A. Preface

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
Om Swastiastu
Namo Buddhaya
Greetings of Virtue
Peace be upon us all

First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude for the refuge bestowed by the Triple Gem, which has enabled the successful organisation of the Vesak Festival 2024.  The Vesak Festival is an event celebrating the sacred day of Vesak, held in a public venue with the aim of introducing universal Buddhist values to the general public. This event is organised under the aegis of the Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia (YBAI), a vibrant community of Buddhist youths dedicated to spreading the Buddha Dhamma to all groups of people with no discrimination of ethnicity, religion, race, or social status.

Vesak Festival 2024 raised the theme of Mindful Leadership for Better Society, with a commitment to support and develop mindful leadership towards all aspects of life—physical, emotional, environmental, as well as social. This enables leaders to set directions and make policies that improve and develop the environment. Vesak Festival 2024 brings the spirit of Mindful Leadership for Better Society through dioramas and cross-cultural creative art performances, portraying realistic manifestations of leadership in various contexts. There are dioramas depicting the birth of the future Buddha emerging from a lotus from the Chinese tradition, a scene where the Buddha personally tends to ailing monks—illustrated with movable figures from various traditions, as well as a diorama of the Buddha’s Parinibbana and lanterns symbolising hope. In addition, Vesak Festival 2024 also invites visitors to experience the art of a leader who is mindful and is able to guide their members through a series of cultural activities such as East Javanese karawitan, enggang bird dances, potehi puppetry, bian lian attractions, musical performances, lion dances, and many others.

Finally, on behalf of the entire Vesak Festival 2024 committee, we hope that the spirit of Mindful Leadership for Better Society will contribute positively to the community, fostering traits of mindful leadership that brings positive impacts within society.

Bhavatu Sabba Maṅgalaṁ

Anthony Orodiputro
Chief Executive of Vesak Festival 2024

B. Trisuci Waisak


Vesak originates from the Sanskrit word “Vaiśākha” and the Pali word “Vesākha“, which are the names of the fourth month of the Indian calendar. The sacred day of Vesak is also known as “Buddha Purnima“, “Buddha Jayanti” and “Sagadawa Duchen“. It falls on the fifteenth day of the fourth month according to the Buddhist calendar, marking the three great events commemorated on that day, namely the Birth of Prince Siddhārtha, the Achievement of Perfect Enlightenment of Ascetic Gautama, and the Death of Gautama Buddha.

(Tricycle & Karma Kagyu Calendar)

C. Young Buddhist Association Indonesia (YBAI)

Young Buddhist Association Indonesia (YBAI) is a Buddhist organisation specifically focused on the development of young Buddhists in Indonesia. With a commitment to the mission of spreading the Buddha’s teachings based on compassion and virtue, the goal is to enable young people to grow and develop well according to Buddhist teachings in overcoming all the problems and obstacles of worldly life.

YBAI will continue to grow to be involved in the development of Buddhism in Indonesia, propagating Dharma teachings to young people and providing leadership training facilities and infrastructure for young Indonesian Buddhists. With these strong foundations, Buddhism in the archipelago can provide significant development for the lives of both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. YBAI will gradually expand Buddhism in Indonesia using modern methods that are acceptable by all elements of society.

D. Vesak Festival 2024

In commemoration of Vesak Day, we Buddhist youths of the Young Buddhist Association of Indonesia (YBAI), wish to celebrate it in the form of events such as exhibitions and art performances, collectively known as the Vesak Festival. This event is a celebration and appreciation of the Buddha Dharma, which is held annually on the day of Vesak to introduce Buddhism to the general populace, including both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, in public areas with a mission to introduce and bring the practical benefits of Buddhism to society through the universal values taught by the Buddha. These values are presented in an engaging and varied manner every year using educational dioramas with a language style that can be accepted by the general public.

In addition, there will be a variety of performers from monasteries across Surabaya and Jakarta areas and their surroundings, as well as external parties who will help enliven this event. Vesak Festival 2024 embraces the theme of Mindful Leadership for Better Society, which will integrate leadership values that are relevant and applicable into social life. Through the theme of this event, it is hoped that it will bring benefits for Indonesia to improve as a nation in 2024 for its civility and governance.

E. Vesak Contemplation

The first great event was the birth of Prince Siddhārtha in the Garden of Lumbini. He was a Sakyan prince, the beloved son of King Suddhōdana and Queen Mahāmāyā. Queen Mahāmāyā gave birth to the baby Prince Siddhārtha whilst standing between two sala trees. Shortly after his birth, Prince Siddhārtha did not cry but instead walked seven steps, with lotus flowers blooming along each of the steps he took.

