View 2017 conference agenda below

Friday, April 21st, 2017 – 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: Convocation Hall, University of Toronto Main Campus

Opening Event: Finding Common Ground: Cultivating Peace in a Challenged World

Experience musical guests, a thriving community and TEDTalk style presentations from Judson Brewer MD PhD Director of Research at the esteemed UMass Medical School Center for Mindfulness, Linda Carlson PhD C.Psych a leading researcher in the field of oncology and author of Mindfulness-based Cancer Recovery, Chris Ruane former UK Member of Parliament and global advocate for mindfulness, and Brother Phap Hai a senior monastic within the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition.

For additional information, please click here.

*To purchase a Friday Evening Event Ticket please click here. (Friday Evening Opening Event is included in full conference registration)


evening

Saturday April 22nd & Sunday April 23rd – All Day

Location: Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto Main Campus

Conference Keynotes, Presentations, Workshops, Community Connection and More

Located in the heart of University of Toronto’s downtown campus, the 2017 A Mindful Society conference will be held throughout the Medical Sciences Building. Housing panel discussions, keynote presentations, case studies, community gatherings, mindfulness practice and more. Join over 500 attendees in community conversations and experience the leading edge of how to integrate mindfulness and compassion into your life and the work you do.

*For detailed agenda please click the “Agenda”, “Breakout Sessions” and “Poster Sessions” buttons above

Medical Sciences

*Optional Workshop with Dan Siegel MD Monday, April 24th, 2017 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (*Sold Out)

Location: The Hospital for Sick Children, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research & Learning, Toronto, Ontario

Dan Siegel, New-York Times bestselling author and interpersonal neurobiologist, will be offering a full day workshop training session for those interested in going deeper. This workshop is available to add to your conference package upon registration.

*For detailed agenda please click the “Workshop” button above

dinner-conversation

CONFERENCE LEGEND: Below are four types of experiences that we have used to label each activity throughout the conference agenda. We invite you to bring your mindful awareness to the conference experience as you choose your own path based on what is right for you in the moment.

LISTENING: inspiring, building neural connections, experiencing knowledge translation (keynotes, panels, presentations)


PRACTICING: grounding, building personal connection, cultivating insight (mindfulness activities)


SHARING: exciting, establishing community connections,finding shared passion (interactive, hands on, design thinking, workshops)


SELF-CARE: nourishing, resting, connecting with others or with your self (marketplace, Q&A, refreshments, lunch)

Friday, April 21st, 2017 – 5:30pm-9pm at Convocation Hall – University of Toronto

5:30 pm-7:00 pm

Conference Registration


7:00 pm-9:00 pm

Opening Event – “Finding Common Ground: Cultivating Peace in a Challenged World” (convocation hall) Experience musical guests, a thriving community and TEDTalk style presentations from Judson Brewer MD PhD Director of Research at the esteemed UMass Medical School Center for Mindfulness, Linda Carlson PhD C.Psych a leading researcher in the field of oncology and author of Mindfulness-based Cancer Recovery, Chris Ruane former UK Member of Parliament and global advocate for mindfulness, and Brother Phap Hai a senior monastic within the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition.
(Opening Event included in conference registration. If you wish to purchase additional public tickets click here.)


Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 – 8am – 6:30pm at MacLeod Auditorium, Medical Sciences Building – University of Toronto

8:00 am-9:00 am

Mindfulness Practice


Late Registration


Light Breakfast and Refreshments
A light spread of fruit, pastries, tea and coffee will be provided for attendees to enjoy before the day’s sessions begin.



9:00 am – 9:20 am

Opening Ceremony
Speakers – Michael Apollo – Founder, John Rice, Laurie Wells MD



9:20 – 10:00 am

Setting Context & Intention of A Mindful Society 2017 “Finding Common Ground”
Speakers – Elli Weisbaum MES, Jay Vidyarthi MSc



10:00 am-11:00 am

Conversation Series “Finding Common Ground”
Speakers – Brother Phap Hai, Judson Brewer MD PhD, Chris Ruane



11:00 am-11:30 am

Q&A with the Speakers
Brother Phap Hai, Judson Brewer MD PhD, Chris Ruane


Refreshments


Mindful Marketplace


11:30 am-12:00 pm

Community Practice: Mindful Walking


Refreshments


Design Thinking



12:00 pm-1:30 pm

Lunch*


Book Signing: Judson Brewer MD PhD(*until 12:30pm)


Social Space & Community Connection


Design Thinking



1:30 pm-3:15 pm

Breakout Sessions: Workshops, Mindful Applications, Discussions


Presentations and Panels


Mindfulness Practices


3:15 pm-3:45 pm

Design Thinking


Book Signing: Dr. Dan Siegel, Brother Phap Hai, Shari Geller PhD


Refreshments


Mindful Marketplace


3:45 pm-4:45 pm

Keynote – “Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human”
Keynote Speaker – Dr. Dan Siegel



4:45 pm-5:00 pm

Q&A with the Keynote
Keynote Speaker – Dr. Dan Siegel


Mindfulness Activity


Design Thinking



5:30 pm-6:30 pm

A Mindful Society Community Mixer & Contemplative Art Gallery
Join the community in conversation in an evening filled with music, hors d’oeuvre and art.



 

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 – 8am – 5pm

MacLeod Auditorium, Medical Sciences Building – University of Toronto

8:30 am-9:00 am

Mindfulness Practice


Light Breakfast and Refreshments
A light spread of fruit, pastries, tea and coffee will be provided for attendees to enjoy before the day’s sessions begin.



9:00 am-9:20 am

(Select one)

Opening Ceremony – Mindful Listening with Debbie Danbrook

9:20 am-10:20 am

Conversation Series “Finding Common Ground”
Speakers – Norman Farb PhD, Maria Gonzalez



10:20 am-10:45 am

Q&A with the Speakers
Speakers – Norman Farb PhD, Maria Gonzalez MBA


Refreshments


Mindful Marketplace



10:45 am-11:45 am

Poster Session


Book Signing: Maria Gonzalez MBA, Linda Carlson PhD, Ranjini George PhD


Refreshments


Design Thinking



11:45 am-12:15 pm

Community Practice: Mindful Walking


Social space


Design Thinking


12:15 pm-1:30 pm

Lunch*


Social space


Design Thinking



1:30 pm-3:15 pm

Breakout Sessions: Workshops, Mindful Applications, Discussions


Presentations and Panels


Mindfulness Practices



3:15 pm-3:30 pm

Refreshments


3:30 pm-4:30 pm

Conversation Series “Finding Common Ground” Culminating Panel
Moderator: Dr. Dan Siegel
Panel: Brother Phap Hai, Chris Ruane, Norman Farb PhD, Peter Weng, Michael Apollo,Maria Gonzalez MBA



4:30 – 4:45 pm

Closing Ceremony.
Speakers – Michael Apollo, Founder, John Rice



* Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch or gather in groups to visit surrounding restaurants (list will be provided prior to conference).

