Framed by the Ignatian charisms of care of the whole person and people for and with others, the Program for Ignatian Mindfulness unites the concepts of mindfulness and discernment. Saint Ignatius calls us to surrender to more fully receive love and grace. The three pillars of the program are:
Pause: Creating a space without judgements or attachments to appreciate the whole person
Presence: Bringing attention to the moment by noticing one’s thoughts and surroundings
Peace: Imagining empathy, and compassion for self and others through contemplation
The Program for Ignatian Mindfulness aims to facilitate the integration of the mind, body, breath and spirit through conversation, practice and contemplation.
The program for Ignatian Mindfulness is a co-curricular program in the Creighton School of Dentistry. The curricular part of the program was designed to help students navigate the extreme challenges of dental school by teaching academic success tools framed by the concepts of mindfulness. The course is designed to advance the ultimate goal of dental education which is to develop technically advanced and compassionate practitioners. The Jesuit tradition of the Ingantian value of Cura Personalis or care of the whole person frames this integrated approach to health care. Because dental education is both rigorous and exacting this course provides space to explore techniques that support student wellbeing. By engaging in practices of movement, breathing, contemplation and mindfulness students will develop strategies for use in the practice setting to enhance professional resilience and patient wellbeing that is supported by research. To, date 120 student have completed with six week required course and report positive experiences. These are a few quotes from their reflections:
First year dental students’ reflections:
“Another benefit of mindfulness that stood out to me in dentistry is very similar to what is emphasized so strongly with Creighton Ignatian values. “
“I found it interesting the connection between mindfulness practice and improvement of one’s self-awareness of their own beliefs to lead to better cultural understanding. I think it would benefit us in terms of kindness and caring for our patients.”
“Interestingly, care of others and care of self-appear to be interdependent.”
The PIM program aims to nurture and facilitate on-going conversations about the intersection of Ignatian charisms and mindfulness practices. To that end, events are planned to bring folks together as a community to experience mindful practices in the spirit of the Ignatian tradition.
There is little written about the intersection of mindfulness and Ignatian Spirituality. The hope is that the following resources will spark your own thoughts, questions and insights. Please contact bharris [at] creighton [dot] edu to add information to this page.
10% Happier Revised Edition: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works Dan Harris - Dey Street Books - 2019
The pilgrim and the sage: Ignatian spirituality and Buddhism in dialogue - Published and exclusively distributed by Anvil Publishing, Inc. - 2019
Mindfulness and Buddhism
Mindfulness and Ignatian Spirituality - Tim Muldoon