During the 2015-2016 academic year, the project sought to provide opportunities for community members to learn mindfulness and practice it together. These included two weekly drop-in sessions for adults and a third for students, all of which began in September and continued throughout the year. During the winter term, a group of faculty took Mindfulness Fundamentals, an online course through Mindful Schools, and met weekly to practice together and discuss the course. In the spring term, Andy Housiaux used the Mindful Schools curriculum as part of a weekly course he taught to a group of students on Monday evenings. PA community members also connected with well-respected teachers of mindfulness, attending an evening talk with Jon Kabat-Zinn and a day-long workshop with Sharon Salzberg.
This year, project collaborators are continuing to cultivate concrete ways to integrate the practice of mindfulness into daily life at Andover. They are working with the Empathy and Balance Strategic Plan Implementation Group and will offer mindfulness instruction as part of various student leadership orientations. The hope is also to have students and interested community members take on roles in leading this work—by guiding weekly sessions, leading discussion groups, and identifying resources and speakers who might advance our collective understanding of mindfulness. Overall the project intends to support colleagues as they explore ways to introduce existing school-based mindfulness curricula to PA students in a variety of settings and contexts—in dorms, in the classroom, and on athletic fields.