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The Mindfulness-Based Campus-Community Health Program 
Director: Daniel Holland, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Self Care artwork
                                                                                                                        (c) 2006 Aimee Colmery Dixon, "Self Care"


 


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Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience.
It isn't more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present
moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.

Sylvia Boorstein

If the world is to change for the better it must start with a change in human consciousness, in the very humanness of modern man.

Vaclev Havel
 

The Mindfulness-Based Campus-Community Health Program is an initiative that aims to promote health on the UALR campus and Little Rock community by teaching the practice of mindfulness meditation to those interested in learning it.

Mindfulness meditation, which is also referred to as Vipassana or insight meditation, is a secular contemplative practice that facilitates awareness of the present moment and all that arises within each moment:  thoughts, physical sensations, emotions, external events, etc.  By learning to appreciate the present, rather than constantly focusing on the past, the future, or frustrating fantasies of how things "should" be, one can begin to experience a greater sense of peace with one's current circumstances, even when those circumstances are less than optimal.   In addition, the very practice of mindfulness meditation, while not necessarily always "relaxing", does often result in a calming of the autonomic nervous system.  It is these two gradual changes, a change in perspective and a change in physiological reactivity, that many people find to be so helpful.

A growing body of empirical research supports the potential contribution of mindfulness meditation to health promotion and quality of life (i.e. Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, & Sellers, 1987; Kabat-Zinn & Chapman-Waldrop, 1988; Langer, 1989; Napoli, Krech, & Holley, 2005; Speca et al., 2000; Shapiro, 2001).  There is also a growing movement in educational settings to integrate contemplative learning into the curriculum for the promotion of reflection, insight, and scholarship (Rockefeller, 1996; Buell, 1999; Napoli, et al, 2005; Holland, 2005).  The purpose of the Mindfulness-Based Campus-Community Health Program at UALR is to unite these two developments and integrate mindfulness meditation into the university curriculum for the purpose of promoting health and quality of life. The Mindfulness-Based Campus-Community Health Program will provide opportunities for the UALR and Little Rock communities to learn the distinctive practice of mindfulness meditation in an accessible and supportive learning environment.

The Mindfulness-Based Campus-Community Health Program consists of three core components:

                        Curriculum

                        Research

                        Community Outreach

In addition to these three core components, the Mindfulness-Based Campus-Community Health Program also has partnerships with other initiatives on the UALR campus and in the Little Rock community that promote mindful living and health promotion:                  

      Partners

Daniel Holland, Ph.D., M.P.H. is the director of the Mindfulness-Based Campus-Community Health Program.  UALR students, staff, and faculty who would like to become involved in any of the activities of the program or want to enroll in the  Mindfulness Meditation and Health course should contact Dan Holland at dcholland@ualr.edu.    

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