2013 Conference Information

Mindfulness: Foundation for Teaching and Learning

Sixth Annual Conference
March 15 – 17, 2013
Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
(directions to the campus)

Program of Events

  • Courageous Schools: Teaching and Leading in Tough Times ~ Friday, March 15
  • Arthur Zajonc, Keynote Address: The Heart of Education ~ Friday evening, March 15
  • Mindfulness in Education Symposium ~ Saturday, March 16
  • A Day of Mindfulness: Alive and Awake ~ Sunday, March 17

Mindfulness meditation has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to reduce suffering and cultivate inner peace. Research shows that mindfulness also enhances learning and attention. There is growing interest in the possibility that this ancient meditative practice can support education and learning for both children and adults. Many educational institutions, including UCLA, Stanford, UCSF, and PENN have embraced mindfulness as an educational intervention by introducing it into their curricula and conducting research in the field. This three-day event will explore the uses of mindfulness in education.

Download a conference flyer (.pdf)


Courageous Schools: Teaching and Leading in Tough Times

Friday, March 15, Full-day workshop, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Washburn Hall, Lesley University
Cambridge, MA
Certificates of participation provided

This one-day workshop, part of the Courage in Schools Initiative of the Center for Courage & Renewal, introduces educators to approaches for personal and professional renewal and to practical applications that bring reflection and mindfulness into classrooms and support the building of relational trust in the adult community of school.

Are there ways to reduce stress and anxiety for educators? Can we increase relational trust to help make our schools, colleges and universities healthier and safer environments for teaching and learning? How can we remain connected to our deepest professional aspirations for our students in the face of ever-increasing demands that reduce our time with them? What is needed to help leaders and teachers stay at their posts for enough years to form true professional learning communities and realize the educational results they envision?

With other educators you will explore:

  • Activities and exercises to help with engaged listening, attention, and pace.
  • Protocols for reflection and connection in the adult community in schools.
  • Research that documents relational trust and social emotional learning as essential to increased teacher efficacy as well as student achievement.
  • Connections to programs fostering increased democratic engagement at both the student and adult community level.

Workshop Facilitators

Sharlene Voogd Cochrane, PhD, is Professor in the Self-Designed Master’s Degree at Lesley University. An educator for over 25 years, her research and writing focus on cultural identity, especially the interplay of gender, race, class and religion. Sharlene has been a Courage & Renewal Facilitator for ten years, facilitating a variety of multi-session and shorter Courage to Teach and Courage to Lead retreats.

Pamela Seigle, MS, is Executive Director of Courage & Renewal Northeast. Pamela is the founder of the nationally recognized Open Circle Program, a social and emotional learning program based at the Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College. She is co-author of the Open Circle Curriculum.
Chip Wood, MSW, is a Courage & Renewal Facilitator and a leader of the Courage in Schools initiative of the Center for Courage & Renewal. Chip is an author, the co-founder of the Northeast Foundation for Children (NEFC), and a co-developer of the Responsive Classroom® approach.
Lisa Sankowski, EdM, is a Courage & Renewal Facilitator, Program Manager of the Courage in Schools initiative of the Center for Courage & Renewal, and Associate Director of Courage & Renewal Northeast based at Wellesley College.

Maura McNiff, MS, is a Courage & Renewal Facilitator and a first-grade teacher in Belmont, MA, where she has been a teacher of young children for the past twenty-five years.


Arthur Zajonc, Keynote Address: The Heart of Education

Friday, March 15th 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Washburn Hall, Lesley University
Cambridge, MA
Cost: $30

The Heart of Education concerns the well-being and profound development of the child or young adult. Educator, author and scientist Arthur Zajonc will draw from his recent work with Parker Palmer, and from his many years of involvement in education at all levels, to provide his perspective on the important contribution of contemplation to education. As a physics professor and teacher at Amherst College, one of the founders of the Hartsbrook Waldorf School, and a contemplative educator for many years, Arthur brings a rare range of experience to the Mindfulness in Education conference.

Arthur Zajonc, PhD, is president of the Mind & Life Institute, former director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and a professor of physics at Amherst College from 1978-2012. His research has included the experimental foundations of quantum physics and the relationship between sciences, the humanities and contemplation. His books include Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry, The Heart of Higher Education (with Parker Palmer), and Catching the Light. In 1997 he served as scientific coordinator for the Mind and Life dialogue with H.H. the Dalai Lama published as The New Physics and Cosmology: Dialogues with the Dalai Lama (Oxford 2004). He again organized the 2002 dialogue with the Dalai Lama, “The Nature of Matter, the Nature of Life,” and acted as moderator at MIT for the “Investigating the Mind” dialogue in 2003 (see www.mindandlife.org). He has also been General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America (1994-2002), president of the Lindisfarne Association, and a senior program director at the Fetzer Institute.


