OMI is a shared effort to further the campus' growing interest in mindfulness by providing a common locus for the SUNY Oneonta community to share knowledge, skills, and information related to various meditative and contemplative practices and to investigate how some of these might be utilized to make our campus more inclusive and compassionate.
This Initiative aims to,
- facilitate practical exercises from various contemplative traditions through mindfulness sessions, workshops, and other events
- provide a repository for information and resources related to mindfulness
- identify regional locations for various mindfulness and contemplative practices that members of the SUNY Oneonta community might wish to investigate
Beyond our shared intention to explore and make accessible many of the forms of mindfulness that are becoming increasingly apparent at this historical moment, this Initiative is also informed by a sense of urgency. The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified what many in higher education were already keenly aware of prior to this moment: that many of our fellow citizens have suffered from anxiety and other forms of mental distress. It is our hope that making mindfulness resources available, including space for and information about various contemplative practices, that the campus community will have more resources to draw upon that might assist them in addressing these issues.
The term mindfulness refers to the practice of "observing sights, sounds and other sensations, including internal bodily sensations and thoughts, without being carried away by them" (Ricard et al., 2014, p. 41). When practiced daily, mindfulness can bring about a direct, objective awareness of one's lived experience.
For more about mindfulness, its origins, and role in day-to-day life, see Mindfulness FAQs.
Need to calm your mind before a presentation with a 1-minute guided meditation? Or are you looking to unwind and clear you mind after a long day at school/work with a 15-minute practice? These free guided meditations produced by OMI are designed for anyone to practice present moment awareness anywhere at anytime.
Here's one for you try out right now.
Explore your inner world through purposefully created soundscapes produced by Kristen Blinne, Ph.D., certified yoga and meditation teacher and Associate Professor of Communication at SUNY Oneonta, and Tenali Hrenak, radio producer and sound designer, Muddy Boots Radio.
- Embodying Wonder - includes four 20 minute sound sessions each focused on an element (Earth, Water, Fire, and Air)
- Sound Snippets - includes five themed tracks that provide unique ways to facilitate inner reflection
Other Audio Meditations
Below are some links to recommended readings that provide deeper insight into the practice of mindfulness, its benefits, and the science behind awareness, acceptance, and compassion.
- Mind of the Meditator - Explore how the brain changes when one meditates and learn about the multitude of benefits of this thousands of years old practice called meditation on both the body and mind.
- The Science of Mindfulness - A guide to the research on the effects of mindfulness and meditation for our health, psyche, and overall quality of life.
- The Science of Compassion - Take a glimpse into what happens in your body and mind when you treat yourself and others with more care.
- A wandering mind is an unhappy mind
Recommended Mindfulness Apps
Below are free mindfulness apps that the OMI team recommends. These app can be found on both IOS and Android.
- Healthy Minds Program App - A free easy-to-use guide that uses neuroscience, contemplative traditions, and skill-based learning methods to help you develop the skills for a healthy mind.
- Jon Kabat-Zinn Meditations - From the pioneer of the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) - Jon Kabat-Zinn - this app provides short and long guided meditations along with techniques to cope with stress and to heal oneself and the world.
Other Mindfulness Institutions to Follow
Below are links to few institutions that are dedicated to bringing together research and practice in mindfulness-related topics. These institutions offer workshops/trainings for practitioners and are valuable resources for scientific exploration of mindfulness-related topics.
- The Center for Healthy Minds at University of Wisconsin-Madison aims at cultivating well-being and relieve suffering through a scientific understanding of the mind.
- The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University investigates methods for developing compassion and promoting altruism within individuals and society through rigorous research, scientific collaborations, and academic conferences. In addition, CCARE provides compassion training programs and teacher training as well as educational public events and programs.
- Compassion Institute is a nonprofit global advocate for compassion education that offers practical compassion-focused trainings based on the latest psychology, neurology, and contemplative science.
- Mind & Life Institute brings science and contemplative wisdom together to better understand the mind and create positive change in the world