The Legal Mind – A Dialogue For Lawyers at Innerspace Centre, Sydney

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Sydney, 18th Nov: BK InnerSpace Sydney hosted a programme called The Legal Mind, initiated by Chak Ogoti, a volunteer for BKA in legal matters for many years.  It was a dialogue on Wellness with the Honourable Michael Kirby, who served as Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009) and Charlie Hogg, National Coordinator, Brahma Kumaris Australia, moderated by Michael Harmer, Chairman of Harmer Workplace Lawyers, the most awarded legal firm in Australia.

Thanks to Michael Harmer tweeting to the Law Society of NSW, approximately 90 attended the event, half of whom were from the legal profession. Morni Chen, the Centre Manager welcomed everyone and then led everyone into a five minute meditation.  Michael Kirby was taken back to the ‘trance like’ experience he had at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters at Mt Abu in India, many years ago.

Michael Harmer shared statistics of the stress and depression experienced by lawyers, the highest of any professional group.  He set the scene by outlining the work scene of people from the legal profession – the exposure to extremely inhuman and unethical practices, workload pressure and the intricate details required which challenge the maintenance of the work/life balance. He spoke openly of his own depression and the introduction of a Wellness Centre within his office complex dedicated to the mental health of the staff.

Michael Kirby, in his candid way, also spoke of his own challenges ranging from the very personal experience of coming out as gay and his subsequent enduring relationship with his partner, Johan van Vloten, since 1969. However as former Chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry on DPRK (North Korea) and his passion for international arbitrations he sought answers from Charlie as to whether world peace in the present climate will be possible.

Charlie spoke of the need for us all to go beyond the labels of the body and to our inner essence where we find that we are beings of peace, love and power.  Personally and collectively we are being called on to draw on this inner strength.

Charlie and Michael both spoke about the importance of seeing the large picture and not getting trapped in the details as a way of rising above stress and worry.

Morni Chen ended the session with a reflection on the discussions and all were treated to a gourmet high tea created by yogi chefs, Raj Kotwal and Ajay Hodar and a team of volunteers.