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Lions Roar : January 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2012 73 September 30 and October 1 for the conference—sponsored by The Center for Mindfulness in Medi- cine, Health Care, and Society; the Omega Institute; Mindful.org; and Sounds True—and another 5,000 registered to take part through live streaming. It began on a Friday night with a keynote address by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The next day, Richie Davidson, director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, talked about the evidence of mindfulness’ effectiveness. Janice Marturano, who recently created the Institute for Mindful Leadership, reported on how valuable it has been for leaders to synchronize their hearts and minds through mindfulness. Morning sessions focused on health and healing, what mind- fulness means, and how mind–body practices are being used in schools and colleges, while the afternoon featured field reports from pioneers working in law, personal and organ- izational finance, the workplace, the military, and the inner city. The conference wrapped ALI AND ATMAN SMITH and Andres Gonzales work in the Druid Hill area in Baltimore’s inner city. Through the Holis- tic Life Foundation, they teach yoga and reach at-risk children through hip-hop, dance, basketball, tutoring, organic garden- ing—whatever works. But on the first weekend of October, they were at the New York Society for Eth- ical Culture headquarters on Central Park West to take part in the Creating a Mindful Society gathering—the first- ever conference devoted exclusively to how mindfulness is being applied across a broad spectrum of our society. At the end of their presentation, Atman Smith reported on the progress of their first twenty students, a group they started working with nearly a decade ago. “We had the toughest cases in the school,” he said. “We’ve continued to work with them over the years and now they help us with the program. All of them graduated from high school. Nineteen of them are work- ing or in college. None are incarcerated.” The audience rose in unison, applauding and cheering. More than 500 people gathered on Meeting of the Mindful BY BARRY BOYCE The Mindful Society Tara Healey of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, teaching mindfulness practice. PHOTOSBYLIZAMATTHEWSANDANDYKARR Left: Jenny Lykken, Ali and Atman Smith. Right: Town hall panel: Congressman Tim Ryan, Richie Davidson, Janice Marturano, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and moderator Tami Simon.