The 4th Integral Meeting: Mindful Mind, Conscious Life – Gdańsk, Poland

January 2012 / Notes from the Field

SPIN 2011
18-20th Nov. 2011

Ola Solawe

The Madness of Modern Life

In modern-day rapid changes, information overload, ever-growing complexity and chronic stress are “normal” state. On a global scale these take shape of unresolvable conflicts, whose reasons and possible solutions remain totally unknown. One example is the latest crisis, unfolding before our very eyes.

Fighting Against the Wind

We tend to cope with the madness of modern life in a few ways. Some of us try to keep up pace and increase the speed of life more and more, while others remain in bitter opposition. In an effort to enhance our efficiency we often “swallow” schools, courses, trainings, books, presentations, exhibitions… We want to self-develop as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Some put up a lot of effort in taking care of the body, as if it was a highly advanced, state-of-the-art machinery, which should always be ready for fight. In doing this they sometimes turn to different kinds of “boosters”, to put it mildly. Others, drop out of this rat race and live in the world of their own. Some people become unsocial, apathetic, obsessively preoccupied with tidying up the house or addicted to alcohol or other substances.

To make matters worse, those strategies often prove ineffective. An example of our collective failure in this respect may well be the fact, that both professional burnout and depression are now reaching epidemic proportions. Most of us, suffer from deep-rooted, continual stress, exhaustion, chaotic, jumbled thinking, inability to cope with thousands of petty, but seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

There is Another Way

The good news is that there is yet another path available. The choice is by no means limited to either fully participating in the competition or withdrawing from it unconditionally.

The third way is about the fundamental wholeness of conscious and mindful living. Instead of avoiding, controlling, suppressing yourself, just let yourself accept and welcome who you are and what happens to you with open arms and curiosity. Accept yourself and the world around you, not only when everything goes right and you are on top, but also when everything goes wrong and you are down. With goodwill and openness accept the fact that you are not perfect. Go on. Do not evade anything, face it!

Try do develop an attitude of a scientist, observing closely and thoroughly. Practice mindfulness. Pay attention to the slightest thought, emotion, mood, impression or sensation from the body, occurring in different situations, either good or bad. At any moment. Be HERE and NOW.

However straightforward it might sound, developing such an attitude may prove a challenging undertaking, which requires a lot of discipline and hard work. But you will see that the effort put in it will eventually pay. You will find comfort in this confused, crowded, perplexed and tormented world.

And this exactly was the subject of our Conference.

“Notes from the Field”

The dust has already fallen down and the voices of the crowd have subsided. The fourth annual Polish Conference “The Integral Meeting” has gone by. For three days over one hundred people participated in lectures and panel discussions about the matter of being Mindfulness. We had a rare opportunity to listen specialists from many different fields: politic, art, business also psychiatry, psychology and science.

Different Perspectives – One Conclusion

Our guests presented many different points of view on Mindfulness and its applications. How to be calm when the total catastrophe comes? Why is it hard to be self aware and work in the government? How to find a connection between being conscious and get good financial results in a company? How being mindful helps people in a psychiatric treatment? And what it really means to be an integral artist?

Although all lecturers presented different points of view and showed a different domains, all agreed on that the Mindfulness is a very useful instrument and could be a great way of personal development. Mindfulness technics may help to catch a different perspective, it helps also to create a space between a stimulus and reaction.

The Marriage of the Science and the Individual Experience

The 4th Integral Meeting was an unique event not only because of its subject and lectures – the integral longing for including both scientific, objective and individual, subjective perspective were fulfill. The co-organiser of this event was University of Gdańsk, the whole Conference took place at the university camp. Thanks to engaging the academic environment the audience had an opportunity to listen about the newest results of the scientific researches about Mindfulness.

Feedback

The feedback from the people who participated in the Conference was very positive. Here are some of the comments:

The Conference was very well organized about every aspect. The guests’ lectures and the subject were very interesting. Olga Staszewska

I really like the variety of the subjects and lectures. It helps to realise how powerful Mindfulness can be. Jagoda Koszczyk

It was a very inspiring time for my own study. Great lectures and presentations. Interesting opinions. Paweł Koza

The merits: excellent choice of the guests, I really like the variety of their points of view. Organization: I’m delighted by the solicitude of every detail! Joanna Zapała

We are really happy that this event were so inspiring for so many people. The most efficient effect of the 4th SpIn are regular workshops that we are planning to do.

We would like to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the people who has engaged their time, knowledge and energy to organize this Conference – the lecturers, the audience, the partners and sponsors, the volunteers, and most of all – to our friends and families who has supported us.

Forum of Integral Development Association

About the Author

Ola Salawe  is a core team member of Poland Integral.

www.integralni.org