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are only 50 spaces available.

For more information, please contact us at Centre on Behavioral Health, e-mail:, Tel: (852) 2831 5163.

Breathe and Smile,

Sr. Hanh Nghiem (Sr. Adornment with Action), PVFHK Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism

Venus Wong, HKU Centre of Behavioral Health


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