Monday, December 12, 2016

15th Sakyadhita International Conference Workshops: Ruth Richards and Vivian Ting Chuk Lai on Chaos Theory, Gender & Buddhism

Designed by Chevanon - Freepik.com
Designed by Chevanon - Freepik.com


Chaos, Creativity & Gender

Do join us for a new type of dialogue we hope can help transform society. Our manifest world is full of change, complexity, and surprise. It is not all linear, predictable, or due to limited factors showing simple, or controlling relationships. We are all profoundly interconnected and interdependent, as Buddhists know well. This is now becoming more clear to Western science due to advances including Chaos and Complexity Theory. At a metaphorical level, such advances can be used in engaging and colorful ways to open up and advance understanding of our mutual effects on each other (all of us), the multiplicity and unpredictability of factors in our lives, the wonder and humility of emergent systems and events, the importance of lovingkindness, compassion, equanimity and sympathetic joy, and other spiritual virtues as we advance together, our roles as “open systems” in dynamic interaction, and features that at once honor modes where women have brought great value and benefit, while revealing other areas of stereotyping and gender polarization in society. Women and men alike can benefit.

Our interaction will involve four areas;
  1. an introductory Power Point presentation to key areas, 
  2. activity (brief narratives then with dyadic and group sharing) that illustrates importance of change and “bifurcation” in our own personal lives), 
  3. a fun activity with Play Doh in groups of 2-4 people vividly portraying our connected and emergent working and creating (and playing), with discussion, and
  4. general wrap up and Q & A, around issues raised.
Hopefully, attendees will emerge with broader views of life, self, and our fuller potential.

Chaos Theory as Buddhadharma

Do join us for an experience we wish to share in this workshop, one that has been moving to us and varied groups since one of us first heard it 20 years ago.

We hope it will have at least this effect among Sakyadhita attendees, and can lead to
  1. rich reflections and potential artistic expressions along with 
  2. deep discussion. This is a creative dialogue between Chaos Theory and Zen Buddhism, originally written by Stephen Muho Proskauer, drawing from classic texts that are both scientific and spiritual. Without any prior exposure or study of these areas, the resonances can be remarkable. This is further amplified by a series of stunning images to be shown in an accompanying Power Point presentation. The dialogue is both contemplative and artistic and can have deep meaning for Buddhist women, as well as for cultural exchange and a dialogue between science and spirituality. 
A 2-part and Power Point presentation will be followed by a time for personal reflection and subsequent expression related to images that come up, and potential mandala creation. 
This will be followed by small group sharing and general discussion. We hope to explore new awarenesses along with questions for future inquiry. 

Ruth Richards

Ruth Richards is educational psychologist and psychiatrist, professor at Saybrook University, College of Social Sciences (Consciousness, Spirituality and Integrative Health, plus Creativity Studies), who has been a practicing Buddhist for years and is more than privileged to continue to work with a wonderful Vietnamese Zen teacher.  She also has a remarkable Tibetan teacher in the Nyingma tradition.  She has worked with some exceptional Saybrook students, one of whom, now with a Ph.D. and Hong Kong appointment, joins her here.  She works as well with the interfaith and social change organization, Ahimsa Berkley, does qualitative research, and publishes on issues including creativity, personal and spiritual development and social change.  Dr. Richards edited the book Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature: Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Perspectives, and is currently writing one book and co-editing another related to the workshops offered here. 

Vivian Ting Chuk Lai

Vivian Ting-Chuk Lai currently teaches at Caritas Institute of Higher Education in Hong Kong. Before her teaching career, Dr. Lai worked closely with bereaved children and their families. As a counselor, she utilized art, play and sandplay in therapy with children. For adults, she integrated mindfulness practices and yoga in individual and group counseling. Dr. Lai is a certified trainer of Mindfulness Training for Youth with ADHD and ASD, as well as a yoga teacher. During leisure time, she enjoys porcelain painting and yoga practices.

Learn More About the 15th Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Women

The theme for the 2017 conference to be held at The University of Hong Kong is “Contemporary Buddhist Women: Contemplation, Cultural Exchange & Social Action.” This theme highlights the diversity of contemporary Buddhist women throughout the world.

For more information on the conference please visit the Sakyadhita International website and download a brochure.

No comments:

Post a Comment