Paying attention to life with curiosity, presence and compassion

Mindfulness teaches us skills to explore and honor the vast emotional and intellectual experiences we feel as human beings. It also teaches us the skills of noticing when our minds have wandered off into the past or future or to reoccurring thoughts and emotions that not only pull us away from living in the present moment, but that can also leave us feeling stressed, worried and isolated. Mindfulness teaches us how to access new ways of managing these situations and can lead to a happier and more balanced life. Curiosity, openness and kindness for ourselves sets a platform for building self awareness, acceptance and compassion.

Genuine self-acceptance and self-compassion lead to a deeper understanding and compassion for the world. Mindfulness helps to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude for our lives, the lives of others and for our daily experiences.

Mindfulness in the Classroom

Mindfulness in education is a growing addition to classrooms across the country (and the globe).  Incorporating mindfulness inside of curriculum, in transitions throughout the day and as a option that allows for personal space and self regulation when emotions get overwhelming allows both teachers and students a variety of choices, self awareness and management skills. 

Manitou Center offers mindfulness training for public and private schools as well as home school communities. Most often, mindfulness instructors meet with classes and learning communities twice a week over the course of 8 weeks. We are also available to work with students 1-1, as a support with counselors, in extra curricular or other specialized settings.  In addition, we work with teachers, counselors and administrators, offering adult-focused mindfulness trainings both for self care as well as for how to incorporate more mindfulness practices inside of classrooms and throughout school communities.  Please contact Trish Johnson with any questions you may have.

Mindfulness in classrooms and school environments
Mindfulness helps to increase focus and concentration.  How often is it that students are told to pay attention during a school day?  Many times, we know.  But, when were they actually taught the skills of focus and concentration?  Mindfulness training gives students experiential practice by learning the art of paying attention to one thing at a time, over and over again.  In time, this training helps students achieve growth of new neural networks in the brain. By growing neural networks, students are essentially rewiring their brain, gaining access to these newly developed or heightened skills of attention and concentration.  With these skills, students have the ability pay closer attention in class, increase their study and academic skills and be more present and aware inside of their relationships at school, home and in their communities.
Mindfulness increases self awareness and offers choices.  With mindfulness training, students (and adults) are given tools to identify more clearly and honestly how to name what they are feeling and with care, to manage their emotions, in order to best take care of themselves, those around them and their environments both at school and inside of their larger communities.
Mindfulness supports stress and anxiety management.  Mindfulness practice give students (and their teachers) the ability to slow down, pause and stay present throughout their day.  Stress and anxiety become unmanageable when they are given free range to take over the driver’s seat and run the show, taking individuals away from what is actually happening in any given moment.   However, using mindfulness, practitioners are empowered when they know how to access their breath, create (emotional, mental and physical) space and to remain aware of what is currently taking place without getting swept away by emotions and feelings that can often feel overwhelming and unmanageable and cause stress and anxiety. Self awareness and emotional regulation allow for healthier, happier and more successful students (and teachers)!
Mindfulness can grown empathy and compassion. Mindfulness training teaches students how to set aside habits of self criticism and blame and learn new ways to relate to and with themselves when they are not feeling the love for who they are.  When young people learn to accept who they are, on their “good” and “bad” days, and actually be kind, caring and supportive of themselves, they can more easily move through these difficult times and come out feeling much less defensive and hostile.  In turn, learning how to care for themselves in this way, makes it possible for them to open up to understanding the perspectives of others and to offer care and compassion for their classmates and community when they are navigating their own rocky roads.



Mindfulness for Families

In our fast paced world, filled with work, busy schedules, errands, and, let’s face it, those ever present modern devices, it can be hard to find ways to to spend time together as a family let alone connect in meaningful ways during those rare moments of time.  If we don’t stay up on our relationships with one another we can easily, without meaning to, lose a sense of connection with and understanding about one another and we can forget to have fun together.  Our individual relationships and our relationship as a unit greatly impact the success of how we feel inside of our school, work and play.  Healthy families help to nurture healthy, happy and well-balanced individuals.
Mindfulness can be a part of your family’s health plan.  Learning mindfulness together as a family offers individuals tools for taking care of ourselves and each other.  Working on these skills together provides a nurturing and relevant context and the container for practicing living a little differently.  It nurtures individuals to slow down, pause, breath, love, listen and grow empathy and compassion.  These skills can help us manage our busy lives, create room for one another, encourage us to practice gratitude and to play more and have fun!

Manitou Center offers small group family classes 2-3 times a year.  Trained instructors are also available to create an individual, 4-week family course designed specifically for your family’s wishes and needs.  To stay connected about upcoming classes please sign-up for our newsletter or contact Trish via email or at 507-450-7339

Mindfulness for Individuals

Mindfulness is accessible for anyone at any stage of life
Sometimes we find ourselves in a certain stage of life when things seem to be moving too rapidly, or we may feels like we are losing connection with who we are because we haven’t made time for ourselves.  Other times we may be living with grief, depression, anxiety or overwhelm and we need some support in working with and through these difficult experiences.   Manitou Center provide engaging mindfulness classes for individuals, couplesfamilies, and small groups. We work with children, adolescents and adults.  All of our mindfulness classes can be uniquely adapted to address specific areas and needs of the individuals. All sessions are led by individuals with extensive background and training in mindfulness meditation.
Our foundation is to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for you to open the door and welcome yourself openly with compassion and care.
For additional information please contact Trish Johnson or call 507.450.7339

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Weather we mean to or not, we bring our lives with us when we show up for work, and with that comes our relationships, experiences and often times, the feelings of stress, overwhelm, frustration, and very regularly a busy and distracted mind.
Mindfulness is a way of taking care of one’s overall health and well-being and when the health of the individual is well cared for, collectively the workplace is a much healthier and happy place to be.

Our workplace mindfulness sessions and courses offer training in stress reduction, mindful communication, compassionate listening and the ability to meet new and often challenging situations with openness, creativity and flexibility.  Manitou Center trainings are designed to fit the individual needs of your workplace and are lead by highly trained and experienced mindfulness instructors.

For additional information, please contact Trish Johnson or call 507.450.7339

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686 W. 5th St., Winona, Minnesota

(507) 961-5665    |    info@dharmariver.org

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