Focus on Being &
A Half-Day Mindfulness Retreat & Half-Day Meet-Up
January 25, 2020
We were grateful that the snow cooperated so that everyone could attend the retreat we sponsored in a location outside of Ann Arbor. As educators, parents and school supporters, we felt the symbolic significance of being together in community at Southfield High School. Thanks to Paula Lightsey for arranging this space. Following our morning of quiet reflection, we also had a thoughtful, open and heartfelt dialogue on the relationship of mindfulness to racism stimulated by the afternoon presentation with Grace Helms Kotre. Be sure to check out her introduction on the topic of mindfulness and equity on our Facebook page where we captured this event live.
Coming Back to Ourselves
A Half-Day Mindfulness Retreat & Afternoon Meet-up October 19, 2019
We were delighted to see many new faces at our retreat alongside the host of regulars who return to nourish themselves through practice together in community. Included in our space this time were high school and college freshman students who had participated in the Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (IBME) week long retreat this past summer at Fetzer Institute. In front of 35 people, they were the first to offer reflections of the immense value of this extended practice for them. We continued to hear more about the IBME experience in our afternoon meetup. We were SO impressed by their articulation of the insights they discovered from participating in the IBME program.
A big thank you to Seti Caege, Grace Meinke and Isaac Mintz, for so generously sharing their time, heart and a slice of this life experience with us. We are inspired by their mindful awareness which we can only help make a better world for us all.
Teaching Mindfulness to Youth
A Two Day Summer Training Intensive
August 7 & 8, 2019
Our workshop closed at capacity with 40 teachers and professionals who came from across the state to participate in this workshop. After a few hours of grounded practice, participants explored the challenges and practical application of mindfulness that could be used cultivate attention, emotional regulation and compassion in pre-school, elementary, middle school and high school youth. Participants practiced scripted activities in small groups, with plenty of opportunity for feedback and discussion. Evaluations of the 2 day learning were outstanding. Stayed tuned for a repeat and expanded Institute in the summer of 2020.
Focus on Being
A Half-Day Mindfulness Retreat
& Afternoon Meet-up
February 9, 2019
The freezing cold did not deter thirty participants from traveling to Ann Arbor to engage in a morning of compassion and awareness practice facilitated by MC4ME trainers, Rita Benn and Kristin Ervin. Attendees came from as far as Utica to feel the deep sense of community and renewal.
In the afternoon Natalie Freeburn, a high school teacher in Saline shared the resources she used to developed a stress management elective which has mindfulness and the organizing themes from Learn to Breathe Curriculum as its basis. Natalie reported on her experience in implementing this course for the last three years and success she observed in her students. Check out the video-recording of this presentation on our facebook page.
Coming Back to Ourselves
A Half-Day Mindfulness Retreat
& Afternoon Meet-Up
November 10, 2018
MC4ME dedicated our retreat this morning to honor the victims of the massacre in Pittsburgh and shooting at Kroger’s in Louisville, and the passing of a beloved teacher in Ann Arbor, Martha Kimball who pioneered mindfulness meditation at the University of Michigan and in her own private practice almost 20 years ago. Along with 40 participants, we eased into the oasis of silence we found in ourselves through guided practice. We all felt gratitude to spend this time in community with each other. Our afternoon session focused on learning about an intensive one-month mindfulness –based curriculum that Anne Ward, a third grade classroom teacher in Ann Arbor, experienced. She graciously shared details of the Breathe for Change curriculum and how she is applying it in her classroom and larger school. We are so very lucky to have committed teachers, like Anne, who are growing and sharing mindfulness practices with their students.
Inner Kids On-Line Classroom Sequel to Mindful Games Workshop
December 2016-March 2017
In this online series, participants learned in community with Susan Kaiser Greenland during 4 monthly live, interactive group-based sessions.
CARING FOR YOURSELF:
A Mindfulness and
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
We were delighted to see our 2017 February retreat filled to capacity. We offered a range of mindfulness, gratitude and compassion practices to cultivate stillness and self-care. One participant who attended all three of our retreats remarked, "It was the best one yet."
Mindful Games Workshop For Professionals and Talk For Parents:
October 27 - 29, 2016
We were delighted to host Susan Kaiser Greenland where we learned about true and tested mindfulness practices to help reduce stress in our children and cultivate the essential life skills of attention (A), emotional balance (B) and compassion (C). The new "ABC"s! For more information about Susan, click here.
for Youth Struggling with
April 15-17, 2016
A diverse group of 19 professionals who work with adolescents attended the 3-day certification training with Sam Himelstein. It was a superb immersion into the 12-week program he developed.
For more about Sam Himelstein's work click here.
Focus on Being:
January 23, 2016
We had a lovely gathering to reflect and practice mindful meditation and movement with over 80 people present. We took the time to nourish our own practice among supportive community.
Kristin Neff, Ph.D.
Self-Compassion and Emotional Resilience
October 23-24, 2015
Over 200 participants attended this workshop on ways to treat ourselves kindly, ike we would a good friend we care about. Rather than continually judging and criticizing ourselves, self-compassion involves generating kindness toward ourselves as imperfect human beings. We learned tools for responding in a kind, compassionate way whenever we are experiencing painful emotions. For more information about Kristin Neff's work click here.
Cynthia Canty talks about Mindfulness in Education
Our own board member and co-founder, Dr. Rita Benn, was interviewed recently on a program that aired on October 12, 2015. If you missed it, you can hear it now: click here for the link. Rita, and 3rd and 4th grade teacher, Carl Clark, spoke about the impact of bringing mindfulness into the classroom. Congratulations to Rita and Carl for spreading the word across the state.
Community Book Discussion at Crazy Wisdom
Self-compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff, Ph.D.
August 21, 2015 at Crazy Wisdom Tea Room, Ann Arbor, MI
A community discussion of Kristin Neff's engaging book about how to heal self-criticism and destructive emotional patterns through practices of self-compassion. The feelings of security, self-worth and resilience that come from self-compassion lead to a healthier, happier and more effective approach to life than riding the ups and downs when self-esteem hinges on meeting certain standards.
Present Moment Retreat
November 15, 2014
Over 50 people gathered at our restorative retreat to “Re-Discover the Present Moment” at Rackham Assembly Hall. We enjoyed a variety of mindfulness activities include meditation, yoga, walking meditation, and loving-kindness. Rita Benn, PhD gave a presentation summarizing the latest published findings related to mindfulness in school communities. What a wonderful way to refresh ourselves and connect with each other.
Room to Breathe Film Showing,
April 24, 2014
In April we held our first public event, a film showing of the documentary, "Room to Breathe" in Rackham Amphitheatre on the University of Michigan campus. The film is a moving story of the transformation of struggling students in a San Francisco middle school when mindfulness practice is introduced. It shows how even the most difficult classrooms can be positively affected with patience, teaching skill and partnership with school staff. It was heartening to see the groundswell of community support for this work with almost 200 people in attendance. We were moved and inspired by the film and had a wonderful panel discussion about bringing mindfulness into the classroom.
Trisha Broderick, Ph.D.
Learning to BREATHE Workshop
March 21 and 22, 2015
This outstanding 1.5 day training on the Learning to BREATHE curriculum was attended by 59 participants. We learned about research supporting the importance of social emotional learning for adolescents and teens and were introduced to a powerful program for teaching adolescents and teens these skills through mindfulness of the body, thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
MC4ME Community Gathering
June 17, 2014
Thank you to the thirty-five community members who met with the board of MC4ME on June 17 to continue the conversation about bringing mindfulness into education in Michigan. The evening began with a simple gratitude practice and was followed by examples of exercises from the curriculum of Mindful Schools and the SMART-in-Education. A discussion followed about the vision and possibilities for the organization, and how it can best serve the community’s needs. Participants expressed interest in receiving teacher training, in mindfulness courses geared toward teens, tips on funds and resources to support this training, such as grants and grant writing workshops, and in creating a support network for those teaching mindfulness practices in schools.