Mindfulness Training: An Inside Job!
Delivering multi-week applied mindfulness programs for mental health and addictions, and the workplace, based on Andrew Safer’s 50+ years of mindfulness practice and 25+ years as an authorized mindfulness instructor.
Mindfulness is a practice that cultivates present-moment awareness, kindness, and nonjudgment. We train ourselves to bring our attention back once we’ve noticed we’ve been taking a holiday from now, immersed in planning, rehashing the past, worrying, or any other mental activity.
It’s a great way to simplify and get to know our own mind! And we can bring mindfulness into everyday life–when we’re disagreeing with our partner, cutting a carrot–or anything in between.
For our ongoing mindfulness practice sessions throughout the week, free and open to the public, jump to the bottom of this page.
Posted below are current and past workshop series, presentations, trainings, podcasts, and retreats.
Mindfulness Instructor Training–First Weekend Intensive
Friday night, November 4th and Saturday, the 5th at The Lantern, St. John’s…
Photo: Courtesy of Yvonne O’Keefe
A weekend intensive was conducted as part of the Mindfulness-Awareness Meditation Instructor Training Course (MAMITC), which is meeting weekly from September to June, and closing with a silent retreat in July 2023.
Topics covered: Mindful Listening, Healthy Relationship with Thoughts I & II and Healthy Relationship with Feelings / Emotions I & II. These were sessions #9 – #12 of the 40-session program.
Participants joined both in-person and on Zoom.
Mindfulness and Suicide Prevention
Often we see suicide prevention through a psychological lens – but what about the emotional, spiritual, and physical parts of our health? Roots of Hope NS is hosting a conversation with Andrew Safer who will share how the impact of a mindfulness program on suicidal thoughts was evaluated.
Promoting Wellness in Everyday Life
Our Wellness is so important, something we need to work on every day. Having the proper education and tools for us to use when we’re struggling or in crisis can be lifesaving. We welcome Veterans, their Families and Friends for an honest discussion on Wellness.
–Veterans for Healing Global
Fall Retreat at Virginia Waters–October 14 & 15
Coaching Call Podcast–New York
Sifu Rafael Gomez of New York interviewed Andrew Safer on Coaching Call’s Apple podcast, speaking about mindfulness, meditation, anxiety, stress, basic goodness, and more. To listen to the podcast, click link below…
Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness
This 6-week training program will be available again in January 2023.
Note: The current series was extended by another 4 sessions, ending November 29th.
Suicide Prevention Through Mindfulness Training
CBC Radio Broadcast
June 28, 2022
CBC Information Morning with Portia White
Andrew Safer tells us about a research project on how mindfulness helps relieve suicidal ideation.
Saving Brothers Podcast from Australia
Philip Robison of Saving Brothers, Victoria, Australia, interviewed Andrew Safer on (click here:) “What Is Mindfulness and How Can it Help with Mental Health?“
A Teacher’s Experience
Mindful, June 9, 2022
An interview with Andrew Safer
Changing Your Relationship to Thoughts:
A Meditation Exercise
June 6, 2022
Podcast: “Mindfulness Practice and Practicality”
Released May 29th by Co-Creating Peace (Oregon and New Mexico). Kathleen Oweegon, Host; Andrew Safer, Guest.
What Is Mindfulness? – Breath Awareness Meditation Instruction
A 53-Year-Old Story About Starting Meditation Practice
Common Obstacles to Meditation
Developing a Daily Practice
Dealing with Difficult Feelings and Emotions (Anxiety)
Click for Part 1: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1554039/10664660
Working with difficult emotions through mindfulness
Self-Criticism / Judgment, Lovingkindness and Non-Judgment
“Opening the Present”–Kathleen Oweegon
Click for Part 2:
Complimentary Sessions for Podcast Listeners
Mindfulness and Awareness: Anxiety and Stress
Journal Article Published
“Navigating anxiety and stress through mindfulness: cultivating mindfulness and awareness in a community-based setting.”
Co-Authored by Martha Traverso-Yepez, PhD, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University and Andrew Safer, Founder, Safer Mindfulness Inc. and published in the Journal of Psychology and Cognition, 2017.
“Stress and anxiety are afflicting Canadians at all ages significantly impacting their health and
well-being. In this article, we argue that community-based non-medical alternatives are needed
to relieve pressure from the health care system, provide wellness-based solutions that do not rely
on medication and empower the individual to assume a primary role in self-care.
