In 1999 the Columbine School Massacre completely changed my world view. I made a decision in that moment, watching the horror unfold on television, to be an educator. What I witnessed, were two young men in pain, acting out of desperation. I was sure that this event would spark a national outrage that would inspire action. I believed I was watching the beginning of a movement towards peace, and I wanted to be on the front lines.
As a high school teacher, making connections and building relationships was always my first priority. Before curriculum or standards, test scores or disciplinary regulations, I was consistently seeking where relationships could be cultivated. I also watched as my colleagues became increasingly stressed and frustrated, state and national standards consistently changing, the greater conversation had not shifted towards kindness, compassion and interdependence as I had predicted in the wake of Columbine.
No, in fact, our educational focused seemed to be on increased competition, breaking students into smaller cohorts based on abillities and disabilities. Stress and anxiety inside many school buildings is palpable.
This is where I turned to yoga, meditation and mindfulness. For my own sake, as well as to bring it into the school where I worked. I wanted to show students and faculty alike that we could all come together in union. We were all here trying to navigate the same pressure and stresses.
Since then, I have spent a decade devoting my life to sharing yoga, meditation and healing with as many school districts as possible. Fortunately I now work full time for a nonprofit, Radiant Living at Yoga Farm, where our mission is to eradicate the causes of anxiety, depression, loneliness and addiction, cultivating a united humanity.
Through this nonprofit; we serve schools all over our communties, we provide Professional Development to educators and workshops and classes to students of all grade levels.
What we have found as barriers along the way are things like;
* Inadequate space for a room to be dedictated to peaceful practice and mindfulness.
* Lack of funding to allow regular visits and workshops incorporated into the school year.
* Staffing restrictions which do not allow for one person to be designated in a building as the meditation and mindfulness educator.
Radiant Living at Yoga Farm's solution to these barriers:
A MOBILE MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS BUS!!!
We have already purchased the bus, and are ready to bring the next phase of this vision, to being.
Our bus studio can tour around to schools in the Tompkins, Seneca and Tioga counties (perhaps even more as we grow) and deliver curriculum and services to youth and educators.
Rural Schools can be reached and engaged!
No need for the school to have to have a room for us that is quiet, clean and sparse.
Are you ready to be a part of a LITERAL movement of meditation and mindfulness in our local schools?
Your gift will be used to fund parts and labor to complete the conversion of the bus, to develop partnerships and locations for the bus, staffing and operating costs for the initial season (2020)