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Jun 24 2016 - 10:36 AM
Spiritual Life Conference at TC
This past weekend, I attended the second annual Spiritual Life Conference at Teachers College. Students, staff, and faculty from the SMBI (Spirituality Mind Body Institute) spoke about their research -- mostly correlating the presence of spirituality in one's life (connection through prayer, meditation, mindfulness, yoga) with a decrease in anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, and an overall improvement in physical and mental health. SBMI_logos_v2-225x241 SMBI Program Director & Professor Lisa J. Miller, PhD spoke about the neuroscience behind meditation & how children begin as spiritual beings. She referenced her book, "The Spiritual Child" (available at TC). She was followed by Bob Roth, Transcendental Meditation (TM) teacher and co-founder of the David Lynch Foundation, who spoke about the life-altering effects of TM for people living with HIV, PTSD, homeless populations, and domestic violence survivors and other vulnerable populations. Of the nine experiential workshops that were offered, I selected one for enjoyability and one for challenge. "Awakening to Your Intuition" -- an introduction to the history & practice of kundalini yoga followed by a 60-minute lesson -- was something I was comfortable with. The facilitators were calm and clear. I think it was helpful that I have a background in yoga, but I think people were very receptive to the practice regardless. "Spiritual Storytelling" -- an introduction to writing and sharing a powerful personal story -- was the challenge. We were introduced to a 5-part formula for writing a 100-word story that connects us with our audience. I am not the strongest writer and sharing a personal story with strangers is sometimes difficult for me. Again, the facilitators made it simple to follow, participants were eager to share and provide feedback. [caption id="attachment_24300" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Spiritual Life Conference 2016 TC Milbank Chapel at Teachers College[/caption] After the experiential workshops, we met again in Milbank Chapel to hear current students speak about their research -- personal and workplace wellness, exploring psychic mediums through the lens of Jungian psychology, maintaining "flow" on a regular basis, the importance of spiritual love, and mindfulness in medicine. To learn more, check out the websites linked throughout this post or one of the following books: Available at TC or CU Libraries: The Spiritual Child, by Lisa J. Miller Ph.D. (TC) The Oxford Handbook of Psychology & Spirituality, edited by Lisa J. Miller Ph.D. (TC & CU) Kundalini Yoga at TC & CU Spiritual Storytelling at TC & CU Speaker Recommendations Coming soon!  
Posted in: Learning at the Library|By: Dina Elsibay|326 Reads