Education Sector members, William Laeha, Marion Lyman-Mersereau, and Eileen McCool, concluded their year long online course work for Mindful Schools at a week long closing retreat in Petaluma, California. The IONS Earthrise Retreat Center is in the peaceful hills of northern California. We spent the first two days in silence and several sessions of mindful sits, mindful walks, and mindful meals. We went into workshop mode on our third day and began to teach and learn from each other about how to expand our mindfulness programs in our schools, how to teach innovative lessons to our students, how to encourage our colleagues to learn the self-care of mindfulness and how to care for ourselves as teachers, counselors, administrators, professors as mindfulness practitioners. It was an intense, informative, and inspiring few days that will serve us well in the future, not only in our personal practice but in the lives of the students we teach.
Several other Education Sector members have taken the Mindfulness Fundamentals course with Mindful Schools and have found the course to be helpful in establishing a regular practice in order to be better equipped to teach the practice. “It’s better to teach the practice when you have a practice” is a constant admonition from Mindful Schools teachers. This certainly makes sense and practice encourages us to be teachers who are more informed and therefore more able to teach a practice which is known to be “Simple but not easy.”