Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11
22 The Chronicle April 10 - 16, 2018 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca Campus Buddhist nun de-stresses students Tracy Wright The Chronicle “The awareness of mindfulness is growing,” says Heather Bickle, health promotions coordinator at Durham College (DC). Mindfulness, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is the practice of monitoring a non-judgemental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thought emotion or experiences on a moment to moment basis. Mindfulness often involves meditation. The term mindfulness is a translation of sati, which is a Buddhist tradition. It is said that mindfulness can be practiced without Buddhism, but Buddhism cannot be practiced without mindfulness. Mindful meditation is believed to help with stress, distractions and physical and mental health problems. Some companies, like Google, are using this ancient Buddhist practice to improve leadership and collaboration. Anyone can have the option of taking the time wherever they might be to be one with themselves and meditate. There has been a growth in the experience of mindfulness, with the use of apps like Headspace, Mindfulness and Buddhify. Arguably, the reason for the increased interest in mindfulness is the recent ability to track the way meditation affects the brain. To honour the Buddhist roots Conner McTague The Chronicle Flying can be hard for people. For some, it’s the fear of crashing and dying. For others, it’s the fear of being 35,000 feet in the air. Although, according to statistics, odds and in-air incidents resulting in no loss of life, there’s no need to fear. There were zero fatalities globally on commercial passenger jets in 2017, according to a Dutch Aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network. This means 2017 was the safest year commercially in aviation history. This has lowered the world-wide fatal accident rate to 0.06 per million flights, or one fatal accident for every 16 million jet airline flights (jet or turbo fan engines). Though experiencing an accident in a plane is slightly higher, at about one in every 3 million. Although, in 2017 there were 10 fatal crashes which resulted in 78 deaths with turboprop (propeller aircraft) planes in 2017. The most recent numbers from Transport Canada about motor vehicle collision reports date back to 2015, which saw 1,858 fatalities. This means a sold out Air Canada Airbus A319 (120 seats) would have to crash every day for 15 days to of mindfulness an event was held at the Solace Centre at DC. The event was called, Mindfulness for Change and Transitions, with Gen Kelsang Suma who is a teacher and a Buddhist nun (the term used for a female monk) at Jampa Ling Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Barrie. There was a total of 30 participants in attendance, including those watching via the web. “Not as high as we would like but not bad for our first event in the space,” says Bickle. The Solace Centre officially opened in spring. Suma had practiced Buddhism for nine years before becoming a Buddhist nun. She has been an ordained Buddhist nun for 14 years. Buddhism is a religion of eastern and central Asia. The practice originated from the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama (also known as Buddha). His teaching says the true path to enlightment is by removing all of the attachments to the physical life. When Suma started to practice Buddhism, she was looking for a deeper meaning in life, as she had deeper questions about suffering in the world. “I was a young mom. I had a good job, but I felt something Photograph by Tracy Wright Gen Kelsang Suma, a Buddhist nun, gets ready to meet with students at the Solace Centre. equal the amount of vehicle fatalities in Canada per year. Air Canada is the country’s largest airline. It has not experienced a fatal accident since June 2, 1983 when a McDonell Douglas DC-9 (Air Canada Flight 797) from Dallas, TX to Toronto, Ont., had a fire in the bathroom, resulting in an emergency landing at Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky l Airport. A sudden influx of oxygen caused a flash fire, killing 23 of the 41 on board. The Airline’s most recent incident was on Mar. 29, 2015 when AC Flight 624 was attempting to land at Halifax Airport after arriving from Toronto. The plane was in a holding pattern due to a snow storm. On approach, the Airbus A320 hit the runway lights and power lines, knocking out power and communications at the airport. It then impacted the ground about 300 metres short of the runway, breaking off its landing gear in the process. The plane proceeded to slide down the runway and lose one of its engines. All 138 on board survived. Air Canada’s rival, and low-cost airline, WestJet, has never experienced a fatal accident in its 22 years. When looking at the odds of death from other means in life, air travel benefits the traveler. According to the University of California at Berkeley and Odys- was missing inside,” she said. By practicing Buddhism, she found the answer and meaning she was looking for. “By the time, I was ordained, nobody was surprised.” Once ordained Suma says there are lifestyle changes such as no sexual activity. Her partner at the time was Buddhist also, and they have two sons. He was very supportive and understanding. The role of a Buddhist nun is not just meditation. Suma also has prayer days and helps out at the centre in Barrie. “I am not a counselor, I but can advise on spiritual sey.com, there is a one in 13,000 chance of you being struck by Lightning, a one in 840,000 chance of drowning in your own bathtub, and a one in ten million chance of becoming president of the United States. Maybe someone’s fear isn’t of crashing but rather fearing they may be part of a 9/11 repeat. Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight.com, looked at the numbers from the Bureau of Transportation, finding there is one incident of terror for every 16,553,385 departures. You’re more likely to be eaten by a shark than experience an act of terror on a plane. What if an incident happens in the air where both engines stop working on the plane? It can still glide to a safe landing. Canada has one of the worlds most famous incidents of this. This is known as the “Gimli Glider.” On July, 23, 1983, Air Canada Flight 143, a Boeing 767, was en-route from Montreal to Edmonton when it ran out of fuel, losing hydraulic pressure and engines, due to both the grounds crew at Montreal Dorval Airport (now Pierre Trudeau International Airport) and the pilots forgetting Canada had switched to the metric system. A small air turbine was deployed, giving Captain Robert Pearson and First Officer Maurice Quintal enough control of the plane to glide it to a former Royal Canadian Air Force base in Gimli, Manitoba, where Quintal had trained. They attempted to land the plane with its back landing gear locked into place but the nose gear was not. Upon landing on runway 32L, which had become a racing track, the nose gear collapsed, two tires popped and the aircraft slid down the runway. The plane came to a stop just 100 feet from spectators. No lives practices,” she says. Like a minister, she tends to the sick or dying if they would like her help. She also does quite a lot of teaching on the different subjects of Buddhism and meditation. One of her students, Michael Dunn, has been practicing with Suma for the last three years. He practices at least twice a week. “Having a very knowledgeable teacher helps to build a deeper knowledge of experience. She has a great way of teaching and applying in 2018,” he says. He is married but his wife does not practice Buddhism. Dunn says this makes for great dinner conversation. Suma says we are all trying to be happy and free from sufferings, She explains the real source of true happiness is a mind of peace. “We have it backwards,” she says. “We look for happiness in people, in things, external attainment and we end up feeling a little bit hollow because we can’t find it.” Through meditation we can experience love, compassion and wisdom, says Suma who, as a nun, has made a promise to maintain a simple way of life with contentment. At the Mindfulness for Change and Transitions event Suma talked about living a life when you are happy and offered examples of mindfulness in formal meditation and daily life. Some students said they do not give time in their life to meditate and would like to have mindfulness in their lives. Bickle hopes students will allow themselves to enjoy the possibilities. Don't fear flying, odds are better a shark will eat you Plane soaring in the sky. Photograph courtesy of Air Canada Website were lost, as all 69 passengers and crew on board survived the 17 minute long ordeal. Pilots are highly trained, many have military flying experience and know what to do in crisis situations, airlines have safety regulations in place to reduce risks of crashes, as do federal governments. Statistics and odds are also on the passenger’s side. Air Travel is a feat many thought would never happen, but it’s now the worlds safest method of travel. No need to fear flying.
Campus chronicle.durhamcollege.ca April 10 - 16, 2018 The Chronicle 23 Love at first sight is not real The following piece is the opinion of the Durham College journalism student whose name and picture accompanies this column. It’s a Friday night. You and your friends decide to go to a house party. You spend hours trying to find the perfect outfit. You look up a makeup tutorial on YouTube or choose the right cologne to impress. When you arrive, you have a drink in your hand, trying to socialize with as many people as possible, until you turn your head slightly and see your ‘true love’ standing ‘across a crowded room’. Sure, the idea sounds sweet and romantic. You may believe you are in love with this person. But in reality, it’s just lust. Many people have heard of the Claudia Latino term ‘love at first sight’ and believe it. But most don’t hear ‘lust at first sight’. This is because people want to believe they are instantly in love with the person they first lay eyes on. According to a 2014 match.com survey, 50 per cent of single Canadians believe in love at first sight and 71 per cent experience it firsthand. You can’t love someone when you first see them. It doesn’t make sense. The moment of intense attraction between two people is not love. It’s lust. According to Dorothy Ratusny, a psychotherapist from Toronto, there are three signs a person shows and feels when they believe in true love. Depending on your partner for self-esteem. Not seeing a long-term future, and too many sacrifices. “Without even knowing it, some people get into relationships because they need that personal affirmation,” said Ratusny to Canadian Living magazine. If this is the way you feel about your ‘true love’ you may want to think twice. Two people in a relationship need to complement each other. Both should be happy with who they are before ‘sealing the deal’ as their one true love. If this is not the case, it’s lust taking over. Think about it, this person you ‘fell for’ right when you first saw him or her may not be the person you truly want to be with. You don’t know their name, age, where they’re from, and