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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Meditation 101: What It Is, Why Its Great, and How to Start By Leighna Harrison

The benefits of mindfulness meditation practice are vast, far reaching, and still being discovered – from better sleep and improved mood to clearer thinking and increased compassion it seems like mindfulness meditation can revitalize our lives from top to bottom. It even changes and strengthens the structure of our brain in only eight weeks.  But what is it really? Mindfulness. Meditation. These terms get thrown around a lot these days. Seems like every time you turn around there’s an article on your news feed, a flyer in your workplace, or it’s even being taught at your kid’s school.

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A guided meditation for nonprofit professionals By Vu Le

This month, we share with your a guided meditation by Vu Le. It was originally posted on his blog Nonprofit with Balls and is being read out loud by Miriam Persley.

 

Find a comfortable position and play the video below to meditate for 10 minutes.

We believe in the power of a mindfulness practice. This guided meditation is light hearted and meant to bring joy to stressful situations for nonprofit staff. What relaxing and joyous images would your guided meditation have? Share your thoughts @LeadershipEra.

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Uncovering Hope in the Dark: The How We Gather Gathering By Bidisha Banerjee

The original Greek meaning of the word ‘apocalypse,’ has the sense of an uncovering claims Reverend Jen Bailey, a young elder in the African Methodist Episcopalian church, and founding executive director of the Faith Matters Network, which helps faith leaders address structural inequality in their communities. Bailey traces this uncovering to a “rupture at the very heart of our democracy…rooted in the deep paralysis of anxiety and disparate visions for our collective futures,” and “an inability to process death of bodies and institutions.” Suggesting that this is a moment of “calling in” for “those of us at the margins who are rightly fearing for our lives,” she calls for brave spaces where we can “thicken relationships” and hold each other lovingly accountable to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community that bridges differences of race, religion, gender, and class. [see On Being blog]

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Mindfulness Matters | The Tree of Contemplative Practices

If you missed our interview with Patrick Brown from Greenlining last month please check it out. He described the way in which as the Director of the Leadership Academy, he brings a number of contempletive practices into all of their leadership work. He described the benefits of different practices to those engaged in leadership. We are including another resource as a complement to Patrick interview.  The link to the Tree of Contempletive Practices creates a scheme for understanding the different types of practices with more detailed descriptions.  We hope you find it helpful.

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Mindfulness Matters | An Interview with Patrick Brown

I was especially excited to interview Patrick Brown, Director of the Leadership Academy at Greenlining Institute, for our Mindfulness Matters column when I learned that he, as someone who directs a leadership academy with multiple programs, also has a strong personal meditation practice. I expected to gain important insights about the ways in which mindfulness practices support leadership development from Patrick. I did and I am sure you will as well.

 

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Mindfulness Matters | RESOURCE: Mindful Leadership Summit 2016

Our board advisor, Don Lauro, forwarded the following opportunity. Given our commitment to Mindful Leadership, we also wanted to share this opportunity with you. The Mindful Leadership Summit takes place in Washington DC, November 3-6. 

More details on this Summit here

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GUEST BLOG: The Power of Secular Sangha by Bidisha Banerjee

Sangha means spiritual community in the Buddhist tradition; paradoxically, during the first six summers, our task at Dalai Lama Fellows, a global network of young social innovators working at the intersection of justice, peace, and ecology, was to create a global, secular community of mindful, compassionate, and ethical leaders.

“At African Leadership Academy, I learned that there are about four thousand different definitions of leadership; the one that resonates most for me is that leadership means making yourself replaceable,” said Hind Ourahou from Morocco at our sixth annual Dalai Lama Fellows Ethical Leadership Assembly earlier this summer. Her work has focused on water and education on the African continent.

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GUEST BLOG | Benefits of Using Data to Bring Mindfulness to Your Work By Beth Kanter

Never in a million years did I ever think I would use data and mindfulness in the same sentence. For the past two months, I’ve been wearing a rock in a bra, a device called Spire.  You think of it as a Fitbit for stress developed by the Calming Technology Lab at Stanford University.  You wear it in your bra or clip it to your waist, and it measures your breath.    It streams data to an app on your phone like your step count, but more importantly gives you a report on whether you are calm, tense, or focused based on the length, depth, and spacing of your breath.

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Leadership, Time, and Mindfulness

Here is a sad confession. I meditate in fits and starts even though I know in my soul that it’s a good thing on so many levels, and for reasons that others writing for this column have articulated better than I can. To add to the irony, I think I can’t make time for meditation.  It reminds me of a story I heard relayed by Thich Nhat Hanh. He described arriving in Boston where he was picked up by a woman who had to stop on the way to get flyers and then on to a dry cleaning store to pick up something else and then a quick stop to pick up food for the event. Not an unfamiliar story for many of us.  He asked her about how she managed the pace of her activities. Her response was, “You don’t understand, if I did not run around like this I would never have any time for myself” and his response? “It’s all your time!”

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