A Note from Louisa 
 
As a young mother, I remember always being afraid that I didn't know enough, that I wasn't prepared enough, for the immense task of raising people. Sometimes, it was downright overwhelming to consider all the questions and struggles I was still engaged in myself and know that nonetheless, I was going to be called on to provide some semblance of guidance.
 
For a while, I had it managed, when they were little and the questions were simple and within my grasp. But, as they grew older and more sophisticated in both their thinking and their challenges, I began to feel a bit like an impostor.
 
Two things came to my rescue: realizing that I could ask for help (thank heavens for wise mothers!) and my meditation practice. Sitting each day helped to calm and center me and helped me to accept the limitations of my parental role, with its daily reminder that I was only human, after all. What a relief!
 
There is a new movement emerging to introduce the skills of mindfulness to children, through classrooms, religious institutions, and in the family. Dan speaks to this need for early instruction in this month's featured article.
 
I confess to being a bit jealous of the mothers whose children will have structured access to these tools at an early age. I wish my children had gone to school in an environment that taught emotional regulation, stillness and compassion, not peripherally, but as a foundational element of the curriculum.
 
In the chaos and unpredictability of today's world, what better skills could there be to wield against panic and despair?
 
In kindness,
Louisa
Announcements
  • We've Added A New Sitting Group! Please join us on Monday mornings from 8:15 to 9:00 am for an additional sitting group during the week. We'll be testing this time slot out for the next few months so, if you'd like it to become a permanent addition to the schedule, please be sure to let us know!
     
  • A reminder that The Center for Mindful Living will follow the OPS schedule in case of inclement weather.
Ongoing Contemplative Practices
  • Workshop: Sitting Meditation Groups  No Charge
  • Workshop: Mindfulness Study Group  No Charge
Workshops & Events
Mindfulness Talk & Guided Meditation
Facilitated by Laura Crosby
Wednesday Mornings, from 11:15 am - 12:00 pm
April 11th - May 9th
 
Fifteen minute teachings followed by group discussion & meditation. Deepen understanding and practice of mindfulness as we draw on teachings about bringing mindfulness and meditation to essential life experiences ... stress, relationships, difficult emotions, habits, change, conflict, and more.  Following a 15-20 minute teaching, we will have a facilitated group discussion and a meditation based on the teaching.  Some mindfulness practice helpful, but not required. All materials and supplies provided. This session is freely offered.   There is no charge to participate. This is a drop-in offering. No registration is required.
 
Compassion & Peace over Lunch
Facilitated by Laura Crosby
Wednesday Afternoons, from 12:30 - 1:30 pm
April 11th - May 9th
 
Group sessions for cultivating compassion and peace in everyday life Experience and cultivate your innate compassion and peace. Engage in group discussion and mindfulness/meditation practices to bring loving-kindness and compassion to ourselves and others, while finding greater equanimity and calm. Some mindfulness practice helpful, but not required. Bring your own snack. All other materials and supplies provided. This session is freely offered.  There is no charge to participate. This is a drop-in offering. No registration is required.
 
Mindful Eating is Back!
Truly Nourished: Creating Self-Acceptance and Body Freedom
Facilitated by Stephanie Nielsen, MA, RWP, CHEK-HLC, Pn1
Wednesday Evenings, 5:15 - 6:45 pm
April 25th - May 30th
 
Love Your Body with this 6-week mindful eating and skill building course!
 
Are you holding yourself back from fully living life until you lose weight or have the perfect body? Do you imagine how it would feel to replace the anxiety, self-criticism, and guilt you feel around food with joy, self-nourishment, and respect? Do you struggle with fatigue, cravings, and digestive upset?
 
This 6-week journey will help you move through negative self-talk, build a supportive environment, teach you to listen to your body, and awaken your natural ability to support your health and well-being.
 
Tuition of $260.00 includes guided journal activities, light movement, inspiration, nutrition tips, and simple recipes for lifelong vitality. This class has a maximum of 8 participants.
 
For more information, contact Stephanie at stephsnielsen@gmail.com or 402-690-1051 or register at www.thecenterformindfullivingomaha.com.
 
Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated by Laura Crosby
1st and 3rd Sundays of each month from 4-6 p.m
 
Join us as we begin Reflections on Silver River by Ken McLeod. This short work is part translation of a revered Tibetan poem on 37 mindfulness and compassion practices and part short reflections on how these teachings apply to life today.  
 
The Group will read together, so there is no pre-reading or homework involved. Copies of the book will be available for use in the study session or to check-out. There is no charge to participate. Drop-ins welcome at any time - feel free to jump in at any point! While this selection is based on Buddhist mindfulness teachings, the Study Group as a whole is not religiously affiliated. No registration required.
Featured Article
Where Do We Begin? - Mindfulness and Our Children
By Daniel G. Weidner, MA
 
When I look at the world around us today I have reasons for concern. Many of our politicians have lost their sense of duty and honor, our government seems increasingly less responsive to the needs of regular folks, and our American society continues to become further divided and tribal. Peace seems to get further away each day, and for many of the world's citizens there is only conflict and pain. Selfishness and avarice abound. Like many of us I often wonder what can be done. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of the magnitude of these concerns. Where do we begin?
 
We in the West are just starting to understand that the practice of Mindfulness is at the core of the actions that we need to take to heal our brokenness and pain. We comprehend that this is a long-term solution - that Mindfulness is not a quick fix. It requires years of sustained training and practice.
 
When we enter this practice as adults, we find that we are engaging in a demanding discipline that requires us to learn the practice and then use that practice to deal with our own baggage. Each of us has sustained some damage along the way and each of us must face the inevitable discomfort, fear, anxiety and pain that goes along with said damage. This all assumes a willingness on the part of practitioners to follow this nonlinear path and address the many vicissitudes that we each shall find along the way.
 
But what about our children?
 
What happens if we begin to train them in Mindfulness at an early age? What if this training begins before students start their K-12 educational experience? What if we integrate these practices into our schools and homes? Will this eventually make the world a better place? I would argue that the answer is a definite yes!
 
Those of us who have an established daily practice realize that the practice itself is, in fact, healing. It infuses us with kindness, love, compassion, understanding and awareness. It helps us to learn about our own baggage and to begin the process of lightening the burden caused by these afflictions. As a result we are kinder with ourselves and we naturally treat others better.
 
Now, begin to think about our children.
 
Most of them, at an early age, do not have much baggage. Nor, at an early age, do we carry the prejudices and opinions that can get in the way of learning Mindfulness. Young children are open and receptive, and they learn at a pace that far exceeds what adults can do.
 
I think that it is time that we get focused and serious about teaching our children that life is precious and that Mindfulness can give us the tools to connect with each other, to live deeply, and to open our hearts to our lives and to each other. We understand that this will require an experiential approach to the teaching of Mindfulness.
 
This cannot be learned by just talking about it. 

It must be practiced. 

This will require that adults with an established Mindfulness practice are willing to teach this practice to others. Students, teachers, parents, and the larger community will all need to know and understand the benefits associated with engaging in Mindfulness practices.
 
We will need to communicate how this practice will benefit them and their children, and how it will benefit the society in which we live. It is my understanding, which the current research is starting to support, that Mindfulness can be a powerful force for good for both individuals and for the larger societal interface.
 
It is not a quick fix, but it is a promising and effective way to begin.
 
For more information on teaching mindfulness to children:

Wisdom House Collaborative
www.wisdomhouseomaha.com/

Mindful Schools
https://www.mindfulschools.org/

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