Giving: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”  ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

thich nhat hanh giving tuesday mindfulness

Stillness Speaks joined #GivingTuesday movement in 2017 and helped raise funds for the Puerto Rico Relief Efforts. This year for #GivingTuesday (November 27th) we are supporting a local, Santa Fe, organization that fosters mindfulness in children and educators.

Our goal is to raise $15K for this year’s #GivingTuesday – with 50% going to RGMI (Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute), a Santa Fe non profit that trains teachers & students in mindfulness.

So, please … join us and contribute to fostering mindfulness in our children and educators … mark your calendars, spread the word, and stay tuned for more details!

“Entering its seventh year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.” ~ GivingTuesday

Why Mindfulness … and RGMI?

Thich Nhat Hanh’s simple words underscore the profound implications of mindfulness and the potential of its powerful impact on the well-being of humanity.

Indeed, the self discovery journey begins with mindfulness and if we imagine a world where we humans, from the early age onwards, are practicing mindful living then humanity has a chance for true peace and harmony where love, kindness, and unity prevail over violence and divisiveness.

This is why the guiding principle of our 2018 #GivingTuesday campaign is to support fostering of mindfulness in those segments of humanity where it can take hold at an early stage then continue to develop and deepen over time thus having an ongoing and lasting impact. Youth and education is such a segment. We also narrowed the geography to the local community because that makes it more practical with all the benefits of “close to home.”

Teaching mindfulness to youth of all ages plus their teachers plus related educational organizations plus businesses ensures that the initial “seeds” of mindfulness will continue to develop and deepen. The young will carry it with them as they progress through the various stages of life. The teachers, educational organizations and businesses will benefit as they support each other while also, organically, providing a supportive environment for the progressing youth thus ensuring the deepening.

Mountain Cloud Zen Center, has a program Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute (RGMI) that provides Ancient wisdom for stressed-out times – their mission states:

“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.

What a perfect match for our 2018 #GivingTuesday intention!

RGMI mindfulness heart of teaching

RGMI’s Impact

Since their humble start in 2017 RGMI has already made an impact on the local community as is evident from some of the testimonials so far:

95% of graduates of the 2018 Heart of Teaching retreats said, “The retreat offered practical strategies for supporting my personal mindfulness practice and how this is relevant to my work with students.”

“RGMI’s mindfulness training is an outstanding, low-risk, high impact introduction to mindfulness practices. There are tangible benefits to school culture, teaching, and personal wellbeing. I know this first hand, since I attended the Heart of Teaching, along with most of my faculty. We have plans to get all of our teachers to experience this rejuvenating and regenerating workshop.  I highly recommend it!” — Sam Obenshain, Executive Director, Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School

Here is a sample RGMI workshop with 11th grade teens earlier this month ….

RGMI mindfulness with teens

which included a long walking meditation – that was loved by all. A wonderful beginning of mindfulness for these teens!

RGMI mindfulness walking meditation

We’ll be sharing more of their success stories throughout this campaign – here on our website, on all of our social channels, and via email to our Stillness Speaks community.

So, if you’ve read this far, you may be wondering …

What is #GivingTuesday?

An idea that brought together 2,500 social impact organizations in the 2012 inaugural event and raised more than $10 million has now mushroomed into a global movement that raised $300+ Million in 2017, with people in 150+ countries participating, and giving a mean gift of $120.40!

That was just the beginning for the #GivingTuesday movement … in 2013, the number of participating organizations quadrupled and donations nearly doubled. In 2014, more than 20,000 organizations raised $45.7 million. That growth continued into 2015, raising $116.7 million and in 2016, the giving day raised over $177 million online ! (2013-2016 data from Classy.org)

#GivingTuesday is a perfect manifestation of Desmond Tutu’s wise words: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 

“Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

This year’s #GivingTuesday will take place on November 27th and will kick off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back.” ~ GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday brings out the best in humanity and affirms hope that we need not despair from the unfortunate rise of violence and divisiveness in America and other parts of the world. It is one of the most encouraging example of kindness and unity. It is also a powerful and meaningful example of Zen – “practiced” or acted on a global scale, from individual to collective, across cultural and geographical boundaries … a very “here and now” action that is steeped with love and “coming-together.”

A most apropos and living example of Henry Shukman’s words about Zen: “We are now in a time of crisis where the reality of no separation is being obscured and division is deliberately being created. As Zen practitioners, we cannot turn to hatred. Instead we must stand for love and non-separation. This practice is, in itself, taking a stand against forces of divisiveness.” from Zen in Troubled Times

“We are incredibly inspired by the way the #GivingTuesday community has embraced this concept for a worldwide movement,” said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and Executive Director of 92Y. “As we prepare for November 27, we’re energized and encouraged by the community’s generosity. The levels of creativity, effort and the quality of the new ideas people have contributed and shared are phenomenal.”

#GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together.” ~ GivingTuesday

In America, we have two days of mega shopping – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – where people are looking for and “getting” deals. To balance that getting we now have a day for giving back … where … as a global community, we are are creating a new ritual that demonstrates our shared capacity to give.

— — —

Again, our goal is to raise $15K for this year’s #GivingTuesday – with 50% going to RGMI.

So, please … join us and help us raise funds to foster and deepen mindfulness in our children and educators … mark your calendars, spread the word, and stay tuned for more details!

Giving Tuesday

“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience … It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~ Sylvia Boorstein

The above italicized text related with RGMI is from their website and the Giving Tuesday related italicized text is from Giving Tuesday (2017 & 2018 website content)
Images:  1) Giving Tuesday Calendar from 2018 Giving Tuesday used with their permission, 2), 3), 4) from Mountain Cloud Zen Center used with their permission.
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