Living Compassion, Living Joy
September 2016 – June 2017
Instructors: Annie Mahon, Mary Carnell, MD, Dr. Deidre Combs, Rev. Julia Jarvis, and Marie Sheppard, MBA
Bring more authenticity, awareness and happiness into your life and learn more about mindfulness practice within a small and supportive community of women.
Join a diverse group of women learning how to wake up and enjoy life using daily mindfulness practices and meditation. The Year of Mindfulness program is now in its fourth year at Circle Yoga. The 2016-2017 program is unique in that we will have five facilitators, each a highly experienced practitioner in her particular field of mindfulness. This collaborative team approach provides participants expanded learning opportunities and more small group connections and mentoring time.
Following the guidance and wisdom of our five facilitators, we will apply what we learn to all aspects of our lives–our relationship with ourselves, our interactions with others, our chosen vocation, and our physical health. We will begin learning basic mindfulness meditation in order to learn how to pause and reclaim our natural wisdom. Looking deeply into our lives, we will uncover the habits of mind that keep us caught in cycles of over-thinking and busyness, and learn how to take care of and transform challenging emotions and reactions using practices grounded in mindfulness.
Watch the videos below for more information.
The Year of Mindfulness for Women: Living Compassion, Living Joy is structured to maximize the following three components, so that by the end of the year your practice will be rooted strongly in your life, like a tree with deep roots that can withstand many storms.
- Engaging with a community of friends who are working toward presence and mindfulness;
- Practicing mindfulness and meditation on a regular basis; and
- Dedicating time to study and contemplation, both of ourselves and of mindfulness readings.
As a Year of Mindfulness program participant, much of your time with the group will be spent learning and practicing aspects of formal and informal mindfulness, and sharing your experiences with others. You will learn to use tools to help you stay present and to hold whatever joyful or difficult experiences arise in each moment. Specific books and exercises will also be recommended for at-home practice and learning throughout the year.
The year-long program includes:
- An opening day-long retreat in September 2016 (in person, 90 minutes from DC)
- Twelve workshops on Saturday afternoons, 1-2 times per month (in person at Circle Yoga)
- A weekend residential retreat in May 2017 (in person, driving distance from DC)
- Participation in smaller mentoring groups led by one of the 5 instructors (may be by phone, Skype or in person)
- Three private sessions with your mentor over the course of the year (may be by phone, Skype or in person)
- Regular meetings with your three-person group (triad) of peers throughout the year (may be by phone, Skype or in person)
Examples of some of the topics and practices we will work with include:
- The Art of Living Mindfully: Basic Practices
- Growing our Larger Self with Focusing
- Meeting the Buddha on the Path: Teachings from the Buddha
- Compassion for Our Shadows
- Waking up at Work
- Worst Enemies, Best Teachers
- Making Space for Ourselves and Others as We Are: Self-Acceptance and Forgiveness
- Practicing Compassion and Joy at Home
- Strengthening our Roots: Getting to Know Our Blood and Spiritual Ancestors
- Solid as a Mountain, Fresh as the Dew: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability
- Staying Connected, Creating Mindful Community
- Exploring Stillness and Silence
Saturday, September 10, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm – Boyce, Virginia
Saturday Afternoon Sessions, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm at Circle Yoga
Friday Evening Sessions, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Circle Yoga
Friday, May 19, 5:00 pm – Sunday, May 21, 2:00 pm – TBD, MD or VA
Friday, June 2, 6:00-8:30 pm
The fee for this year-long program is $2600. The first quarterly payment of $650 is due at the time of registration. Payments will be made over the course of the program as follows:
Due upon registration – $650
Due December 1 – $650
Due February 1 – $650
Due April 1 – $650
Registration is closed. The 2016-2017 Year of Mindfulness for Women is full. Add your name to the wait list here.
Retreat expenses are included, with the exception of transportation costs and any extra food or services. This program is limited to 30 participants. Previous sessions of the Year of Mindfulness have filled quickly, so we recommend that you register soon to secure your space.
The first payment of $650 includes a non-refundable $300 deposit. If a student elects to withdraw before September 1, 2016, she will receive a $350 refund. Thereafter, each student is responsible for the entire program tuition.
Annie Mahon, YOM Program Director
Annie Mahon is an author, ordained Buddhist mindfulness teacher and founder of the Circle Yoga Cooperative in Washington, D.C. Annie has been writing about mindfulness, parenting, stress and yoga since 2004. Her blog, rawmindfulness.com, led to a book of Annie’s collected essays, Words to be With. Her most recent book, Things I Did When I was Hangry (Parallax Press, September 2015), documents Annie’s search for sanity in her eating disordered family life, and reveals how mindfulness helped her go beyond the search for perfection and learn to love the moment as it is. Annie holds certifications in yoga, focusing and massage therapy and dabbles in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), as well as a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and a M.A. in Religious Studies. When not visiting her children, teaching, traveling the world with her husband, drinking Jasmine tea with honey, writing or walking her dogs, she practices yoga and mindfulness with her community in DC.
