2011 Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

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Looking for a unique externship opportunity for next Spring? Join Professor Michael Skelley on his popular Mindfulness Meditation Retreat at Starved Rock State Park. Space is limited to just 20 students, and requests to pre-register for the Spring 2011 section will be accepted after June 15th, 2010.

Course Description

Mindfulness meditation is a gentle way of exercising your mind, body, heart and spirit. Mindfulness is the immense potential that each of us has to be fully aware of, freely engage in, and creatively respond to our daily experiences. We easily lose touch with this potential and so we constantly need to rediscover and nurture our capacity to live mindfully. Mindfulness meditation practices are simple yet powerful ways of investigating and training our minds so that we can unleash and integrate our potential for mindfulness. These practices have many benefits, such as improving health and well-being, enhancing performance in work, school and leisure activities, healing relationships, and deepening our sense of spirituality.

The approaches to mindfulness meditation that we will practice in this course are rooted in Buddhist philosophies, but also draw from Christian spiritual traditions and from contemporary, nonreligious approaches to meditation (e.g., the use of meditation for stress-reduction, health and wellbeing). The mindfulness meditation practices that we will focus on do not require any religious interpretations or commitments. If you do happen to have a particular religious commitment, these practices have great potential to complement that commitment. But mindfulness meditation can also be practiced as a very powerful path to becoming a creative, healthy, relaxed and effective adult. No prior experience with meditation is necessary for this course.

All the class meetings for this course will take place during a retreat at the beautiful Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center in Utica, IL (1.5 hours drive from Chicago). Starved Rock Lodge sits high atop a wooded bluff overlooking the Illinois River and is surrounded by the 2,630 acres of thick forests, 18 lush canyons and sparkling waterfalls of Starved Rock State Park, the largest state park in Illinois and one of the “Seven Wonders” of Illinois. This awesome place will provide an inspiring and restful setting for our retreat.

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