At his adulthood, Prince Siddhārtha abandoned his palace life and became an ascetic. For six years, Gautama the Ascetic tortured himself in search of the ultimate path to complete cessation from the cycle of birth and death. However, these extreme actions of self-torture ultimately hindered his practice, which eventually led him to return to self-care. Gautama the Ascetic realised the need for the Middle Way. Through this Middle Way, the second great event occurred, Gautama the Ascetic became Buddha at Bodhgaya.

For 45 years, mindful of the importance of the Dharma (the teachings of truth) for all beings, the Buddha wandered and taught the Dharma so that everyone, all beings in the world, could attain happiness. The Buddha said, “All conditioned things are impermanent,” and so is his physical body. The Buddha delivered his final sermon, and so the third great event occurred, the parinibbāna of the Buddha in Kusinara.

Therefore, this moment conditions Buddhists to reflect on and celebrate the Trisuci Vesak day as a reminder of His teachings, the teachings that can bring wisdom and happiness in life.

II. Leadership according to the Suttas

Leaders need to be open and possess strong character traits to make wise decisions. The problems we see around us are not insurmountable, but they require a different form of leadership. As practitioners of Buddhism, we can find more ways to truly live in the moment, and we also tend to discover more and different ways to influence the lives of others.

Buddhism advocates, as seen in the Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda Sutta and is complemented by the value outlined in the Dhammaññūsutta, that leadership has seven characteristics, namely:

  1. Atthaññū (ability to discern good and bad)
  2. Mattaññū (knowing the limits of punishment, etc.)
  3. Parisaññū (knowing one’s assembly; what kind of people they are)
  4. Dhammaññū (knowing the truth)
  5. Kalaññū (knowing the right time for tasks like adjucation, leisure, and travel)
  6. Attaññū (knowing one’s own qualities; such as one’s level of confidence, ethics, learning, generosity, wisdom, and eloquence)
  7. Puggalaparoparaññū (knowing strengths and weaknesses)

A leader, according to Buddhism, must have high moral integrity. This is especially so under a monarchy system where a king often has significant centralized power that could be misused by an unscrupulous monarch. To prevent such abuse, Buddhism proposes that they train themselves in the 10 principles called Dasa Rājādhamma namely:

  1. Dāna (generosity),
  2. Śīla (morality),
  3. Pariccāga (altruism),
  4. Ajjava (honesty),
  5. Maddava (gentleness),
  6. Tapo (self-control),
  7. Akkodha (non-anger),
  8. Avihimsā (non-violence),
  9. Khanti (patience), and
  10. Avirodhana (uprightness)

In the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddha elaborates that taking refuge in the Sangha means that one should regard the Sangha as a well-managed and harmonious community for all beings by means of:

  • Equality in Dharma
  • Decentralized Leadership
  • Mutual Support and Responsibility
  • Mutual Respect and Harmony
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Democratic Governance

In the Parabhava Sutta, the Buddha also describes factors leading to a leader’s downfall, including:

  • Hating the Dharma
  • Enjoying the company of wicked people
  • Likes to sleep, talkative, slow, lazy, and easily angered
  • Failing to supporting their elderly and weak parents despite having wealth
  • Deceiving others by posing as a priest, monk, or other spiritual teacher
  • Enjoying abundant wealth, assets, and fortune alone
  • Being arrogant due to lineage, wealth, or environment, and looks down on friends and relatives
  • Indulging in women, drinking, gambling, and squandering what one has gained
  • Being dissatisfied with one’s own wife and indulge in prostitutes or other anothers’ wives
  • Marrying a young person after one has outlived their youth, and is constantly jealous
  • Trusting and giving power to a woman who drinks and squanders money, or to a man who behaves similarly
  • Having fiery ambition but lacking the means, who seeks power or wants to dominate over others

Therefore, in addition to maintaining personal quality, leaders must also have high self-awareness. This awareness is essential to recognize and correct one’s own shortcomings, as well as to continuously hone one’s ability to lead wisely and fairly. In our daily lives, we all are leaders in some capacity, be it a mother leading her children, someone leading a team at work, or even leading oneself. Thus, it is very important to always practise self-awareness, being mindful in every action and decision we take.

