Lesson on Mindfulness: Perspective from Zen Buddhist Priest in Kyoto

Monday, February 12, 2018 at 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Building E40, E40-496
1 AMHERST ST, Cambridge, MA 02142

Rev. Takafumi Zenryu Kawakami, Deputy head priest, Shunkoin Temple, Myoshinji, Kyoto will lead us in a thoughtful discussion and practice of mindfulness.


Mindfulness has become a significant phenomenon in the West that is also becoming increasingly popular in Asia. Mindfulness is generally defined as non-religious meditation. As a secular practice supported by scientific evidence, mindfulness is now accepted as a valid medical and therapeutic method that has been broadly incorporated into workplace and school wellness programs.


This Western and de-contextualized perspective of mindfulness began in the late 1970s. The practice of mindfulness in Japan, however, has its roots in Buddhism and is not just about meditation. To fully appreciate the importance and meaning of mindfulness, it should be considered within the context of Buddhist philosophy, like the concept of no-self. Ultimately, mindfulness is about much more than achieving temporal happiness and relaxation, it is about changing one’s approach to actuality. This talk will highlight the importance of re-contextualizing mindfulness and present its holistic practice from the Zen Buddhist perspective.

Event Type


Events By Interest

Religious/Spiritual, Health/Wellness

Events By Audience

Public, MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff

Events By School

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)


japan, Meditation, mindfulness, zen



Center for International Studies
Add to my calendar

Recent Activity


rafaEL left a positive review Monday, February 12, 2018

Rev. Takafumi Zenryu Kawakami was great, his talk was very insightful and equally informative. The cherry on the cake was the meditation. Welcome the opportunity to join him in a retreat, which will be a great idea!