So, every Friday I have an appointment with my host, Marc.
Marc told me today that I should be doing what I should be doing in Kyoto, for my topic. He said, what I have been doing so far is somewhat okay, but… he is sending me to his “laboratories”. I was getting nervous thinking about the lab because he teaches philosophy studies. What lab do philosophers do?
We discussed a little bit about the cultivation of human sensitivity and behavior towards nature and its element, for example, water, as to how important it is for me to collect information and to be touched by nature. Nature, he said, has deep relations to the culture which sets the paradigm to determining values and contentment in life.
Further, he said, that I am by myself here. No other responsibilities and hence he said that it would be a great opportunity for him to send me on assignments. He turned on his iMac and told me to jot down the names of his labs, for the assignments that he was about to give me.
Can you guess yet? He is sending me to all of the selected gardens in Kyoto, there were about 10 of them including the famous Philosopher’s Path. He even showed me photos of these amazing places to visit. I need to explore the feelings and the contemplation that transcends beyond nature. He asked me to embrace the beauty and have a feel about what surrounds me in those gardens. What is the state of mind of people who designed these places? The infrastructures and the lush, dense forest enveloping the city. Kyoto is the best place for environmental psychology and philosophy will help you understand this better, according to Marc.
I said I will try.
He said don’t try it. Don’t push it. He said that I must allow it. Allow it to happen… this is good to balance your science, by harmonizing with the environment. You need to relax a tiny bit and start to FEEL. Do a little bit of reflection, immerse yourself for some soul-exploration.
**My swimming coach once told me that I should relax a bit while swimming… hrmm…**
Then he said that I will see him next Friday and we will do reflections and conceptualize what I observed according to the concept of Hon Shin (pure mind/heart). Here he even asked for my notebook and scribbled the kanji down and carefully explained the meaning behind it. Before we ended the meeting he said welcome to our laboratories for Kyoto philosophers!
I left his office at 640pm feeling fresher than ever! Who would have thought that I would get an answer to a question I shared with a dear friend at the earliest morning today?
I think I have just been given the hardest assignment, to be able to feel and connect between the environment and human behavior. Gunther (2009) in his review on the environmental psychology of research reported that Hellpach (1911) was one of the first to use the term Psychologie der Umwelt (literally, the psychology of the world around, hence the environment), where he spoke of three elements; social, cultural and natural. Hence, the interest in a person-environment relationship is not new. Based on the experiential and behavioral environment of man (Kruse, 1974) I am not surprised now with the assignments from Marc. Gunther (2009) also defines subjective experiences as attitudes, or FEELINGS which are the objects of study of various fields of the social sciences which may be studied at different levels of complexity and insertions within individuals, groups, cultures, and nations. Marc mentioned the word FEEL several times noting the importance of finding the reciprocal relationship between the environment and social context i.e. individual i.e. me.
As a conclusion, I am grateful that I have the best teacher to support me in my quest for this special research topic.
Two days before my birthday.
Lots of love and shiny sparkles,
Hosted jointly by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA), the Malaysian Water Association (MWA) and International Water Association (IWA), The 7th IWA-ASPIRE Conference & Water Malaysia Exhibition 2017 is scheduled to be held from 11 – 14 February 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia.
Under the theme Breaking Boundaries – Developing a Better Water Future For Asia Pacific Regions, the conference & exhibition aims to provide a platform for groundbreaking discussion covering a range of water related topics, including current development and water management issues in the Asia Pacific Regions to strengthening the water sector, to overcoming the uphill challenges in sustainable water management and how to get it right for the coming decades. Be sure not to miss the extended deadline for abstract submission which is on 14 April 2017. Abstract(s) may be submitted via the IWA-ASPIRE website . For further information please email email@example.com
What is Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiative?
(Source: Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange, retrieved 17 February, 2017)
The Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiative is open to university faculty, foreign ministry and government officials, and professional staff of private sectors, think tanks and other NGOs in ASEAN Member States to travel to the United States for scholarly and professional research for three to four months on issues that are relevant to ASEAN and central to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship. Nominations will be accepted from all ASEAN Member States. It is anticipated that 10 qualified applicants will be selected, preferably representing all 10 Members States. Be sure to follow on Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange for further information on application deadlines.
Fulbright Visiting Scholars may apply to lecture and conduct research in fields that will support ASEAN initiatives such as supporting regional economic integration, expanding maritime cooperation, promoting opportunities for women, fostering green growth, and addressing transnational challenges (including human trafficking, climate change, sustainable fishing, wildlife trafficking, and countering violent extremism). These fields can include: Education, Environmental Sciences, Financial Market Integration, Food Technology, Information Sciences, Journalism, Law, Political Science, Public Administration, Public/Global Health, Statistics, Trade and Investment, Trade Facilitation, and TEFL & Applied Linguistics. These programs and topics should also be of interest and relevance to the nominating country and Commission.
Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar proposals should be carefully developed projects that will deepen the applicant’s understanding of one or more aspects of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship. While it is expected that the majority of time will be spent in research, grantees are also encouraged to expand and develop their network of professional contacts so that professional relationships established during the grantee’s time in the United States can be sustained after the formal grant period has ended. In addition, grantees will be expected to seek opportunities to provide an ASEAN perspective during their time in the United States through guest lectures, seminars, or participation in academic or professional conferences. All applicants are urged to explore possible affiliations with U.S. institutions, including universities, think tanks and research institutes, in advance of submitting their formal applications. Letters of invitation will enable program organizers to make the most suitable affiliations. Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN projects should coincide with traditional fall/spring semesters, starting in September and ending in December, or stating in January and ending in May.