by Whitney Hopler, Communications Director
Mason faculty, staff, and students can recharge through mindfulness meditation this summer in the middle of each busy work week. Mindful Wednesdays will present free mindfulness sessions featuring diverse practices, from noon to 12:45 p.m. May 23 through August 15 in SUB1 room 3309 (room 3316 on July 25). “My hope is that Mindful Wednesdays will be an opportunity for members of our community to breathe, to recharge, and to give themselves a few minutes of self-care,” says Katie Clare, a Senior Fellow at our center and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS). “A few minutes of self-care can go a long way.”
Clare will be one of three Mindful Wednesdays facilitators, along with Michael Galvin (Director of the Office of Technology Integration for University Life) and Stacy Borzi (Contract Specialist for Facilities Administration). “We have an uncommon amount of talent at Mason around the science and application of well-being, including mindfulness,” says Nance Lucas, our center’s Executive Director. “Katie Clare, Michael Galvin, and Stacey Borzi are examples of Mason colleagues who are trained in mindfulness practices and are paying it forward over the summer in support of our students’ and employees’ well-being.”
Mindful Wednesdays will give the Mason community a variety of different mindfulness practices to learn and try. Clare says: “When it comes to a practice, mindfulness doesn’t mean just one thing, so I think the variety piece is critical. … Each facilitator has a very different approach, and we’ve distributed the sessions evenly among us. Michael, a practicing Buddhist, will share a silent meditation practice. Stacy, newly certified in Yoga Nidra, will offer deep relaxation sessions. My own sessions will include guided and silent meditations and will utilize essential oils to support the practice.”
The well-being benefits of mindfulness range from lower stress, anxiety, and depression to greater concentration, memory, and emotional resilience. Each person who practices mindfulness can experience its recharging benefits in ways that match his or her unique needs. “When I am challenged by change to reinterpret the universe and reassemble the concept of myself – a process that seems constant – I rest secure in the knowledge that I always have a choice to be mindful; to be fully present exactly when and where I sit, at any point along the vapor trail of experience, and that everything is just as it should be,” Galvin says, describing the recharging process that he experiences and offers everyone to experience in their own ways through Mindful Wednesdays. “Everything is only as it could be, because in that being, I have already stepped forward into the next moment and another opportunity for rebirth. Mindfulness practices nurture the tendency to breathe in that moment, without judgment and hubris, with wide-eyed curiosity and radical acceptance, and my gratitude fosters hope that sustains me.”
Plan to take a well-being break this summer on Wednesdays to discover mindfulness practices that recharge you!