Family Program

ENROLLING now for 2017!   

Joyful Mind Project embraces the Kingian model of Beloved Community, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth, where racism and all forms of discrimination, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it.

This class for families with children of all ages has been serving our community since January 2015.

On the second Saturday of the month, families gather together to practice mindfulness and share a social engagement project aimed at cultivating compassion and strengthening our communities.

For many of us, particularly in our current political climate,  taking action in our own communities feels essential.  But how do we sustain this level of commitment without burning out or becoming apathetic?  Mindfulness and contemplative practices can help us address the challenges we face and contribute to the effectiveness and sustainability of our projects.

We are bringing in many great community partners for 2017!  Look for more information coming soon.

Pressing apples into juice for seniors receiving meals through the Sonoma Council on Aging
Pressing apples into juice for seniors receiving meals through the Sonoma Council on Aging

In past programs, we’ve learned a practice called “heartfulness” while delivering handmade Valentines to seniors at Golden Living Center in Santa Rosa.  We practiced with compassion by preparing meal-boxes for children and families in need through the Catholic Worker, made handmade cards and gifts for children at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Fransisco and Oakland Kaiser Pediatric Oncology, and served our homeless population through the Community Church of Sebastopol.

In the summer months, we’ve worked at Worker Bee Farm harvesting tomatoes for Ceres Community Project.  Ceres provides free, home-delivered, organic and locally produced meals to low-income people with severe health challenges.

Harvesting vegetables to donate to Ceres Community Project
Harvesting vegetables to donate to families fighting cancer through Ceres Community Project

On an Animal Wisdom & Compassion Day, we discovered the deep wisdom of animals with many multi-cultural stories and made blankets for the Sonoma Humane Society.

You can read more about the projects we shared and the populations we served in recent years here.

Each class begins with mindfulness practice.  The youth in our programs then have a chance to report on their practice and how they are using mindfulness at school or at home.  Then, a new practice is shared that will inform the work we’re about to do.

Through our acts of service and social-engagement, our hearts begin to open.   A new awareness begins to emerge.  The insight of our inter-relatedness with all of nature and humankind begins to emerge.  When we see this connection, a shift takes place.  The prison doors of self-referencing thoughts open and are replaced with a deep commitment  to act with others in mind.

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 our youth reporting on what the project evoked in them, listening to the bell, and returning to a place of stillness.

Returning to stillness at the end of class
Each class begins and ends with formal mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness and compassion support one another.  Science is now beginning to understand this relationship.  You can learn more about the neuroscience of compassion and mindfulness in this article and in this video from the Greater Good Science Center.

Families are welcome to attend just the months that work with their schedules; however, advanced registration is required as much planning goes in to each program.  Please contact Chelsea for more information.

Where: Many great locations!
When: 2nd Saturday of most months.  1:00-3:00 pm.  No program in January, June, or December.
Ages: Children of all ages, teens, and parents welcome.
Cost: Please inquire.  No one turned away for lack of funds.

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2 thoughts on “Family Program

    1. Hi Susan, Our 2017 Family Program is enrolling now and slated to begin in February. I will send more information to your email. Thank you for your interest in our programs! Warmly, Chelsea True

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