Mindfulness practice (aka meditation) has many benefits. I attended a conference presentation last summer focused on being present and learning what other law schools and lawyers were doing to promote mindfulness into their academics and private practice.
The presentation had a useful handout giving simple beginner’s advice, list of resources, and bios on the speakers.
Below are takeaways from this presentation:
- Kyle Courtney from Harvard noted libraries are great spaces for mindfulness and meditation. Meditation represents another point of service for the library. I have conducted weekly mindfulness sittings at the law library but I may consider a week-long session (if there is interest). Harvard holds retreats over the winter term. Some law schools adopt mindfulness into the curriculum offering credited study.
- Jessica Fayerman, a solo practitioner in Chicago, is a member of a Chicago bar mindfulness group. She acknowledged that meditation is a great stress relief for attorneys, and it helps remind us our work is not just about us (it’s just not our personal battles). Through meditation we encompass a wider space and learn the difference between reacting and responding. Mindfulness encourages collaborative leadership.
- Rev. Eitaro Hayashi of Shinnyo-en, a US Buddhist Order, advised us to be present and learn to do one thing at a time (avoid multitasking).
- During the Q&A portion I learned about a law professor who lead one class with a short breathing exercise and found that it encouraged better discussion and listening. I tried this technique in one of my classes and found the students less restive and more focused.
I will resume weekly mediation sessions in January. Everyone is invited (students, faculty, and staff). I will provide an introductory period for anyone who is new. Just let me know you need some training when you arrive (or tell me in the comments section below).
Here are the details for the weekly (starting January 26) meditation sessions: Thursdays at 12 noon in room 118 of the law library. Come as you are. Drop-in or leave as needed. Each session will last approximately 20 minutes, so you should still have time to get lunch.
If you are interested in more details about mindfulness or our weekly meditations, use this contact form: