Mindfulness practice involves developing present-moment awareness. Mindful awareness allows us to understand our thought patterns, emotions, and actions. It develops awareness of what is actually going on. Please enjoy exploring this page to see some of the benefits of mindfulness practice.
Sitting Groups and Resources on Campus
If you’re interested in putting your toes in the meditation water, you can come to one of the weekly meditation sitting groups on campus. You don’t need to have any prior experience—just show up! The meditation leader will gladly give meditation instructions or give a guided meditation.
Pond Student Union Building, Usually in the Clearwater Room (During COVID-19, contact email@example.com for link)
Fridays, 12:15-12:45; available year round
ISU Sponsored by Counseling and Testing Services
Contact: Jen Miesch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speech Pathology & Audiology Building, No. 68, room 307 (During COVID-19, contact email@example.com for link)
12:15-12:45; available Fall and Spring semesters
Sponsored by Communication Sciences & Disorders
Contact: Jenn Holst firstname.lastname@example.org, 208-282-4196
Online Guided Meditations by ISU Faculty and Students
Mindfulness of the Breath.
Mindfulness of the Breath is a core practice of Mindfulness meditation. A widely accepted definition of mindfulness is from Jon Kabat-Zinn:, "Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.” The practice is simply paying attention to the breath, and when the mind wanders, bringing the attention back to the breath, without judgment. The "non-judgment" part is particularly important, because it trains us in patience, resilience, and compassion.
The Body Scan is an essential mindfulness tool, in that we have this deep aspiration to come back to the present moment, which is precisely in this body we inhabit. Many of us find the body scan to be difficult at first because it requires us to really attend to the sensations of our body in a deep way. There are great benefits from practicing the body scan, including increasing awareness of the effects of our mental states and emotions on our body.
Mindfulness of Thoughts and Feelings.
Mindfulness of Thoughts and Feelings is a powerful tool for seeing what your mind is doing, as a first step for developing the ability to control impulsiveness, as well as to understand, to truly feel, and to regulate emotions. Mindfulness of Special Senses is a meditation that helps refine your awareness of the senses of hearing, smell and touch.
Lovingkindness or Metta Practices
Lovingkindness or Metta Practices are core methods in Mindfulness for developing empathy and compassion. We know that a person will develop compassion as a natural process of mindfulness meditation. Metta practice will "jump start" that compassion development, ultimately resulting in increased open awareness, ease, and happiness.
Leaves on a Stream
Leaves on a Stream is a guided meditation that is frequently used to help a person reduce habitual thoughts, anxieties, and rumination. Many people find this to be a "go-to" when their minds are particularly active.
Taking the One Seat
Taking the One Seat is a meditation from the Thai teacher Ajahn Chah. This meditation helps you to maintain your "meditation seat" in the face of worries, competing thoughts, and fantasies. Open Sky Awareness helps the meditator become more easeful, developing the capacity to sit in open awareness.
Yoga Nidra Meditation
Integrative Restoration Yoga Nidra is a form of meditative practice that helps with chronic stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, burnout, and insomnia, to name a few. The practice brings the practitioner into greater whole-body awareness, equanimity, and the ability to rest in awareness of the present moment, even during hectic and challenging times. It is used by some to support sleep hygiene, and provides a sense of calm and stability to the practitioner.
Courses in Mindfulness at ISU
The Kasiska Division of Health Sciences (KDHS) offers a suite of courses to help you develop your mindfulness practice. These are available to students, staff and community members. Here are the current courses and descriptions.
Fall 2022 Mindfulness Courses
Mindful Self-Compassion: (DHS 4408/5599, 1 cr.) Online Fixed Time, Early 8-weeks, Wed. 3:00 – 5:00 pm MT. Kristin Stewart Yates & Jane Coe Smith. Students and professionals learn concepts and practices for mindfully developing self-compassion in everyday interaction with self and others. Application of these skills for both personal support and professional guidance with others is integrated into skills and practices. This course uses the Mindful Self-Compassion program developed by Neff & Germer (2010). Contact Kristin Stewart Yates at email@example.com.
The Mindful Practitioner: (DHS 4406/5506, 2 cr.) Online Fixed Time, Tue. 5:30-7:00 pm MT. Tony Seikel & Ron Solbrig. Students and professionals learn to integrate mindfulness into their clinical practice, recognize the direct effects of mindful meditation practice on clients and practitioners, and develop skills for advocating mindfulness programs in the workplace. The focus is on mindfulness in health sciences, but all are welcome to take the course. Contact Tony Seikel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mindful Practitioner (asynchronous): (DHS 4406/5506, 2 cr.) Online totally asynchronous. Tony Seikel. Totally online section. Students and professionals learn to integrate mindfulness into their clinical practice, recognize the direct effects of mindful meditation practice on clients and practitioners, and develop skills for advocating mindfulness programs in the workplace. The focus is on mindfulness in health sciences, but all are welcome to take the course. See separate section number in schedule. Contact Tony Seikel at email@example.com.
