The Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness offers and facilitates a number recurring classes each year to help people develop and maintain a mindfulness practice. Having trouble sustaining a personal practice? Many of our classes can contribute to participation in our Annual Meditation Challenge.
Getting Your Mindfulness Ducks In A Row: Diving Right Into Your Practice
It can be challenging to build a mindfulness practice that will withstand the test of time. This workshop is designed to help you plan, organize and sustain your personal practice in order to maximize your success! In this casual, interactive workshop you will:
- Reflect on your personal values and practice goals
- Learn the difference between “formal” and “informal” practice
- Develop strategies for incorporating mindfulness into daily life
- Incorporate several “accelerator” techniques for deepening your practice
- Walk away with a personal plan to bring more mindful awareness to your life
- Sunday January 20th, 2019 from 10 am – noon in the Peace Pod at 11100 Ash St. Ste. 103 Leawood, KS 66211 with Marla Herron, EdD (Register here)
FREE for members!
$20 for non-members (purchase your pass here)
Intro to Mindfulness
We’re awake on one level, but on another we are merely sleep walking. Pulled by countless distractions, ruminating on the past, or worrying about the future – we’re often not really present in our lives. Mindfulness is a state of moment-by-moment non-conceptual awareness. As Jon Kabat-Zinn would say, the process of cultivating mindfulness is “advanced training in mobilizing deep inner resources for coping & healing”. The practices reconnect us with the innate ability to focus and shift attention, inhabit and feel at home in the body, and relate to difficulty with compassion and wisdom.
This four part experiential workshop for adults teaches the fundamentals of mindfulness and offers an introduction to many of the formal and informal practices. No previous experience with yoga or meditation is required. Each meeting begins with gentle, mindful yoga to reconnect with the body, provide grounding, and prepare the mind for the stillness practices.
Instruction and guidance are provided in several forms of mindfulness meditation as well as mindful eating and mindful walking. The attitudes of mindfulness are explored and time for discussion is included. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat for movement. If you have a favorite cushion for meditation you are welcome to bring it as well.
Yoga mats, chairs and props are available for those who need them. No refunds are given after the deadline for enrollment, which is one week prior to the start of the course. In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of the registration fee, but you will not be reimbursed for pre-arranged transportation, accommodations, or any other miscellaneous expenses.
- Four Wednesdays 6-7:30 pm July 10 -31, 2019 in the Peace Pod at 11100 Ash St. Ste. 103 Leawood, KS 66211 with Certified MBCT Teacher Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT-200– sign up here
Once you’ve registered for the course you wish to attend, please purchase your pass below:
Inner Revolutionaries Practice Group
2nd Tuesdays 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm
Fees (click to purchase a pass):
A teacher led group of particularly passionate folks in our community who truly wish to embody a mindful revolution from the inside out, doing the difficult, inner work of the heart so that we can be the change we want to see in the world. This group is meant to complement and deepen a mindfulness practice (including our weekly practice meetings).
Our rotating schedule of trained mindfulness teachers join participants in tending the “inner garden”, preparing and maintaining fertile ground for cultivating the seeds of social justice and world peace. This is accomplished through a triad of reading/listening, practice, and reflection.
Each session introduces a timely topic addressing some of the most pressing social issues of our time or one of the more paradoxical/culturally radical aspects of mindfulness practice. Guided practices, supportive resources, and facilitated “truth sharing” will be offered. Opportunities for practice between sessions will also be suggested.
Although its up to you, we request that you commit to a year of monthly meetings so we can build a community of trust, openness and authentic connection. Use our calendar to pre-register for the meetings you plan to attend.
