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2-Day MSC Core Skills Workshop
with Christopher Germer and Kristen Neff

Friday & Saturday, March 3 & 4, 2017 9am – 4pm
Watermark Country Club
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer are pioneers in the scientific development of self-compassion. They have brought their respective experience together in the empirically-supported Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program and are providing a series of in-depth opportunities for people to immerse themselves in some of the key practices and exercises of the full 8-week program in an intensive 2-day format. Consider joining Kristin and Chris to learn from the leaders just how powerful and transformative the practice of self-compassion can be. CE credits are available for Mental Health Professionals, Nurses, and Teachers.

After participating in this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Practice self-compassion in daily life
  • Understand the science of self-compassion
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticis
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Manage caregiver fatigue
  • Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
  • Teach simple self-compassion exercises to clients

Program activities include talks, meditation, experiential exercises, and group discussion. Participants will directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life. No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend the program.


Mindfulness, Mindsight and
the Integrated Brain:
What is the Mind and Mental Health?
with Dr. Dan Siegel

Friday, February 26, 2016
9 am – 4 pm
Dan Siegel
Can we describe a ‘healthy mind’? Defining mind as an ‘embodied and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information’ allows us to move deeply into understanding new ways of seeing the interconnections among brain, interpersonal relationships and the mind. Dr. Siegel outlines strategies to monitor and modify energy and information flow with more clarity and power, and also describes how the concept of integration can serve as an organizing principle that illuminates mindsight, harmony, resilience, and vitality.

Workshop objectives:

  • Explore the nature of mind
  • Examine what a healthy mind might be
  • Discover how chaos and rigidity reveal impaired integration
  • Learn how to cultivate integration to create harmony and health

Dr. Dan Siegel is author of three New York Times Bestsellers, Founding Co-Director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, Founding Co-Investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute.

Mindfulness for Educators: Cultivating
Curiosity and Kindness Over the Long Haul

with Ted DesMaisons, MBA, MTh
Founder, Anima Learning
US Coordinator, Mindfulness in Schools Project

Ted Teaching Final

From kindergarten through college, leading voices espouse the benefits of mindfulness practice for children and youth. Mindfulness is often described as a practical tool for addressing mental and emotional health as well as discipline issues in schools. However, for mindfulness to be truly effective, teachers and administrators must learn to distinguish between deeper mindfulness practice and its more superficial “step-siblings.” What does the research show and what does it not show? What variables make for the most effective mindfulness instruction? Who teaches and embodies the practice with integrity and humor? How do we make mindfulness appealing to children and youth? This workshop will dive into these questions and offer attendees a direct taste of mindfulness practice, a glimpse into its promise for the classroom, as well as its power to impact the personal lives of those who work with children and youth.

Learning Objectives:

  • What mindfulness is and what mindfulness is not
  • The explosion of mindfulness research
  • How to train the “puppy mind” for greater attention and focus
  • Simple mindfulness exercises to help ease anxiety, promote resilience, and develop connection
  • Practical steps for bringing mindfulness to school communities

Ted DesMaisons, MBA, MTh., has been synthesizing innovative approaches to teaching and learning for over 25 years. After completing graduate work at Stanford and Harvard, he taught religious studies and philosophy for twelve years at a private New England boarding school. Fueled by insights from the worlds of growth mindset, contemplative practice, improvisational theater and positive reinforcement, Ted founded Anima Learning and now serves as US Coordinator and Lead Trainer for the UK-based Mindfulness in Schools Project. He is also a trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor. Ted shares insights and inquiries regularly on his ANIMA blog: www.AnimaLearning.com/blog.

Hardwiring Happiness:
The New Brain Science of Lasting
Inner Strength and Peace

with Dr. Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and 
New York Times best-selling author

Friday, October 17, 2014
9 am – 4 pm
Rick hanson pic
We all need inner strengths such as resilience, positive emotions, feeling cared about, andconfidence for the long and often hard road of life. These strengths largely depend on turning positive experiences into mental structure. Unfortunately, most positive experiences are wasted on the brain because it evolved a negativity bias to help our ancestors survive. It’s like Velcro for bad experiences but Teflon for good ones. This causes over-reactivity, needless worries, depression, and interpersonal conflicts. It also hampers childrearing, psychotherapy, mindfulness training, and addiction recovery.
To solve this problem, this workshop will show how to turn passing experiences into lasting neural resources. We’ll explore how to use these methods to lower anxiety and stress, lift mood, grow calm and contentment, and fundamentally, hardwire happiness into the brain.

Learning Objectives:

  • How your mind alone can change your brain for the better
  • Why the brain evolved a negativity bias and how this affects us today
  • The four HEAL steps that tap the hidden power of everyday experiences to build up your sense of feeling strong, happy, peaceful, and loved
  • How to have and take in the “antidote experiences” you most need, including for healing old pain
  • How to use the HEAL steps for motivation, childrearing, recovery, depression, and trauma

Why taking in the good brings us home to the Responsive, “green” setting of the human brain that is the fundamental basis of long-term health and happiness.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and New York Times best-selling author. His books include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and on the Advisory Board of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. He has several audio programs and his free Just One Thing newsletter has over 100,000 subscribers