The waves of the sea come and go and in that movement they create a pleasant noise that mixes with breathing. Breathe in and out, breathe in and out. The sea could be heard so close that the attendees almost thought they were touching it, but nothing could be further from the truth and it was all the result of virtual reality. Those attending the last day of the II International Congress of Contemplative Sciences and Mindfulness have been able to see how achieving well-being is possible thanks to virtual reality. And they have done so thanks to Marta Modrego, a psychologist and researcher at the Aragón Health Research Institute, who in her round table “New possibilities for practice: Virtual reality” has opened up a world on this closing day. “We intend to approach the entire population because it has been observed that through virtual reality there is an increase in states of full attention and improvements in emotional states”, she has indicated.
With a full Auditorium of the University of Zaragoza, and this year the influx “has been much more noticeable”, in the words of the director of the Chair of Contemplative Sciences and the Master of Mindfulness, Javier García Campayo, the attendees have been able to enjoy of international experts of the stature of William Van Gordon. The professor of Contemplative Psychology at the University of Derby was in charge of opening the day with his paper “The Changing Shades of Ego on the Path of Awakening”. “We must recognize the importance of contemplation, of the contemplation of suffering and also on a spiritual level because it has been studied scientifically for years,” Van Gordon assured.
And precisely to contemplate is what those attending this second edition of the congress have learned. Something that the director of the World Happiness Foundation, Luis Gallardo, has assessed very positively, “it is very gratifying to see how the word contemplation is penetrating and how people understand contemplation as observation, contemplation as stopping, breathing and acting and with that we are delighted ”.
Stopping also means dreaming and dreaming is also learned. This is how Javier García Campayo has transmitted it in his talk “Investigation in lucid dreams”, an approach to everything that happens when we are not aware. García Campayo has also praised the congress because “in addition to making a theoretical approach, practical workshops have been held. Our intention and desire is to continue doing so and generate a national and international culture of the importance of contemplative sciences today”.
That culture through an exciting journey for oneself is what the more than 250 attendees at the congress have enjoyed and experienced during these two days through the round tables and talks by the different national and international experts. This Friday it was also the turn of Jesús Montero-Marín, who has addressed the new developments of the MBCT for depression. “Cognitive therapy in mindfulness was initially developed for depressive disorders and turned out to be very effective in this area and for this reason we are now working to apply it in other contexts as well,” said the researcher from the Oxford Institute of Mindfulness.
Getting away from the noise and focusing on well-being to achieve peace of mind is what the contemplative sciences aim to do. For this reason, throughout the entire congress its application in the different spheres of life has been analyzed and studied, and one of the most important is that of education. And that has been the link between the two simultaneous round tables that have ended the morning.
In the first round table, the professor of Education at the UZ, Alejandra Cortés, explained what Humanist Education is and how to train the future leaders of tomorrow in it. The researcher Hans Burghardt has spoken about SEE Learning from Emory University, prosociality, attitudes, empathy and the humanistic model of Scholas Ocurrentes has come from the hand of professor Yolanda Ruiz and the “Parental styles and compassion: promotion of attachment Insurance in Education” have been approached by Daniel Campos, Paola Herrera and Mayte Navarro.
The second round table has addressed research in contemplative sciences and their applications today. And it is that the experts have already affirmed it, contemplating and analyzing our surroundings helps us on that long-awaited path that is happiness.
Calm, psychotropic substances and silence to end
The last practical workshops of this second edition will take place this afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. “The calmer and more vision we have in life, the more profound tranquility and liberation we will experience.” This is how master Francisco Gable Morillo presents his exciting workshop: “Clear vision (vipassana) and calm (samatha) in early Buddhism” where attendees will learn different meditation techniques through this philosophical tradition.
The use of psychotropic substances in Psychotherapy and the different investigations from the indigenous to Ayahuasca will focus the round table given by Joaquim Soler, Matilde Elices and Manuel Almendro.
Silence will fill everything and the lights of the Auditorium will go out at the hands of Manu Mariño who will give the workshop “The Heart of Silence”. “It’s not about finding that inner silence because it’s always there, but about silencing the noise from outside,” said the meditation master of the Insight Meditation tradition. Later, a brief closing table will put the finishing touch to a workshop in which, without a doubt, the attendees have managed to get to know each other better and understand that happiness is in being, not in having.