most importantly, their lifestyle. “The idea that two people can be in a relationship together suggest that they are highly compatible in belief systems, ways of thinking and behaving, common interests, etc.,” she said. Every person’s lifestyle is different. What if this true love of yours doesn’t want to move to the place you are committed to? What if this true love doesn’t believe in the same morals or have similar aspirations like you? If these things strongly matter to you and can’t get past them it’s lust. Not love. Sacrifices. Sacrifices. Sacrifices. The word that can make or break a relationship. According to Ratusny, making too many sacrifices for your partner to stay with you is not a healthy attachment. There has to be compromise in a loving relationship. Compromise is a healthy negotiation between two people. How can you love someone who never wants to make you happy? This is not reasonable and finding this out after you confirmed you ‘love’ the person without getting to know them first is a sign that clearly you are just attracted to the wrong person. So, when you see that really cute guy or girl standing across the room, don’t assume you are in love. Get to know them first. This will save you time from heartbreak later. A painting called Study in Death Nicole Fleming and Cali Maldonado second year advanced fine arts student pose beside their painting in the C-Wing. Photograph by Cassidy McMullen Writer's Circle authors give back to the community Michael Bromby The Chronicle It began with a small breakfast discussion and has since evolved into an internationally known club. In the mid-1990s, Marjorie Green was a local author who wanted the community to have a club to write and be accepted. She met with other like-minded people over breakfast in Whitby. They discussed the types of books they were writing and how they could be successful. Together they created the organization Writer’s Circle of Durham Region. She put an ad in the paper with the hopes of attracting at least 10 people, but instead got 65Since the club began, it has exceeded those expectations by becoming known as far away as New York City, and now authors are giving back to the community. Jenny Madore is the current president of the WCDR and she has helped expand the brand under a slightly different name, the Writer’s Community of Durham Region. Madore has spent her life writing and is now a full-time author. She has published five books but her favourite is her most recent, Blaze Ignites. Madore has been a member of the club for seven years and was encouraged to join by a friend. Madore has created Bookapalooza, an annual event where the public can get to know local authors. The club has also started a local pitch program where agents and editors look at author’s books to provide them feedback within the week. “In the industry, if you answered a query, it takes three to six months to hear back, but our pitch programs are going directly to the source, our people get a response within the week,” says Madore. “It’s a wonderful thing for authors because they can use it as a launching board.”Madore says there are changes coming to the club this year, such as interactive breakfast meetings with guest speakers and changing the date of Bookapalooza from November to May. “We’ve always had it in the winter but it’s very cold and it’s terrible to put out the signs,” she says. The organization also travels throughout Durham Region to hostels and women’s shelters to teach about journaling, and works with schools to help children write and express themselves. “Human beings, on a whole, are storytelling people if they get the opportunity to tell their stories. It’s a healthy environment,” says Madore.Throughout the year, the organization has many guest speakers and mentors. Many of the authors brought in to speak are New York Times bestsellers and biography writers for famous celebrities. All these authors have lived in Durham Region and some still do. Susanna Kiersley, Barbara Kyle and Christopher Heard are all authors who have visited. “We try to promote our members and the community to let them know that they’ve got USA Today and New York Times bestsellers right here in Durham Region,” says Madore.She says the writing group is the most established writing organization in Canada because of the quality of writing and the support it receives internationally. “I’ve spoken to people from New York City, agents and editors from all over the world, and they can’t believe we have 300 members of working developing writers right here,” says Madore. Ruth Walker is a former president with WCDR and a fulltime writer. She wrote her first short story and submitted it into a contest held by the Canadian Living magazine. Her story won the contest and was published in the magazine. Walker remembers speaking to Green and thinking she had to be a published writer to join. “I was welcomed into the writer’s community, as I would have been had I not yet been published,” Walkers says. “That’s what has created such a great organization, the fact that they are open to writers at all levels and all genres.” Walker says one of the best things about being part of this organization is hearing other writers say they have published their first book or signed with an agent. “Those are the moments where the hair stands up,” she says. Walker has written many books since being a part of the community club, and she is currently volunteering with the group. “WCDR is the home of my writer’s heart,” says Walker. In future, WCDR plans to continue working with women’s shelters in Durham Region and providing an open space to new writers.