2nd Mindfulness Practice in Schools Conference 2016

Saturday April 16th

The 2nd Mindfulness Practice in Schools Conference 2016 will take place on Saturday April 16th. The aim of the conference is to support the practice of Mindfulness in schools and the development of a Mindful culture throughout schools. It is for school leaders who wish to lead Mindfulness practice, for teachers who are practicing Mindfulness with their students and for others who may wish to begin the practice of Mindfulness.

There will be both high profile international speakers, namely Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, and Katherine Weare, Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter and consultant on the Mindfulness in Schools Project (.b). In addition there will be a number of workshops on various topics such as introducing Mindfulness into primary schools, running Mindfulness programs in secondary schools and Mindfulness training of teachers.The conference will take place in the luxurious tranquil country setting of Townley Hall, Drogheda. Townley Hall is a magnificent Georgian mansion set in a beautiful country setting and the perfect location in which to spend a day of Mindfulness.  It is a 40 minute drive from Dublin city centre and 25 minutes from Dublin Airport via the M1(see here for more details on directions).The price of a ticket is €55 with lunch included. Early bird tickets for €45 can be purchased before March 6th. Tickets for the event can be booked here.

Conference Schedule

8.45 Registration
9.30 Opening Welcome Address and Practice: Dr. Declan Kelly
9.45 Keynote Speaker: Prof. Katherine Weare
10.30 Announcements and Workshop Introduction
10.45 Refreshments
11.15 Workshops
12.15 Lunch/Keynote Speaker: Jason Cowman
1. 45 Workshops
2.45 Keynote Speaker: Bob Roth
3.25 Q& A Panel: What’s Next?
4.15 Closing

Why Attend?

  • Be inspired by leaders in the field of Mindfulness
  • Be motivated by the research informed benefits of Mindfulness in Education
  • Learn practical tips for teaching Mindfulness in schools
  • Become part of a community of teachers who practice Mindfulness

Conference Speakers

Bob Roth
CEO of the David Lynch Foundation

​Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in America. Over the past 40 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people and authored an authoritative book on the subject, fittingly entitled, Transcendental Meditation, which has been translated into 20 languages. Bob currently serves as the Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity which has brought meditation to over 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, to veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Leadership Performance, another nonprofit, which is bringing meditation to Fortune 100 companies, government organizations, and nonprofit charities. Bob is the host of the SiriusXM radio show, “Success Without Stress” and has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, Wisdom2.0, and Summit

Workshop: Transcendental Meditation, What is it?
What is Transcendental Meditation, anyway? It’s been around for over 50 years and there is a lot of research to support its benefits. But how does it work? How does it differ from mindfulness practices? And can different techniques be used together to support personal growth?

Prof. Katherine Weare
Professor Emeritus of University of Exeter

​Professor Katherine Weare is Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter where she is working to develop and evaluate mindfulness in schools programs. Shes acts as a consultant to the UK Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP). Professor Weare is a dedicated mindfulness practitioner herself as well as a qualified mindfulness teacher. Her overall field is social and emotional learning and mental health and wellbeing in schools. She is known as an international expert on evidence-based practice and has written some of the leading books in this area and conducted several definitive reviews and led programmes which have informed policy and practice in many countries.

Workshop: Happy Teachers change the world
Exploring the Wake Up Schools approach to cultivating mindfulness in schools. What can we learn from this secular Buddhist approach that is proving so helpful to teachers across the world in transforming themselves and their schools to be happier and more mindful?

Jason Cowman
Irish Rugby Strength and Conditioning Coach

Jason Cowman is the Irish rugby team strength and conditioning coach. Jason was educated in Clonkeen College, Dublin and obtained a degree in Sports Science from the University of Limerick in 1998. He then held the position of senior fitness advisor for three years with Leinster before leaving to complete a Masters in Exercise Physiology from Florida State University. He returned to Ireland in November 2003 and held the positions of National Fitness Advisor for the IRFU Academy players and for the Ireland Under-21 side before returning to the position of Senior Fitness Advisor with Leinster in 2004. In 2012 he began work as Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Irish Rugby Team.

