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The MPower youth program for youth workers; pictured here during a self-reflective portrait project at First Church in Springfield, MA.

Upcoming Center Events

Spirit Rock Lawyers Retreat

Thursday, Nov 18 - Sunday, Nov 2

Along with the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the Center for Contemplative Mind in society is co-sponsoring a retreat for lawyers, law professors, law students, judges, and mediators. With the leadership of some leading meditation teachers—including Norman Fischer, James Baraz, and Mary Mocine—and longtime lawyer-meditators, we will explore the ways that meditation can provide balance, insight, and relevant skills for people working in the legal field.

This retreat is the second Lawyers’ Retreat the Center has co-sponsored at Spirit Rock. Similar to the first, we will bring together members of the legal community to learn and practice meditation. We’ll also explore contemplative practices such as yoga, qigong, and walking in nature, and will consider key questions about the connections between contemplative awareness and law. There will be excellent opportunities for like-minded members in the legal profession to meet and help sustain each other in the practice.

For further information on this retreat, visit Spirit Rock

Contemplative Practices and Education: 
Making Peace in Ourselves and in the World. 

February 11-13, 2005 

A Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University


This conference will explore the special role that contemplative practices can play in cultivating peace within ourselves and in the world. Perhaps at no time in recent history has this theme been more relevant as we address the challenges of war, peace, and social justice in a global age. As educators, we have the opportunity to integrate contemplative practices into the classroom and explore how they can help students develop greater mindfulness in dealing with these challenges.

We hope that you will join us to hear leaders such as Jon Kabat-Zinn talk about the transforming powers of contemplative practices in education.

This conference is co-sponsored by

For more information and a registration form, visit our conference website

Social Justice Program report

Social Justice and Contemplative Practice retreat

Through a generous grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society held a gathering of eighteen young social justice activists, six seasoned veterans and four Center staff at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY, September 17-19, 2004. The focus of the gathering was on ways in which increased mindfulness, reflection and contemplation can be essential to social justice activists during these challenging and difficult times.

During the retreat, the Center presented a prototype version of its “Toolbox” which will be used to expand its outreach efforts to social justice activists and organizations by initiating an Organizational Support Program (OSP).

This "Toolbox" will provide a secular entry point for individuals of all political, philosophical, and religious traditions to explore the value of these practices; it will provide social justice organizations with tools to create an environment that enhances the quality of work. In recognition that people are in diverse places of receptivity and readiness to the idea of contemplative practice, The Center would tailor services to their needs. This project is currently under development. We will have more information regarding this and other new initiatives soon on our website.

The evaluation forms filled out by participants resulted in very positive reviews of the weekend including comments such as:

“I feel reinvigorated in both my social justice work and my contemplative practice. More than any specific learning, I feel like I was able to re-connect with how important those things are in my life – and that is incredible, special and unusual.”

“I am still reveling in the positive glow of the retreat. I have already shared several of the strategies you introduced us to with my colleagues and incorporated the meditation and yoga directly into my life as a daily practice realizing that the journey for me has begun with a single step—a commitment to put into practice some of the avenues for contemplative practice we were introduced to this weekend both in my professional and personal life.”

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be in community with you all and for the thinking and planning that went into the retreat.”


New faces at the Center!

John Berry
Website Coordinator

John Berry graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 after majoring in Illustration with a concentration in non-representational painting.  He has designed and maintained several independent web sites, from small businesses to convents. During his time in Providence, he worked to organize the collegiate musical communities through a weekly open mic series and eventually a compilation CD showcasing the area’s undergraduate musical talents.  After working as a teaching and studio assistant for renowned artist Alfred Decredico, his interest in the relationship between monastic and artistic understanding of art and culture led him to pursue work with the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Akim Ndlovu
Youth Program Coordinator

Akim Ndlovu was borne in Syracuse, New York and raised in Zimbabwe, which is his cultural homeland. In past six years Akim has traveled to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bali and France to explore and study dance, striving to bring light to cultural parallels. 1998 he formed a world hip-hop band/performance troupe, "Dha Fuzion". It grew out of need for a culturally relevant sound and approach to performance. Akim has taught and shared contemplative movement workshops in Universities in USA, at Whidbey Institute, in temples in Thailand and currently teaches unorthodox voice and chant workshops in Manhattan.

Rose Sackey- Milligan
Social Justice Program Director

Rose is an applied socio-cultural anthropologist with more than 15 years experience in the philanthropic sector. She is the former Program Director of the Peace Development Fund and Director of Special Programs and Senior Evaluator at the National Center on Family Homelessness. She has been working on women's rights and a range of other social justice issues for 20 years.

Rose is a writer and educator, and her love of travel has taken her to many countries in Latin America, Cuba, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and the U.S., including Hawaii.

Noël Raley
Communications Director

Noël received her J.D. from the NYU School of Law in 2001 and her B.A. in Sociology (magna cum laude) from the State University of New York College at Geneseo. After law school, she was a staff attorney fellow at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, and then she directed an educational advocacy project for Family Court-involved youth in Brooklyn at Advocates for Children of NY for which she did considerable writing and communicating. She has also done work in family advocacy and human rights. Her contemplative practices include yoga, meditation, and long walks with her baby. She lives in Northampton with her partner Michael and her daughter Maeve.

Contemplative Mind


We are offering an exclusive audio CD, produced in association with Sounds True, as a gift to those who donate $50 or more. The CD features a variety of music and words from the Sounds True archive, featuring Father Thomas Keating, David Whyte, Rabbi David Cooper, Coleman Barks, Pema Chodron and many others. Your donation to the Center helps to fund programs such as our Social Justice Program, MPower youth program, or our Contemplative Toolbox, a helpful resource kit for organizations.

We want to make it simple for you to donate to the Center. You can donate online with our secure online payment system. Or, print out our online pledge form.

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

199 Main Street, Suite 3
Northampton, MA 01060 USA
phone: (413) 582-0071
fax: (413) 582-1330
general email:

Questions, concerns? This e-newsletter was made & sent by John Berry