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Issue IV - Spring 2004




Since 1999, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society's Youth Program has introduced hundreds of young people to contemplative practices like meditation and yoga. Program Director Dan Edwards teaches young people contemplative methods to deal with stress, anger, and difficult situations, emphasizing nonviolence and empathy.

Many of the program's activities are in the Holyoke/Springfield, MA area, but Dan has also offered workshops with Project AVARY in the San Francisco Bay Area and Power of Hope in Washington State.

In Spring 2004, the Center will launch the Mpower program. Mpower will train youth workers from local community organizations how to use contemplative practices in their work with adolescents. Our goal is to empower participants with the skills necessary to develop, promote, organize, facilitate, and implement long-term social change in their families, schools, and communities. Find out more about Mpower!


Spring Greetings
Mirabai Bush,
Executive Director
Dear Friends,

Outside my window, snow, bare branches, white sky, and the first green sprouts pushing up through the snow. Snowbells, just-born, small, white, bobbing flowers, against a 300-year-old stone wall. In New England, we are never without the natural drama of impermanence and the renewal that it suggests.

A contemplative mind is useful after four months of stark cold. It is easy to overlook the snowbell for the snow, easy to forget what's being born while being surrounded by what is melting and dying. We all have had moments of quickened awareness when we walk outdoors and the sky is vivid and new. But we also know the heaviness of feeling that life is stuck, static, unchanging. We are not seeing signs of renewal or change.

Look deeper. Look under the snow. Contemplative practice gives us a way to be present for each moment so that the instant the snowbell breaks through, we see it. Awareness of change does not always make us happy, but it sets us in a landscape of possibility.

keep reading to hear about the future of the Center...


CMind links in this issue

The Youth Program


Report on the 2004 Philanthropy Retreat

"The Contemplative Organization" article by Maia Duerr

Help Support the Center


Outside links in this issue

Project AVARY

Power of Hope

Garrison Institute

Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions into Medicine, Health Care, and Society - UMass Medical School

San Francisco Zen Center

Naropa School of Extended Studies

Buddhist Peace Fellowship


News about the Center's work during the past few months...

Philanthropy & The Inner Life: Resources for Difficult Times

Jon Kabat-Zinn at the retreat

From January 14th to 16th, the Center held a retreat for 22 philanthropists from across the country at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Pocantico Conference Center in Tarrytown, New York. Jon Kabat-Zinn was the lead teacher; Board Members Charlie Halpern and Charles Terry facilitated the retreat with Executive Director Mirabai Bush.

Participants brought forth topics such as learning to "walk more gently on the earth" using fewer resources, maintaining mindfulness in the workplace, letting go of roles and preconceptions in grantor/grantee relationships, catching creative moments, and remaining centered in a world of busyness and speed.

"I came searching for a meditative space and silence to prepare me for a tumultuous upcoming three weeks. I found that and more - warm welcomes, incredible beauty, peace and a wellspring of mindfulness that exists within me. I think the gentle spirit with which it was offered was as important as the material itself." -- Retreat Participant

Click here to read the retreat report.

"Contemplation and Community"
A Symposium for College and University Chaplains

Center Director Mirabai Bush moderated "Contemplation and Community," a symposium for 60 college and university chaplains, at the Garrison Institute from February 17th to 20th. Participants had a chance to learn about the contemplative practices of four religious traditions from Sufi master Sheikh Din Muhammad Abdullah al-Dayemi, Buddhist teacher Tara Brach, Father Thomas Keating, and Rabbi Sheila Weinberg. The chaplains discussed how these practices could be applied to their work with students and social justice issues.

Rev. William Sloane Coffin, former chaplain of Yale University and founder of SANE/FREEZE, spoke to the participants via a speakerphone and encouraged them to help their students broaden their perspective beyond charity to justice. Rev. Coffin said, "Charity does not affect the status quo. Justice leads you into political confrontation. Compassion often demands confrontation, in the tradition of Gandhi and King."

The event was hosted by the Garrison Institute, assisted by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. The mission of the Garrison Institute, located along the Hudson River in New York, is to provide a physical and intellectual form to address 21st Century issues through the wisdom of the great spiritual traditions.

Spiritual and Social Engagement in a Time of Empire

On March 4, the Center co-sponsored an evening conversation with three leaders of engaged spirituality: Roshi Bernie Glassman, Paula Green, and Sulak Sivaraksa. Nearly 200 people attended the event, held at First Churches in Northampton, MA.

Glassman (founder of the Greyston Mandala and Peacemaker Circles), Green (founder of Karuna Peacebuilding Center), and Sivaraksa (author and activist from Thailand), related stories about how their meditative practices and spiritual insights have informed their work for peace, both in the U.S. and internationally.

New article from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society:

"The Contemplative Organization"

An article based on the Center's research of the organizational use of contemplative practices was recently published in the Journal of Organizational Change Management, Volume 17, No. 1, pp. 43-61.

From the abstract: "As part of a qualitative research project to map the use of contemplative practices in secular settings, in-depth interviews were conducted with 79 people who have founded or lead organizations where contemplative practices play a key role. In a number of interviews, contemplative practices were introduced into the workplace not only as ancillary stress-reduction techniques for individuals, but as a core part of the organization's structure. As interviewees described how their organizations function, a number of characteristics pointed toward 'the contemplative organization' as an emerging model of an organization that infuses a contemplative approach into the workplace."

You can order a copy of the article from the publisher here.

Or you can view a slightly different version of the article here.


