Who is Andrew Safer?
Photo by Carl Hansen
Andrew Safer is a mindfulness instructor and trainer, program developer, workshop facilitator, and writer. A 52-year practitioner of mindfulness-awareness and Zen meditation, he began practicing in the Zen tradition in 1968 while in high school in California, and then continued in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition over the ensuing decades. Andrew became an authorized meditation instructor after completing training with Shambhala International in Halifax in 1993. He moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland with his wife, Catherine Hogan Safer, in 2008 and began offering mindfulness workshops and programs in 2010 through the Family Life Bureau, Archdiocese of St. John’s.
Since 2010, Andrew has developed and implemented a number of secular mindfulness programs, including Mindfulness-Awareness (an eight-session weekly program), Mindfulness in Recovery (Addictions) (a seven-session weekly program), Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness (a twelve-session weekly program), Mindfulness for Depression (an eight or ten-session weekly program), Suicide Prevention through Mindfulness Training (an eight-session weekly program), Mindfulness at School (ten one-hour classroom sessions), and Workplace Mindfulness (nine 1.5-hour weekly sessions + a two-hour intensive). He has led a weekly meditation group since the Spring of 2011, and leads weekend meditation retreats in the Fall and Winter and a week-long silent retreat in the Summer. Andrew is a member of the faculty of the Atlantic Contemplative Centre in Halifax.
He has delivered Mindfulness workshops, presentations, and training to a wide range of organizations including Addiction Treatment Services Association, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation–NL, Canadian Mental Health Association-NL, Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company, Eastern Health, Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, and Stella’s Circle (Emmanuel House).
Andrew’s work in program development began in the early 1990s, when he was co-developer and lead author of Healthy Relationships: A Violence Prevention Curriculum, a 54-session school-based program that has been widely used in Canada, the United States, and abroad. He also developed and implemented the Youth in Care Newsletter Project, a 30-session program for youth in care, for Children’s Aid Society of Halifax (now the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services). Currently in its 19th year, the Newsletter Project operates under Youth Voices of Nova Scotia, a non-profit organization Andrew founded.
Working as a freelance writer, Andrew has completed writing assignments for 18 government departments (mostly in Nova Scotia) and has written more than 400 articles for 60+ magazines, primarily on business and ocean technology issues. Since 2010, he has written numerous articles for the City of St. John’s Ocean Technology Media Program that were published in international-circulation trade magazines including Marine Technology Reporter (New York), Sea Technology (Arlington, Virginia), E&P (Houston), and International Ocean Systems (UK). Andrew’s article about Mindfulness and the world of work, “Right Here, Right Now”, was published in the August 2014 issue of Progress (Halifax). In 1993, he received the national EDI Media Recognition Award from the EDI Council of Canada for articles on electronic data interchange implementation at the Port of Halifax.
Andrew’s book, Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Wellness, was released by 2nd Tier Publishing in May 2018. This book is a companion manual for Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness, the workshop series he is currently offering.