We present the evaluation of the 8 week “Navigating Anxiety and Stress through Mindfulness” program aimed to assist individuals who identify problematic anxiety and/or stress by providing training in mindfulness-awareness meditation and related practices. Mindfulness training involves relating with precision and accuracy to whatever arises in one’s state of mind or in the surroundings; awareness training fosters openness and a greater connection to the environment.
Rather than regarding anxiety and stress as problems to be gotten rid of, participants were coached to relate to these experiences non-judgmentally, with openness, curiosity and an interest in learning from them.
Evaluation data from five groups (40 participants) indicated a 40.4% improvement in
scores. Participants’ self-reports indicated significant improvement in their ability to interrupt
storylines (discursive thought patterns) and rumination, not being fully present, and their ability
to accept things as they are. ranging from 25% to 60% improvement.
It is evident that participants found mindfulness-awareness meditation and related practices beneficial. Their evaluation responses showed significant understanding of the key elements of mindfulness and that they had begun integrating mindfulness into their lives. The majority developed a regular home meditation practice. The program proved to be viable in a community-based setting.”
“Making Friends with Yourself”
Andrew Safer gave a talk on “Making Friends with Yourself” at the Winter Mindfulness-Awareness Meditation Retreat on March 18 at the Virginia Waters Retreat Centre. Photo: Courtesy Yvonne O’Keefe
Mindfulness Meets Ukraine
Mindfulness Meets Ukraine
As the pain of the world stretches, an unforgiving wind whips through the trees.
The conflagration that is supposedly not a war feeds off every spare moment. Like an enormous wave that we don’t even see, it’s skulking in the background of everything we do.
There is the helplessness, the massiveness. Where can we bring our cup of tea for a break?
Thoughts of violence towards the perpetrator vanish as quickly as they came, like the wind outside, not taking root.
Even though there is no goal in mindfulness practice, over time, we’ve often wondered what good it is to simply sit with our thoughts, and, over and over again, come back to the present. We spend a lot of time with our thoughts! Our fantasies, plans, fears, worries, ambitions, and struggles appear on the big screen of our mind. Gradually, instead of messing with them when they appear, non-judgmental acceptance has us accommodating our “guests”. The great Zen master Suzuki Roshi instructed,
“Leave your front door and your back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.”
He was telling us not to schmooze with our thoughts–priceless advice considering the tendency to get caught in the quagmire of polarization, recrimination, opinions, and beliefs.
We are still very much roiled by it all.
Mindfulness helps, but doesn’t supply answers; it’s a way to be. At Internet speeds, the latest ruptures find us behind our defenses, at home. Sitting ducks for bad news, we could embrace each disaster as it surfaces, but instead, bear witness, fertilizing kindness and compassion, which know no bounds.
If we are centralizing on ourselves and connect to the disaster, our association becomes long-lasting. A very different response is to de-centralize–tone down the “me” factor. We feel the anguish and dread, bigtime, but not as a separate, isolated unit. There are many, many others who are in the same boat, and the gate to compassion swings open.
Not insulating ourselves from the pain that is Ukraine and Russia, and also not sinking into the quicksand of fear and panic, that is the challenge. Let us find space in between.
Mind Body Soul Interview
Gary Summers with Mind Body Soul interviewed Andrew Safer on Mindfulness. The interview is (click here:) posted on this page.
Get Through the Pandemic!–with Mindfulness
Social Work Students: Researching
February 9, 2022–Andrew Safer presented to third-year Social Work students at Memorial University on evaluations used in his Mental Health and Addictions and Workplace Mindfulness programs, as well as outcomes. Professor Hazel Russell related the presentation to the class’ research focus.
Mindfulness Training for a Canadian Health Organization
Andrew conducted a 4-session weekly program for a Canadian health organization, ending in late November. Participant comments included:
“Helps me remain calm, especially during stressful situations.”
“1. My mind is often racing as I go to sleep; mindfulness has helped me deal with this. I fall asleep faster or if I wake up and my mind is racing, I can go back to sleep much quicker.
2. I also felt anxious at work around group tension – I have used mindfulness to let go quicker of things I cannot control.”
At the last session, participants’ average rating of the training was 9.5 out of 10.
To view outcomes, click here.
Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness Workshop Series
Beginning January 26th
There is one free seat left! (January 19th)
From Canadian Mental Health Association-NL’s web site:
Suicide Prevention Through Mindfulness Training:
Canadian Mental Health Association–NL and Safer Mindfulness Inc. provided four one-hour follow-up sessions in September and October, 3.5 months after the completion of the 8-week Suicide Prevention Through Mindfulness Training program.
