Feels on Wheels
What has ten meditation pods, four wheels, and an iconic aluminum shell? The MeditationWorks mobile meditation studio, of course. In early May, the new Canadian mobile meditation service guided a session for healthcare workers in Scarborough, Ontario, equipped with its modified Airstream travel trailer designed to provide an out-of-the-ordinary meditation space.
The mobile experience typically takes place inside the shiny, bullet-shaped “Mindstream,” however, in the face of COVID-19, meditating inside of a closed vehicle was out of the question. Owner Traci Shepherd shifted gears, moving MeditationWorks guided meditations online and offering the mobile meditation session outside with the help of speakers, an FM radio broadcast, and chairs arranged six feet apart.
Pup Rings a Bell
Often, our beloved pets help us to be mindful—but Nyxie the Labrador might have gone too far. As the Mirror reported, Nyxie’s family in Surrey, UK, noticed their meditation ball, which had a bell inside, had gone missing. After searching for days, they noticed a telltale jingling—coming from inside their feisty pup. Fortunately, a vet was able to remove the ball Nyxie had eaten, leaving her unharmed.
Ageism is Getting Old
A program developed by the Institute of Noetic Sciences is changing the way people think about aging. The Conscious Aging Program encourages mature adults to embrace life by exploring self-compassion, forgiveness, and community.
In a six-session online workshop, people are able to shift their attitudes toward aging by engaging in lively discussions with other participants about making sense of the past. They’re also invited to work through activities based on inner and collective wisdom discussed in each meeting. The workshop offers sessions dedicated to developing self-compassion and accepting a new phase of life, as well as exploring ageism and existing attitudes toward death. Visit the Institute of Noetic Sciences website to find out when the next Conscious Aging Online Workshop will take place.
Teachers for the Greater Good
Earlier this year, the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) launched a new initiative, Greater Good in Education. The online resource shares a free and growing collection of science-based information and practices, for use among educators and with students from kindergarten to college. Topics include “Build Trust with Your Students,” “Gratitude Circle for Staff Members,” and “Mindful Reflection Process for Developing Culturally Responsive Practices.” GGSC Education Director Vicki Zakrzewski, writes that GGIE seeks to empower educators by providing a range of flexible, easy-to-integrate materials, allowing them “to choose what will best serve their students” and “to teach according to their values.” Curated by scientists together with program developers in the fields of Social-Emotional Learning, mindfulness, ethical development, and more, the platform aims to integrate well-being skills into existing school subjects (learning empathy through literature, anyone?) to help foster thriving, resilience, and compassion in society.
Grocery shortages and the news of COVID-19 outbreaks in meat-processing plants led many consumers to consider their food choices this year. In the first quarter of 2020, Beyond Meat, a plant-based meat company, reported a 141% increase in net profits over the same period in 2019. Mindful eating can take many forms—from noticing how the food we eat feels in our body, to being aware of where our food comes from and what went into producing it. Mindful eating may have been on the rise throughout the spring. American media outlets reported a 264% increase in plant-based protein sales over a nine-week period ending in May.
Acts of Kindness
A farmer in Michigan was behind on his planting as he recovered from COVID-19. Dozens of farmers came from around the state to help till the soil, plant seeds, and fertilize. “When people need help they come and help and I’m so proud…I’m so proud to be in a neighborhood where this works,” Steve Alt, who owns Alt Brothers Farms, told a local television station.
Emerson Weber of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, sent her mail carrier a thank-you note. “I make people happy with my letters, but you do too,” she wrote. When 11-year-old Emerson’s appreciation made its way to a United States Postal Service newsletter, she received thank-you notes from essential service workers all over the country—and beyond. Emerson’s dad, Hugh, told NPR: “There’s such a basic human need to be seen and to be known and to be loved. And she’s reflected that.”
Some spring religious festivals looked different this year, but many communities rose to the occasion. One mosque in Scotland made its usual Ramadan feast, and offered it to the those in need, while congregants of a West Virginia church came together to make PPE for healthcare professionals using materials donated by the community. “It’s gathering for Easter in a different way,” one congregant told reporters.