It literally was a fusion of east and west this week. I was in the quintessential east-meets-west city of Istanbul, working with a multi-cultural group, offering perspectives drawn from western psychology and eastern contemplative practices.
I am a fan of fusion, across cultures, art, literature, music, food, friendships, even political parties …
And I like the concept of ‘fusion leadership’ as mooted at a SIETAR conference a few years ago: the increasing trend (and need) of the global leader to incorporate eastern and western leadership principles, as a way to respond effectively to the diversity of challenges with which they are faced. I recall Kin reflecting on her own experience of reading leadership books from the west which “fired” her up, and those from the east which “calmed” her down.
And fusion mindfulness, is something which I am have explored in research and consultancy. It is the idea that the two schools of mindfulness; an older one originating from the traditional meditative practices of the East and the other with its roots in Western psychology, are more convergent than divergent.
At their essence, each ‘school’ views mindfulness as both a state (of mind) and a process (a way to achieve that state of mind). It is an inherent universal quality which we all have the potential to cultivate. For the east, we do this by meditation, for the west through cognitive agility.
In its sheer simplicity, mindfulness for both schools, is when we are in the moment.
Aware of what we are doing, when we are doing it.
In all the richness and fullness that it offers.
And that is accessible to us any time we choose.
Kin, E.Y (2008) “Effective Fusion Leadership for Asian Global Leaders” Workshop presentation at Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research Global Conference 2008, Granada, Spain, October 22 – 25, 2008