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“Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference” Opens Registration

UCSD Center for Mindfulness helps raise compassionate generation with Jon Kabat-Zinn

October 26, 2012  |  

The Center for Mindfulness at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine announces early registration for the 2013 Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference, February 1 – 3 in San Diego, California.  Mindfulness leader Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD – along with his wife Myla and experts from across the U.S. – will show participants how to support and foster the growth of mindfulness and happiness, especially among youths.

“The topic of bringing mindfulness to youth has virtually exploded in recent years as people realize the toll that modern society and technology is putting on our kids and families,” said Steven D. Hickman, PsyD, clinical psychologist, director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. “Our presenters practice mindfulness at home, in classrooms and therapy rooms. They will share their key findings, challenges and successes with each other to help raise a generation of healthier children and students.”

The 2013 program, hosted at the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego, California, will be headlined by noted mindfulness teacher, Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go There You Are, Coming to Our Senses and Full Catastrophe Living. His keynote lecture, "Befriending Your Mind, Befriending Your Life: Mindfulness and the Endless Adventure of Growing into Yourself," will benefit the UC San Diego Family & Child Programs.  Kabat-Zinn and his wife, Myla, will also host a 3-hour workshop on Mindful Parenting, based on their book Everyday Blessings.

“We are all born with the capacity to be mindful, to live in the moment, but our upbringing and experiences sometimes cause us to lose track of this capacity for long stretches,” said Allan Goldstein, associate director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. “The joy of bringing mindfulness to young people is that children instinctively 'know' how to be present and less reactive to life stress. Thus they can reconnect with the present moment sometimes more easily than those of us who been living reactively. We can learn from them.”

For the first time, this year’s program includes presentations on recent research related to mindfulness and youth, talks regarding implementing a variety of innovative, mindfulness-based programs such as Mindfulness for Urban and High-Risk Youth, based on the work of brothers, Ali and Atman Smith, who teach yoga in the inner city, where such healing practices are often needed most.

Additionally, optional workshops will offer learning specific programs and skills related to bringing mindfulness to youth.  For example, the “Still Quiet Place” curriculum teaches practices that can be used in work and play with children and adolescents geared toward an understanding of how observing thoughts and feelings from a place of stillness and quietness improves attention, decreases anxiety, supports healthy choices and enhances compassion for oneself and others.

“This is a community of professionals – educators, therapists, researchers, and administrators – who are just now realizing that they are a true community,” said Hickman, associate clinical professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Family & Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We are united around a common goal of helping our young people reach their potential to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted human beings who practice compassion, patience, equanimity and presence.”

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Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163,

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