Symposium for Educators, Counselors, and Administrators

Saturday, March 16, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Washburn Hall, Lesley University
Cambridge, MA
Cost: $160
Certificates of participation provided
LMHC CEU’S available ($40 processing fee due after the conference)

Mindfulness-Based Education (MBE), a powerful tool to decrease stress, deepen learning, enhance academic performance, and promote emotional and social well-being, is increasingly recognized as essential for students, educators and parents. MBE may help to develop the capacity for attention and awareness, creating optimal conditions for teaching and learning. This day-long conference will include a plenary panel consisting of leaders in the field, interest group break-out sessions, and mindfulness practice sessions.

Conference Schedule

8:30 – 9:00 am Conference registration and breakfast

9:00 – 10:30 Conference opening and Plenary Panel Presentations

  • Oliver W. Hill, Jr., PhD, Chair, Department of Psychology,VirginiaStateU.
  • Lisa Flook, PhD, research scientist, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds,University ofWisconsin-Madison
  • Sam Himelstein, PhD, Director of Programs and Research, Mind Body Awareness Project

10:45 – 11:45 Interactive discussion with panel members

11:45 – 1:00 pm Lunch

1:00 – 2:15 and 2:30 – 3:45 pm Break-out sessions tentatively include:

  • Early childhood education
  • Teaching young children in elementary school
  • Teaching children in middle school
  • Teaching young adults in high school
  • Teaching university students
  • Teaching teachers
  • Research on mindfulness
  • Developing a personal practice
  • Integrating personal practice and work
  • Parenting Teaching and enhancing empathy
  • Counseling
  • Teaching body centered practices

4:00 – 4:30 pm Conference closing

Plenary Panel

Oliver W. Hill, Jr., PhD, has been practicing meditation since 1970, and teaching meditation since 1972. Hill is a Professor of Experimental Psychology at Virginia State University specializing in the study of cognition. In addition to his research interests in mindfulness and contemplative practices, he is currently principal investigator on two projects funded by the National Science Foundation studying the efficacy of cognitive training as an intervention to enhance mathematical performance. He is also interested in fostering the concept of quality education as a civil right.

Lisa Flook, PhD, is a research scientist at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests are focused on exploring prevention and early intervention strategies to promote well-being early in life. She is involved in studying the impact of mindfulness practices in educational settings for students and teachers. Ongoing projects include collaboration with the Madison Metropolitan School District’s 4-year old Kindergarten program.

Sam Himelstein, PhD, is the Director of Programs and Research at the Mind Body Awareness Project. He is also a licensed psychologist who works with incarcerated adolescents at a non-profit mental health agency, is associate core faculty at Sofia University, and has a small private practice. His first book, A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working with High-Risk Adolescents, will be published in 2013. He also conducts workshops in person and online for continuing education (CE). CE workshop information is available at www.engagingthemoment.com.


A Day of Mindfulness: Alive and Awake

Sunday, March 17, Full-day workshop, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Washburn Hall, Lesley University
Cambridge, MA
Cost: $120

Come join us for a day of nourishing silence, mindful awareness practices and reflection. Develop your capacity to be fully alive, to rest in your present moment experience with openness and kindness. You will be guided through a variety of mindful awareness practices including sitting and walking meditation, mindful eating, and mindful movement. There will be meditations for cultivating sensory clarity, focus, loving- kindness and compassion. This day is for beginners as well as those with prior meditation experience.

“Only the day dawns to which you are awake.” Henry David Thoreau


Irene McHenry, PhD, is a psychologist, school consultant, author/editor of numerous publications including the 2009 Tuning In: Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning. She consults with organizations nationwide providing professional development and teaching mindfulness for administrators, faculty, trustees and aspiring leaders. Irene is a founder of several schools and initiated the founding of the Friends Council’s SPARC program – Spirited Practice and Renewed Courage, based on Parker Palmer’s teacher formation principles. She is the Executive Director of the Friends Council on Education and Board President for the Council for American Private Education.

Richard Brady, MS, is a writer, an educational consultant (www.mindingyourlife.net), and co-founder of the Mindfulness in Education Network. Richard’s publications include: Tuning In: Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning, McHenry and Brady, eds., 2009, Friends Council on Education, Philadelphia and “Learning to Stop, Stopping to Learn: Discovering the Contemplative Dimension in Education,” Journal of Transformative Education, 5, no.4, (2007): 372-394. Richard taught high school mathematics at Sidwell Friends School in Washington,DC for 34 years before retiring in 2007.


Lesley University, Mindfulness in Education Network, Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Friends Council on Education, Association for Mindfulness in Education, Courage & Renewal Northeast

*Additional services charges will be applied

Cancellation Policy

We regret that we cannot offer refunds for cancellations after March 1st. Cancellations received by email by that date are eligible for a refund minus a processing fee. Cancellations received after that date are not eligible for any refund. Contact mindfulnessconference2013@gmail.com if you cancel and do not receive a cancellation confirmation within a week.

How to Cancel
Submit cancellations via email: mindfulnessconference2013@gmail.com

Contact: mindfulnessconference2013@gmail.com

Hotel Accommodations

A limited number of overnight accommodations were held until 2/18 at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Boston at 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02134. Rooms may still be available at standard rates, as the deadline for applying the group discount has passed; you may call them at 617-783-0090 for more information.