Evening with Lama Dr. Alan Wallace & Dr. Peter Fenwick, chaired by Dr. Paramabandhu Groves, St Thomas’ Hospital
The modern world presents all of us, old and young alike, with many challenges as we face the environmental, economic, social, and moral dilemmas that we have brought upon ourselves. It is a time, perhaps more than ever before, when mental resilience is of paramount importance. In this lecture, Dr. B. Alan Wallace will discuss practical ways to develop such inner strength, clarity, and equilibrium through the cultivation of four aspects of mental balance: conative, attentional, cognitive, and emotional. Each of these psychological functions is thrown into a state of imbalance when they are excessive and deficient, as in the case of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; and each of them can also manifest in ways that are dysfunctional, as in case of emotional disorders. An underlying theme of mental resilience is the cultivation of an authentic sense of meaning in one’s life, as eloquently argued by the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl in this classic work Man’s Search for Meaning. This lecture will examine what constitutes a meaningful life, highlighting the cultivation of genuine well-being, virtue, and understanding. Within this context, clear distinctions will be drawn between what the ancient Greeks called hedonia, stimulus-driven pleasures of all kinds, and eudaimonia, genuine well-being that stems from an ethical way of life, the cultivation of mental balance, and the pursuit of wisdom.