2019 Meeting Schedule:
- Jan 8: Radical Acceptance – Maintaining an Open Heart in Trying Times
- Feb 12: Mindfully “Coming Home” to Yourself in the Era of Overwhelm, Anxiety, and Social Disconnection – “Grounding”
- March 12: Relating Mindfully – Embodying Our Practice in Difficult Relationships
- April 9: Letting Go – Mindful Forgiveness
- May 14: Mindfully “Coming Home” to Yourself in the Era of Overwhelm, Anxiety, and Social Disconnection – “Reflection”
- June 11: Navigating the “Mine-Field” of the Ego
- July 9: Weathering the Storm Clouds of the Heart – Mindfulness of Grief and Loss
- Aug 13: TBA
- Sep 10: Radical Compassion – Love Without Discrimination or Attachment
- Oct 8: Mindfully “Coming Home” to Yourself in the Era of Overwhelm, Anxiety, and Social Disconnection – “Being”
- Nov 12: Love Warriors – Mindful Social Activism
- Dec 10: TBA
Piercing the Veil of Implicit Bias: A Mindful Dismantling of the Lenses That Skew Perception and Fuel Reactivity
Implicit bias is a function of the subconscious feelings, attitudes and/or stereotypes that affect our perception, actions, and decisions. They are activated involuntarily, outside of our conscious awareness and intentional control and affect our real world functioning in ways that can cause ourselves and others harm. Fortunately, these biases are changeable and we can mindfully train our brains to see more clearly through a variety of practices.
February 1, 2019: Understanding implicit bias, self assessment and reflection – Objectives: 1. Explore the concept of implicit bias along with related concepts including stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression; 2. Learn about the role of language as an unconscious mechanism of creating and perpetuating bias; 3. Explore the roles of zero-sum mentality, the social construction of power, and dichotomous thinking in creating and perpetuating bias; 4. Engage in personal reflection and self-exploration with respect to experiences with bias, and 5. Learn about the roles of mindfulness, psychological flexibility, and mindful self-compassion in increasing awareness of bias and expanding behavioral agency in the presence of bias.
February 8, 2019: Insight and exploration, applications for systems, structures and institutions – Objectives: 1. Engage in personal reflection and self-exploration with respect to experiences with bias; 2. Develop a deeper understanding of the filters through which we view and interpret ourselves and others; 3. Identify patterns in evaluation, assessment, and relating to others; 4. Explore the concepts of “constructive uncertainty” and “micro-affirmations.”
Feb 15, 2019: Insight and exploration, deepening the practice – Objectives: 1. Engage in personal reflection and self-exploration with respect to experiences with bias; 2. Explore organizational values and cultural norms and their impact on bias-based behavior; 3. Explore the relationship between bias and related constructs and trauma; and 4. Develop strategies for taking effective action in the face of biased behavior from others.
Mindful Consumption: Appetites, Cravings & Connection
Based on the work of Judson Brewer and Willem Kuyken, learn how to use the power of mindfulness to make intentional and values consistent choices while embedded in a culture that encourages chronic, excessive, and at times maladaptive, consumption. Explore how to reconnect with your intrinsic values and resist the commercial exploitation of our natural desires for connection, meaning, and self-efficacy. (Register Here)
Six Fridays Feb 22 – March 29, 2019 with Angie Hardage, LMLP from 11:30 am – 1 pm
Meditation for Cultivating Calmness, Courage, and Compassion in Uncertain Times
Tuesday March 5, 2019 from 6:30pm-8:00pm with Sydney Spears, Ph.D., LSCSW
Its time to take a break and gently “come home to yourself” with this facilitator guided mindfulness meditation experience focused on connecting to calmness, courage and self-compassion. This meditation will give you a space and place to be with the restoration of yourself and to let go of all the doing, thinking and worrying. This is an opportunity to deepen your experience of mindfully resting and soothing your body and mind. Explore how to sense your internal compassionate supports that are nourishing and always available regardless of whatever you may be experiencing in your external world or internal world.
Fees (preregistration is required – click the link to purchase your pass):
The New M & Ms: Mindfulness and Middle-Age
March 29, 2019 from 1:30-4:30 pm with Sydney Spears, Ph.D., LSCSW
Life in the “middle” phase of life tends to generate a host of stressors, changes and transitions. During this time life can often feel overwhelming as a result of navigating physical health issues, hormonal shifts, relational problems, divorce, loss, being single, parenting older kids, empty nest grief, financial problems, aging parents, and work transitions. These milestones can also bring about difficult thoughts and feelings related to aging and identity changes. Some people in midlife begin to realize that they are at a crossroads of confusion, regret and fear. It is also quite typical to ruminate on the past and hold onto unresolved impact of family of origin experiences, personal mistakes and unproductive life choices. However, what you choose to do and focus upon today will significantly impact your current and future life in terms of mind-body health and wellbeing.
