What it Means to be Mindful: Meditation and Workplace Awareness

In this one-hour session you will join like minded individuals (beginners welcome) in learning more about what mindfulness is, why it is crucial in our everyday lives, and you will be led through a 30-minute mindfulness meditation session.


Thursday, January 16, 2014
3:00 PM - 3:00 PM


Minneapolis: Thursday, Jan. 16, 3 p.m., TMH 450
St. Paul: Friday, Jan. 17, 3 p.m., MHC 355 (Wellness Center)


RSVP to attend this free event

About the Facilitators

Dr. William Brendel is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Learning & Development. In addition to his research agenda regarding existential dimensions of transformative learning, Bill has received over 70 hours of instruction in Guiding Mindfulness Meditation from Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Bill has facilitated meditation to cultivate organizational consciousness with college students at Columbia University, Texas A&M University, Temple University, the University of St. Thomas, and K-12 faculty across India, Africa, and China.

Dr. Tom Bushlack is an Assistant Professor of Theology and a co-founder of the Project for Mindfulness and Contemplation at UST. In addition to his research agenda studying the influence of contemplative practices in the cultivation of well-being and moral decision-making, Tom is a Benedictine oblate of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and has received instruction in meditation from teachers in the Christian, Buddhist, and yoga traditions. Tom has facilitated meditation to cultivate a greater sense of satisfaction and purpose in life with college students at the University of Notre Dame and the University of St. Thomas.

More Information About the Session

"Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake." - William James

Many of us reflect - after the fact - on our workplace experiences so that we might revise our future approach to getting the job done and relating with others.  Yet there is something to be said for developing our capacity to be more fully present ‘in the doing’ as a way of enhancing the quality of our lives at work (and home).

Now more than ever, mindfulness is a capacity that must be understood, developed, and led by university professionals. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as the "awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment" (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). In the university context, mindfulness suggests a special quality of being present with ourselves and our students, moment by moment in the learning experience.

The benefits of cultivating mindfulness are many. In a recent study, groups participating in a "Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction" course (MBSR), demonstrated a substantial physiological increase in brain matter density associated with learning and memory processes, emotional regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking (Holzel et al., 2011). In fact, many of the positive results of mindfulness have been shown to extend beyond the time that a person has formally engaged in meditation.


A social hour with refreshments will follow the one-hour session.