On 1 July 2017, Nalanda Institute Malaysia had the honour of conferring the ‘2017 NALANDA AWARD FOR SOCIAL ACTION & RESPONSIBILITY’ to Dr. Phang Cheng Kar – a consultant psychiatrist and mindfulness-based therapist who created MINDFULGym, the first structured and scientifically-supported mindfulness-based programme for stress reduction and wellness in Malaysia.
Dr. Phang’s MINDFULGym programme is supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Health, with research carried out by local universities. Dr. Phang is also the founding President of Kuala Lumpur Buddhist Mental Health Association, and the Association for Mindfulness Practice & Research.
Many people have benefitted from the talks and workshops related to mindfulness and mental health conducted by Dr. Phang over the past 15 years, most of which were offered free to the community. His books and compact discs such as “I’m Still Human: Understanding Depression with Kindness”, “NOW: Who wants to learn MINDFULGym? – 12 Mindful tools for stress reduction & wellness”, and “Should a person with mental illness meditate?” have created more awareness and helped to reduce the stigma on people with mental illness. This resulted in more people with mental problems coming forward to receive treatment. With his medical and psychiatric background, Dr. Phang has been able to skillfully guide Buddhists with mental problems in their meditation practice, too.
The Buddhist community salutes the contributions of Dr. Phang Cheng Kar, and also rejoice over his efforts in bringing wellness and happiness to society. May he and his family be blessed with good health and energy to continue with this noble mission. Sādhu ānumodanā!