Prem and Sandhay Jain Interdisciplinary Conference on Nonviolence

Ahimsa and Sustainable Happiness Conference
Concurrent Workshops: Sunday November 4: 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Cal Poly Pomona, Bronco Student Center


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Conference attendees will have a choice of participating in one of the following concurrent workshops. Participation in a workshop is included with conference registration. All workshops will take place on Sunday, November 4 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in Bronco Student Center (BSC). Space is limited to 25-30 attendees in each of the following workshops. When you register for the conference, please make sure you also register for a choice of your workshop at the same time.

If you are not registering in the conference but wish to attend one of the workshops, please inquire about the space by sending an email to

Teaching About Happiness and Well-Being (BSC, England Evans Room)
In this workshop
Professor McMahon will discuss strategies for teaching students in the humanities and social sciences about happiness and human well-being. The approach is interdisciplinary, and the workshop will provide a sample syllabus, analyze a brief primary text, and offer insight into some of the ways that the subject of happiness can introduce students to a diverse and compelling array of issues of great personal and social relevance.

This workshop is particularly relevant for College faculty and K-12 Educators.

Please read the following brief readings in advance of the workshop:

1. Herodotus: Two short excerpts: (1) Opening five paragraphs. (2) the story of the encounter of King Croesus with Solon: Begining with the words “When all these conquests had been added to the Lydian empire” and go through the next six paragraphs until the words, “but bade men always wait and mark the end.”

2. Teaching About Happiness is No Joke, pp. 171-172.

is the Ben Weider Professor of History at Florida State University. Educated at the University of California, Berkeley and Yale, McMahon is the author Happiness: A History (2006), which has been translated into thirteen languages, and was awarded Best Books of the Year honors for 2006 by the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Library Journal, and Slate Magazine. His books include Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (2001). Currently he is completing a history of the idea of genius in Western thought (forthcoming 2013), and co-editing with Samuel Moyn, Rethinking European Intellectual History: New Perspectives and Appraisals (forthcoming, 2013). Professor McMahon writes frequently in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times.


Sustainable Happiness for Teachers and Students (BSC, Orion Suite)
While some educators may contend that it isn’t our job to teach happiness, efforts to teach sustainability are being thwarted by ubiquitous media messages that associate happiness with material consumption. This is compounded by the fact that many students are spending more hours on the three screens (smart phone, computer and television) than they are in school.

There’s a concept that is bucking the commercial trend: sustainable happiness. It integrates sustainability with happiness to demonstrate that our happiness is interconnected with other people, other species and the natural environment.

In this interactive workshop Dr. O'Brien willl provide practical information and activities to introduce educators to sustainable happiness and its applications, both personally and professionally. The workshop will focus on developing happiness literacy and enable workshop participants to determine their happiness footprint. Teachers and Students will explore ways to enhance their own happiness and well-being while investigating how to contribute to the well-being of other people and the natural environment.

This workshop is particularly relevant for K-12 Educators, College Faculty and Students.

Reading in advance of the Workshop
Recommended Resource for Educators

CATHERINE O'BRIEN is Associate Professor of Education at the Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia (Canada) where she developed the first university course in the world on sustainable happiness based on the groundbreaking concept of sustainable happiness she created! Her research explores how sustainability and happiness studies can contribute to a more sustainable future. She co-developed a course on leadership, happiness, sustainability and health for UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health Management. She is currently involved in a pan-Canadian project that involves the development of education resources linking sustainable happiness with health education. Working with US and Canadian colleagues she co-developed an online course on sustainable happiness for the general public. For her Publications


Gandhi on Wealth, Poverty, and the Quest for Happiness (BSC:Andromeda Suite)
According to Gandhi human happiness has four component parts: political, economic, ethical and spiritual. True happiness consists in the harmony between these four.

In this seminar, Professor Parel will discuss with the participants Gandhi's views on wealth and poverty and human quest for happiness. He will examine their connections with economic and moral development.

Finally, the seminar will also focus on the relevance of this discussion to our world today.

Short Reading in Advance of the Seminar

This seminar is open to all including academic and the larger community.

ANTHONY PAREL, a political philosopher, is among the world’s leading scholars on Gandhi. For nearly four decades he was professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary, Canada. Born in Kerala, India, and educated there and the U.S., he received his Ph. D. in Political Science from Harvard University.

His major books include Gandhi's Philosophy and the Quest for Harmony, (Cambridge University Press, 2006); Gandhi, Freedom and Self-Rule, ed., (Lexington Books, 2000); Gandhi: Hind Swaraj and Other Writings," ed., (Cambridge University Press, 1997; revised centenary edition, 2009); The Machiavellian Cosmos, (Yale University Press, 1992); and Comparative Political Philosophy, ed. with R. C. Keith, (2 nd edition, Lexington Books, 2003)


The Power of Meditation (BSC, Ursa Minor) What is meditation? How it is connected to ahimsa? And how can it contribute to sustainable happiness?

In this workshop Dr. Sharma will examine these questions and suggest ways in which meditation can be used to enhance our lives in all areas. He will discuss how meditation works on our state of consciousness and influences the very basis of our experiences in daily life. It develops mental clarity, emotional stability, inner peace, a feeling of connectedness and a positive attitude. In addition it creates resilience to stress.

The workshop will demonstrate a combination of meditation, breathing techniques and life skills for creating an enduring level of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Participants will also get to practice a brief guided meditation.

This workshop is open to all including academic and the larger community.

Read Introduction, From Here to Happiness, pp. 1-6.

is the co-director of East-West School of Integrative Healing Arts in North Liberty, Iowa where he teaches life skills and meditation. Dr. Sharma is the author of a book, From Here to Happiness, which was serialized into twenty television episodes in the UK.

He spent his formative years at a residential school in India founded on spiritual principles, where meditation was a part of everyday life. He then studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, and subsequently completed his B.Sc. from the University of Durham, and Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Dr. Sharma has a deep compassion for humanity. Life has brought him into contact with a wide range of cultures, experiences and challenges. His calling is to guide people, individually and collectively, to live life from a place of inner strength and peace.