Upcoming Mindfulness Classes: A Letter from Bev Klug

bevklug

Bev Klug

It’s  time for another letter from Bev Klug, MA, LMFT Director of our Mindfulness Programs at Iowa. Upcoming classes and groups are in the tweet below:

She has a great message:

Mindfulness regularly shows up in the news and popular media these days (Time magazine, 60 Minutes, Huffington Post, New York Times, etc).  It’s exciting to see people recognizing the relevance such a powerful practice holds for how we live and work.  It is also an opportunity to sift through the many words and interpretations with wise discernment, returning to the intention of engaging in our lives, moment-to-moment, with awareness and compassion.  I recently read an interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn:

…he said many wise things, but here are just a few as reminders to us all….

The message of mindfulness is an invitation to everybody to wake up to the true dimensionality of who we all are, and to move in a direction of maximizing the good that comes from our activities and minimizing the harm both to ourselves and others. And that could be done on a corporate level, on a national level, on an international level.

I think the reason we’re seeing so much interest now in mindfulness is that, as a species, we’re starving for authentic experience. But the impulse is to make mindfulness into a kind of catechism, in which some inner circle understands what mindfulness really is and everybody else is deluded. Instead, I think of mindfulness as a big umbrella. The difference between various traditions are unimportant as long as the focus is on creating greater well-being and minimizing harm.

But there’s one thing that really needs to be said, especially since the word mindfulness is becoming so popular and overused these days. In Asian languages, the word for mind and the word for heart tend to be the same word. So if you’re not hearing the word heartfulness when you’re hearing the word mindfulness, you’re really not understanding what it’s all about. You’re going into thought, and you’re going into your concept of mindfulness, but mindfulness is pointing at something beyond words, underneath words, underneath thinking.

And I actually liked the following one, since I recently received this in the mail:

Amos AARP

 

I’m 70 years old now, and I started the Stress Reduction Clinic when I was 35. Before that, I had 10 years of asking myself, What’s my Job on the planet, with a capital J? I defined that as work that I’d love so much I’d pay to do it. So now, 35 years later, this great interest in mindfulness is the flowering of that. It’s touched many, many people, all of whom are bringing their own creativity to it. So in terms of where my growing edges are, they’re where they’ve always been: right at the growing edge.

I’m a grandfather now, and that’s a new opportunity. I’m learning to be with my family in new ways at this particular stage of life and not miss the essence of what’s most important, because there’s a tendency to get seduced by the fact that everybody wants a piece of you or wants to put you on their pedestal, or knock you off the one they think you’re on. I’m trying to learn how to be in a wise relationship to all of this, realizing that—like every other wave of interest in a new thing—at a certain point, the interest in mindfulness is likely to decline.

There are a couple of interesting groups I’ve not heard of before:

 

  1. Cultivating Equanimity

Every moment of mindfulness is also a moment of equanimity.

Andrew Olendzki, author & scholar

Sometimes being mindful is described as being in relationship with whatever is happening in the present moment without trying to make it stay or to make it go away.  This is equanimity, a balanced state of mind and heart that isn’t pushed and pulled by likes and dislikes, attachment and aversion, a non-preferential awareness resulting in a profound experience of peace. This, of course, can be a fleeting experience, which is why we practice.  Participants in this graduate group will explore ways to cultivate equanimity in daily living through both formal  and informal practices and discussion regarding your experiences of each

Email support will be offered between sessions with suggestions for daily practice.

Schedule:  Tuesdays, March 31-April 28, 2015                         Deadline: March 24, 2015

Time:  5:30-6:30pm

Location: UI Hospitals and Clinics

Instructor: Chris Klug, M.A, C.T.

Fee: $75 (Pay at first class – may be reimbursed by UI flex spending)

Registration: Email mindfulness@uiowa.edu and Tess will send you directions to the location

2)  Mindfulness and Patient Care

Schedules, appointments, assessments, diagnostics, procedures, interventions, documentation, evaluations, research,  protocols, RVUs, CMEs, CEUs, teaching/mentoring…. Oh my!!

It’s easy to be on chronic auto-pilot, pushing and pushing to get the next 10 things that “need to be done RIGHT NOW” accomplished.  Believable stories of the mind arise about what is or isn’t possible.  How are we present with ourselves and our patients in a wise, compassionate, skillful way in the midst of it all?

Let’s pause in the middle of the day for 5 weeks and explore our relationships to the demands of patient care through the experiential lens of mindfulness.  If the automatic thought that arises when you read this is, “I don’t have time” or “I can’t make the time” to do this, stop and notice what that feels like in the body and linger a bit with the thought to see if it’s actually true.  If so, I hope you can join us another time and that reading this has been a helpful reminder in some way.   If not, it will be great to have you join in the exploration of the connection between caring mindfully for ourselves and those we serve, in the context that we’re in.

This class is open to anyone involved in patient care, if you’ve completed one of the basic mindfulness programs we offer.  Class time will include formal mindfulness practice, suggestions for daily practice and discussion regarding your experiences of each.  Email support will be offered between sessions.

Schedule: Wednesdays, April 1 – April 29, 2015                        Deadline:  March 25, 2015

Time: noon – 1:00pm

Location:  UI Hospitals and Clinics

Instructor:  Bev Klug, M.A., LMFT

Fee:  $75 (Pay at first class – may be reimbursed by UI flex spending)

Registration:  Email mindfulness@uiowa.edu and Tess will send you directions to the location

As always, Bev wishes us well. Thanks, Bev.

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