The new M & Ms are not about candy, but rather reflecting upon how to explore a changing midlife identity with the foundational supports of mindfulness. Middle-age is an often ignored period of life that truly needs more attention and contemplation. In this workshop you will have the opportunity to have focused time to create greater discovery, clarity, focus and meaning in your life. You will be able to mindfully reflect upon your experience of midlife in terms of the challenges and the gifts. Then, you can engage with yourself through mindfulness practices for greater insight. This experience will give you the opportunity to quiet your negative self-critical voice with mindful self-compassion and increase the awareness of YOUR truth of who you are. In this manner, you can begin to make choices that are self-supportive and live in a way that feels authentic, creative, and meaningful. Now is time to begin the journey of coming home to your “real” self.
- Examine the key challenges, issues and rewards of midlife experiences
- Practice mind-body practices to increase mindful awareness, reflection and insight
- Experiment with mindfulness practices to increase healthy coping and discovery of one’s authentic midlife intention for greater mind-body wellbeing
Fees (preregistration is required – click the link to purchase your pass):
Attitudes of Mindfulness 8-Week Series
The attitudinal factors of mindfulness “constitute the major pillars of mindfulness practice” according to Jon Kabat-Zinn. Each meeting in this series will address one or more of Kabat-Zinn’s fundamental attitudes from his book Full Catastrophe Living. Group guides will offer a teaching on the topic of the day, lead a related practice, moderate a group discussion, and suggest between session “homework”. Zinn’s book is useful, but not necessary for this course. Bring a notebook for journaling and other written exercises and a cushion to sit on if you like – we have a limited number of cushions and folding chairs on hand.
- May 6: Non-judging (Tracy)
- May 13: Patience (Angie)
- May 20: Beginner’s Mind (Angie)
- May 27: Memorial Day No Class
- June 3: Trust (Tracy)
- June 10: Non-striving & Letting Go (Angie)
- June 17: Acceptance (Angie)
- June 24: Gratitude & Generosity (Tracy)
- July 1: Compassion (Tracy)
Inside-Out – A Body Awareness Workshop: Take Control of Your Stressed-Out Body, Mind and Nervous System
Friday May 3, 2019 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm with Sydney Spears, PhD, LCSW
This important group health-based educational and supportive workshop will explore key information regarding your stress response, body awareness, nervous system, and brain-based sensory skills. Somatic (body-based) wisdom is critical to developing greater awareness, health and control over how toxic stress tends to chronically reside in your body and mind. The lack of awareness of how your body holds and maintains stressors and negative thoughts can keep you and your nervous system trapped within various health problems, anxiety and bodily symptoms. Many of these unhealthy symptoms often originate or become worse from the inability to effectively manage certain stressors. Consequently, many people can experience ongoing stress lodged in their bodies and nervous systems with symptoms such as: chronic pain/aches, low immune system, higher blood pressure, chronic fatigue, sleep problems, over-eating/under-eating, dietary issues, digestive issues, contracted muscles, contracted postures, headaches, many colds/flu, negative thinking, constant worrying, anxiety and states of feeling overwhelmed.
Your body is the grand container of all human experiences and your nervous system is finely tuned to support every bodily function as well as your reactions to stressors. It is very important to understand how you can use key somatic knowledge, skills and practices to enhance your potential to take control of your bodily-sensory responses to stressors through nervous system awareness. By bring mindfulness to your body, you can also experience the opportunity to increase your energy, sense of greater self-control, reduce discomfort, worry less and finally have useful tools to self-manage and self-soothe your day-to-day stress in the moment. Fine-tuning your nervous system can fine tune and improve your “inside-out health.
In this course you will gain:
- Greater understanding of the:
- realities and true impact of chronic stress on the mind and body
- symptoms and signs of chronic stress and their relationship to mental-emotional activity
- workings of the autonomic nervous system and how to fine tune and manage it
- benefits of practicing skills of mindful body awareness and connection
- Brain based skills, sensory practices and simple mindful movements for:
- tuning into the language of the body to discover health and wise choice-making
- mindfully calming the nervous system in the moment
- creating cues within your day-to-day life to practice skills naturally
- Support from your group members and the instructor
- Instruction in how to develop greater self-control, impulse control, mental control, and inner calmness when stress arises for personal empowerment
Fees (click to purchase your pass):
Once you’ve purchased your pass, register for the upcoming course here: https://mindfulness-alliance.punchpass.com/classes/3027633