III. Leadership Stories and Expounding of Leadership Qualities

King Ashoka was a renowned leader of the Mauryan Empire in ancient India. He ruled from 268 to 232 BCE and has left a lasting influence through his policies of peace, religious tolerance, and social welfare. King Ashoka is respected by the people of ancient India for several admirable leadership characteristics that we can all learn from. The first is ethical leadership and moral responsibility. Ashoka adhered to principles of ethical leadership and recognized the moral responsibility of a leader towards the well-being of the people. He ruled justly, with compassion, and promoted the welfare of his people. The last is Ashoka’s mindfulness, which can be seen in his transformation and self-reflection. His change from a ruthless conqueror to a compassionate ruler demonstrates the power of self-reflection and the willingness to change. He acknowledged his past mistakes and used his new perspective to atone for them and drive positive change by leading in accordance with the Dasa Rājādhamma.

Xuanzang, often colloquially referred to as Tông Sam-tsōng was a 7th-century Chinese Buddhist monk renowned for his profound commitment to truth and learning. Despite political turmoil and a ban on travel abroad, he embarked on an extraordinary 17-year journey to India to obtain authentic Buddhist texts. Throughout his pilgrimage, Xuanzang faced numerous challenges, including harsh climates, treacherous deserts, and threats from bandits, yet his unwavering dedication and mindful approach enabled him to overcome these obstacles. Returning with over 657 Sanskrit texts, he meticulously translated them to address discrepancies and incomplete translations in China, significantly enriching Chinese Buddhism. His travelogue, the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, offers invaluable insights into 7th-century Central Asia and India, reflecting his careful observation and deep cultural respect. This record remains valuable to this day, providing historians, scholars, and Buddhists with detailed accounts of the regions’ geography, culture, and religious practices at the time. Upon his return, Xuanzang was offered a high civil position, which he refused. Instead, he focused on translating and teaching, exemplifying selfless service and humility. His journey and scholarly contributions have left an enduring legacy, inspiring generations to pursue knowledge and spiritual wisdom with resilience and integrity.

Bodhidharma, also known as Dámózǔshī in China and Daruma in Japan, was a 5th-century Buddhist monk credited with transmitting Chan (Zen) Buddhism to China, becoming its first Chinese patriarch. Renowned for his unwavering dedication to the principles of meditation, Bodhidharma’s practice emphasized deep mindfulness and the cultivation of present-moment awareness. He faced numerous challenges, including the skepticism of Emperor Wu of Liang and the physical austerity of nine years of wall-gazing at Shaolin Monastery. Despite these trials, his profound commitment to spiritual discipline and his innovative teachings on the “Two Entrances and Four Practices” laid the foundation for Zen Buddhism. His emphasis on direct experience and self-realization through mindful meditation practices has had a lasting impact on the Zen tradition, influencing martial arts and the cultural landscape across East Asia. Bodhidharma’s journey and teachings exemplify mindful leadership, resilience, and the courage to adopt unconventional approaches in the pursuit of wisdom.

IV. Practicing Mindful Leadership in Daily Life

A. Mindful Leadership Practice

Mindfulness, often referred to as “sati” in Pali, is a central concept in Buddhist practice, meaning “attention” or “awareness.” It refers to the ability to be fully present and aware of the current moment, with full consciousness and without prejudice. Often overlooked, a mindful attitude plays a significant role in shaping our character. As Buddha expressed in the Nagaropamasutta:

“With mindfulness as his gatekeeper,

the noble disciple abandons the unwholesome

and develops the wholesome,

abandons what is blameworthy

and develops what is blameless,

and maintains himself in purity.”

(Nagaropamasutta, AN 7.67)

This concept is extremely relevant to the evolution of leadership in our fast-paced and high-pressure modern world. Traditional leadership often focuses on authority, assertiveness, and a fixation on results. In contrast, Mindful Leadership introduces a new approach that emphasises the importance of awareness, patience, and compassion. This aligns with the principles taught in the Nagaropamasutta, where a mindful leader chooses to develop beneficial qualities—such as empathy, self-awareness, and compassion—while abandoning practices that are blameworthy and unproductive.

