We are excited to partner with Stone Creek Zen Center in offering a spring Family Mindfulness Day. We’ll share walking meditation in the gardens, mindful eating, and more… then close with a special family practice.
Families are welcome to relax and enjoy the grounds throughout the day and are encouraged to set up “camp” so each child will have a restful place they can return to between events.
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015 Time:10:00 am – 3:00 pm Registration Fee: $10-$40 per family (sliding scale). Donation to teachers is appreciated.
Space is limited so please register in advance by contacting Chelsea here. Thank you!
I am happy to announce our new compassionate action program is just beginning to take shape!
This exciting new program will include much movement and aim to engage the will-forces of our highly-energized children. It will also have a large component of community engagement. My hope is to harness that valuable energy of our most spirited kids and channel it into creating positive change in our communities. The class motto will be, “Compassion is a Verb!” All classes will be project-based and include on-the-go, practical instruction in secular mindfulness.
Some classes will meet at Sophia’s Garden, others will meet on-site — such as singing at the Senior Center, marching against GMOs, gardening with the elders at Burbank Heights, or renegade compost-ball-poppy-seed-bombing needy hillsides and empty lots. This class is a re-envisioning of something I started years ago, Children Creating Change — or C3 for short.
We don’t have set dates yet but we’re looking at the second Saturday of most months. The program will run year-round with no meetings in December and April. Please let me know if you are interested. This program is open to the general community. All ages are welcome. Children already enrolled in other Om School classes are also welcome. All C3 families are invited to attend our usual seasonal festivals at Sophia’s Garden and will have access to the Om School online forums — coming soon with resources, home-practice ideas, book clubs, etc.
Please contact Chelsea if you’d like more information. The program will begin as soon as we have five children enrolled. Adult volunteers are needed! Some work-trade may be available.
“Look for a little light anywhere in the field of darkness and ask that it may increase.” –Joan Halifax Roshi
When I look to nature, deep winter feels like a sacred time. Grandfather Sun is completing his journey across the sky. He is old now and his light is fading. Nights are long and the time of rest is upon us.
In October, the children in our weekly mindfulness classes honored their departed ones with an ancestor’s ritual. We noticed that giving attention to impermanence gave rise to a deep sense of appreciation for our own short lives. In November, we turned towards gratitude with the coming of Thanksgiving. Now, with the winter solstice approaching, we’re turning inwards. One student, an eight year old girl, has given us a new phrase for this deep place: direct darkness.
Earth-based traditions tell us that it is from this darkest place that the light is born. On winter solstice, the longest night of the year, Grandfather Sun completes his journey. The Baby Sun is born at dawn. These mythologies speak to a wisdom in each of us.
In the Zen tradition, the awakening of the Buddha is celebrated in December. It is said that after sitting through the night, upon seeing the morning star, the Buddha realized awakening and exclaimed, “That’s it! That’s it! That’s me that’s shining so brightly. How wondrous, how wondrous! All beings share this indwelling light. What an astonishing thing has been realized!”
This winter, we’ll celebrate this indwelling light with a candlelight spiral walk. We’ll meet inside for quiet songs and storytelling before walking the spiral together. In quiet walking meditation, each child first walks the spiral turning inward, gathering light at the center, and then walks the spiral turning outward, bringing her light back into the world.
We are excited to join together with Stone Creek Zen Center to offer this celebration for all ages to the general community. We ask that families please register in advance or contact Chelsea for more information.
Please bring your own candle in a wind-proof jar or apple votive. Suggested donation: sliding scale $3-$10/per person. Your generosity helps ensure that programs like these will continue to be available in our community for a long time.
Please register in advance here. Thank you!
Would you like to learn more about the Mindful Art Program we’ll be sharing with pre-teens this Saturday at our Family Mindfulness Day? Emily Tara Weiner, MA, MFTI, framed this as a wellness program that focuses on cultivation of mindfulness skills, stress reduction, social and emotional learning, and self-compassion. While not a therapy program, it’s largely based on Dr. Laury Rappaport’s Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy (FOAT) methods and is featured in her book, Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies — available here.
Registration is now open for Family Mindfulness Day taking place at Sophia’s Garden Saturday, March 22, 2014.
We’ll honor spring, practice together, and enjoy the gift of Lakota medicine man, Steve Stonearrow’s storytelling. Please help make this day a success by spreading the word!
Please register in advance for this event. Thank you!
I’ve been getting feedback that a ONE day summer workshop would be more accessible to families this late in summer.
Look for a revised flyer coming soon with the date changed to JULY 31. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please — just come and join us on the farm for a day of summer mindfulness.
This fun one-day workshop introduces children to mindfulness practice in the lush gardens of a working, biodynamic farm. Enjoy storytelling, movement, connection with nature, and other kid-friendly contemplative practices. Bring lunch and something to share for a communal picnic among organic apple trees and fragrant herbs. Ages 5-11. Open for registration now.
DATE: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
TIME: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
PLACE: Sophia’s Garden
4038 Green Valley School Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Cost: $40 – $80
Remember, all programs are sliding scale and no one will be turned away for a lack of funds. Request information and register here.
Looking forward to practicing with you!