Note from Louisa

We build on foundations we did not lay
We warm ourselves by fires we did not light
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant
We drink from wells we did not dig
We profit from persons we did not know
This is as it should be.
Together we are more than any one person could be.
Together we can build across the generations.
Together we can renew our hope and faith in the life that is yet to unfold.
Together we can heed the call to a ministry of care and justice.
We are ever bound in community.
May it always be so.

-Rev. Peter Raible
Though we know from our practice that expressing gratitude should be the endeavor of each day, it seems that we have communally landed on this time of year as a time of acknowledgment and appreciation.

To that end, I would like to take a chance to recognize the many people who come together to create and sustain our CML community, something I feel I don’t do nearly enough.
I have been so grateful for the enduring quality of our community, perhaps even more so now that we can no longer meet in person - grateful for the daily sits, the study group, the opportunities to share wisdom with one another, and “to walk one another home”.

I realize how few times I stop to recognize all the work that goes into building and sustaining the wonderful community that we are all co-creating together. Sometimes, in the busyness of doing the work, we forget to stop and marvel at the fact that the work is getting done. 

My deepest thanks go out to my colleague, Laura Crosby who, along with fellow facilitators, Dan Weidner, Aaron Weiner, and Katie Hupp, holds the space that allow our practice to be regular and sustained in these challenging days. Laura also facilitates the study group, which for years now, has made contemporary writings and teachings accessible to our community for discussion and growth.

Our online community is further supported by the efforts of Katie Hupp and Kim Vogel who facilitate the Sunday Third Space gathering that we began at the outset of the pandemic. They generously stepped in and picked up the mantle to make sure that community was additionally supported in this virtual space.

I also want to recognize Christina Ramon, who works behind the scenes as our marketing and social media Goddess, bringing you this newsletter every month, and helping us keep the CML community connected.

Of course, the heart of CML began as a therapeutic space and we are so blessed to have the talents of our compassionate clinicians, Pamela Mueggenberg, Nanci Nilles, and Kara Cavel to help ease the suffering of those who seek support and understanding. Each of these women embodies the essence of learning, wisdom, and tenderness, and I learn from them every day.

Thank you to Alma and Mireya, who keep our space so immaculate for us, and to Blake who makes sure that we don’t trip and break something of import on the ice.

On behalf of all of us at CML, I want to acknowledge all of our teachers and guides, who have shown us the path, and gently redirected us when we’ve stray or gotten distracted. We are also grateful to our families and loved ones, who have helped to shape and support us as we become more and more ourselves.

Mostly, I want to thank you, Beloved Member of the CML community.

Thank you for making our community vibrant and alive with your presence and curiosity about yourself and the world. Thank you for keeping the meditation cushions warm, coming to yoga class or study group, or loving yourself enough to learn about self-compassion. Thank you for being so courageous in walking the path with us. Thank you for reading this newsletter.

And thank you for all of your support of our efforts, and for your willingness to share of yourself and your wisdom to help make our space, and our world, a better place.

Gratitude and Blessings on your journey,

The Center for Mindful Living will be suspending online sitting groups and virtual programs from December 24th to January 3rd in observance of the holidays. We hope that you have a lovely holiday, full of love, joy and gratitude.

Daily Silent Meditation             
8:15 - 9:00 am
Monday - Friday Morning
Meeting ID: 899 6440 8784
Passcode: 818114
Guided Meditation
1:15 - 1:45 pm          
Tuesday Afternoon
Meeting ID: 826 1223 4516
Passcode: 058471
What's New in 2021?

Though many of us are looking forward to the end of 2020, we also know that (sadly) there will be no switch that will be suddenly be flipped to the “And Now Everything Is Alright” setting on December 31st at midnight. 2020 has been a hard year, and we have learned to turn to community in new and creative ways to help get us through. 

In the hopes of further supporting our beloved community in these challenging times (without filling your inbox with unwanted emails), we will be starting a mid-month email update starting in January.

We hope that this brief, casual connection will offer you some additional hope and inspiration, tips for resiliency, guided meditations, as well as reminding you of the opportunities to gather as a community through study or sitting throughout the dark winter months.
Will You Help Inspire Our Community?

With so much uncertainty, anxiety, and division in our world, we may need to look a bit harder to find inspiration right now. Where better to look than here amongst us?

As a feature of our mid-month update, we would like to occasionally offer stories of hope and compassion from our community, or perhaps some humor or light-heartedness, to see us through the next few months.

Have you witnessed or experienced a moment of kindness? An expression of love or compassion that can help bring light to these shadowy times? Do you have some humor to help brighten our day? Would you be willing to share it with our community? 

Simple reminders of our capacity to be loving and tender in a time of such heightened vitriol can help sustain us and inoculate us against our own anger and hateful thoughts. Let us collectively pause and reconnect with our common humanity, and with one another.

When actively looking for kindness in the world, we are so much more likely to find it. 

Please email Louisa at Stories can be shared anonymously, if you prefer. Please let us know in the email.

