Paul Wong

Middle Seat – Common Niceties and Meaning Moments – Bound to Others

Middle Seat – Common Niceties and Meaning Moments – Bound to Others

It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

Given that we live in a world fast forwarding to human disengagement, it is important for me to make eye-contact, respond to, engage with and generally interact in a meaningful way. If we view each being as a whole person who matters, then it is contingent on us, to acknowledge this in our interactions with others. If we do not see ourselves as bounded beings, but rather as interconnected beings, then we would more likely approach others in a way that honours their human dignity. If we think of ourselves as beings in dialogue, then we will seek, uncover and encourage dialogue with others. Let’s hone our common niceties.

Each moment has a meaning potential. To discover this potential, we need to really be in the moment.

“This emphasis on being attuned to meaning potential is similar to my emphasis on mindful awareness (e.g., Wong 2012b) and the current popularity of mindfulness in positive psychology (e.g., Kashdan & Ciarrochi, 2013). This hypothesis predicts that the more meaningful moments we have experienced, the greater the level of perceived meaningfulness and life-satisfaction.” ~ Paul Wong

So let’s pay attention to one another, let’s really listen, let’s really engage. Deeper life-satisfaction awaits!

Here is one of my favourite quotes from Cloud Atlas ~ Sonmi 451


“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present.”


Read my earlier post Break the Silence.



Kashdan, T. B., & Ciarrochi, J. (2013). Mindfulness, acceptance, and positive psychology: The seven foundations of well-being. Oakland, CA: Context Press.

Wong, P. T. P. (2012b). From logotherapy to meaning-centered counseling and therapy. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 619-647). New York, NY: Routledge.

Image from WeHeartIt


Long Exposure – Epiphanies and Meaning Unfolding – Lived Experience

Long Exposure – Epiphanies and Meaning Unfolding – Lived Experience

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?

ambs 3

My daughter Amber. I had a call from her this morning. She talked about the incredible challenges she experienced in B. She is one of the organisers of a debating tournament. She explained how she really felt a deep spiritual understanding of how the world works. How she got through immense problems while feeling she was: “just able to keep standing in her skin”. She talked about how she was challenged as an individual to the very boundary of her being, her exhaustion, pushing through and becoming far beyond what she thought was possible. She learnt what she is capable of as a human being, while actualising the following Franklinian values and sources of meaning, achieving a self-transcendence: the creative value, doing something in the service of others – “we experience meaning only when we make use of our gifts and fulfill our unique calling in contributing to society” ~ Paul Wong. Goals or projects that are future oriented; experiential value, relating to other people, life and nature with openness and appreciation, strengthening herself, others and her personal relationship. Finding meaning through love and loved ones; attitudinal value, which applies to finding meaning in times of suffering – in helping others and becoming what she had to become when confronted with very difficult circumstances, including helping someone who was seriously ill – transforming suffering, revising life goals, positive meaning and lessons, spirituality ~ Paul Wong.

In Amber’s own words:

“…i love you all, and i am proud of you all, and i can’t wait to work to move forward with this as the foundation that has spread so strongly among us through the toughest of circumstances.

you have changed how i view debate, and the world, and myself, and i cannot thank you enough…”

She is very blessed to have had this opportunity to really work on a deep level in her experiences in this situation, which when confronted with it, she became for others. How extraordinary to have had this opportunity to really extend herself. I am deeply happy for her, to have had these challenges so young and to learn so much about herself. She talked about how the spiritual teachings she has been exposed to at a young age, (Buddhist teachings from Geshela’s and teaching in India when she was 13), had given her a kind of inner bedrock of strength to work from. I wept when I realised that the teachings I have exposed her to, have had a profound impact on her life, in ways neither she nor I could have expected. I am grateful to all my precious teachers, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for enabling me to be a vehicle to bring the Dharma, (dharma is the universal truth common to all individuals at all times, and it is regarded as one of the primary sources of Buddhist doctrine and practice), to my daughter, who has brought it to her partner, through lived and challenging experiences. She was protected.

Image courtesy of Carol Knox.

Let’s Be Present – The Five Components of Mindful Presence ~ Paul Wong


According to Paul Wong, there are five components of mindful presence: “openness, compassion, empathy, acceptance and non-judgement.” He also emphasises the importance of the self-regulation skill of mindful awareness.
From Wong in: From Logotherapy to Meaning-Centered Counseling and Therapy.

Header Image purchased at Creative Market – Huge Nature Photo Set. One license only. View cool stuff to buy.