Gelong Thubten

Thubten is a senior monk from the West’s largest and oldest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Samye Ling in Scotland. He has been a monk for 22 years and has spent over five years in intensive meditation retreats. He is the director of three centres, KSD Scarborough, where he is establishing a centre for meditation, health and wellbeing, Samye Foundation Wales, a mindfulness charity, and ROKPA Switzerland, a humanitarian aid charity active in Nepal, Africa and the Tibetan areas of China.

He teaches mindfulness, meditation and Buddhist philosophy internationally, and has significant experience teaching at large companies such as Google, Clifford Chance, as well as in organisations such as hospitals, addiction rehab, prisons and schools.Workshop: Mindfulness, a practical guide
This workshop will provide practical instructions on how to train in mindfulness, as well as how to integrate it into daily life. There will be an explanation of its role in education and work. Thubten, although a Buddhist monk, teaches mindfulness in a secular manner applicable to all.

Caitriona Mc Colgan, Brother Richard
Sanctuary: A Spirituality Meditation and Mindfulness Centre

Caitriona Mc Colgan is Executive Director of the Sanctuary Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness.She has a professional background in education and has been practicing and teaching mindfulness based programmes in schools for over 10 years. Caitriona has experience teaching all of the Mindfulness in Schools Programmes .b , paws.b ,  and .b foundations. In 2015 she was appointed by the Sanctuary and Misp as the lead teacher trainer for .b in Ireland. Additionally, she is qualified in Addiction Studies, is a Yoga teacher and is trained with the Institute of Mindfulness Based Approaches. Her interest throughout her career has been focused on tackling educational disadvantage. She is a firm believer that stillness has the potential to transform and that teaching young people how they can experience this is important for both mental and emotional health.

Brother Richard OFM cap is a priest-friar of the Capuchins in Ireland.  He was Director of Youth Ministry for over ten years and has worked with both second and third level students for the past 20 years, giving retreats and teaching meditation. He also works with the Dublin Gospel Choir. His emphasis is on creating a holistic framework for self-development of young people. Brother Richard facilitates and develops the youth programmes at the Sanctuary. Programmes that he has developed include The Art of Stillness in the Classroom for primary and secondary teachers; The Warrior Programme for young people finding the transition to adulthood difficult (currently being developed as a train-the-trainer programme) and, with NYCI, the Moment to Moment (M2M) programme for youth workers and facilitators and a full range of adult meditation programmes coming from the Christian tradition.

Workshop: Sanctuary Mindful Warrior Programme
The Sanctuary Mindful Warrior Programme is one that enables young people to travel a safe, mindful path on the journey from child to adult. The programme is built around an initiation framework linked to adolescent.

Dr. Ann Caulfied
Mindfulness Matters

Dr. Ann Caulfield has a particular interest in the practice of mindfulness among educators and children. She has conducted research into the impact of mindfulness on stress reduction among Irish primary school teachers. Her work is deeply informed by her personal practice and her interest in current research in many contexts. As a co-founder of Mindfulness Matters, she is one of the country’s foremost advocates of the practise of mindfulness in the classroom. She co-created the popular face-to-face and online summer course, Developing Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Primary School Children through SPHE. Ann is a part-time lecturer in Applied Social Studies at the GMIT and is a graduate of All Hallows College, DCU and the University of Lincoln.

Workshop: Developing mindfulness with children through SPHE – Social Personal and Health Education
Interest in mindfulness-based approaches with children has grown in recent years. Increasing research suggests that the incorporation of well-conducted mindfulness interventions in the classroom have potential benefits towards psychological health and wellbeing. This workshop with Mindfulness Matters explores current mindfulness initiatives in Irish primary schools through the SPHE programme.