We are delighted to offer afternoon breakout sessions on both Saturday and Sunday. Sessions range from 30-90 minutes and include panel presentations, hands-on activities and facilitated conversations. Shorter sessions will be paired together in breakout rooms that focus on a specific topic or sector.

The breakout sessions below are listed in alphabetical order on the date of presentation.
 

Saturday April 22nd 1:30pm-3:00pm

Location: Medical Sciences Building – University of Toronto


 
B’saani-Bamaadisiwin (Life Flowing as it Should)
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: Making Connections between the Seven Grandfather Teachings and the Four Noble Truths
Facilitators: John Rice, Laurie Wells

Description: This is a story, a dialogue, with John Rice teaching the story of this journey and awareness through the use of drumming and singing.  Dialogue will be invited at points throughout.  The workshop will focus on Wellness and life as an experiential journey where an individual achieves B’saani-Bamaadisiwin through the understanding of the relationship between physical, mental, spiritual and mindful awareness.

Goals & Outcomes:
◦ Explore changing life, good life, and life as it should be


 
Body Scan with Gratitude
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Opening to Compassion: The Practice of Kindness & Yoga Nidra
Facilitators:Michele Chaban

Description:Integrating the practices of the body scan with gratitude has been a foundational practice for Dr Michele Chaban’s as a healing modality for chronic pain and random loss of physical functioning post a MVA at the age of 23 years of age. Based on this experience, Dr Chaban also used this body scan in her 35 years of working with the dying, their family members and professional teams as well as in her local and provincial work with victims of murders and suicides. Moving beyond the bare awareness practice of traditional body scans, this meditation helps with vertical integration of mind and body as well as the neuro-phenomenology of pain and suffering.


 
Engaging youth in mindfulness: Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts (MMA)
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Teens Talk Mindfulness: iBme Teen Retreats as a “Vision of the Future”
Facilitators: Trish McKeough, Karen Milligan, Ruth Slater

Description:The Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts (MMA) program integrates mindfulness and cognitive therapy with mixed martial arts training. Integration with an active and socially desirable hobby has proven effective at engaging youth who might not otherwise participate in traditional talk therapy or mindfulness groups. We will describe the structure and content of the MMA program, including ways that it has been adapted for clinical, school, and hospital-based populations. We will outline our research and evidence base, including EEG research being undertaken in partnership with Ryerson University. This presentation will integrate lecture, experiential activity, video, and participant discussion. Participants can expect to leave with an understanding of the core principles of the Integra MMA program; an illustration of an innovative way mindfulness instruction practices can be adapted for youth and more generally how physical activity can be used as an experiential vehicle for teaching mindfulness and actively practicing its application in challenges as they arise.

Goals & Outcomes:
◦ Learn about the Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts program, its content, design and research base
◦ Explore how Integra MMA has adapted mindfulness instruction to account for learning strengths and needs to enhance our meditation instructions with youth.
◦ Understand how physical activity can be used as an experiential vehicle for teaching mindfulness and actively practicing its application in challenges as they arise.
◦ Participate in experiential activities which are used to teach mindfulness to youth.


 
Making Connections between the Seven Grandfather Teachings and the Four Noble Truths
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: B’saani-Bamaadisiwin (Life Flowing as it Should)
Facilitators: Gary Petingola

Description: Although the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers and the Four Noble Truths differ, both strive to attain similar outcomes – the ability to let go; an opportunity to foster resilience given the human condition; and an invitation to adapt a new way of being to relieve suffering. This workshop will review how these indigenous teachings support Mindfulness programing to enhance self-inquiry and healing for both patients and healthcare professionals.This workshop will examine the emotional trauma that many healthcare professionals and patients must endure today in a fast paced environment inundated by excessive demands, unrealistic expectations and an environment that unfortunately exacerbates suffering. Participants will be given the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences of the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers and examine how they are sacred gifts that can be brought to the healthcare setting for all members of the circle of care.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Explore both doctrines focusing on key linkages to Mindfulness
◦ Identify the nature of suffering in healthcare today
◦ Examine the application of these doctrines to patient and healthcare professional wellness
◦ Experience a mindfulness practice integrating facets of these indigenous teachings


 
Mindfulness Applications in the Clinical Setting for Children with Chronic Health Conditions and their Families
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with:Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Oncology
Facilitators: Maru Barrera, Danielle Ruskin

Description: Presenters will discuss mindfulness applications with children and their families when a child is being treated for cancer or other chronic, life threatening health conditions, including chronic pain. Specific cases of individual, family or group mindfulness applications with be presented and discussed, including mindfulness parenting and family mindfulness activities. Finally, research examining the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based stress reduction group with adolescents with chronic pain and other chronic conditions will be discussed.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Participants will gain an understanding of key clinical applications of mindfulness practice in pediatric settings;
◦ Participants will learn about applications of mindfulness principles to specific pediatric chronic health conditions (chronic pain, IBD) and life threatening conditions (cancer);
◦ Participants will learn more about applications of mindfulness within the family and Mindful parenting


 
Mindfulness: A Tool for Prevention and Early Intervention of Psychosis in Youth
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with:Mindfulness in Government: Challenges and Opportunities
Facilitators: Arlene MacDougall & Leah Gardiner

Description: Mindfulness Without Borders, in collaboration with Dr. Arlene MacDougall from the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) and Western University in London, Ontario, have adapted a group MBI, the Mindfulness Ambassador Council (MAC), for youth who are experiencing early phase psychosis. Our recently completed pilot study demonstrates feasibility, acceptability, and potential clinical benefits (e.g., improved psychological symptoms) of MAC for early psychosis. From this initial experience, we have revised the MAC guidebook and MAC facilitator training program, and have trained twelve additional mental health clinicians from across southern Ontario to be MAC facilitators in preparation for a larger multi-site trial which is currently underway.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ learn about our process of collaboration
◦ explore our pilot study findings related to the reduction of psychological symptoms
◦ hear focus group feedback from the MAC participants themselves
◦ learn about bringing the Mental Health Edition of the Mindfulness Ambassador Council into hospital and community mental health settings across the southern Ontario and beyond  


 
Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Oncology
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with:Mindfulness Applications in the Clinical Setting for Children with Chronic Health Conditions and their Families
Facilitators: Linda Carlson PhD RPsych

Description: Dr. Carlson will overview the rationale for using MBIs to help people with cancer and other physical conditions, describe the Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery program and review recent research results from her team. Brief experiential mindfulness exercises will be included.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Participants will understand why mindfulness is helpful for coping with physical illness and symptoms.
◦ Participants will learn about the research evidence for mindfulness in cancer care.
◦ Participants will become familiar with the Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery program.
◦ Participants will experience some of the mindfulness practices used in MBCR. 


