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Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute (RGMI)

Springtime Programs: The Mindfulness Survival Kit

The “Mindfulness Survival Kit” in response to current needs in our community. Partners are the Local County DWI Program, Opportunity Santa Fe, the Community Health Funder Alliance, Santa Fe Public Schools and Santa Fe Independent Schools. We have joined forces to offer mindfulness for self-care for FREE. 

The offer will reach thousands of front-line helping professionals (grief counselors, hospice workers, medical professionals, spiritual advisors, etc); educators (including first year principals and aspiring superintendents), youth and family workers, trauma care providers, early childhood educators and care providers, family support providers and teens.

These multi-part online programs are for any level of mindfulness practice. We will:

      • Learn ways to manage stress in a community of support.
      • Know how to manage troublesome thoughts.
      • Tune up self-care plans with mindfulness practices.

Click here to see list of events or to register.


Our Mission

Ancient wisdom for a stressed-out world
RGMI works with schools, colleges and educational organizations of all kinds, as well as businesses, providing the highest standard of training in secular mindfulness for personal wellbeing, stress management, and leadership development.We support learners at every stage with introductory, intermediate and advanced programs on our historic, 20-acre campus in the foothills of Santa Fe.We also travel to schools, colleges and other institutions for programs customized to local needs, including training in mindfulness, community building, and implementation strategies.


Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

RGMI is committed to welcoming people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities in New Mexico and beyond. We cultivate diversity of race, class, age, gender and identity in our faculty. We raise funds for scholarships to support people who otherwise would be unable to attend our events. RGMI is a member of the Trauma Informed Collaborative Group of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Our programs always entail a “challenge by choice” ethic and physical and emotional safety. RGMI welcomes everyone seeking to end suffering and cultivate happiness.


Our Advisory Committee

Stephanie Hubley, Reading Interventionist, Bernalillo Public Schools
Katherine Diaz, Principal of Atalaya Elementary School in Santa Fe
Elizabeth Summers, Special Ed teacher at Volcano Vista High School in Alb
Cindy Montoya, President, NM School for the Arts in Santa Fe
Maureen Torrez, Transformation Coach at Whittier Elementary School in Albuquerque
William Miglino, Dance Department Chair for the NM School for the Arts in Santa Fe
Jessica Koppel, Gifted ELA teacher for Lincoln Middle School in Rio Rancho
Jen Warren, Teacher at Nina Otero Community School
Anne-Marie Emanuelli, Teacher, Mindful Frontiers LLC; Former ELA teacher, Taos Academy
Linda Childers, Sign language interpreter at Hodgin Elementary in Albuquerque
Spree MacDonald, Head of Upper School for Bosque School in Albuquerque
Leslie Clark, K-12 Principal for Magdalena Schools
Kristine Koblentz, Program Director for Healthy Schools Initiative
Ralph Holcomb, AmeriCorps, VISTA Grant Writer/Researcher for Opportunity Santa Fe
Chantelle Delgado, Manager, Teen Court of Santa Fe
Jesse Cirolia, Manager of Community Health at CHRISTUS St. Vincent


Our Services

The RGMI approach to training is informed by long experience with school reform, youth leadership development, diversity education, nature-based learning, and Peter’s Senge’s notion of the “learning organization.” At any age or stage of development, we believe that a grounded mindfulness practice can improve your leading and learning. This includes emotional regulation, stress reduction, mental concentration, curiosity, and creativity. Our programs take into account the unique needs of your learning style, personal culture, and organizational setting. We also have creative ways to support the kind of change you’d like to see. These support systems may take the form of virtual meetings or periodic site visits.

Our current service offerings are:

  • Heart of Teaching Daylong Retreats

This lighthearted but serious introduction to secular mindfulness is our signature program, attracting hundreds of teachers, leaders, and youth workers from 150 schools and organizations since 2016 — including our first-ever international online conference in May, 2021. Small group sessions and interactive activities teach about the power of play and deep listening.

  • Whole School Training Programs

Our expert teaching team can travel by Zoom or in-person to your campus, working with faculty and students to provide culturally relevant elements of a personal mindfulness practice and training in mindfulness-informed teaching and learning across the curriculum. School partnerships can last years. We tailor professional development workshops for new needs and almost always include a review and practice of basic mindfulness techniques for learners at all levels.

  • Whole Department Training Programs

Similar to our whole school approach, our teaching team travels by Zoom or in-person, working with selected subgroups to provide the basics of secular mindfulness practices for emotional self-regulation and personal wellbeing. In 2021, we provided virtual training for 250 members of the Albuquerque Public Schools art department.

  • Workshops for Helping Professionals

During the pandemic, RGMI adapted its training curriculum for those who experience secondary trauma in their service to populations impacted by deep and long-standing systemic inequality and oppression. In 2021, we offered workshops-in-a-series to members of the Trauma-informed Care working group of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. We incorporate holistic approaches to somatic awareness, self-care plans, and breathing exercises.

  • Intensive Workshops for Educational Leaders

RGMI works with executives and leadership teams on the particular challenges of stress management for organizational leaders. In 2021, we joined a statewide mentoring program for aspiring and current superintendents and principals. They were provided the tools of mindfulness as well as strategies for improving school climate and strengthening school community.

  • Direct Service to Teens

We offer daylong and multi-day teen retreats that provide skills in stress management, concentration, and interpersonal awareness for leadership and academic success. Since 2016, we have worked with youth statewide and from 15 countries, including “first gen” Davis Scholars.

 

Your Donations Support Our Mission

Why the ancient wisdom of mindfulness?

After attending one of our “Heart of Teaching” retreats, a participant exclaimed in her written evaluation, “It made us feel like we’re all together!”

Educators, social service workers, and informed leaders know that reality lies in what we make together, but how do we act when we realize everything is connected? Shifting from managing our anxiety to seeing more clearly what our students and clients need? No, seeing what the whole world needs? Can this involve such simple changes as listening more and complaining less?

Besides what we know about the benefits from about 1500 RGMI post-program evaluations, the evidence from the social sciences is ample. Here are findings from an analysis by Katherine Weare of 13 studies published in peer reviewed articles about the benefits of mindfulness for teachers.

  • better mental health, including less distress, negative emotion, depression and anxiety
  • greater wellbeing, including life satisfaction, self-confidence, self-efficacy, self-compassion and sense of personal growth
  • increased kindness and compassion to others, including greater empathy, forgiveness and patience, and less anger and hostility
  • better physical health, including lower blood pressure, declines in cortisol
  • increased cognitive performance, including the ability to pay attention and focus, make decisions and respond flexibly to challenges
  • enhanced job performance, including better classroom management, greater ability to prioritize, to see the whole picture, and greater attunement to students’ needs
  • reductions in stress, burnout and anxiety, including a reduction in days off work

 

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