Cultivating Emotional Balance Through Mindfulness – In response to a request by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Dr. Paul Ekman and Dr. B. Alan Wallace developed a training program that integrates Buddhist contemplative practices (meditation) with Western techniques for dealing with negative emotional experiences. The training program, called Cultivating Emotional Balance, has been scientifically measured to reduce emotional responses that are destructive to self and others and enhance those that are beneficial. CEB is an intensive 42 hour training that provides students with valuable tools to improve the quality of their life as well as the lives they come into contact with. The meditation component includes training in shamatha (calm abiding), the four applications of mindfulness, and the four immeasurables.
The Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) program is specifically designed to support people to restore balance back into their lives. It’s orientation is very much as a learning education program as opposed to a therapeutic group. The disturbance in our personal balance can emanate from many different causes including fatigue, ill health, stress, distraction, agitation, overload, difficult relationships to name a few. CEB works to restore the internal balance in 4 main areas- your attention, your emotions, your thinking and your connection to what is most important for you in your life.
CEB utilises two key domains of learning. The first domain stems from the Buddhist mindfulness practices developed over thousands of years. The program uses both Buddhist psychology and its understanding of the human condition and exercises and meditation practices that help to restore and maintain the 4 balances. We use the elegant work and interpretations of B Alan Wallace ( a noted Buddhist scholar and academic) as a guide to these practices.The second domain is western psychology and its research into emotions, cognition and physiology. The work of Professor Paul Ekman is utilised as a way of understanding human behaviour and reactivity. To give you a sense of the caliber of both these men, below you will find links to small video excerpts of Wallace and Ekman discussing some of the themes covered in the CEB program. I invite you to watch the two authors of the CEB program to get a sense of what it is all about.
One key difference that is a strength of CEB is that it operates at a number of levels- theory about how to achieve a better balance, discussion and self observation and repetitive practice over time to help you establish new habits by supporting and guiding your learning.
I undertook 5 weeks of specialist training in Thailand in 2012 with B Alan Wallace and Paul and Eve Ekman to be accredited to teach the program. My first CEB program was conducted in February 2013 over 10 weeks – so all participants established enduring personal rituals and habits.