 
Mindful Movement for Every Body
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: Out of Your Mind? Get into Your Body….
Facilitators: Sarah Kinsley

Description: This hands-on workshop will provide professionals an opportunity to explore and practice basic mindful movements, which can be used with various populations regardless of physical fitness, age or prior experience. These practices can be utilized individually or in a group setting. Participants will learn the basic tenets associated with practicing mindful movement and explore the concept of interoception as found in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. Participants will have the opportunity to learn together in dyads to explore the art and science associated with facilitating a mindful movement session while creating a safe emotional and physical environment. Current research in the field will be highlighted.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Experience a mindful movement session
◦ Learn the basic tenets associated with mindful movement
◦ Develop an understanding of the concept of interoception
◦ Practice sharing mindful movements


 
Mindfulness in Government: Challenges and Opportunities
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with:Mindfulness: A Tool for Prevention and Early Intervention of Psychosis in Adolescents

Facilitators: Scheherzade van Aarle, Erin McCarthy, Jennifer Unger, Alejandro Gonzalez, Geoffrey Soloway

Description: Explore the challenges and opportunities with bringing mindfulness to Canada’s largest employer, and why this matters to the future of Canada and the world.” As part of the Canada 150 celebrations the federal government is showcasing the success of our unique model of diversity, inclusiveness and peace. As we witness divisions and tensions spreading across the globe, Canada has stood firm and continues to find common ground across our increasingly diverse population. It can be argued that now more than ever is the time to explore how mindfulness, politicians, public servants and public policy can intersect to continue to bring peace, prosperity and performance to Canada into the next century and beyond. The panel of federal officials, mindfulness/peace activists and mindfulness teachers from Ottawa will share their groundbreaking experiences in bringing mindfulness to Canada’s public service and to Parliament Hill. Join us in hearing how compassion training was undertaken by Canada’s defenders of public safety; how an on-line mindfulness community ballooned from the public service’s “GCConnex” network; the values and ethics dilemmas of bringing mindfulness to Health Canada, how mindfulness is being used to foster inclusiveness in the public service, and what our top decision-makers have to say about bringing mindfulness to Canada’s largest employer.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Develop an understanding of the case for bringing mindfulness for public servants
◦ Join a network of mindfulness activists
◦ Learn how to transfer best practises to your own organisation


 
Opening to Compassion: The Practice of Kindness
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Additional practices to be announced
Facilitator: Andrew Blake

Description: From a base of a stability and ease, drawn from our mindfulness practice, we expand our hearts with compassion towards others. “Compassion,” says Roshi Joan Halifax, “is made up of non-compassion elements.” In this guided practice session, we will explore one aspect the experience of compassion, through touching the kindness that arises from life and from others, when we have felt care for, loved, appreciated, and deeply seen. This quality of “feeling loved” is a important aspect in the development of self compassion. While compassion is the motivational energy to relieve suffering, kindness is the “undefended” response to suffering that is loving and unconditional.


 
Out of Your Mind? Get into Your Body….
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Mindful Movement for Every Body
Facilitator: Kate Mitcheom

Description: It is easy to spend one’s life lost in thought, worrying, planning, regretting and missing the moments that make up the beauty of our existence. Commonly, the body is left out of the equation and let’s face it, everything lives within the body we inhabit. The body is a valuable resource that is neglected and taken for granted until it fails or causes pain. It is vital that we learn or really re-learn to connect with the body, to support the body and to gain appreciation through working with mindful movement. The practice is safe and effective for young and old, well and unwell, in shape and out. Come learn to re-connect and yoke the body and mind back together where it belongs!

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Learn how to explain and apply basic core yoga principles
◦ Demonstrate an ability to select and teach adapted yoga techniques for a variety of populations
◦ Express a newfound sense of ease and enthusiasm for teaching mindful yoga!


 
Teens Talk Mindfulness: iBme Teen Retreats as a “Vision of the Future”
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: Engaging youth in mindfulness: Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts (MMA)
Facilitator: Andrea Poile

Description: Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) envisions a generation of mindful teenagers: aware of and able to manage their emotions; compassionate toward their peers, communities, and themselves; and able to focus and direct their attention to life-affirming values and goals. Since its incorporation in 2010, iBme offers programs across the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and thousands of teens have attended retreats. Moreover, peer-reviewed research on the iBme model shows teens experience increased self-compassion and life satisfaction, and decreased rumination and reactivity, following a retreat. This panel discussion and Q&A will feature teens who have been on teen retreat(s). Andrea will briefly introduce the workshop with some key context about iBme’s retreat model, and will share her research on how the program is aligns perfectly with adolescent development. There will be opportunity to speak directly with the teens — we encourage participants to come with questions! This interactive workshop is perfect for parents and professionals who live and work with teens and young adults, and are curious about bringing mindfulness-based programming into their classrooms and communities.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Receive a “crash course” on mindfulness and the teen brain, and why the secret to iBme’s successful retreat model is its skillful alignment with the key developmental tasks of adolescence.
◦ Learn evidence-based best practices for teaching mindfulness to teens and young adults, with a particular focus on methods for compassionate and playful engagement with youth.
◦ Discover how issues of social justice including racism, power, and privilege intersect and impact teaching mindfulness to youth — and how iBme addresses these issues at every level of their programming.
◦ Explore teens’ firsthand experiences of learning mindfulness, applying it to their lives, going on retreat, and more!


 
Turning Universal Wisdom and Compassion into Action: 16 Guidelines
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: Muse
Facilitator: Craig Mackie, Shelley Urlando, Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw, Sharon Babineau, Arunas Antanaitis

Description: What if there was a simple, effective and universal framework to change society? What if that same framework encompassed an ethical and meaningful way to look at one’s own life and environment? The 16 Guidelines provide an approach that is accessible to any culture or belief system. They ask us to mindfully examine how we Think, Act, Relate and Find Meaning. The 16G give us the opportunity to develop inner values personally and for the collective benefit. This workshop looks first at the framework of the 16 Guidelines as a model that can be used for cultural development, hearing about they have been used in education, NGOs, health and the corporate sector. This is where we form a common ground. Participants will then develop their own inner values through a Transformative Mindfulness exercise of Enhancing Positive Qualities and Transforming Problems. This is where we bring knowledge to action.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Develop understanding of social change model based on universal wisdom and compassion
◦ Develop knowledge of mindful values and secular ethics
◦ Build capacity to embody mindful values in daily life and work


 
Yoga Nidra
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Opening to Compassion: The Practice of Kindness & Body Scan with Gratitude
Facilitators: Michele Milan

Description:Yoga nidra, sometimes called yogic sleep, is a state of consciousness entered into through a systematic practice of deep relaxation. When we practice yoga nidra we attempt to move past waking, sleeping and dreaming to a state inclusive of but beyond all three. Yoga nidra has been found to be particularly helpful in healing stress, anxiety and trauma. The regular practice of yoga nidra has a profound impact on health and wellbeing.


