It’s only been two days since the launch of mindfulnessforteens.com, and already I’ve been touched by the feedback I’ve been getting from people who are passionate about bringing mindfulness to youth. The site has helped me to feel connected to a professional community of practice. That’s already a huge success, in my eyes. (This post is about building a professional community. I’ll write about building community of mindful teens in a future blog post.)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about building the “beloved community,” rising up together for peace and justice. Dr. King’s friend, the Zen Master and Nobel Peace Price nominee Thich Nhat Hanh, teaches about the importance of sangha, or community of practice. He is fond of saying, “Without a sangha, I cannot do much.”
When I initially began to seriously explore bringing mindfulness into my work in pediatrics and adolescent medicine, one of the first things I did was seek community and mentorship. Over the years I’ve been involved in this work, I’ve continued to seek out and co-create professional community, both locally as well as internationally. I’ve learned so much, and been deeply inspired, by many of you. More importantly, I’ve felt nourished by the sense of connectedness with friends and fellow travellers on this path of bringing mindfulness to our young people.
Connecting with professional community is the main reason I’m excited about participating in two upcoming conferences on mindfulness with youth. I look forward to seeing some of you, and connecting with friends old and new, at Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth (February 27 – March 1, in San Diego, California), and at the Mindfulness in Education Network 2015 conference (June 26 – 28, in Denver, Colorado).
If you are a professional, bringing mindfulness into your work with youth: What does community mean to you? Please leave your comments below, so that we may all benefit from the collective wisdom.