The application of mindful leadership emphasizes the practice of mindfulness in the leadership process. This refers to the awareness of one’s own thoughts, emotions, and actions, as well as a concern for the needs and well-being of others. Mindful leadership is characterized by several features:

  1. Self-Awareness: A mindful leader is highly aware of their internal state and external environment. They practice self-introspection to understand their motivations, biases, and the impact they have on others. This self-awareness enables them to lead wholeheartedly and confidently.
  2. Presence: Mindful leaders are fully present in their interactions. They actively listen with full attention and engage genuinely, fostering respect and trust. This presence allows mindful leaders to build strong relationships with those around them.
  3. Compassion and Empathy: Mindful leaders prioritise empathy and compassion, understanding that leadership is about people, and not just results. They recognize the value in each team member and strive to understand diverse perspectives.
  4. Flexibility: The practice of mindfulness helps mindful leaders adapt better to changing circumstances and challenges. They keep an open mind, responding to situations with calmness and clarity.
  5. Patience: An essential aspect of mindful leadership is patience, which enables leaders to respond wisely rather than react impulsively. Practicing patience cultivates a culture of understanding and tolerance, where decisions are made with consideration and care.

In a world often plagued by stress and ceaseless demands, mindful leadership offers an approach to life in tranquility and clarity, transforming our responses to the pressures we encounter in life.

B. Mindful Leadership in the Workplace

As mindful leaders in the workplace, we often find ourselves entangled in voices that reinforce our own opinions and beliefs. This phenomenon, known in the Buddhist philosophy as Ditthi upādāna or attachment to views, frequently initiates conflicts and disharmony at work.

As leaders who are mindful, it is important for us to acknowledge that wisdom does not solely come from voices aligning with our views. Mindful leadership encourages us to be open to all voices, including those that differ or conflict with our own. This approach is not about winning or losing arguments but about understanding that each perspective holds a part of the truth that we all can learn from. This concept is akin to Majjhimāpaṭipadā or the Middle Way in Buddhist teachings, which avoids extremism in both acceptance and rejection.

“When you listen to someone, 

You should give up all your preconceived ideas and your subjective opinions; 

You should just listen to him, just observe what his way is.”

(Zen Master Suzuki Shunryū)

In practice, as leaders, we must actively listen not only to understand but also to reflect and weigh all perspectives. This requires mental clarity and a calm heart, which can be developed through meditation and mindfulness practice. When we can listen without prejudice, we open our minds for innovation and creative solutions that we would otherwise never consider.

Additionally, mindful leadership involves practicing empathy and patience. Recognizing that every individual has a unique background and experience shaping their views. By practising ‘compassionate listening’, we not only strengthen our teams but also foster a more harmonious and productive work environment.

C. Mindful Leadership in Education

In the context of education, we often find ourselves to be amidst a diversity of unique characters and backgrounds. These differences, while enriching, can often be sources of conflict. In such situations, finding the best way to resolve disputes becomes challenging, especially when conventional methods seem ineffective or even exacerbate the situation.

“Face it, Accept it, Deal with it, then Let it go.”

(Dharma Master Sheng Yen)

As mindful leaders, facing a situation means acknowledging and being aware of the differences and conflicts without denial or avoidance. Facing it is the first step towards understanding the core issues, not just their symptoms. With a non-defensive attitude, we open the path to constructive solutions.

Accepting requires us to acknowledge that differences are an inseparable part of diversity. Acceptance does not mean surrender but recognizing the reality that everyone has unique perspectives, experiences, and motivations. In education, this means respecting and valuing every voice, both from students and educators.

Dealing with it involves seeking solutions and middle ground where all parties can feel valued and their interests accommodated. This requires creative and collaborative thinking, exploring various alternatives and compromises to find the most fair and effective solution.

Letting go, according to Dharma Master Sheng Yen’s teachings, does not mean ignoring nor forgetting about the conflict. Instead, it means releasing ourselves from the attachment to negative emotions and prejudices that can hinder conflict resolution. It is not about giving up but about freeing ourselves from the mental burdens that can block objectivity and empathy..

In practice, this approach embodies the essence of mindful leadership in education. As mindful leaders, educators are invited to guide and set an example. Conversely, as students, this approach encourages active participation in collaborating to overcome challenges and conflicts, enabling them to not only enrich their knowledge but also to develop valuable life skills.

D. Mindful Leadership in Personal Life

A mindful leader in personal life recognizes that their behavior and perspective towards the world not only affect themselves but also those around them, especially their loved ones. A critical detail often overlooked is that all beings seek happiness. In family life, a mindful leader is deeply aware of this fact and understands that every action and decision taken must consider the happiness and well-being of all family members, not just their own.

“In a family, if there is one person who practices mindfulness,

The entire family will be more mindful. 

Because of the presence of one member who lives in mindfulness,

The entire family is reminded to live in mindfulness.”