Sunday April 23rd 1:30pm-3:00pm

Location: Medical Sciences Building – University of Toronto


 
Community Engaged Mindfulness: Inclusion of People of Color and Low Income communities
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Safe Space: A Mindfulness Meditation Program for the LGBTQ & So you teach mindfulness…
Facilitators: Mary Githumbi

Description: The aim of this conversation is to discuss how to make mindfulness practices more inclusive to people who do not identify with the current demographic majority of mindfulness classes. Through a compassionate awareness exercise, we will be exploring community engaged mindfulness for people of color and low income communities. The conversation will discuss privilege and suggest healthy coping skills to work with the implicit and explicit oppression that privilege causes. Participants in this conversation will develop an understanding of what is happening in Toronto and other cities to make mindfulness classes more inclusive.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ learn how to dissolve the sense of social distance through compassionate practices
◦ experience the healing benefits of interconnection
◦ develop healthy coping skills to support one’s commitment to working against oppression (race, gender, institutional)


 
Care for the Professional Caregiver
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Trauma-Informed” Mindfulness for Chronic Pain Management & Cultivating Therapeutic Presence with Mindfulness: A Foundational Approach for Positive Well-Being
Facilitators: Dagmara Urbanowicz & Anna Marie Batelaan

Description: This conversation will explore the journey and experience of two frontline Social Workers offering Mindfulness with a focus on Compassion to healthcare colleagues and students in order to promote self-care and compassionate care at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. In the healthcare field we are asked every day to walk towards suffering, which can lead to feelings of burnout, stress, and ultimately empathy fatigue. In our professional training we are not provided with the tools to take care of this suffering. Mindfulness can guide those in the healthcare field to focus on self-care, be more compassionate and client-centered by looking at how we think, how we act, how we relate, and how we find meaning in both our successes and struggles in a complex work environment. “Happy staff, make happy patients”, when we take care of ourselves and optimize our capacity we are much better equipped to care for others. In our journey we offered a pilot closed group for staff entitled “A Mindfulness Approach to Thriving as a Healthcare Professional”, along with workshops directed to students and staff to promote Mindfulness and Compassion training. This conversation will explore the content, lessons learned, and future steps of our journey.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Understand the potential impact of Mindfulness and Compassion training on health care workers personal and professional lives
◦ Build capacity to identify burn-out and stress by differentiating between Empathy and Compassion
◦ Learn about the efficacy of Mindfulness and Compassion based programs in a healthcare setting
◦ Reframe self-care as a skill and competency that needs to be explicitly taught


 
Mindfulness in the Workplace
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: TBD
Facilitators: Geoffrey Soloway & Pam August

Description: Come learn about MindWell U’s evidence-based multilingual online mindfulness training for the workplace called the “30 Day Mindfulness Challenge.”  We will demo the Challenge, outline MindWell U’s developmental curriculum and outline insights learned when working with organizations such as WestJet, Coca-Cola, Memorial University, WorkSafe BC and more.   Pam August, the Lead Facilitator of Culture Development at WestJet will be present to share her experience bringing the Challenge into WestJet.  Researchers from the Sauder School of Business, UBC will share results from a study conducted in 2016 that included close to 500 active participants from across five organizations who participated in the Challenge. We will also open a conversation regarding the practicalities for moving mindfulness into the workplace. All people in the room can sign up for a free trial of the 30 Day Challenge.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Learn ‘Take 5′, the core Mindfulness-in-Action practice curated for busy working professionals.  
◦ Understand significant research finding and lessons learned relevant to the workplace.
◦ Hear live case studies of bringing mindfulness into the corporate world.
◦ Discuss opportunities and barriers for bringing mindfulness into the workplace.


 
First Contact: A Taste of Mindfulness for Educators
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: How to Bring Self-Compassion to Your Mindfulness Practice & Mindfulness: A Tool for Prevention and Early Intervention of Psychosis in Adolescents
Facilitators: Heidi Bornstein & Stephen Chadwick

Description: This skill-based, experiential workshop for educators, administrators and professional support staff explores what is required to design and deliver a Professional Development (PD) workshop that inspires, educates, and supports a viable implementation plan to deliver mindfulness programs in education that cultivate resilience, promote health and wellness and create an emotionally balanced and more compassionate classroom and school environment. Professional Development workshops provide a conceptual and experiential introduction to the growing use of secular mindfulness practices in education and their value and relevance to educators. It is often the first point of entry for educators to sample mindfulness exercises and explore their potential benefits for themselves, their students and their schools. We will explore the variety of ways that mindfulness can creatively be brought into the education setting, contributing valuable input and feedback that can be instrumental in a successful implementation plan for any mindfulness initiative.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Understand mindfulness as an evidence-based practice designed to cultivate resilience and promote positive health and wellness that is central to teaching and learning for both educators and students.
◦ Identify opportunities and obstacles to adopting mindfulness practice within their professional setting.
◦ Recognize what secular mindfulness is.
◦ Explore effective ways of managing resistance.
◦ Leave with sample outlines for presenting workshops ranging from 1⁄2-hour intro at staff meetings to a full day workshop.


 
From Type A to Type M: How mindfulness shaped my life
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Integrating Mindfulness Based Well-Being into a Federal Government Department
Facilitators: Christina Tector

Description: This presentation will take people on a journey of discovery. Like any story of adventure, my journey of discovery starts off with a really terrifying experience that actually becomes the clue to finding hidden wisdom – which as it turns out, is way better than finding hidden treasure! In this talk I will share how a cancer diagnosis at the age of 36 woke me up to the limitations of my Type A lifestyle and how this launched me into uncharted & at times messy territory. I will describe how my journey with mindfulness, which began as a new practice to help me to heal, soon evolved into a practice to help others to heal, grow and optimize their hidden wisdom.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Discover how one person’s mindfulness journey spread from personal well-being to collective well-being
◦ Learn how to influence the relationships and systems in your life through an embodied mindfulness practice.


 
How to Bring Self-Compassion to Your Mindfulness Practice
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: First Contact: A Taste of Mindfulness for Educators & Mindfulness: A Tool for Prevention and Early Intervention of Psychosis in Adolescents
Facilitators: Wayne Serebrin

Description: Through embodied, heart-to-heart exercises, meditation practices, brief conceptual/research teachings, inquiry, and poetry reading, workshop participants will be introduced to the rationale, key concepts and supporting neuroscientific and physiological findings underlying the Mindful Self-Compassion program developed by Drs. Chris Germer and Kristin Neff. The primary intention of the workshop will be to transform the abstract concepts that comprise self-compassion—mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness (Neff, 2003)—into a “felt-sense” of mindful self-compassion, which participants may then integrate into their daily lives.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Understand what “mindful self-compassion” is, and appreciate the value and need for mindful self-compassion practices
◦ Develop a beginning “felt sense” of the three elements of mindful self-compassion: mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness
◦ Become familiar with key foundational research findings that illustrate the neuroscientific and physiological links between self-compassion and wellbeing
◦ Learn informal and formal practices of mindful self-compassion, in response to awareness of suffering
◦ Learn to reflectively integrate mindful self-compassion practices into daily lives and existing practices


 
Integrating Mindfulness Based Well-Being into a Federal Government Department
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: From Type A to Type M: How mindfulness shaped my life
Facilitators: Frank Musten & Lynette Monteiro

