Mindful Community

Fellow: Andy Housiaux

Now in its fourth year, the Mindful Community project aims to support community members—students, staff, and faculty—in their cultivation of mindfulness in daily life. Mindfulness practice can play an important role in enhancing individual well-being and in cultivating empathy in interactions with others. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing kind awareness and curiosity to whatever is happening in the present moment: in our minds, in our bodies, and in the world around us.

Project Development

Ongoing Work

Project collaborators continued to cultivate concrete ways to integrate the practice of mindfulness into daily life at Andover. They worked with the Empathy and Balance Strategic Plan Implementation Group and offered mindfulness instruction as part of various student leadership orientations. Students and interested community members took 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 supported colleagues as they explored 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.

Starting Out

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.


What is mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing kind awareness and curiosity to whatever is happening in the present moment: in our minds, in our bodies, and in the world around us.

Community Activities

Community Sits
Community sits are underway! All are welcome to join drop-in sits every Wednesday at 8 a.m. and noon, in Pearson C. The group is exploring the ways in which mindfulness meditation can aid in stress reduction and will emphasize personal practice in the context of a school community. 

Calling Students
The Meditation Club will also host regular sits for interested community members. In addition, guest teachers will be brought to campus periodically and opportunities to participate in local workshops and other activities will be offered.