Dear Friends and Family,
Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) is a national nonprofit that offers in-depth mindfulness programming for young adults and the parents and professionals who support them. I recently learned of their “Commit to Sit”campaign to provide $300,000 in scholarship money for their teen retreats. Jessica Morey, iBme founder, and her husband, Middlesex Mindfulness Leader, Doug Worthen live right here in Concord, so many of you know of iBme. During the next three days, the pledges will be matched, so any support is wonderful, but you can still donate in June!
Thank you so much for your past support during my Yogathons for Yoga Reaches Out, in both New England and the Bay Area, and the campaign to stop teen texting and driving with TextLess Live More. I now ask you to support me and the Insight Timer Team for the iBme Retreat Scholarship Fund.
iBme Retreats will enrich all teens’ lives, and holds the KEY to alleviating teen stress, depression and anxiety. That’s a pretty bold statement, I know, but I believe it from my core.
In a recent leadership intensive with Off the Mat, Into the World, we were asked to envision our ideal world. In addition, “What breaks our heart about the world today?” because the answer to this question is part of our life’s path as we take our meditation and yoga practice off the cushion, off the mat, into our service in the world.
In his book, “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life,” former Yale professor William Deresiewicz’ states, “College students are so stressed out, over pressured; they exhibit toxic levels of fear, anxiety, depression, emptiness, aimlessness, and isolation.”
I’ve written and spoken about the ways the mindless use of technology contributes to these feelings of despair in my Teens and Technology blog at abclegacy.com. Merritt Levitan, my Dartmouth friend, Rich Levitan’s daughter, was killed by a distracted driver. This tragedy broke so many hearts, but the Levitan family turned this grief into Textless, Live More, the campaign to end texting and driving.
iBme Retreats give teens a digital sabbath, an opportunity to spend time face to face, enjoy real time conversations, and get to know themselves in nature. All activities that can be missed due to 24/7 connectivity.
But it’s more than digital distraction. When I taught yoga to 300 teen nuns in Burma, I watched their ability to drop into their bodies, into their yoga. Yoga was new to them, but they’ve been meditating their whole lives. The benefits of which were palpable. They have so little in terms of material wealth, but they are not depressed or anxious as a culture.
With the Thai Daughters, who I visited and taught yoga a couple of weeks ago, joy and happiness filled the air of the Sunflower House as the girls smothered me with love and laughter. They were rescued from impoverished conditions and the risk of sex trafficking, but more than that they live in community with deep gratitude for their new family with food on the table and nurturing from others. You can watch these girls on the YouTube videos as I continue to transfer them.
My dream is to bring American high school and college teens together with those in SE Asia, on retreat, to create a global model for Lit World, where teens can practice meditation and yoga, explore their passions, feel empowered, and share them with the world in their unique ways. It becomes symbiotic service, you to me, and me to you. Ubuntu.
We may not know what all the converging factors are for this endemic teen angst, but I do know teens need to become still, silent, away from the fast paced digital world, to their inner world. Just like an extended .b from the Mindfulness in Schools Project. Many have heard me teach the .b to “Stop. Feel your feet. Feel your breath. Be.”
I wrote my young adult novel, Amanda’s Flight to raise awareness and offer hope to those suffering from and supporting those with depression and anxiety. I’m supporting iBme because it is critical to the cure.
Please support me as I meditate for the iBme campaign. And please pay this message forward to anyone who might want to participate or contribute!
With deep gratitude,