Once a year I teach a class on the University of Idaho campus for 16 weeks on the basics of mindfulness practice. There is a turning point in the class at about 4 weeks when we do an inclass exercise that involves SAVORING an orange. We take 20 minutes to enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of an orange. We recall all the people who helped grow, pick, ship, and sell the orange. We recall the fertility of the soil and water and sun who helped sustain the orange. It's a simple moment. A familiar moment. And it becomes a moment that stays with people. It becomes a hallmark moment of understanding the deep appreciation that arises from awareness in the moment of simple things. And this moment alters people. They begin to see value to SAVORING all sorts of things as a practice... simple chores like sweeping or dusting (yup, you heard that right), conversations with special people, quiet time in nature, and the precious moment of dropping off to sleep. Favorite songs enjoyed slowly and light shining through the window onto a wood floor. Fuzzy slippers. Studies show that simple moments, in the end, are what we treasure most. These tiny treasures lift our moods and make us smile even weeks, months, years later. Most are free. You might see where SAVORING the simple things can fit into your life. ... See MoreSee Less
Sometimes a comforting moment is found tucked into tender, funny words. Like these, from Brad Aaron Modlin:
The English lesson was that 'I am'
is a complete sentence.
And just before the afternoon bell, [our teacher] made the math equation look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions, and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking for whatever it was you lost, and the one person [called you] add up to something.
The basics of mindfulness as expressed in an excerpt from What you missed the Day you Were Absent from Fourth Grade ... See MoreSee Less
Announcement, for anyone interested. Jamie Derrick, founder of UI Mind, will be co-teaching a 3.5 day residential, silent retreat in N. Idaho (Hayden Lake) with Dave Potter, long time beloved MBSR teacher and founder of Palouse Mindfulness. The retreat runs October 12 (6pm) to October 15 (noon) and costs $260. There are a few scholarships for students and others with limited income; don't be shy to explore this option as we want to encourage participation. The fees include the lodging (3 nights), meals and snacks, and a host of retreat activities: walking and sitting meditation, relational mindfulness in small groups, yoga, chi gong, and access to Hayden lake (the retreat center is lake side), a full size pool, hot tub, wood deck on the lake, and walking trails. If you are interested --- please be sure you are comfortable in sitting meditation for 20-30 minute sessions -- though we will support you in the retreat setting to find your confidence --- and consider if being in silence for a residential retreat is of interest. We will hold noble silence except for our small group practices. Contact Jamie (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information and the link to register. ... See MoreSee Less
One day I arrived at a fairly large group gathering a bit late. I was new and feeling apprehensive about belonging. When I arrived someone in the group --- a stranger to me --- waved to me and patted the chair open next to her. 'Come sit here, she said'. That particular moment has stuck with me for a long, long time. It is a prototypical offer of welcome. Comforting... kind. It touched me, in that moment of feeling new and anxious. And it touches me even now as I think back on it. I walked into that group and sat in that chair knowing I had a place. I was more relaxed, more open. In mindfulness we put effort into creating this kind of welcome for ourselves. We create a spaciousness for --- all of our experience. Nothing excluded. We set up chairs and create a place for every emotion that passes through our experience; every thought that we think; every joy and every sorrow; every pain and every pleasure. Nothing excluded. If it arrives in our experience, it has a place. It's quite an undertaking! Yet, this kind of intentional welcome and presence to all that we are provides a grounding place in the truth of our lives. And THEN from that place of grounded truth we can take conscious action. And we can be our best. So, with that in mind let's be welcoming... it's good for everyone! ... See MoreSee Less
Hello my mindful friends. Today... consider this poem. And see if it inspires you to settle for a bit and feel all you can in the moment of that settling. And then come by on Wednesday at NOON, TLC 046 for 20 minutes of mindful settling together. [The poem references open sky --- a common instruction in mindfulness to experience the mind as open sky. You might allow a space for the memory | possiblity of open skies, even in yourself --- and the knowing that they will again be part of our life once the NW fires recede and may all impacted by unclear skies (inner and outer) find some level of inner peace].
DEAR YOU By Kaveri Patel
You who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still.
I know you’re tired.
I also know it’s not your fault.
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes.
You’ve forgotten something again.
You need to prepare for that or else.
You should have done that differently.
What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
a flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled. ... See MoreSee Less
Wanting to let people know that UI Mind Wednesday drop-in at noon-12:20 has been assigned a room for the rest of the semester. We will be in TLC 046 starting August 30. This room is on the library side of the TLC, on the first floor. Big comfy chairs, Two doors for coming and going. Quiet. It is perfect for us. I think tomorrow we will focus our mindfulness practice on our humanity and heart connection to others -- in particular those in Texas. I hope to see you there tomorrow. ... See MoreSee Less
My University of Idaho Mindfulness Projects:
More about UI Mind >>
Dr. Derrick’s clinical approach encourages eyes-open, courageous self reflection tempered with self compassion. She has an expertise in therapeutic techniques which help identify patterns of thinking interrupt happiness and create resilience. The path to personal growth is challenging yet playful and she uses dialogue, mindful awareness practices, guided imagery, dream content, humor, and her warm welcome to create safety and healing. Her unique approach grows out of years of training in academic psychology, Jungian dream work, mindfulness, and body-based awareness.
Jamie Derrick has been a licensed psychologist in Idaho for fifteen years. She graduated from Stanford University and completed clinical residencies in the Yale Medical School/ West Haven VA Medical Center, the Stanford University Student Counseling Center, University of California at Berkeley Psychology Department.
Dr. Derrick is a warm, welcoming faculty member at University of Idaho. She has taught courses on human development, emotion, mindfulness, and the creative arts.
Jamie is a UCLA certified as a mindfulness teacher (Mindful Awareness Research Center). If you have or want to develop a meditation practice, she can help support that in her classes or in one to one consultation. She can also tailor mindfulness instruction for your setting --- she has offered mindfulness classes in the workplace, school environment and has provided consultation to business executives facing the challenges of complex decisions and workplace interactions.
“I cannot describe how wonderful it is to have your lovely voice guide my mind and body into a relaxed state in the middle of the day. If there is any way to continue the Pod-Casts, I (and many others) would be grateful! .”
“Jamie explained meditation in a way that finally made sense.”
“There is no question that I receive a benefit each time I attend. I go back to the office more at ease than when I left. The sense of peace I feel/receive at the sessions is quite real and tangible and is something I appreciate very much.”
“The half hour is a little oasis within the week. I am so much more focused when I return to work.”
“IU's TEDx talks about kindness, big doubts.”
-- The Moscow Pullman Daily News, April 11, 2016
“Creating a Mindful Campus.”
-- The Argonaut, February 2016
-- The Argonaut, September 2015
“Meditate Stress Away.”
-- The Argonaut, February 2015
-- Lewiston Tribune (Balance Insert), April 2015
“Mindfulness on the Palouse.”
-- KRFP Yin Radio, May 10, 2015
“Mindfulness & Stress Reduction.”
-- Idaho Public Radio, May 8, 2015