(Thích Nhất Hạnh)

The principle of mindful leadership impacts significantly on our lives as parts of our family, especially in the role of a parent. Parents who practice mindfulness educate not only through words but more importantly through their daily actions and behavior. Children, who naturally observe and imitate their parents, will learn the importance of mental presence and emotional stability from the examples set by their father and mother. For instance, a father who shows patience and acceptance in facing difficulties or a mother who maintains calm in conflicts indirectly teaches their children how to manage their emotions and responses to various situations. This presence of mindfulness creates an environment conducive to the healthy emotional and psychological growth of each family member.

Developing mindfulness within our family can be achieved through various meditation practices. One such practice is metta bhāvanā, or loving-kindness meditation, which helps foster love and compassion among family members. Samatha bhāvanā, or calmness meditation, focuses on developing mental tranquillity and the ability to manage our thoughts. Vipassannā bhāvanā, or insight meditation, leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of life and attachment. These practices not only support individual well-being but also cultivate an attitude of mindful leadership in family life.

“Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques, 

But it all comes down

To this — just let it all be.”

(Ajahn Chah)

Regardless of the technique, through meditation, we can better understand ourselves and others, bringing positive impacts wherever we go. In every small change we make, significant changes will follow. Start with yourself, and witness how mindful leadership brings positive change around you.


A. Buddha Caring for a Sick Monk

This Vesak Festival features a Buddha statue caring for a sick monk, accompanied by five other monks from various Buddhist traditions, illustrating:

  • The Buddha, as a wise and mindful leader, provides direct examples and guidance towards liberation from suffering.
  • All traditions within Buddhism agree on upholding compassion and wisdom in daily life, with care for humanity and the environment.

The statue of Buddha caring for a sick monk is inspired by a story recorded in Dharmapāda 18. One day, The Buddha visited and met an old monk lying sick. The monk could not get up, which resulted in him being unable to take care of himself and his hygiene. The old monk looked pale and his body was covered in filth. Buddha asked 500 other monks to come and help, but due to the stench, the 500 monks did not dare to enter the old monk’s hut. With compassion, Buddha began to bathe the old monk. Seeing this, the 500 monks regretted their actions and then started helping Buddha clean the old monk’s hut. Buddha also said: “A Tathāgata who appears in this world does so undoubtedly for those who have no protection and need help. Someone who can take care of and fulfill the needs of a sick monk or an elderly will receive unparalleled blessings, and will achieve whatever they desire.” 

Buddha also explained in his teachings that someone who visits and cares for the sick is akin to visiting and caring for the Buddha himself. This act of visiting and caring is an extraordinary practice of dāna (generosity), and anyone who visits and cares for the sick will accumulate unparalleled good karma and receive blessings from the sacred ones.

In Buddhist teachings, all phenomena in the universe are interconnected, influencing and builds upon one another. Everything happens based on the law of dependent origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda). Caring for humanity and the environment will promote a truly harmonious livelihood, supporting and helping each other. True harmonious livelihood is guided by the spiritual emotions of Metta (loving-kindness) and Karuna (compassion) and the desire to give or help selflessly. Regarding this, the Buddha provided an analogy in  the chapter IV of the Dhammapada:

“Just as a bee takes nectar from a flower
Without harming its colour or fragrance;
So too should a wise person
Wander from one village to another.”

(Pupphavagga, Dhp 49)

Just as a bee benefits from the beauty of flowers to gather honey while also aiding the pollination process, treating the nature wisely will bring benefits to life without causing harm.

Therefore, let us save nature by maintaining its balance and contributing to its preservation through concrete actions. Reducing paper usage, conserving energy, and reforestation are things we should do. A green environment will bring peace to the human soul.

From the story of the Buddha caring for a sick monk, accompanied by five other monks from various Buddhist traditions, we can analogize Buddha as a doctor providing treatment, Dharma as the healing medicine, Sangha as the nurse offering support, and the sick monk as a representative of us all. By taking refuge and practicing the teachings of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, we are in the process of healing towards enlightenment, symbolised by becoming a Buddha (healed). This analogy highlights the importance of using Buddhist values as a guide to achieve well-being and spiritual growth in the practice of mindful leadership.

B.The Parinirvāṇa of the Buddha

In the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, the Buddha gave one of his final sermon:

Do not think that with my entering of Parinirvana, the true Dharma will be forever extinguished. The Śīla, Prātimokṣa, and all of the teachings I gave, these will be your teacher after my departure.

(Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, T 7)

The Buddha emphasized the importance of leading with mindfulness and profound wisdom.