Description: This case study describes the unique challenges and opportunities associated with integrating a Mindfulness Based Well-being initiative in a science-based Federal Government Department. The initiative was designed to meet the requirements of the department that it not intrude unnecessarily on employee’s productive time and that it account for participant absences because of the need to respond to crises.   Thus classes were supported with documentation in both official languages so even when unable to attend class, participants would have access to class materials and practices. The Department also required that the program show evidence that the initiative was doing what it intended to do. Thus a set of assessment instruments was chosen to measure outcomes that were consistent with expectations of Mindfulness interventions and were expected to reflect changes in well-being. The assessment instruments were short because of time constraints.  They also had to be available in both official languages.  Qualitative data were also collected to illustrate how Mindfulness skills including Five Skillful Habits emerge in participants’ work and personal lives. How these results have influenced the acceptance of Mindfulness Interventions in the Department and in the broader Public Service is discussed.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Learn about the unique challenges and opportunities associated with bringing a Mindfulness Program into a Public Service Department
◦ Develop an understanding of how to maintain program continuity when participants can be expected to be absent

◦ Develop an understanding of how to create a safe training environment for all participants including those who may have undisclosed emotional vulnerabilities
◦ Develop an understanding of the role of the Five Skillful Habits in fostering an ethical approach to personal well-being
◦ Develop an understanding of how to use Practice Based Iterative Models to evaluate and refine interventions
◦ Learn how to foster participants’ continuity of practice after the program has concluded


 
Meditation Mini-Retreat
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Additional practices to be announced
Facilitators: Steven Dee

Description: Take a break from trying to make things happen for a little while. Discover the connection that comes with silence and stillness, and train your mind to achieve greater concentration, clarity, and equanimity.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ develop a clear mind
◦ experience calm and stillness
◦ have equanimity with difficult experiences
◦ learn to make optimal use of any experience as a training opportunity


 
Mindfulness and Law Enforcement – A path to better performance
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with:Evidence-base for 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge in the Workplace
Facilitators: Jon Carson

Description: PC Jon Carson of York Regional Police will provide insight on how they are driving change from the inside out using mindfulness practices within the Canadian Police culture. Having been in place since 2015 you will hear about how the program is focused on enhancing officer’s capacity for self awareness, compassion and non-judgement for all people through the cultivation greater capacity for accurate decision making.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ receive a brief History of how we got here
◦ how we integrating mindfulness based performance concepts
◦ learn about best practices for training Implementation
◦ hear about a framework for upcoming studies of Mindfulness in policing


 
Resting Deep Inside
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Meditation Mini-Retreat & Focus on the breath
Facilitators:Theo Koffler

Description: Many of us live much of our lives in action and engagement, so focused on ‘doing’ that we forget to pay attention to the small everyday experiences that surround us. As with mindfulness, stopping and noticing the way we are in relationship with life can make a world of difference in the extent to which we maintain a sense of balance as well as a spirit of appreciation into our everyday activities.


 
Safe Space: A Mindfulness Meditation Program for the LGBTQ
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Community Engaged Mindfulness: Inclusion of People of Color and Low Income communities & So you teach mindfulness…
Facilitators: Moustafa Abdelrahman

Description: This workshop will share about the impact of a program designed to serve the wonderfully diverse LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) community. The program offers a safe space in which the unique challenges and experiences of the LGBTQ community are observed and honored. Providing an opportunity to have conversations about different mindfulness practices as experienced and seen through the lens of the Queer community.

Through the spirit of sharing, my hope is that we as a mindful society are able to discuss opportunities to evolve this program and bring our collective wisdom to provide the right elements that could address the needs of our LGBTQ community to have a safe space to be and practice.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in a welcoming and friendly environment for us to see ourselves reflected within mindfulness meditation teachings.
◦ Provide participants with practical skills they are able to be carry out after the program ends.
◦ Develop a compassionate dialogue and mindful engagement in our community.
◦ Reflect on the patterns that hold use back (both internal and external) as informed by tradition, culture, religion, education, family.


 
So you teach mindfulness…
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Community Engaged Mindfulness: Inclusion of People of Color and Low Income communities & Safe Space: A Mindfulness Meditation Program for the LGBTQ
Facilitators: Julie Berentsen

Description: This workshop is for anyone who is new to working with young people and wishes to share their experiences in a safe space, build community and learn from each other. The workshop will focus on the importance of self care, language and deep listening. Together we will participate in a variety of activities and engage in conversation to support us to communicate from a place of compassion.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ develop connections
◦ experience conversation and activities
◦ feel refreshed and focused


 
The Mindful Way through the Creative Process
Length: 60 minutes
Paired with: “True Love is Equanimity”: Love in our Hearts, our Lives and the World
Facilitators: Elaine Smookler

Description: In order to give a compelling speech, write something of impact or seek to innovate, you enter a relationship with the creative process. When you bring mindful awareness to the process, terror, revulsion, shame and resistance become the ideal raw material for every venture. Elaine Smookler is a mindfulness teacher, writer, performer and innovator who has spent a career exploring mindfulness through her work on stage, radio, writing and comedy. Elaine will offer a mini-workshop exploring ways to ride the waves of resistance to be able to write that speech, create that program or find the voice you have kept locked away.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Understand the relationship between mindfulness and all creative action
◦ How to deal directly with the paralysis/confusion/self-judgement that often accompanies starting any new venture

◦ Identify which stage you’re at in a systematized breakdown of the creative process
◦ Experience ways to use resistance, boredom and inertia as the starting spot for all creativity.
◦ Identify ways to develop presence and confidence
◦ Experiencing “Play” as a method of fostering creative action
◦ Understanding how to cultivate presence, resiliency and self-care through creative mediums


 
Cultivating Therapeutic Presence with Mindfulness: A Foundational Approach for Positive Well-Being
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Trauma-Informed” Mindfulness for Chronic Pain Management & Care for the Professional Caregiver Foundational Approach for Positive Well-Being
Facilitators: Shari Geller

Description: This workshop will explore an empirically validated model of therapeutic presence as a map to build and strengthen the skills of presence, resiliency and self-care for health care providers, educators, and families. Evidenced based practices from Dr. Geller’s book, A Practical Guide for Cultivating Therapeutic Presence, such as mindfulness, musical rhythm, imagery and experiential/creative practices will be incorporated. We will also discuss relationship challenges and how to stay open and engaged when working with challenging individuals. There will be a number of take home practices for cultivating presence for your clients, your students, and for yourself and others.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Learn an empirically validated model of therapeutic presence
◦ Explore how mindfulness practice can help deepen the state of therapeutic presence
◦ Understand the neuro-underpinnings of therapeutic presence, client safety, and effective therapy
◦ Receive take home practices for therapists to cultivate therapeutic presence


 
“Trauma-Informed” Mindfulness for Chronic Pain Management
Length: 30 minutes
Paired with: Care for the Professional Caregiver & Cultivating Therapeutic Presence with Mindfulness: A Foundational Approach for Positive Well-Being
Facilitators: Jacqueline Gardner

Description: The Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPMTM) course, based on MBSR, began at St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, in 2002, and also delivered via telemedicine from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre from Fall of 2003. Over the next several years the course content and meditation transcripts evolved as a result of feedback from chronic pain sufferer participants. It has become what would fit the definitions of “trauma-informed”, largely because many participants came from trauma backgrounds. In passing the curriculum onto other health care professionals now teaching it, measures have been taken to ensure that facilitators teach the trademarked course skillfully, in a trauma-informed way, and that an important component of ensuring this is that they have a regular established personal mindfulness practice. Strategies are in place to ensure potential benefits outweigh potential harms in course content and facilitation, and will be described. We will discuss in this workshop what strategies were used, and whether Mindfulness courses in general should be designed around being “trauma-informed”. How would this change the standard MBSR and MBCT courses, or would it?