Participants were asked to rate the intensity of their suicidal thoughts at the first and last sessions of the 8-week program, and the last follow-up session. There was a 41.8 per cent improvement between first and last sessions for the 8 participants who completed the program, and a 40 per cent improvement for 5 participants between the beginning of the program and the end of the follow up. This suggests that they mostly held on to their gains during the 3.5-month intervening period.
Andrew Safer and Dr. Janna Rosales, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, presented a Zoom-based webinar on November 17th to American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) educators, graduate students, professional engineers, and academic administrators across the US.
Twenty-three per cent of those present were regular mindfulness practitioners, and 30 per cent said they practice occasionally in a poll. The 90-minute webinar focused on mindfulness, mindfulness practice, and key intersections with engineering, such as in contemplative education and in problem solving.
Fall Mindfulness Meditation Retreat
Mindful Youth Institute
September–Andrew Safer is now an Advisory Board member of the Mindful Youth Institute of Pueblo, Colorado, joining his extensive work with both youth and mindfulness over three decades.
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary
Mindfulness for Depression
Learn how awareness of your thoughts and feelings can save a whole pile of grief!
To review the outcomes from the Mindfulness for Depression pilot, click here.
June 2–A sampling of evidence-based research showing the effectiveness of Mindfulness practice for a range of mental health and addictions issues:
Presentation to College Students in India
Andrew Safer presented to Own Your Growth, an organization representing students from 20+ colleges across India whose focus is on wholistsic health. The presentation on “Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness” went live on June 22nd.
Workshop Series Starting July 20
[To register, click here: http://bit.ly/asm2021reg]
After completing the three-month “Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness” program in Fall 2019, through a partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association—NL, participants explained what difference Mindfulness is making in their lives ……………………………………….
- “Practicing mindfulness is a good way of pulling me out of the past or future, which triggers anxiety, and back to the present moment, which I can cope with better.”
- “The practice significantly helped me to interrupt the stories and my mind from spiralling out of control.”
- “I find I am less reactive to everyday irritants and my perspective has expanded.”
22 participants indicated an average 33% improvement (from the first session to the last) in confidence in their ability to deal with thoughts that bring on anxiety. Feeling that they have control over their thoughts, moods, and feelings increased by 32%. The belief that they can make a difference in their own lives rose by 32%.
In-Person Summer Meditation Retreat in July
To Register: http://bit.ly/summerretreat2021
Note: (June 3) Overnight accommodations are no longer available. Daytime participation is still open.
Mindfulness Training for Suicide Prevention
May 12 – June 30
10th Anniversary Celebration!!
We have been meeting for Monday Night Meditation since April 2011, so it only seemed right to mark 10 years at this! On April 12th, 12 of us met at The Lantern and 10 more joined us on Zoom.
The evening included mindfulness practice, strawberry shortcake, toasts, a reading on”The Stairway to Enlightenment”, and of course, discussion!
Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness Course
Starts March 9th
To register: http://bit.ly/asm2021reg
Mindfulness for Physicians
Andrew Safer presented a 1.5-hour workshop to (physician) residents on Resident Awareness Day, Memorial University, on February 12th, for the Professional Residents Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Article Published in Mindful
“Meditation” on CBC Radio–Cross Talk
On January 25th, Andrew Safer appeared with Dr. Karen Bulmer, Music Department, Memorial University, on Cross Talk with Ramona Dearing. The topic? Meditation and Mindfulness. Have a listen: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-89-cross-talk/clip/15820678-meditation
Winter Mindfulness Meditation Retreat
Saturday, February 27 & Sunday, February 28
To register, click: http://bit.ly/safer2021
Pandemic Anxiety & Stress–Mindfulness Workshop Series
Registration Form: https://bit.ly/asmwinter2021reg
“Staggering Under the Weight of Anxious Thoughts”–Andrew Safer
Mindful magazine Winter 2020
Fall Retreat–Starting October 24th
Engineers and Geoscientists Learn Mindfulness for the Workplace During Pandemic
October 7, 2020
Eighty-four certificates of completion were awarded to professional engineers, geoscientists, and engineering students who attended the workshop series “How to build professional resilience through mindfulness training: A four-part PEGNL professional development series for engineering & geoscience professionals and students.”…(Click here)
Safer Mindfulness Press Release
September 3, 2020
People with Depression Find Relief in Mindfulness Training During Pandemic
ST JOHN’S, NL September 3, 2020 – Women and men with depression who participated in a pilot mindfulness training program based in St. John’s completed it with significantly lower levels of anxiety and depression symptoms, and significantly higher levels of mindfulness and psychological well-being…(Click here)
To read the Evaluation Report, click here.
