Section: B) – Syllabus 1 - Mediation as a social core skill

Kateryna Yasko posted 1 year ago, 1 Responses
1) What does mindfulness mean to you?
2) Which role does it play in your daily life?
3) Exchange with your friends and find similarities.

Mindfulness for me is an everyday practice that helps to digest experiences, stay awake and train my focusing capacity. It helps react a bit more peacefully to the everyday challenges. I hope that the quality of my presence improves. Eventually, I became much calmer after some years of meditation. My husband is a practitioner of Integral Zen, I practice Transcendental Mediation and Vipassana (did my first 9-days silent retreat in 2009). We often speak about our experiences and exchange inspirations that we receive from our teachers. 

1.	Identify and list features that influence(d) you,
2. Add connections and interactions if there are any,
3. Explain the impact of the features on your personality.

As a child, I was significantly influenced by several important experiences:
-	5 years after Chernobyl erupted, I was invited by an Italian family to spend summers with them. It was a program for the Ukrainian and Belarussian kids who were born and lived not far from Chernobyl (in my case – 133 km). I spent five summers in Southern Italy, integrating language and local traditions. I became part of a family and even regularly attended the church together with my host mother and host sisters. It became a second home. The love of these people, their kindheartedness and warm hospitality, reminded me many of our Ukrainian traditions. I realized for the first time that as humans we are very similar notwithstanding our cultural differences. 
Later on, as an adolescent, I had other experiences of staying with a host family in USA and in France. All that contributed to creation of a belief that the whole world is a global village, or a big family. We are beautiful in our diversity, and deep in our hearts we are very similar – we have same feelings and needs. 
Among qualities that I integrated thanks to these experiences – hospitality, warmth, love to foreign languages, empathic skills, global mindset. 
-	My grandmother had a strong passion for poetry that was transferred to me. Today I get inspiration from a vast collection of poems in English, Ukrainian and Russian. The feature that it helped me develop is strong social skills and (hope to develop further) mindfulness in using speech. 

TASK: Please reflect and look for more similarities that you might be able to identify. You are also free to cite other sources than Buddhist texts. Add your findings accordingly to your TD.

I really like the outlined principles of a mindful mediator’s profession, namely: Deep Listening – Critical Thinking – Wise Speaking. 
And, zooming in, I would just like to share 6 principles and 9 skills of NVC-based mediation from which I draw inspiration (from a book “Madiate your life” by another zen practitioner Ike Lasater):
The Nine Mediation Skills:
1.	Empathy 
2.	Connection Requests
3.	Pulling by the Ears (an NVC-term)
4.	Emergency First-Aid Empathy 
5.	Tracking 
6.	Interrupting 
7.	Self-Empathy 
8.	Self-Expression 
9.	Solution Requests 

I will analyze the following questions during the next days: 

A UN Mediator – can (s)he be neutral?
Is it the purpose of the UN Mediator to act neutral?
Does the origin of the UN Mediator possibly influence his work?
What are the benefits for the UN to settle this conflict?
Who has the benefits of having these countries in conflict?
Who may have an advantage of destabilizing the EU or UN?
Is this conflict a diversion for another conflict to be executed?
What are the benefits of the parties in conflict?
Does this conflict bear a new name for an older dispute?
Which neighboring states support each of the parties?
What economic relations do they have and would there be an advantage for these neighbors?

On Mindfulness: Thank you for these insights. One very amazing point of Mindfulness is that it teaches us that we constantly have choices to make in our daily life. It is beautiful to reflect on the impact and consequences our descissions may cause. Hereby, we can learn about the power of decision-making.

On Diversity: The cultural diverstiy that you experienced is a true tresor and I believe that Mindfulness can teach us again another lesson, namely if we talk about Cultural Diversity or Cultural Similarity. So, summing it up: It looks like we are diverse enough to have lots of similarities 🙂