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Develop an understanding of how Mindfulness can cause harm if not skillfully taught
◦ Know definitions of the term “trauma-informed”
◦ Know the high incidence in the population of chronic pain, and trauma backgrounds affecting health
◦ Develop an appreciation for skillful languaging in preparing participants for meditation and in guiding formal practice
◦ Develop strategies for handling challenging outcomes during group work in Mindfulness courses.


 
“True Love is Equanimity”: Love in our Hearts, our Lives and the World
Facilitators: Ranjini George

Description: Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says that “true love is equanimity.” Yet, when we look into our hearts, our lives, our world, we often see not equanimity but suffering, loneliness, jealousy, fear and longing. How do we move closer to the equanimity of True Love? How do we manifest the loving relationships and that we so desire for ourselves? How do we manifest more love into our world? In this session we will draw from Thich Nhat Hanh’s jewel of a book, True Love. We will also enjoy some of the mystical love poetry of the Sufi poet Rumi, as we look at ways of healing the broken (and frozen) parts of ourselves and meeting ourselves in stillness, on the cushion, and on the page.

Goals/Outcomes:
◦ Experience walking, sitting and other mindfulness practice
◦ Discover a deeper connection and resonance to one’s heart and mind
◦ Awaken ways to transform one’s life, work and the world through the energy of Love
◦ Unblock creativity

◦ Experience the joy of poetry and the arts and wisdom teachings

Sunday April 23rd 10:45am-11:45am


A mobile-based mindful breathing app to improve mood
Muhammad Abid Azam, Vered Latman, Arielle Sutton, Amir Zarie, Helia Ghazinejad, & Joel Katz

Research indicates that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in improving clinical outcomes in individuals with chronic pain, depression, and anxiety conditions. Research assessing the immediate mood benefits of mindfulness practice for individuals living with these conditions is still in its infancy. The current study tested the effects of a newly developed 12-minute mindful breathing mobile app on mood in 150 university students (age 17 to 38 yrs, M = 20.1, SD = 3.3). Students with self-disclosed chronic pain (n = 30), depression (n = 30), and anxiety conditions (n = 30) were tested, in addition to condition-free control participants with (n = 30) or without (n = 30) use of the app. Questionnaire measures of depressed and anxious mood were obtained before and after completing the mobile mindful breathing task. Two-way, linear mixed effects ANOVA (group x time) will be used to test group-related changes in mood. Results are expected to indicate a significant reduction in depressed and anxious mood after the mindful breathing task in the depression, anxiety, chronic pain groups as well as the condition-free participants who use the app compared to condition-free students who do not use the app.

Study results are expected to make a significant contribution to the mindfulness literature by evaluating the effectiveness of a novel mindful breathing mobile app and learning how it can improve mood in individuals with depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

Findings will build upon new empirical studies on mindfulness apps, including “Headspace” and “Smiling Mind” that aim to provide evidence-based mindfulness solutions to common health problems.


An Innovative Educational Program to Enhance Resilience of Faculty/Staff
Elaine Principi, Kenneth Burgess

Given the pressures that exist in our health care system, health care professionals often are under significant stress to provide both quality clinical care to patients and quality teaching to their learners We present an innovative program to develop faculty and health professional skills in reflective practice and resilience, which strengthen participants’ ability to act as effective clinicians, educators, role models, and leaders. The basis of the curriculum rests in the neuroscience of mindfulness and its applications. This program was enabled through a unique partnership between acute care hospitals (HHS and SJHH), Family Health Teams (McMFHT and HFHT) and the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Program for Faculty Development (PFD), with additional funding support in 2013 from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOH-LTC). Data from 2013 course participants (validated measurement tools and qualitative feedback) was analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of this initiative. This poster outlines the journey of this work and a summary of the data gathered to inform further education.

Goals & Outcomes
Share McMaster experience building a curriculum to develop resilience using mindfulness concepts
Learn to create partnerships between education, health care and research
Build capacity within education and health care systems to address the need for resilience training for the health of educators, clinicians, leaders and patients.


Beyond the Breath: Biases Toward Different Meditation Anchors
Thomas Anderson

Training attention through meditation has been shown to have robust positive effects, including improving mood and improving skilful action. There are several types of meditation, though, and we are left wondering which type of meditation would be best for each of us. This research investigated whether different types of meditation are better suited for different types of people. A variety of personal abilities and traits were measured and participants were trained in three types of meditation (breath, mantra, visualization). Mental and physical responses to each practice were recorded. Results revealed individualized biases toward different meditation anchors. This study opens a new line of research into how and why each type meditation works differently for people with different personalities and abilities and may allow us to make recommendations to non-meditators about what type of meditation to pursue. This study deepens our understanding of how to bring meditation to more people so more of us can benefit.

Goals & Outcomes
Learn about biases toward different meditation anchors beyond the body
Learn about the importance of assessing adherence to meditation instructions


Changes in Reward Processing following Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Lê-Anh Dinh-Williams, Philippe Desormeau, Norman Farb, Zindel Segal

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is increasingly gaining recognition as an effective strategy in the promotion of positive affect (PA) in depressive patients. However, little is known about how mindfulness training brings about changes in PA and whether the mechanisms underlying its effects differ from other interventions designed to promote PA. Using fMRI, this large study (N=76) examined whether MBCT and other wellbeing interventions alter the neurobiological response of previously depressed patients to a positive emotional event (reward). Methodology: Participants with ≥2 previous depressive episodes) were randomly assigned to MBCT (N=42) or cognitive-based interventions designed to increase well-being (CBT-WB); N=34). Before and after treatment, participants completed fMRI scans of a reward gambling task, which contained both reward expectancy and reward outcome periods. Results: Whole-brain analyses found that decreased neural reactivity while anticipating a potentially pleasant event, but increased neural reactivity while receiving the pleasant event was predictive of the return of depressive symptoms during the 24-month period. Conclusion: Findings suggest that helping previously depressed patients experience more PE is not entirely beneficial. Rather, the ability to be engaged during the anticipation (vs. the receipt) of a pleasant event appears to prevent the return of depressive symptoms.

