We believe that the many physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits of mindfulness should be available for all. However, we know there are many people for whom our regular classes are inaccessible. To address this gap, we have developed the Mindfulness Mentors, an all-volunteer program that teaches mindfulness practices and compassionate action to some of Louisville’s most marginalized members of our community. Some of these include youth and adults experiencing homelessness, emotional or physical disabilities; those in the foster care or justice systems; and others in highly disadvantaged environments. We offer this program to staff of organizations that serve underserved communities in Louisville as well. These offerings are without charge.
Mindfulness Mentors introduce groups of participants to basic mindfulness practices that enable self-knowledge, cultivate compassion for self and others, reduce stress, and increase the capacity to learn and make decisions. We believe these practices will help participants live a balanced life and connect with others and the natural world. We have partnerships with Family Scholar House, Maryhurst Alternative School, Americana, Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), Nativity Academy, the Louisville Urban League, Mariposa, and many others.
Working in teams, the mentors offer the training over the course of several weekly sessions, each with a range of experiential activities modified to meet the specific needs of the group. Participants learn the benefits of mindfulness, gain a variety of tools to increase awareness, and support each other through the process of developing a new meditation practice.
To become a Mindfulness Mentor, you must:
- Complete one or more mindfulness meditation courses at the Earth & Spirit Center (or equivalent)
- Maintain a personal meditation practice for at least two years
- Demonstrate experience with or willingness to learn teaching skills
- Complete an application and background check
- Complete the Mindfulness Mentor 3-hour orientation
- Serve as a “class assistant” for one 10-week course with experienced mentors
Mindfulness Mentor expectations:
- Instruct at least one long-form class per year
- Attend a monthly meeting for program feedback and ongoing training
- Report the number of the hours contributed and number of individuals participating
- Complete an annual self-evaluation and re-commitment process
We can provide a series of lessons (generally four to six), offer a one-time overview of mindfulness, or tailor a program to your needs. We also offer instruction in mindful parenting and connecting mindfully to the natural world. We’re looking for organizational partners who:
- Work in and serve under-resourced communities and neighborhoods
- Will recruit and support a group of participants (minimum 6 to 12 per class)
- Want to learn more about bringing mindfulness practices into their organization