  • Legacy of His Teachings:
    The Buddha did not focus solely on using personal power or authority. Instead, he taught and left behind the true teachings (Dharma) and disciplinary rules (Śīla, Pratimokṣa) as the foundation for society and his followers. This shows that true strength lies in knowledge and wisdom, not mere domination.
  • Continuity and Balance:
    Just as the 1945 Constitution and Pancasila serve as the foundation for Indonesia, the Buddha’s teachings provide a sustainable and balanced foundation for the Sangha (monastic community) and laypeople. The Buddha emphasized the importance of maintaining balance in various aspects of spiritual and social life.
  • Selfless Leadership:
    The Buddha set an example of leadership that was not centered on self-interest. He did not pass down power within his family or descendants, but instead established a system of teachings that could universally empower everyone. This reflects the principle of true leadership, where common interests and general welfare are the primary priorities.

Thus, the Buddha, as a Mindful Leader, asserted that meaningful and sustainable leadership is based on mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom aimed at empowerment and collective well-being. His message remains relevant, inspiring, and applicable for contemporary leaders to lead with integrity, wisdom, and profound responsibility.

C. Kelahiran Bodhisattva Siddhartha

Throughout heaven and earth,

I alone am honored.

The three realms are all suffering,

I shall find peace within it.” 

(Cāryanidāna Sūtra, T 184)

The birth of Bodhisattva Siddhartha, before becoming the Buddha, reflects a strong determination and extraordinary commitment to achieve his spiritual goal, which is the final birth as a Buddha. In this context, a mindful leader also needs strong determination to bring about positive change and lead with integrity.

In this diorama, there is also the ritual 浴佛 (Yù Fó), which translates to ‘Bathing the Buddha’, a ceremony held to celebrate the birth of Bodhisattva Siddhārtha by pouring water over the statue of Baby Siddhārtha. This ritual can be interpreted as an effort to purify oneself and improve personal qualities, akin to the journey of Bodhisattva Siddhartha transforming into the Buddha. A mindful leader constantly strives to grow and become better than before.

Thus, the journey of Bodhisattva Siddhartha towards enlightenment and the ritual of bathing the statue of Baby Siddhārtha can inspire concepts of mindful leadership, including commitment and determination, personal transformation, and awareness of the role of a leader who inspires and brings positive impact to others and the universe. While performing the ritual of bathing Baby Siddhārtha, let us emphasize strong determination and a continuous effort to always improve as a better leader and individual.

D. Buddha under the Protection of Mucalinda

This statue is inspired by the tale in Mucalindasutta. Once, the Blessed One was dwelling near Uruvelā, on the banks of the Nerañjarā River after attaining perfect enlightenment. A storm occurred with rain clouds, cold winds, and unsettled weather. Then, the Naga King Mucalinda wrapped his body around the Blessed One, standing with his hood spread over the Blessed One’s head to protect him from the cold and heat, from disturbing flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and creeping animals. When the sky cleared and the rain clouds dispersed, Mucalinda unraveled himself from the Blessed One’s body and took the form of a young brāhmaṇa, standing before the Blessed One with folded hands in reverence.

Then the Blessed One who had understood said:

There is happiness and detachment for the one who is satisfied,
who has heard the Dhamma, and who sees;

There is happiness for him who is free from ill-will in the world,
who is restrained towards beings;

The state of dispassion in the world is happiness,
the complete transcending of sense desires; 

But for he who has removed the conceit “I am”,
this is indeed the highest happiness.

(Mucalindasutta, Ud 2.1)

From this tale, we learn that qualities such as protection, concern for collective well-being, cooperation, non-attachment, and a collaborative spirit are core to mindful leadership. A mindful leader leads with integrity, empathy, and a broad vision to achieve true happiness and create positive change for society and the universe. This message inspires us to become more aware and responsible leaders in our journey of life and leadership.


Through every word we speak, every decision we make, mindfulness must be the foundation of all our actions. Empathy and kindness should be the underlying factor of our interactions.

Mindful leadership encourages us to live each moment with an open and sincere heart, leading by inspiring example. In doing so, we not only fulfill our life’s potential but also support those around us in their personal development.

In every word we speak,  mindfulness shall dwell,

With empathy and kindness, brimming in compassion.

A presence that ripples, a mind ever clear,Lead with a heart that’s open and sincere.

Start with small things: every small step we take, every little effort we make, they all do have meaning. Make every day a new opportunity to grow and develop ourselves. Do not let small failures halt our progress; instead, use them as valuable lessons that propels us forward.