Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

FULL: Moving Into Mindfulness

Workshop Number: 
Amy Ward Brimmer
Who may register?: 
Open to All (adult & high school)
Experiential Activities: 
only full time attenders (participants should attend all week)

Body-mind awareness opens us to divine revelation whether in worship or doing the laundry. Experience mindfulness through daily practice of Qigong, exploring habitual everyday activities, and guided meditation. Learn to recognize stillness in movement, and movement within stillness. Cultivate compassion for ourselves and others as we lay down our burdens.

Workshop Description

A movement class for people at all levels of experience, this workshop explores mindfulness through everyday movement, Qigong, and guided meditation practice.

In the rush of daily activity, we can learn to pause, reconnect to our amazing body-minds, and continue moving forward with a new sense of centeredness. Together, we’ll be gentle and compassionate while also challenging ourselves to try new types of thoughtful motion. Using the principles of Alexander Technique, we will identify some movement habits that restrict healthy functioning and ease in our bodies, and find ways to free ourselves from them. Playing with the 18 "movement pictures" of Shibashi Qigong will deepen body-mind awareness and rebalance energy. Sitting, standing, and walking meditation practice will cultivate calm and spiritual insight. Through worship-sharing, we'll discover how movement is worship and worship contains movement. Part laboratory, part clinic, part playground, Moving Into Mindfulness is relaxing and enlivening.

Discover how to bring your mindful movement experience into Quaker worship, and then into everyday living. Explore how present moment awareness begins in the body, and how the senses are the pathway to direct revelation. Free yourself from the tyranny of "monkey mind" and from straining yourself to the breaking point. Through mindful practice, we'll learn how we're designed to move, release unnecessary tension, and rediscover the joy of well-being.

Each day will include a body-mind warmup, Qigong, guided meditation practice, and worship or worship-sharing. Some days we'll focus more on one or another of these.

Leader Experience

Amy Ward Brimmer, M.A., CTAT, has practiced Alexander Technique for 25 years, and investigated meditation and contemplative prayer since childhood. She has had a private practice since becoming a certified teacher in 1995, and founded Way Opens Center in 2010, to bring together people interested in learning and teaching bodymind methods of awakening. Amy has taught professionally at Yale, the Hartt Conservatory (Hartford, CT), and at Brooklyn College. She is completing her training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Jefferson University Mindfulness Institute in Philadelphia.

As part of her ministry to bring mindful movement and body-mind integration to Friends everywhere, Amy has led movement activities at several Gatherings; this is the second year she has offered Moving Into Mindfulness. Amy also volunteers in the Gathering Healing Center.