Goals & Outcomes
Learning how relapse interventions for depression can help promote changes in the ability to experience positive emotions


Improving Access and Engagement to Mindfulness Therapy: Experiential Exercise Psychotherapy and Activity Integrated Mindfulness
Paul Badali

This poster will introduce a theoretical framework and practical approach to combining exercise, physical activity, and mindfulness. The Experiential Exercise Psychotherapy (EXP) Framework was developed out of the notion that the confluence of experiential (meditation, mindfulness and intuitive flow state) and physical activity (exercise, martial arts, and/or sport) are fundamental to psychotherapeutic intervention. The practical application of this framework is embodied in Activity Integrated Mindfulness (AIM) approaches such as Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts, Taming the Bull, and As I Am. This AIM approach can integrate physical activity, exercise, stories, art, and music to improve self-regulation, overall mental health, and develop insight and resilience through the integration of body, mind and brain. Examples of AIM-based programs (Mindfulness Martial Arts, Taming the Bull and As I Am) will be explored through peer-reviewed research, audio-visuals, readings, as well as light physical activity (throwing a ball).

Goals & Outcomes
Learn about combining various activities with mindfulness
Develop an understanding of the research behind this approach
Build an appreciation for multimodal approaches to providing clinical therapy
Use this knowledge for clinical work, personal development and creative inspiration


Finding Stillness: Exploring MBCT Reflections of Participants with Acquired Brain Injury
Sucheta Heble

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) group programs have been deemed beneficial for individuals with symptoms of depression and anxiety, including those recovering from an acquired brain injury (ABI). As part of a pilot study looking at efficacy of MBCT in an outpatient rehabilitation hospital setting for clients with ABI, including individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), anoxic brain injury, tumors, aneurysms and clients with multiple sclerosis (MS), we were interested in assessing how these clients integrated the mindfulness practices in their daily lives.

Written reflections from participants of this pilot study were collected and analyzed over the course of the three nine-week group sessions held at Toronto Rehab-UHN. This exploratory analysis revealed emerging themes of clients’ key learnings from their own informal and formal mindful experiences, both in the weekly group sessions and during their home practice sessions. Evidence of participants’ growth and adaptation to the MBCT’s key principles of acceptance, letting go, self-compassion and empathy was observed.

A recent recommendation from the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation’s Clinical Practice Guideline for the Rehabilitation of Adults with Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) indicated that MBCT, adapted for individuals with TBI and depressive symptoms, should be considered as a mood management approach.

gain an understanding of themes from MBCT-ABI group participants’ written reflections
describe how individuals with ABI integrate mindful practices into their daily lives


Mindful Moments: University of Toronto
Rose Munjee, Jill Cressy, Andrea Blackler

The University of Toronto Mindful Moments programme invites students to practice mindful meditation with a view to students being more calm, confident and connected. Daily sessions are held across the St. George campus providing students with an opportunity to learn mindful meditation techniques that will increase your relaxation, resiliency and focus.

A unique part of the programme is drawing facilitators from the Applied Mindfulness Meditation – MIND Certificate programme. This programme was developed by Prof. Michele Chaban at the Faculty of Social Work and is now administered through the School of Continuing Studies. This model supports students in the mindfulness programme with field experience, while at the same time providing participants attending the Mindful Moments sessions with facilitators who are grounded in theory and practice.

The programme is now going into its third year of evaluation. Data thus far suggestions Mindful Moments increases students’: focus, awareness of one’s body and thought processes, attention, ability to be more centred and sense of well-being. A specific question to be explored further this is the whether how students perceive meditation contributes to their academic success.

The Poster Presentation will highlight:Building a post-secondary mindfulness programme, including:
garnering administrative support;
multi-nodal offerings;
variation of offerings.
Building an evaluation process.


Mindful Wellness: Bringing embodied mindful self-compassion into community
Rose Mina Munjee

This poster will illustrate my work over the past 3 years to bring the practices of embodied mindfulness and compassion into local communities, both at the 519 community centre, at the University of Toronto via Mindful Moments, and through Mindful Wellness offerings including evening mindfulness sessions with a community dinner and full day events. The various practices will be highlighted along with their benefits. I will also share participants’ feedback on their experiences and the effects of the practices in their lives and images and quotes from articles about the sessions. I will share resources for further exploration and practice.

Goals & Outcomes
Learn about various mindfulness, movement, and compassion practices designed to build resiliency and address difficulties from a place of strength
Witness benefits of these practices as demonstrated by participants sharing their experiences
Take away resources to help you with your personal practice and to use in helping others in your families, communities, and workplaces


Mindfulness for teens with chronic illness
Christine Viner

This poster will provide an overview of mindfulness research conducted with youth with chronic health conditions. It will explore some of the key findings and discoveries in the literature and highlight some important gaps. In addition, based on clinical research conducted in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto, this poster will share about an adapted 8-week mindfulness program for adolescents with chronic medical or mental health conditions, the Mindfulness Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents (MARS-A) program. This poster will include some exciting ongoing research projects as well as what the future of medical research in mindfulness for teens might look like in 5 or 10 years including new modes of delivery (e-health), personalized apps, virtual reality and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Goals & outcomes:
Understand the challenges and future promises in mindfulness research with youth with chronic medical conditions.


MUSE for High School health and wellness
Laurie Wells

Mindfulness using a biofeedback tool was incorporated into a novel high school wellness credit based grade 11-12 course. 27 students participated. The methodology and outcomes will be presented (this project will not be completed until Jan 27 2017).


RETHINK Finding Common Ground
Theo Koffler, Leah Gardiner

This poster session is aimed at educators, health professionals and community workers interested in promoting diversity in the young adults with whom they serve. We will explore the role of conversation in encouraging young people to find common ground, shift perceptions and engage in the conversations they need to have in order to reexamine personal biases, us & them paradigms and what it means to reach beyond oneself with a compassionate understanding of the lives of others. The poster session will demonstrate activities from ReThink Digital Kit, with over 100 activities to promote mental health and well-being in young adults.

Goals & Outcomes
Heighten awareness of one’s limiting perspectives in real life situations
Strengthen one’s perceived value of qualities like open-mindedness, inclusivity, and moments of authentic human connection
Constructively handle diverse opinions
Develop a more caring and empathetic lens of understanding for self and others
Explore facilitation and communication skills specific to creating shared learning experiences.


Safe Space – A Mindfulness Meditation Program for the LGBTQ Community
Moustafa Abdelrahman

This poster will share about a program designed to serve the wonderfully diverse LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) community in mind, and is open to both beginner and experienced meditators. The program offers a safe space in which the unique challenges and experiences of the LGBTQ community are observed and honored. Providing an opportunity to have conversations about different mindfulness practices as experienced and seen through the lens of the Queer community.

Through the spirit of sharing, my hope is that we as a mindful society are able to discuss opportunities to evolve this program and bring our collective wisdom to provide the right elements that could address the unique experience and challenges of the LGBTQ community.

