Family Mindfulness Program

It’s not too late to join our monthly, family mindfulness program! 

Each class begins and ends with formal practice

The first class of 2016 meets Saturday, January 9th, from 1-3pm at a retreat center in Sebastopol.  The class will remain open enrollment thought 2016.

The theme for our first class is, “Mindfulness as the Gate to Joyful Ease and Repose.”  It’s special class aimed at giving you, the parents, a chance to begin your new year with comfort and care… the first step in creating a mindful home.  

You can read about the 2015 program below…

Affectionately known as C3, Children Creating Change brings instruction in secular mindfulness together with social engagement.  In each class, we learn a new aspect of mindfulness and then experience that practice through a special project.  In the spaciousness of an open heart, a new awareness blooms.  

Wishes for the children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. “May you be courageous and peaceful…”

In 2015, children learned, “heartfulness” while delivering Valentines to seniors at Golden Living Center in Santa Rosa.   On another fun day, we cultivated generosity with a free lemonade stand in Sebastopol Town Square.  For Mother’s Day, we practiced compassion by preparing meal-boxes for children and families in need through the Catholic Worker.

In June, we learned  a practice called, “sending and receiving,” a method of cultivating compassion through embracing  difficulties rather than turning away from them.  The C3 kids then wrote wishes for the children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital on painted yellow and orange clothespins… then clipped them, one by one, to a big, yellow sun.  The wishes formed the sunbeams.

Handmade ornaments for families of the Valley Fire

Later that summer, we discovered our inter-relatedness with nature and community by harvesting tomatoes at Worker Bee Farm for Ceres Community Project.  Ceres provides free, home-delivered, organic and locally produced meals to low-income people with severe health challenges.  On another fun day, we learned from our four-legged friends with a special Animal Wisdom & Compassion Day where we made blankets for the Sonoma Humane Society.

In September, we practiced with the truth of impermanence by pressing 100 pounds of apples into juice for Meals on Wheels.  We looked with eyes of wonder at apples seeds, realizing that each tiny seed contains a whole tree and many future apples.  Children then imagined themselves as they will someday be, grandparents and elders.

Pressing apples into juice for Meals on Wheels
Pressing apples into juice for Meals on Wheels

In October, we continued our study of impermanence with a special ceremony to honor our departed ones… leaving flowers in the Sebastopol Cemetery.  And in November, we cultivated gratitude for the small blessings in our lives by hand-making holiday ornaments for families of the Valley Fire.  Of course, our youngest students only heard that we were making ornaments to give away.

Program content is always delivered in a way that is empowering, uplifting, and developmentally appropriate.

Returning to a place of stillness
Returning to a place of stillness

Each class begins with formal mindfulness practice — sitting silently together for just a few minutes.  Children have a chance to report on their practice, how they are using mindfulness at school or at home.  Then, a teaching is shared that will inform the work we’re about to do.  Through our acts of service and social-awareness, our hearts begin to open.   A new awareness begins to emerge.  As we sew blankets or harvest vegetables, we work in mindfulness.  The bell is invited many times while we work, calling us back to our felt experience of the present moment.  Each class ends with children reporting on what the project evoked in them, listening to the bell, and returning to a place of stillness.

 
By enrolling in this year-long program, you become a Joyful Mind Project sponsor.  Your generosity makes this program possible and helps keep these valuable teachings active in the world.  You are also welcome to attend just the months that work with your schedule; however, advanced registration is required as much planning goes in to each program.  Please see our enrollment packet or contact Chelsea for more information.

Mindfulness-Based Social Engagement

ENROLL NOW FOR 2016!  Next session: January 9, 2016 – November 12, 2016

Where: Sophia’s Garden + many exciting locations!
4038 Green Valley School Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
When: 2nd Saturday of the month.  1:00-3:00 pm.  No program in April, June, or December.
Ages: Children of all ages, teens, and parents welcome.
Suggested Donation: Please see our Enrollment Packet.

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2 thoughts on “Family Mindfulness Program

  1. Hello
    I absolutely love your site. We can do so much good for the world and our sweet little angels this way.
    Do know of any mindful programs like this in Southern Marin, for children?
    With Sincere Gratitude
    Sally Catalana

    1. Hi Sally,

      Thank you for your note! Leslie Grant is doing amazing work with children in Marin. Her organization is the Marin Mindfulness Institute and she has programs for teens and children of all ages.

      With joy,
      Chelsea

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