Learn how to bring contemplative awareness into your everyday life! In the coming months, there are a number of excellent retreats and conferences across the country for healthcare providers, business and nonprofit professionals, lawyers, elder care providers, educators, and social activists.

March 25 - 28, 2004: Conference: Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions into Medicine, Health Care, and Society; Worcester, MA

March 30 - April 2, 2004: Insight Dialogue: Meditation in Relationship
(Retreat for Therapists and all Health Professionals)
; Charlottesville, VA

April 30 - May 5, 2004: The Power of Mindfulness: Transformative Retreat for Leaders and Innovators in Business and Non-Profit Organizations; Menla Mountain Retreat, NY

May 16 - 21, 2004: Contemplative Practice for Lawyers: Zen, Yoga, and Law Practice Dharma Retreat; Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Carmel Valley, CA

May 17 - 20, 2004: 2nd Annual Naropa University Conference on Contemplative and Holistic Approaches to End of Life and Elder Care; Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY

June 24 - 27, 2004: Contemplative Education Conference; Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, CO

July 10 - 11, 2004: Sitting for Peace, Standing for Justice: Buddhist Peace Fellowship New England Conference; Amherst, MA

Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions
into Medicine, Health Care, and Society
2nd Annual Conference for Clinicians, Researchers, and Educators

March 25 - 28, 2004
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Worcester, Massachusetts

Sponsored by The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Call (508) 856-5493, or go to Integrating Mindfulness-Based Interventions into Medicine, Health Care, and Society - UMass Medical School for schedule and enrollment information.

Insight Dialogue: Meditation in Relationship
Retreat for Therapists and all Health Professionals

March 30 - April 2, 2004
Charlottesville, VA
Teacher: Greg Kramer

Greg Kramer will offer this Insight Dialogue Retreat specifically geared to the needs and challenges of Therapists and all Health Professionals. CEUs are available for Social Workers, Nurses and Counselors.

For more information, contact Sharon Beckman-Brindley, Ph.D.: sharonbb(at), (434) 296-2350.

The Power of Mindfulness:
A Transformative Retreat for Leaders and Innovators
in Business and Non-Profit Organizations

April 30 - May 5, 2004
Menla Mountain Retreat (3 hours north of New York City)
Teacher: Jon Kabat-Zinn

This intensive retreat for leaders and innovators in business and non-profit organizations is an invitation to venture on this journey in the company of a small, select group of others leaders who are also looking for new ways of knowing and of being. These new ways of knowing and being can make a huge difference in one's life as a leader, an innovator, a creator, a person embedded in the warp and woof of personal, family, and professional life.

For a detailed brochure and registration information, please contact the Center for Mindfulness at mindfulness(at) or (508) 856-5493, or download a brochure. Click here for a registration form.

Contemplative Practice for Lawyers:
Zen, Yoga, and Law Practice Dharma Retreat

May 16 - 21, 2004
Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Carmel Valley, CA
Teachers: Mary Mocine and Susan B. Jordan

This retreat is intended to give members of the legal profession an opportunity to unwind and explore contemplative practices. The retreat will offer MCLE credit; it will be gentle and simple. In this workshop we will explore meditation, yoga, and other practices that help us remain grounded in our actual experience, which includes the body and the mind. In discussions we will explore our work lives and what contemplative practices bring to them. There will be time for individual meetings with the leaders as well as plenty of time for enjoying Tassajara.

For more information, see the San Francisco Zen Center website,, then click on Tassajara, then on guest season. Or call (415) 865-1899 to obtain a brochure for Tassajara. You may also contact Mary Mocine at marymo(at) View a flier for this event (.pdf file)

2nd Annual Naropa University Conference on
Contemplative and Holistic Approaches to End of Life and Elder Care

May 17-20 2004
Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY

This conference will bring together leading visionaries, authors, and teachers of contemplative and spiritually based approaches to elder care and end of life care. Keynote and plenary speakers will include: Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., Ira Byock, M.D., Terese Schroeder-Sheker, Richard Rohr, OFM, and Acharya Judy Lief.

For more information, please contact:
Naropa University School of Extended Studies
909 14th Street, Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: (303) 245-4800 or 1-800-603-3117
Fax: (303) 245-4819
Email: extend(at)

2004 Contemplative Education Conference

June 24 - 27, 2004
Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sponsored by Naropa University's Masters in Contemplative Education Program and the Spirituality in Education Network

Keynote Speaker: Rachael Kessler, author of The Soul Of Education: Helping Students find Connection, Compassion, and Character at School

These Spirituality in Education conferences are intended to support our whole beings as teachers and learners by providing a few days of balanced giving, receiving, and contemplation in a community of awareness and richness. Limited enrollment - course credit available. View the 2004 Conference Schedule.

For more information on registration, please call 1-800-603-3117. For accommodations and registration, contact the Shambhala Mountain Center.

"Sitting for Peace, Standing for Justice"
Buddhist Peace Fellowship New England Conference

July 10 - 11, 2004
Amherst, MA

Speakers include Hilda Ryumon Gutierrez Baldoquin, Kenneth Kraft, Alan Senauke, and Arinna Weisman.

For over 25 years, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship has integrated Buddhist teachings of wisdom and compassion with progressive social action. This conference will bring together people of varied backgrounds for a weekend of dharma teachings, skills training, and community building. We hope that this event will lay the foundations of a regional movement for social change, in cooperation with the larger engaged Buddhist community.

For more information, please e-mail ne-bpf(at), phone (413) 563-5197, and visit

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
199 Main Street, STE 3
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 582-0071

top image © Rene Theberge