The objectives and intentions of the program include:
Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in a welcoming and friendly environment for us to see ourselves reflected within mindfulness meditation teachings.
Provide participants with practical skills they are able to be carry out after the program ends.
Develop a compassionate dialogue and mindful engagement in our community.
Reflect on the patterns that hold use back (both internal and external) as informed by tradition, culture, religion, education, family.


Towards a Holistic Framework of Cancer Related Fatigue: Using Experiential Data to Inform a Contemplative Intervention to Promote Vitality in Cancer Survivors
Cooper Penner, Chloe Zimmerman

Cancer-related Fatigue (CRF) remains one of the most widespread and enigmatic pathologies within the contemporary world, deleteriously affecting somewhere between 19- 82% of Cancer Survivors, and having no well proven biological mechanism (Prue et al 2006, Bower et al 2006). Because of its far-reaching implications in almost every aspect of a Cancer survivor’s experience, fatigue represents an important subject of scientific inquiry in and of itself and also provides a model system for approaching other similar Medically Unexplained Syndromes (MUSs) such as Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Pain .

In a set of related studies we set out to create a clinical framework for complex movement practices such as Qi Gong. We began with a qualitative study designed to target the embodied aspects of CRF, so as to provide a phenomenological reference point for biological inquiry into the pathology. A cohort of fatigued Breast Cancer survivors (N=13) were given open ended interviews. Over sixteen hours of material was recorded, transcribed, and coded according to Kathleen Macqueen’s codebook on team based qualitative analysis. (Macqueen 1994)

We then undertook a larger clinical intervention with a similar group of fatigued Cancer survivors. (N=42) In this study we evaluated the effects of Qi Gong vs Pilates on Survivor’s; inflammatory markers, heart rate variability, tactile acuity, beta muscular coherence, peripheral hemodynamics, muscular strength, and subjective experience. In this study we present both the detailed qualitative investigation and how this will contextualize our complex system analysis moving forward.

Goals & Outcomes
Learning to approach complex exercises in a meaningful empirically driven manner
Understanding Cancer Related Fatigue and other medically unexplained syndromes as complex pathological entities


Transitional Pain Service: Mindfulness to Manage My Pain
Muhammad Abid Azam, Aliza Weinrib, Vered Latman, Tahir Janmohamed, Hance Clarke, & Joel Katz

The Toronto General Hospital, Transitional Pain Service (TPS) offers psychological services to support people before and after major surgeries to prevent and manage chronic postsurgical pain and unsafe long-term opioid use. The TPS provides a combination of one-on-one and group sessions of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness training for coping with pain. Moreover, the TPS has implemented the Manage My Pain mobile app and digital platform that allows patient-users to track pain and daily reflections of meaningful activities and share this information with the multidisciplinary TPS team (physicians, nurses, psychologist, patient coordinators) to optimize pain treatment delivery. This proposed poster presentation will consist of an overview of the following: 1) the TPS psychology services, which utilizes the ACT matrix to promote mindfulness and acceptance of pain and committed action to fulfill values and connect with loved ones, 2) mindfulness practices for pain relief, and 3) The Manage My Pain app and platform’s implementation within the TPS and its new daily reflections feature.

Goals & Outcomes
The presentation will initiate a dialogue on how best to study and learn about the potential benefits of ACT and mindfulness in treating severe pain conditions.

Dr. Dan Siegel Post-conference Workshop

Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human

Date: Monday, April 24th, 2017 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Price: $250

Location: The Hospital for Sick Children, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research & Learning, Toronto, Ontario

Overview

In this workshop, we will explore the who, what, where, how, when and even why of the mind—of the essence of our selves—by providing a working definition of the mind and how this relates to our embodied brain and our relationships with other people, and with the planet. Dan Siegel, New-York Times bestselling author and interpersonal neurobiologist, will be offering a full day workshop training session for those interested in going deeper. This workshop is available to add to your conference package upon registration.

The Workshop Includes

  • • A review of current research on the mind, brain, and relationships
  • • Discussions about neuroplasticity: How brain structure is shaped by experience
  • • Specific techniques that promote integration and improve affect regulation, the
    coherence of the self, and the quality of interpersonal relationships.
  • • Experiential exercises, including guided meditation such as The Wheel of
    Awareness and mindful movement.

Register for this workshop

(*This workshop is sold out – please sign up for our newsletter for up to date information for next years offerings)


dan

dan-siegel-workshop


Workshop Detailed Description:
With direct immersion into the nature of mind, we will begin our journey together exploring in practice and scientific discussions what our thoughts, emotions, and memories may be “made of” and how the term, “mind” may refer to something that includes consciousness and our subjective experience, information processing with or without consciousness, and a process called self-organization.

A proposal regarding the mind as an emergent property of the complex system of energy and information flow will be provided and discussions revealing the systems view of reality will help us dive deeply into new ways of thinking about mental life. One emergent property particularly relevant to mind is self-organization, and this regulatory process will be explored in both direct experience and scientific discussions.

Using both research studies and clinical examples, Dr. Siegel will present data on the nature of memory, emotion, and thought, and we will examine the implications of this knowledge for every day use and clinical practice.

Dr. Siegel will explore the effects of trauma on cognitive, psychological and interpersonal functioning. He will review attachment research on the effects of suboptimal attachment and trauma on cognition, affect regulation, and on the development of `self` and interactions with others. We will discuss how trauma and disruptions in attachment bonds affect the development of identity, and how this is expressed socially as difficulties in affect regulation, destructive behavior against self, the experience of shame, and difficulty relating to others and negotiating close relationships.

We will elaborate on the nature of mind, exploring further in direct immersions, first-person explorations, and scientific discussions the nature of consciousness and the important of receptive awareness or presence in cultivating well-being.
An interpersonal neurobiology framework will continue to inform our explorations and we will explore these fundamental principles of this approach which combines all the fields of science into one framework:
1) Mind is both embodied and relational.
2) The self-organizing facet of mind reveals that the regulation of energy and information flow of this process is dependent upon monitoring with stability and modifying toward integration to create optimal functioning.
3) Monitoring with more stability can be learned.
4) Modifying energy and information flow toward integration can be learned.
5) Without integration, systems move to chaos, rigidity, or both—the states of impaired well-being.
6) Integration in the brain is the basis of regulation—of affect, mood, thought, attention, behavior, and relationality.
7) Integration in relationships promotes the growth of integration in the brain.
8) Effective personal transformation and psychotherapy can build on the process of neuroplasticity with these steps: “Where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows.”
9) Attention—that process which directs the flow of energy and information—can be used to promote integration and cultivate well-being.

Instructional strategies that will be used include
· Lecture and power point
· First-hand experiential exercises with a range of contemplative practices that can be adapted for use in a variety of settings
· Small group discussions
· Individual reflection and journaling

Explain the types of learning and support materials that will be provided.
· Power point slides
· Access to guided mindful awareness practices

Explain how participants will demonstrate their attainment of the learning outcomes.
· Contributions to large and small group dialogue sessions
· Application of knowledge gained at the training to the creation of action plans to take back to participants’ personal and professional lives

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