revolution from the inside out
Welcome to Your Mindfulness Journey…
You’ve probably heard the word “mindfulness” popping up everywhere and maybe you’re curious about what all the buzz is about. Mindfulness is growing in popularity for a reason, and that’s because its proving to be helpful in improving health and wellbeing in a number of ways. At the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness, we get really excited about welcoming newcomers and we have a number of great resources created especially for you:
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of living, developed through a variety of practices, that helps us bring kind and non-judgmental attention to moment by moment experience, giving us the choice to respond in ways that support health and wellbeing for ourselves and our communities – Read More
Frequently Asked Questions
How are mindfulness and meditation related?
Meditation is one of several formal practices of mindfulness (mindfulness can also be practiced informally while engaged in daily life activities). There are many kinds of meditation, but mindfulness meditation is characterized by moment by moment non-judgmental attention to experience as it arises, without trying to change it in any way.
Is mindfulness a religion?
No, mindfulness is a way of being and a practice. Anyone can cultivate mindfulness regardless of how they identify religiously. The modern practices of mindfulness were adapted from ancient spiritual traditions such as Buddhism and Vedism.
Do I need to empty my mind in order to successfully meditate?
No, our minds are always thinking and this mental activity becomes part of the practice. Whenever we non-judgmentally notice that we are thinking, we are practicing mindfulness. As we practice gently bringing our attention back again and again to the intended object of focus, the mental chatter tends to fade into the background and our concentration becomes more stable.
Practice Room Etiquette
The Peace Pod is what we affectionately call the practice room at the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness. Just as a pod in nature is a vessel providing safety and nourishment for a developing seed, our teachers endeavor to make the Peace Pod a safe and nourishing place for practitioners to grow the seeds of mindfulness. Our heartfelt wish is that our practitioners will take the seeds they have nurtured here out into the world where they might blossom and bear fruit, spreading compassion, peace and wellbeing.
- Please arrive at least five minutes early for your program. We share space with counselors and the interior offices are kept locked for privacy and security reasons. This also keeps our participant belongings safe and secure while our programs are in session. So, if you arrive late and class has already started, the facilitator may not hear you to let you in. Remember, no refunds are provided for missed classes. We also want you to have a little time to set up a cozy spot with any equipment and props you might need to be comfortable before the program begins.
- Since we share space with counselors and therapists, we ask that you please maintain silence in the hallway once you enter the inner suite. Appointments may be in session and we hope you will help us avoid causing any distractions.
- The Peace Pod is a shoes free zone. There are practical reasons for this, but removing one’s shoes is also a symbolic act of leaving the outside world of busyness and distraction outside. We have “guest socks” available for those with chilly or shy feet.
- Your practice room is meant to be as free as possible from the usual distractions of daily life. Please leave your devices in the cubbies (or switch them to airplane mode or do not disturb) so everyone can have a break from the conditioned response they create.
- The Peace Pod is meant to be a peaceful place. Please speak softly, with kindness and only when helpful or necessary.
Online Class Etiquette
The Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness is pleased to offer online events, courses, practice meetings and other learning opportunities. While onsite attendance is usually encouraged (due to the unique and powerful benefits of in-person group practice), we realize that this is not possible for everyone. Our goal is to make these concepts and practices available to anyone who wants them in their lives.
When you register for an online offering through Punchpass, the Zoom link and password will come to you with your registration confirmation. You must also purchase a pass for paid classes and sign a waiver (one time only) to attend. When you register for hybrid offerings ( those offered both online and onsite), please email us to let us know if you plan to attend in person so we can make space for you.
The following additional terms and conditions pertain to your attendance and participation in online and hybrid offerings conducted by MAM. By registering for any of our online and hybrid programs, you signify your acceptance of and obligation to the following terms and conditions (if you have objections to the following terms and conditions, you should not register for or attend the offering):
- While we make every effort to ensure the quality of the video and audio on our end, we cannot guarantee it on the participant’s end. If you are having problems with your connection we will do our best to help troubleshoot, but we do not offer refunds after the enrollment deadline for our offerings.
- Participants agree not to record, duplicate, or distribute the materials presented in our offerings without the express written permission of MAM.
- MAM records some of our offerings and this is clearly disclosed in the registration information for each offering. Participants in recorded classes may appear in these recordings and give MAM permission for their use and distribution.
- Unless explicitly stated otherwise in the registration materials, online offerings are for participants who are 18 years of age or older.
What you will need:
- computer with web camera and microphone
- high speed internet connection
- good lighting
- a quiet and private space where you will be uninterrupted
- an appropriate seat for sitting meditation (and possibly space for mindful movement if that is part of the offering)
It is advised that you practice using your video camera and microphone with a friend or family member prior to your first online offering if you have never used them before. You can test your bandwidth at www.speedtest.net. Closing all other programs and windows on your computer to reduce delay and choppiness.
MAM uses Zoom as our primary platform for our online meetings. Here are some video tutorials to help you understand how to use Zoom:
We ask that you change your display name to your actual name (if its not already) so we can make sure you are registered for the class. If you’d like, you can add where you’re practicing from – its nice to see what places are represented. Here are instructions on how to do that: https://www.techjunkie.com/
Participant controls in Zoom are typically in the lower left of the Zoom screen. Using the icons in the lower left corner of the Zoom screen, you can:
- Mute/Unmute your microphone (a red line means off) – please keep your microphone muted when you aren’t speaking to the group to minimize background noise
- Turn on/off camera (“Start/Stop Video”) – please keep your video on during offerings so we can connect more intimately
- Leave the meeting
Typically in the upper right corner, you will see a choice to toggle between “speaker” and “gallery” view. “Speaker view” shows the active speaker. “Gallery view” tiles all of the meeting participants. We recommend using the gallery view for a more connected experience.
Once you are in the virtual practice space, please change your display name to your actual name (if its not already). This helps us check attendance and in relating to one another during the practice. If you’d like, add where you’re practicing from as well. Here are instructions on how to do that: https://www.techjunkie.com/zoom-change-name/
Please consider keeping your camera on during our meetings and practices. This really adds to the sense of community we would like to foster in our online offerings.
For privacy reasons and in order to engender a sense of safety within our community, please do not record any of our meetings. MAM will not record any meetings for sharing unless it has been expressly stated in the registration materials. We wish you a peaceful and meaningful practice experience!
Meet a MAMbassador
“MAMbassadors” are MAM community members who practice with us regularly, are familiar with our practice space, teachers, and offerings and volunteer to provide support for other participants, answer questions about our community and about mindfulness, and act as a kind and welcoming resource when the need arises. Feel free to contact any of our MAMbassadors via email (by clicking on their photo) with your questions or reach out to them at our events. If you’d like to become a MAMbassador, please contact us.