The sun is shining... the sky is brilliant blue...there is a gentle breeze... a squirrel is nibbling on seeds outside... just 2 feet from where my computer sits on my dark wood desk .... It's so simple. And yet it's so profound. I notice the wild joy in my heart. Do I get to be this happy on a work day? I can wear open toed shoes after weeks of snow and rain. I left my coat at home. Students on campus are out in shorts and people I pass on the sidewalks are smiling. And I'm once again reminded that Mary Oliver, American poet, speaks most profoundly about the summits of our daily lives: You want to live well? 'Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell About it', she teaches us. Tell your friends and family about the tiny yellow finch you saw in the budding magnolia tree. Tell your co-worker about the tiny purple flowers that grow right in the cracks of the sidewalk. Take a photo of the squirrel outside your office window and send it to your stressed-out college student kid and then send back emojis and a rainbow heart when the stressed-out kid sends you pics of a fat grey house cat napping on a pile of freshly folded laundry.... These are our riches. Pay attention. Be Astonished. Share. ... See MoreSee Less
This week I've been thinking about the role of 'edges' in a mindfulness practice. So much of what erodes a sense of well-being in our lives arises from moments where we ignore our own worthy edges.... the places where healthy boundaries serve us. I think it is worthwhile to mindfully asses where and how we lay our boundaries. What do I mean here? Well, I'm thinking of two things. First, the need to build up healthy limits & boundaries (edges) ... with people, with media, with work... what do we allow to enter into the fullness of our lives? And what do we say 'no more' to? That is a powerful place of awareness. To be wobbly and allow others to treat us poorly, to engage with ideas that undermine core values or happiness, or to sacrifice our wholeness NOW for anything or anyone ... simply undermines us over time. Our edges and boundaries must be life affirming. Ok, that is the first kind of edge. The second involves, tending to the edges where we might confine ourselves within self-created limits out of habit or fear or tradition. We can identify these edges mindfully to grow larger, broader, more energized. And there is this crazy paradox... addressing a healthy (re)building of outer boundaries often offers the opportunity to grow beyond our own inner confinements too --- or vice versa. A beautiful win-win. Worthy of some mindful attention. How the heck is this possible? One simple question might help: 'Are my choices... right now in this moment... life affirming?' 'Are my choices helpful?' 'Are my choices helping me feel at my best?' Well, are they? ... See MoreSee Less
I'm sitting under gray skies this morning. Watching light rains fall and Spring songbirds pecking at seeds. The daffodils and early tulips are just starting to bloom. It's a favorite time of year for me... I like the anticipation. The 'just before' of all trees in leaf. The 'just before' of warmer and longer days and long warm evening walks and dinner outside. I also have this urge... I'm starting to think it might be biological because it comes every year ... to clean from top to bottom and clear out the unneeded and organize. It got me thinking that part of a mindfulness practice is, of course, bringing care and enjoyment to our physical spaces ... but also to our emotional and intellectual spaces. Maybe our relationships. Can we use this very same eye of appreciation for Spring and all it's potential as we review our inner world? And ask... and then undertake the ways there may be need for some pruning. Do all my emotional habits serve me? Maybe I should trim back my tendency to say 'yes' when I don't have enough time... Are there people who might enjoy knowing how much I appreciate their kindness but haven't said so? Is there a boundary or conflict that I'm not taking good care of? Well, when I take a look, the answer is yes .... and maybe this could be part of my ... maybe your... Spring clean up. ... See MoreSee Less
Teaching mindfulness always inspires me... the things others share and say and offer from their own practices. Yesterday in class we talked about how mindfulness practice 'softens' our exterior shell and protection/ armor so we can feel and express our own gooey soft loving insides more fully. Often we don't expect that we will feel more and more tender through this practice but it is such a bonus. And, for me... now after all these years it is this gooey-ness that keeps me practicing. I'm sharing a link to a short video about how we ALL have this inner tenderness. We all care easily. We are all so much alike in our tender humanity. You may have seen it before... but it's worth another watch. ... See MoreSee Less
One of the most important mindfulness skills we can develop is in relationship: mindful listening. Many of us have spend some time developing communication skills and may feel pretty accomplished in this area. We can get our point across, we can hear the other and then negotiate our side with respect...Interestingly THAT IS NOT THE CENTRAL POINT in mindful listening. It's not about us and our point...not initially, anyway .... It's about us taking really good care to respect and listen and support the deep human needs of the other. We listen carefully to hear and understand... NOT SO WE CAN PREPARE AND THEN SPEAK OUR SIDE more effectively, but to give the other a space to be heard, to be understood, and to heal. [this, BTW, may include hearing some things we disagree with without immediately reacting --- that's why it takes mindfulness). This is such an unusual idea... so non-American in so many ways where we like to win...put people in their place.... protect our own point of view.... spout off when we are emotional. You might take a little time with this though and see this as a practice of radical generosity. Maybe you can do it sometimes. And start to discover your limits in this practice. And also the places where you can extend yourself more.... slow down... defend less....and feel the satisfaction of this kind of interaction. Knowing that, yes, when the time and your intention is good ... you will share more about what you are thinking and feeling too. ... See MoreSee Less
I sometimes forget that I'm part of this world. I often feel I'm an observer rather than a player. Yeah, I engage with people and enjoy the beauty of nature. But to actually feel that I am an animal body with instincts and sensations tightly bound to this big blue and green planet... well, that is more rare. Yet, I am. I am more than my mind. More than my feelings. More than my cookware and leather shoes. I am salt water and carbon and oxygen. There is a famous meditation that invites us to FEEL LIKE A MOUNTAIN. To drop into the fertile soils of our core and root ourselves into the quiet, steady stillness of our own core truth --- the truth that we are quiet, upright, and strong at our center. That the weather may arise, but it will pass and we, as mountains, are the bedrock. Perhaps, you can imagine that and enjoy the feeling of organic stillness. ... See MoreSee Less
Want to let you know about a talk happening this Monday, March 26... that may be of interest to locals who read this page: Acclaimed author Bill Porter, who also writes with pen name Red Pine, will present a program on MONDAY, MARCH 26, 7pm at the Great Room of the 1912 CENTER.
The programs entitled, THE THREE PILLARS OF CHINESE THOUGHT AND THE SEARCH FOR SOLITUDE will be a slide/talk including a discussion of Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, and fascinating anecdotes about Porter’s first-hand encounters with the unique 5,000 year old Chinese hermit tradition, which continues to this day.
He has lived in a Buddhist monastery, traveled widely throughout China, and lectured in both China and the U.S. Among his books which have been translated into Chinese. are: "Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits. Readers find him a unique voice: insightful, knowledgeable and entertaining.
Porter will be available to sign books for sale by BookPeople of Moscow at the 7:00 pm program.
Porter’s program is being presented by the Palouse Asian American Association and the UI Confucius Institute. ... 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.
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“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