Mindfulness in Health Science: (DHS 4401/5501, 2 cr.) Online Fixed Time, Tue. 3:00 – 4:50 pm MT. Paula Seikel & Jen Miesch. Students will learn Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and will study the research exploring how mindfulness improves mental and physical health for clinicians and clients. Graduate students will lead a mindfulness practice for the class. The focus is on mindfulness in health sciences, but everyone is welcome. Contact Paula Seikel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundamentals of Mindfulness: (DHS 4410/5510, 2 cr.) Online Fixed Time, Thur. 5:00 – 6:40 pm MT. Jenn Holst & Tony Seikel. This course provides students with core skills and practice in multiple forms of mindfulness meditation and emphasizes developing functional application of mindfulness practices in all daily activities. Open to anyone interested in mindfulness practice. Contact Tony Seikel at email@example.com.
Introduction to Mindfulness and Yoga Nidra: (DHS 4499/5599, 1 cr.) Online Fixed Time, Thur. 3:00-4:50 pm MT, late 8 weeks. Celeste Tandy & Tony Seikel. Yoga Nidra is a meditative practice that helps reduce the effects of physical and emotional stress and increases balance and equanimity. Students will learn how to integrate Yoga Nidra and other meditation practices into their personal and professional lives. This form of yoga is practiced lying down in deep relaxation. Contact Tony Seikel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classes are offered through the Division of Health Sciences and are open to ISU students, staff, and faculty and others wanting to learn ways to respond more mindfully to stress, improve their ability to stay present, and practice these skills with other learners. These classes are primarily experiential, so consistent attendance is essential. For more information and guided practices see https://www.isu.edu/healthsciences/mindfulness/
Spring 2022 Mindfulness Courses
KDHS Mindfulness Classes are all offered by Zoom this Spring.
Introduction to Mindfulness (DHS 4411-01; DHS 5599-01; 1 cr.) Online, fixed time. Early 8 weeks, Tuesdays, 4:30-5:50 pm MT. Instructors: Jenn Holst & Paula Seikel. This course provides introduction to mindfulness practice, with experience in different methods of meditation, skill sets, and dispositions. Physiological, psychological, and neurophysiological effects of mindfulness meditation will be discussed, with the implications of these on mindfulness practice. Emphasis is upon actual practice. Contact Jenn Holst <email@example.com>
Effects of Mindfulness (DHS 4405-01/5505-01; 1 cr.) Online, Fixed time. Late 8 weeks; Tuesdays, 5:00-6:40pm MT. Instructors: Tony Seikel & Lorinda Smith. This course provides meditation instruction and examination of your practice, while focusing on research on the physical, psychological, and neurophysiological changes resulting from meditation. Contact Tony Seikel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mindful Self-Compassion (DHS 4408/5599; 2 cr.) Pocatello campus, early 8 weeks, Wednesdays, 2:30-4:50 pm. Instructors: Kristin Stewart Yates & Jennifer Miesch. This course introduces recent research specifically related to the positive impact that self-compassion practices have on our overall wellness. Instruction and opportunity to experience a variety of ways to practice Mindful Self-Compassion will be provided, as well as discussion into the identified benefits of compassion meditation. Contact Kristin Stewart Yates <email@example.com>
Introduction to Mindfulness and Yoga Nidra: (DHS 4499/5599, 1 cr.) Online Fixed Time, Thur. 3:00-4:50 pm MT, late 8 weeks. Celeste Tandy & Tony Seikel. Yoga Nidra is a meditative practice that helps reduce the effects of physical and emotional stress and increases balance and equanimity. Students will learn how to integrate Yoga Nidra and other meditation practices into their personal and professional lives. This form of yoga is practiced lying down in deep relaxation. Contact Celeste Tandy firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony Seikel at email@example.com.
Mindfulness-Based Strength Practices (MBSP). (DHS 4499/5599, 2 cr.) Online Fixed Time, Wed. 2:30-5:00 pm MT, March 7 – May 6. Jane Coe Smith. MBSP integrates mindfulness and character strengths practices. Character Strengths builds awareness of personal strengths and learning skills. Mindfulness practices are introduced and integrated with personal strengths practice. This interactive and experiential course promotes mindfully employing character strengths in personal and professional contexts. Contact Jane Coe Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classes are offered through the Division of Health Sciences and are open to ISU students, staff, and faculty and others wanting to learn ways to respond more mindfully to stress, improve their ability to stay present, and practice these skills with other learners.
Effects of Mindfulness Practice
There is a very rich research literature on the effects of mindfulness practice that we invite you to explore. Mindfulness practice produces both physical effects, psychological effects, and neurophysiologic effects, which are intertwined. Because of focus on the present moment, stress responses that increase blood pressure in the short and long term are reduced. The long-term effects are reduced stroke and heart disease risk, as well as reduced stress and anxiety. Perhaps the most remarkable effects are changes that occur in the brain as a result of mindfulness practice, including changes in brain volume in areas related to cognitive function (executive function control, memory, and attention), as well as those related to insight and compassion.