Mary Carnell, MD
Mary is a practitioner of mindfulness in the zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh beginning in 1978. Her practice is informed by several traditions including Tibetan Buddhism, Vipassana, Ayurveda, Yoga and Quakers. She is deeply grateful to all her many teachers over the years and the opportunities to participate in retreats with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, and Jack Kornfield, among others. Last year, Mary completed one year of study in Ayurveda Nutrition & Health Counseling at the Kripalu School of Ayurveda. Mary is a medical doctor by training with a Masters in Public Health. She completed her residency in General Preventive Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University. Her career in international public health has taken her to live and work nearly 20 years in Mali, Bangladesh, Madagascar, and Ethiopia. She currently focuses on maternal, newborn, and child health work in India.
Deidre Combs, PhD
Dr. Deidre Combs is a management consultant, leadership instructor and experienced mediator. She has worked with a variety of corporate, government and NGO clients over the past twenty-five years including Aveda Corporation, US Postal Service and Forest Service, IBM, Agenda Ciudadana and Landmine Survivors Network. Dr. Combs is also the author of three books on cross-cultural approaches to resolving conflict and overcoming challenges: The Way of Conflict, Worst Enemy, Best Teacher and Thriving Through Tough Times. Deidre received her doctorate of ministry degree in 2002 from the University of Creation Spirituality/Naropa University where she researched ubiquitous wisdom from the world’s lasting traditions regarding overcoming challenges and seeing conflict resolution as a spiritual practice. Deidre has also been an executive coach for over fifteen years working with top and mid-level employees in corporate, government and educational settings. Combs serves as a professor at Columbia University and Montana State University, teaching intercultural leadership, conflict resolution and cross-cultural competency.
Rev. Julia Jarvis
Julia Jarvis is a mother, spouse, friend, minister (ordained with the United Church of Christ and Christian Church, Disciples of Christ) wedding officiant, wellness counselor and Professional Focusing Teacher. The tragic sudden death of her mother (who grew up in Alabama) in 2000 propelled Julia on a long journey towards deep healing, freedom from Southern Baptist theology and racism (still working on this) and southern appropriateness. Out of desperation for healing, Julia has studied and practiced mindfulness, non-violent communication, dialectical behavioral therapy, and mindful self-compassion, and she is currently studying with Dr. Rick Hanson in the year-long class, The Foundations of Well-Being. Julia has twin daughters who have graduated from college (YEAH) and are working (YEAH YEAH) and live back at home (yeah). She loves yoga, walking her old puppy Coalie and she is attempting to walk the whole Appalachian Trail bit by bit with her husband and some friends.
Marie Sheppard is a long-time mindfulness practitioner, both at work (helping to reduce poverty) and at home (as a mother of two teens as well as partner, daughter, sister…). Challenges on the home front first stimulated Marie’s mindfulness practice, and she has become increasingly aware of how living and working in difficult circumstances without sufficient self-care can take a physical and emotional toll. The tapestry of Marie’s practice and teaching of mindfulness is woven from the wool of “doing” vs. “being”. She writes stories to help young children be with difficult emotions and lived and worked on international development work in Zambia for six years. Marie has an MBA and a BA in Sociology and weaves mindfulness into her decades of experience in leadership and organizational development. She is particularly interested in how vulnerability and mindfulness affect how people and organizations learn. She loves to be outdoors – with her dogs, horses, family and friends.
What YOM Students Say
Previous Year of Mindfulness students have found themselves living more open, mindful and joyful lives. Below are a few of their comments about the program:
I am reaping many benefits from YOM and feel that it is a very positive presence in my life. I thank my lucky stars that you put the program together and that I have been able to participate. — YOM student, 2012-13
I have to say it has been an amazing year and I have learned so much. The best part has been meeting so many of you and opening up to different viewpoints and insights, just listening and knowing that we are all engaged in a journey with similar threads throughout. I look forward to continuing the journey and meeting whenever possible! — Linda L., YOM student, 2013-14
The focusing has made a huge difference for me and I have been amazed at what has come up. I see a lot of habits that have built up in me over the years–everything from the way I interact with my husband, kids, and other family members, to my coffee in the morning/wine at night. — Page, YOM student, 2013-14
Our talk a couple of weeks ago really helped me in a couple of ways. I began to become more aware of my physical state during the day and while meditating. I opened up to the ” good, bad and the ugly” and said “ok” this is where I am now, recognize it and embrace these versions of me. Breathing with my sensory reactions when troubled by life, or when anxiety may pop up (who knows why!) is a path I want to explore more. I also am trying to tap into the me with more heart when others (and myself) are in need–I guess, exhibiting more compassion rather than giving a “pep talk”. I think that reaction dominates how I tackle the world, but it doesn’t have to be the only way. I am slowing recognizing that. Thank you. — Linda M, YOM student, 2012-13
I also like the introduction of new ways to bring mindfulness into my life. I have learned that practice is not just sitting – it is a life endeavor, with lots of penetration points. — YOM student 2012-2013
It keeps one focusing on mindfulness without “nagging” but doesn’t let you get too far away. The interplay of individual work, workshops, and homework (reading, journaling) allows you to do things without pressure or feeling “pushed,” but something is always there to gently remind you of the effort that should be made if one really wants to incorporate this into their daily life. — YOM student, 2012-2013
Just wanted to thank you for the 1-on-1 session we had Tuesday. It was really useful to hear from you about focusing (I got the book) and think about it in the context of my distress about the hike. It helped me sort that out without much drama. Thinking about my critical, judgmental, efficient etc mini selves was almost fun. — YOM student, 2014-15
If you have questions about the Year of Mindfulness for Women, email firstname.lastname@example.org.