On Monday, April 1, the University of Florida will host UF Mindfulness Day, a daylong event focused on the intersection of mindfulness and social change. The event, which will be held at the J. Wayne Reitz Union from 8:20 a.m. to 7 p.m., will feature topical talks, mindfulness meditation, yoga and compassion practices throughout the day.
The event’s activities, which are free and open to the public, will also feature two keynote presentations as well as an afternoon panel discussion featuring both presenters. At 2 p.m., Dr. Paul Fleischman, a psychiatrist and author, will present “The Universal Features of Meditation Practice,” in which he will discuss biological and psychological homeostasis as the basis of all meditation practices. A panel will follow Fleischman’s presentation, and at 5:45 p.m., Dr. Marisela Gomez, a community activist and physician scientist who is ordained in the Order of Interbeing tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, will present “Interdependence: Social Change and Inner Change,” focusing on the path of social change and its similarity to inner transformation.
Throughout the day, a range of faculty, staff, student and community presenters will also lead sessions on various topics including community applications of mindfulness, inner empowerment and outer transformation, and the nuts and bolts of mindfulness meditation, among others. To see a complete program of the day’s events, please visit the UF Mindfulness website.
On April 2, a special UF Mindfulness Workshop will also be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The session requires pre-registration at https://mindfulness.ufl.edu/index.php/events/md2019-workshop/. A “Love in Action Meditative Walk” will end the workshop (11:30 a.m. to noon), during which participants will be given the opportunity to turn inner compassion into social engagement to infuse the UF community with mindfulness.
Both novice and long-term mindfulness practitioners are invited to join these events. Participants are encouraged to bring any items to support their practice — such as a yoga mat, tarp, cushion or pillow — and a friend.
The UF Mindfulness Project, launched in 2015, is an interdisciplinary campus-wide collaboration to infuse mindfulness practices into courses and curricula as well as to enhance current mindfulness offerings, develop new programs and trainings, and create spaces designed to cultivate a culture of mindfulness at UF. Organized by the UF Mindfulness Team, this year’s event includes contributions from the UF Center for Spirituality and Health, Create Student Club, MOR Student Club and GatorWell.
For more information about the UF Mindfulness Project, please visit mindfulness.ufl.edu. To get more involved, you can also join the Facebook group and follow the initiative on Twitter at @sacred_swamp.