A Mindfulness Center in the Midwest: Five and Still Alive

January 1, 2023 will mark five years since the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness became an official entity (you can read about previous years here (year 1, year 2, year 3, year 4). The subtitle “five and still alive” might sound a little morbid, but I chose it to express the reality that many wonderful people and organizations did not make it through the pandemic. I feel very fortunate and grateful that MAM is still able to provide services to our community and I attribute this to our wonderful community of participants and teachers.

Year five is crucial for us because we’re deciding whether to keep our dedicated practice space, which is just beginning to enjoy greater use this fall, but sat largely empty for 2 years. We’re fond of the Peace Pod and the opportunities it offers, but we are also very adaptable having spent our formative years nomadically and the last couple of years online only. Our in person presence is increasing quite a bit these past few months and we’re encouraged by that. Trusting emergence is part of our practice.

Since we opened our space in August of 2018, we’ve led almost 1500 classes with about 1000 participants. We also:

  • graduated our second cohort of trained mindfulness teachers
  • offered our first on-site only class in the Peace Pod since the start of the pandemic – the Heart-Mind Practice Community on Tuesdays at 6 pm
  • held our second hybrid residential/online retreat with one of our own as guiding teacher called “Ways of Looking” with Dr. Sydney Spears at Heartland Retreat Center
  • organized the Joy of Mindfulness Summit, a collaboration of 15 mindfulness teachers from around the Kansas City Metro offering practices designed to increase opportunities for joy
  • launched the Opening Minds and Hearts in the Midwest project interviewing teachers of contemplative practices around the midwest about intellectual and cultural humility.
  • explored mindful kayaking, kite flying, marshmallow roasting and photography
  • provided presentations on mindfulness to universities, schools, a psychological association, government agencies,  senior services organizations, and an environmental organization
  • Collaborated on a number of projects with The Resilient Activist

We hope you might come celebrate our anniversary with us online or on site during our Winter Warmheartedness Half-Day Mindfulness Retreat at Hollis Renewal Center, Sunday January 15th, 2023. We’ll have hot cocoa, s’mores, and cake. We are eternally grateful for this beloved community we’ve created together and look forward to connecting again and again.

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