The Way of Mindful Education Training, July 20 -25, 2014


Another beneficial training at the Omega Institute that I recently experienced.  The training was led by Daniel Rechtschaffen, and was based upon his new book, The Way of Mindful Education – Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students.  Daniel is a gifted teacher and has the contagious spirit of a sprite. I love the peaceful spirit of Omega and I am always invigorated by the collegiality of being present with others who want to explore some of the same interests that I have.

Fortunately we spent a good bit of  IMG_1716 time enhancing and deepening our own mindfulness practices, with the strong belief that the embodiment and holding of the practice by the teacher is the best way to cultivate a mindful classroom.  I loved practicing Qigong together as a means of connecting with my own breath and body, but also as a communal exercise with others. I hope to explore Qigong further and bring the benefits of this lovely movement exercise into my teaching and counseling.

Silent Retreat at Insight Meditation Society – February, 2014

I sat another serene and peaceful silent retreat at The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, safely ensconced in the deep New England snow.  My teachers were Lila Kate Wheeler and Howie Cohn.  I was fortunate to be joined for a few days by my friend and fellow yogi, Patrick Briody from New Jersey.  Most memorably, Lila Kate led us in a lovely forgiveness meditation that I brought back with me, and I have used this on several occasions with my clients.












The 7 Day MBSR Retreat

From my screen porch . . .

In the summer of 2013, I completed the 7 – Day MBSR  (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Retreat at the Omega Institute as part of my continuing training through the Oasis Institute at the Center for Mindfulness.  I remain deeply thankful that my University supported this training. The teachers for this retreat were Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, the founders of the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass.  Wow!  Such an amazing experience to study under these masters,  to retreat with fellow practitioners from all parts of the globe and hear about the many ways that professionals are integrating mindfulness practices into their work and daily lives.

MBSR Training at the 9 – Day Practicum

From my screen porch . . .

I am grateful that I have been able to garner financial support from my University to explore training in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) through the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

This training has helped me tremendously in enhancing my teaching and counseling at Ole Miss with mindfulness-based contemplative practices.

This particular training occurred in the summer of 2012 when I attended the 9 – day Practicum at the Omega Institute in New York.  My teachers were Florence Meleo-Meyer and Melissa Blacker.  Another extraordinary experience on the journey.

Magnolia Grove and a Retreat with Thay

From my screen porch . . .

In September of 2011 and again in 2013,  I continued deepening my mindfulness practice by attending a five-day mindfulness retreat at the Magnolia Grove Monastery and Mindfulness Practice Center.  Interestingly, this monastery is located just outside of Batesville, Mississippi and is only 30 miles from where I live in Oxford.  The beloved teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, or Thay as he is affectionately called, came to America on tour and led these retreats.  He was assisted by a number of the nuns and monks from his monastery at Plum Village in France.

Insight Meditation Society

From my screen porch . . .

In January of 2011, I was fortunate to be able to attend a 7- day silent retreat focusing upon the practice of lovingkindness at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts.  My teachers were Sharon Salzberg, Gina Sharpe, and Marc Coleman.  They were absolutely wonderful.  The experience of spending a week in silence was extraordinary for me.  The week was particularly impactful for this Mississippi boy, since there was several feet of snow on the ground and I was able to allow my introvert to settle into the winter stillness as if I were enveloped in a safe and loving womb.