Omaha Meditates 2021
Facilitated Online by Aaron Weiner
January 1, 2021

Wisdom House Collaborative is partnering once more with the Center for Mindful Living to celebrate Omaha Meditates on New Year’s Day. Please come join us at 11 am for a virtual hour-long sit on January 1st to start 2021 with intention. 

If you wish to take the Omaha Meditates pledge to dedicate one minute or more to the goodwill of the event please go to Or visit the Wisdom House Collaborative website at where you’ll find their New Year’s Resolution page that talks about recent scientific findings on the mechanism for changing our habits through literally rewiring our minds and bodies beginning with the training of attention and clarity.  

Meeting ID: 885 0969 4961
Passcode: 462977
Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated Online by Laura Crosby
First and Third Sunday of the month from 4pm to 6 pm

The Mindfulness Study Group is beginning its new book selection, In the Face of Fear, Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging TimesThis anthology features teachings from the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chögyam Trungpa, Sylvia Boorstein, Jack Kornfield, Norman Fischer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein and many others. Its 33 essays explore how we can:
  • remain open, joyful, and caring, even when life is stressful 
  • access our innate confidence and fearlessness
  • turn difficult times into opportunities for spiritual development
  • discover that our true nature is always awake, wise, and good, no matter what is happening   

You can join us for the Mindfulness Study Group the first and third Sunday of each month from 4-6pm via Zoom (info below) Our sessions are freely offered, drop-ins are welcome, and there's no registration necessary. We read together - so no homework! - and discuss each chapter. Books are available from

Meeting ID: 843 4464 0572
Passcode: 570798
CML Third Space
Shared Facilitation Online
Second and Fourth Sunday of the month 
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

CML Third Space is a virtual community where we can gather, meet new neighbors and friends, and engage in resiliency building to help us stay connected and grounded through this difficult time.
Please join us on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month at 7:00 pm CST for a co-created space where we use mindfulness, connection and play to keep our immune systems strong and robust!

Meeting ID: 817 7852 5724
Passcode: 212247

Join us on the Third Space Facebook page.
Compassionate Creativity
By Pamela Mueggenberg LMHP, MA
Art Therapy Counseling
“Be confused, it’s where you begin to learn new things. Be broken, it’s where you begin to heal. Be frustrated, it’s where you start to make more authentic decisions. Be sad, because if we are brave enough we can hear our heart’s wisdom through it. Be whatever you are right now. No more hiding. You are worthy, always.” -S.C. Lourie
The act of creative expression is a strong tool for psychological healing from trauma. Music, movement, art, poetry, writing, drama are all vital to our work as mortals navigating difficult times. Unfortunately, creativity is often rife with judgement - from ourselves, mainly, but also others who attempt to signal their own virtue through self-righteous proclamations: “if you aren’t learning a new language/lifting weights/making original art in quarantine you never wanted to!”

That statement, from a clinical perspective, is utter hogwash. Sometimes we can make time for ourselves and our creative needs. Other times we have succeeded in our day by just getting out of bed in the morning. Take inventory of yourself, with compassion, and if you find a desire to do something a little more reflective that particular day, here are some ideas.

Utilize your Visual Voice. To name an experience is to claim some solace. We could use our spoken language to make sense of some of the feelings we have, but that can be too immediate, glib, or accidentally hyperbolic.

If we instead use creative expression to safely contain and create separation from our pain, we have a moment in our work to view the sensation as a discernible object that we can name, describe or contextualize.

  • Dig out some of your favorite songs and create a playlist for your last month. Get a nice, small canvas and use those oil pastels to make an album cover, perhaps titled “November 2020, this crap is still happening.”

Create a bit of safety. Using our imagination to describe moments of peace can be an oasis of safety during stressful times. Gretchen Miller calls this process “an essential foundation to start stabilizing terror into manageable states of contentment and security.”

  • What is your favorite season of the year? What colors or symbols remind you of that season? What would it look like if you made an homage to spring, using that nice flat piece of cardboard from your latest amazon box that you saved, and some paint?
Structured, Sensory Intervention. Stress and trauma invade the body, causing a disconnection between our inner and outer worlds. It is difficult to feel those warm sheets just out of the dryer, or smell that fifth loaf of bread you just baked, if your head is swimming with unknowns and must-dos. Taking time to engage your senses in pleasant experiences can help our nervous system calm, which in turn slows your thoughts.

  • I’m going to say it. PLAY-DOH. Get yourself some play-doh. The smell alone is divine. You’ll thank me later.

Empower your own resilience. You may not be able to control when your boss will give you your hours back, but you can choose what color you’re going to paint that wall, damn it. Miller reminds us, creating art gives you chances to “make choices, problem solve, make meaning,” and safely navigate options for success in a low-risk setting.

  • Do you have dominos at home? When is the last time you made a dominos maze? If you are feeling extra clever see if you can incorporate other elements: toy cars, cue balls, cooperative family members. It is just as satisfying as you remember.

Remember, you can do things to help you feel better but you are not obligated to do them all the time. Be gentle with yourself and those around you, and we’ll get through this.