Mindfulness Matters Week

Mindfulness Matters Week was October 26-30, 2020

Keynote presentation: Mirabai Bush, Senior Fellow of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Watch the Keynote

Mirabai Bush headshot

A pioneer in the introduction of mindfulness into higher education as well as other sectors of society, Mirabai Bush will share the recent history of mindfulness on campuses as well as the benefits to students, faculty, and staff.   Her talk will include the role of supplemental contemplative practices, the need to adapt teaching of mindfulness to the population and the educational setting, examples of effective programs, and the relation of mindfulness to current academic and social concerns, including distance learning, racial justice, chronic distraction, and questions of identity.  Mirabai is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and teaches a mindfulness intensive at Amherst. While working with Google, developed their mindfulness curriculum, Search Inside Yourself.

Mindfulness Resources (Suggested Before Lecture)

Mirabai Bush and Daniel Barbezat, Contemplative Practice in Higher Education: Powerful Methods To Transform Teaching and Learning

Radical Well Being in Higher Education: Approaches for Renewal, Justice, and Sustainability, The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, Fall 2019

Webinar: Cultivating Compassionate Teaching During the Coronavirus

Weekday Sessions

Mindful Parenting - watch the recording!
Our state of mind can affect the ability to parent effectively. Interaction with children/adolescents may be rooted in anger, frustration or other emotions rather than on what is needed to parent effectively in the moment. The practice of mindfulness teaches us to be aware of these feelings within ourselves and gives us the capacity to not be driven by them. Mindfulness creates a space where we meet our children’s/adolescents’ needs in a more skillful and appropriate manner and to be at peace with the complex task of parenting. This session, presented by Laurie Cunningham, Phd. LISW & John Cunningham, Insight Meditation Teacher, will cover the foundations of mindfulness as applied to parenting covering basic principles as well as share resources, a short practice, and concluding with Q & A.

See the Mindful Parenting resources.

Mindfulness for Anxiety Management - watch the recording
Explore how a consistent practice of mindfulness can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress in the physical body. By learning to quiet the mind and live in the present moment, the body, too, will quiet, become calmer, more relaxed and able to experience the joy of living. This session, presented by Julie Schlemmer, BS, E-RYT 500, Yoga Therapist, Reiki Master, Health Coach, will introduce the practice of mindfulness meditation, the importance and significance of working with the breath, and how the body shifts and releases tension with subtle movements.

Mindfulness: A Method for Living More Intentionally - watch the recording!
Mindfulness helps us come into the present moment, recognize what is actually happening, and make more intentional choices about where to place our attention.  That choice is important in that what we pay attention to is what we fill our lives with.  Conscious or intentional choosing allows us to make choices about the ways we respond to thoughts and events that are more in alignment with what has meaning and value for us.  When we are able to do this we have a greater sense of well-being, satisfaction, and groundedness.  Mindfulness is a training in awareness of mind and body.  We learn to use the things we already have within us to increase our own happiness.  In this session, presented by Suzanne Rusnak, MEd, MSSA, LSW, participants will be introduced to the basic ideas behind mindfulness, how it can be helpful, and how to bring it into daily life.

Mindful Movement - watch the recording
Mindful movement is a gentle, accessible approach to yoga that encourages people to tune into what they are feeling as they move and make choices based on their present moment embodied experience.  Options are always presented and there is no priority placed on stretching more or holding positions for a longer period of time.  In mindful movement, practitioners are invited to link movement with breath if they find that useful.  Basic seated, standing, and supine poses will be presented and variations on each pose will be offered to accommodate the uniqueness of each person's relationship with their body.  This practice will conclude with a 10-minute period of meditation and relaxation, which will include options for people who prefer to continue with movement rather than physical stillness.  

Please look for additional information on this page and in The Daily. All sessions are available for faculty, staff and students and will be offered via Zoom.

To register for the breakout sessions, please sign up via the Campus Groups Mindfulness Week link.

Resources for Mindful Teaching and Learning


  • Jon Kabat Zinn, Mindfulness for Beginners
  • Jack Kornfield, Meditation for Beginners
  • David Gelles, Mindful Work
  • Chade Meng Tan, Search Inside Yourself
  • Arthur Zajonc, Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry
  • Rep. Tim Ryan, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit
  • Holly Rogers, The Mindful Twenty-Something
  • George Mumford, The Mindful Athlete
  • Jerome T. Murphy (former dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education), Dancing in the Rain: Leading with Compassion, Vitality, and Mindfulness in Education

CD’s and downloads:

On-Line Training: