Mindfulness Meeting
Mar
26
7:00 PM19:00

Mindfulness Meeting

Attendance is free and all are welcome.

Edward Plainfield | 24600 West 127th Street | Plainfield, IL | Downstairs Conference Room in ER Building

Consider that 100 years ago, pneumonia and influenza were the leading causes of death, the first of two world wars of mass violence had erupted, and The Dustbowl and Great Depression were on deck. It was still a dangerous world as it had been for many centuries prior, especially for minorities and women.

Today, according to many metrics, we are living in the safest time in human history. Crime, especially homicide, is in long term decline, and people are more likely to die of old age than from violence. Malnutrition is down from 50% 100 years ago to its lowest rate in history of 13%, and for the first time more people are obese than hungry. Similarly, infectious disease and extreme poverty are also markedly down worldwide, though there are poignant exceptions to all these positive safety trends.

However, these improved outward patterns do not seem compatible with the general population's internal experience. 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders in America and 25% of all teens are affected, making anxiety the most common mental illness characterized by extreme fear and worry.

So, why are we so anxious? Is anxiety really on the rise, as it appears and does modern society actually breed it? Or is it possible that when you remove the outer clear and present dangers of the past, we are left with our ancestors' internal legacy of fear? Perhaps, this helps explain why scientists have been unsuccessful at significantly raising the level of worry about realistic existential threats such as climate change. There is already plenty of worry in the human system and global warming is still too abstract.

In any case, emotions are like ancient algorithms and the past few decades of safety is not enough time for evolution to re-program a more nuanced response to modern problems.

This points to two distinct possibilities for the chapter after this age of anxiety: a golden window of safety begins to close as scientifically predicted doom becomes more manifest, giving way to another age of fear and danger. Or, we develop an integrative understanding of anxiety along with the tools to speed up our emotional evolution, ushering in a welcome era of contentment and peace.

This meeting will include a deep dive into the latter scenario - a scenario that perhaps would be the necessary social reform to actually free up the mental space to solve those future threats.

“To put is still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.” -Alan Watts

View Event →

Mindfulness Meeting: Loneliness and the Trance of Busyness
Feb
26
7:00 PM19:00

Mindfulness Meeting: Loneliness and the Trance of Busyness

24600 West 127th Street | Plainfield, IL

Attendance is free and open to everyone - located in the conference room in the lower level of the Edward Hospital ER building in PLAINFIELD, IL.

Even with all the comfort that advances in technology have bestowed, it does not seem that people, in general, have time to relax and fully connect. Communication breakthroughs have been achieved with a double-edged sword. With so much of our lives uploaded to the internet and our brains downloaded to the external hard drives of smart phones, the demands and work and hustle and distractions never end resulting in a trance of busyness.

Hence, loneliness in America and throughout much of the world has risen to epidemic proportions.

A national survey by Cigna Health revealed that more than half of Americans feel lonely and researchers have found loneliness to be the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day and worse than obesity, in terms of health risk and premature death.

Though we may go on increasing our contacts - studies show that with each passing decade, the average number of close friends that one could count on in crisis continues to decline.

Which age group is the most lonely? The elderly of World-War Eras? Baby-boomers? Millennials? Though they all suffer high levels of loneliness among their respective age segments, the answer is Generation Z.

This is the most alarming statistic and means that children are growing up in a new paradigm of psycho-social distance and mental health risk. Young people report that though they may be surrounded by others, no one knows them very well. What we are lacking is depth of connection and hopefully mindfulness, meditation and a modern path to spiritual fellowship can become the next public health revolution.

"I would rather have 2 half-dollars than 100 pennies." -a wise adolescent patient

View Event →
Mindfulness Meeting: Transitions
Jan
29
7:00 PM19:00

Mindfulness Meeting: Transitions

24600 West 127th Street | Plainfield, IL

Attendance is free and open to everyone - located in the conference room in the lower level of the Edward Hospital ER building in PLAINFIELD, IL.

We have transitioned to a new year. It is a symbol of letting go of the old and embracing the new. Traditionally, it is a time to live our better intentions and establish healthier routines. On a larger scale, we are now in the process of transitioning to a new decade. What have we learned about ourselves? What do we envision not only this year but in the upcoming decade? It is an opportunity to pause and consider the steps to a more beautiful life and world.

"Transition" can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it refers to the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another. As a verb, it refers to causing such a process. Nature will script many transitions beyond our control - sometimes painfully. The nouns are set. If we willingly change and grow in the present - learning the art of transition each day - we will be ready. Ultimately, when our transitions are mindful, crossing over can be more of a celebration.

"To change with change is the changeless state." -Bruce Lee

View Event →
Howl in Harmony: A conversation about sex, shame and speaking truth
Dec
9
7:00 PM19:00

Howl in Harmony: A conversation about sex, shame and speaking truth

Location: Yoga Among Friends | 4949 Forest Ave. Downers Grove, IL 605615. 

with Maureen Muldoon and Laura Jane Mellencamp

Cost: $32
Register here:
http://www.yogaamongfriends.com/workshops/2018/12/09/howl-in-harmony

You are cordially invited to attend this special event, which will include an honest, open and organic conversation between Todd and Maureen about sexuality and spirituality in the 21st century, followed by time for responding to questions and thoughts from those who would like to share.

Maureen Muldoon is a spiritual Pied Piper and shameless storyteller who is transforming the way people think of church. She is a celebrated and sought-after writer, inspirational speaker, and community leader, combining comic timing and irreverence honed during her two decades as a Hollywood actress. With twenty years of training in A Course In Miracles, spiritual psychology and new thought teachings, she helps individuals and organizations to tap into impeccable inner guidance and create a business and life that is good, beautiful and of service to a higher purpose.

View Event →
Nov
27
7:00 PM19:00

Mindfulness Meeting: The Case For Kindness

Attendance is free and open to everyone - located in the conference room in the lower level of the Edward Hospital ER building in PLAINFIELD, IL.

FB event page

Topic: The Case For Kindness

Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful. This claim is supported by a recent social psychology study in which three groups of subjects were asked to rate the attractiveness of the same faces of strangers. Group 1 was given negative descriptors about the people they were looking at - like mean, cruel, etc. Group 2 was told nothing. Group 3 received positive descriptors of the same strangers - kind, honest, etc. Group 3 found the faces to be the most physically attractive, followed by Group 2 and then 1. 

Knowing something about another's personality can actually change the way the brain perceives their physical features. According to evolutionary theory, our assessment of the fitness value of a potential social partner is a hybrid of physical and non-physical characteristics.

Science also suggests that kindness forms a virtuous feedback loop. Kindness generates happiness, and happiness motivates people to be kind. But there is a catch - intention matters. It does not work if you do something kind for others for the sake of becoming happy or gaining something in return. This is known as "strategic kindness" and only yields pleasure as opposed to "altruistic kindness" which means without the desire for a reward and leads to real happiness. fMRI studies reveal that separate regions of the brain are activated for each kind of kind, putting the "true" back in altruism.

Most spiritual traditions emphasize love for all and to be of service to others. The needed energy and enthusiasm arise quite naturally as a result of meditation and leading a more contemplative life. The origins and obstacles of kindness will be explored.

"To a wise one, the whole earth is open - because the true country of a virtuous soul is the entire universe." –Democritus

View Event →
Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

Be a Light unto Yourself

Tools to cultivate resilience

Shine Yoga | 5 North River Street, Batavia, IL 60510

Tune in to your innate ability to reclaim healing and wholeness in the face or wake of adversity. Join us for a special evening of learning, yoga, and conversation.

Cost: $40 | Tix here | Facebook event page

*Evening will include a mindfulness talk, guided meditation, gentle yoga, and Q+A.
*Yoga will be a gentle, meditative practice suitable for all levels and abilities. Mats will be provided. Dress comfortably to allow full range of movement.
*Please register soon before sold out.

View Event →
Aug
22
6:00 PM18:00

Overcoming Anxiety for Teens

Alive Center - 500 West 5th Ave Naperville, IL  RSVP here and  Tix and info here

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, nervousness or worry about the future and leads to stress responses in the body and the behavioral urge to avoid. Believe it or not, anxiety is not all bad. In fact, there is wisdom in anxiety. It is our brain's way of being a little overprotective of our body. We know that parents can have various rules to help keep their kids safe, which can sometimes feel limiting. However, parents and kids can ideally work together to build a balance - and similarly, our minds and bodies can work together to bring more balance to our emotions. We will talk together about how to do this and listen to the different challenges students face, in order to lead more courageous, purposeful and meaningful lives.

View Event →