Mary Telford
Former Principal John Scottus Primary School

Mary Telford is a former principal of John Scottus Primary school with over 30 years teaching experience. The practice of Mindfulness and Meditation has been present in the school since it was founded in 1986. This is reflected in the school motto of “Delight in the Present”.  During her 30 years in John Scottus, she has led both the introduction and implementation of Mindfulness practices with children from the ages of 4 to 12.

Workshop: Adventures in Mindfulness – one school’s story of Stillness
You might think Mindfulness is a recent phenomenon in education but some 30 years ago it had another life. In a house on Baggot Street 30 years ago an educational endeavor began with 4 children and one teacher. At it’s heart was a belief that real education needed to be underpinned with a spiritual dimension; a spiritual dimension not bound by dogmas or dictates but which nourishes a deep self confidence. Our unique hallmarks were regular philosophy classes, the practice of falling still between activities and an emphasis on the power of attention as the best determinent of intelligence. This talk tells the story of this adventure

Caro Schulz, Sammer Rawjee and Lucy McKenna
Google Mindfulness Group

Caro Schulz and Sameer Rawjee work at Google in education, design, business and well-being. They are key members of the Google Minfulness group who have started the O School project. To help young people answer the question “What do I do with my life”  they have developed the The Life Design and Mission Crafting Program for teenagers. The program has been designed using the collective knowledge and research of brilliant thinkers across great organizations to help young people make an impact in the world.

Workshop: Design your Life around your Purpose
The question “What am I supposed to do with my life?” is best answered from a place of deep self-inquiry.
In this workshop we introduce you to our experiential program which helps answer this question with mindful practices. Come and learn how to bring mindfulness into your school and impact students’ lives.

Gráinne Enright
Brighter Minds

Gráinne Enright is an experienced secondary school teacher of science and maths. She is a long term meditator and has a love of mindfulness and an interest in understanding the mind. She is trained as a mindfulness teacher, and .b teacher which is mindfulness training specifically for the 11-18 age group. She ran an after school meditation class daily for a year in her school, and run private workshops a few times per year, and for charity groups as requested. She set up a company Brighter Minds and took a career break, with the intention of doing mindfulness training in various secondary schools, as well as other work.

​Workshop: One Secondary School’s Journey to Introducing Mindfulness, the Results, and their Advice
The workshop is about my journey to introduce some mindfulness in my school, and involvement in the prizewinning Young Scientist project, studying the effects of mindfulness on a secondary school community. This included running a voluntary meditation group, mandatory meditation, detention meditation, measuring the effects of meditation on processing speed, and positivity training.

Lydia Kiernan
Conscious Consulting

Lydia Kiernan is a mindfulness teacher, facilitator and conscious coach. Lydia has taught mindfulness and meditation techniques to 1000s of people around the world, old and young, as part of life skills, leadership and soul purpose programmes. Through her work in schools, Lydia consistently sees ‘Aha’ moments and shifts in young people’s confidence, ability to focus and feel connection with themselves and the wider world. A lifelong meditator, Lydia runs Conscious Consulting, a consultancy for deepening peace, awareness and wise action in the world and currently Chairs an international youth leadership charity. ConsciousConsulting.ie

Workshop: Teacher Well-being

What if you had a key to unlock students’ learning ability? What if your classroom presence was connected to your self care? What if your well being as a teacher was the cornerstone to education and not just an added luxury? Lydia will explore these questions and offer some tools and techniques to support teacher well being and banish burn out!

Dr. Declan Kelly
Principal John Scottus Secondary School

Dr. Declan Kelly is principal of John Scottus Secondary School. The practice of Mindfulness, Meditation and Philosophy has been present in the school since it was founded in 1986. This is reflected in the school motto of “Delight in the Present”.  Dr. Kelly has been practicing Mindfulness and Meditation for over 20 years and is deeply interested in how teachers and students can benefit from such practices.



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