Upcoming Mindfulness Training Program – Starts 9/24
[For information about the upcoming workshop series, “Mindfulness and Awareness!”, please scroll down.]
Safer Mindfulness instruction and training: For dealing with the narrator in our heads, relentless parade of thoughts and preoccupations, our reactivity, bewildering emotions, habitual ways we do things, and our perpetual busyness.
Through mindfulness-awareness meditation and related practices–which can be done anywhere, anytime–we begin to develop a way of being that is rooted in sanity and simplicity. We begin to discover insight, intelligence, and compassion, which, as it turns out, have been with us all along!
(For “Mindfulness for Depression”, and Online Mindfulness Practice Sessions, please scroll down.)
Safer Mindfulness Specializes in Multi-Week Applied Mindfulness Training Programs
- Typically 1.5-hr. weekly sessions (5 to 12 weeks)
- We introduce mindfulness in the context of addictions, anxiety and stress, depression, and the workplace.
- Presentations, discussions in pairs and in the group, and Q&A
- “Homework”: Mindfulness practice and readings
- Meet via Zoom video conferencing—join from any location–or in person
Click here for Program descriptions and evaluation outcomes.
Navigate Anxiety & Stress: The Mindful Way!
July 9 – August 20
For individual session themes, see Sessions 1-6, below poster.
For Evaluation Outcomes from the Winter/Spring “Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness” series, click here.
Summer Mindfulness Retreat
A partnership between the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL); Dr. Janna Rosales, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University; and Andrew Safer / Safer Mindfulness. Funded through an Accelerator grant, Memorial University.
June 16 – July 17, 1:00 – 2:00 pm via Zoom
“Professional Resilience Through Mindfulness Training”
Session #1: Stress, Uncertainty & Mindfulness
Session #2: How Mindfulness Can Support Innovation & Problem-Solving
Session #3: Building Respectful Relationships with Mindfulness
Session #4: Upending Digital Distraction
Article about Mindfulness based on interview with Andrew Safer
“In a COVID-19 World, Meditation Movement with Buddhist Roots More Important Than Ever” (click here), The Telegram/Saltwire Network, June 2, 2020.
Mindfulness for Depression
To register: cmhanl.info/mfd2020
Online Mindfulness Practice Sessions
Mindfulness practice introduces a touch of sanity into our otherwise uncertain, topsy-turvy lives, particularly in the era of COVID-19.
Please consider joining one of our free practice sessions on Zoom, in the comfort of your own home, when you can.
A note about Zoom: You can connect via laptop/desktop/notebook as long as they have microphone and camera, or through your smartphone.
The Zoom app downloads when you click the link, but if you would like to be 100% sure you have the app, download Zoom Client for Meetings ahead of time. If you’re asked whether to join with video, select “Yes”.
Join us for any of these ongoing sessions…
Monday Nights: 7:15 to 8:45 pm (Newfoundland time) Sitting, Walking, and Discussion
If you are new to Zoom, plan on connecting at 7:05 pm.
Wednesdays: 12:00 to 12:30 pm, and 7:00 to 8:00 pm: Sitting, Walking, Sitting
Fridays: 12:00 to 12:45 pm Sitting, Walking, and Sitting
If you are new to Mindfulness practice, there will be instructions at the beginning of the session.
To join, specify which session in an email to: email@example.com
Next “Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness” Workshop Series…
Book Signing at Chapters
Anxiety Relief Project Facebook-Live Talk
Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness: Workshops Starting Sept. 25th
(Click links below…)
Mindfulness Practice Sessions Throughout the Week
Since the start of Covid, we have two practice sessions per week that are open to the public, at no charge. Sitting and walking meditation alternate.
We meet on Zoom on MONDAY 7:15 TO 8:45 pm (includes readings and discussion)*; and FRIDAY 12″00 Noon to 12:45 pm.
- The Monday night practice is also in-person at The Lantern, 35 Barnes Rd. (Cape Spear Room, 2nd Floor).
If you have not practiced mindfulness before, we will talk you through the instructions.
To receive the Zoom invites, please send your email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safer Mindfulness workshops and training combine 53 years of experience in mindfulness practice with 28 years in mindfulness instruction, program development, and workshop facilitation.
Providing instruction and training in applying ancient wisdom and methods to address everyday challenges with clarity and resourcefulness