The Mindful Lawyer: Don’t be afraid to out yourself as a meditator

first_img Feb 20, 2020 By Scott Rogers Special to the News Columns The Mindful Lawyer: Don’t be afraid to out yourself as a meditator One of the great joys of teaching is when the student becomes the teacher. A few years ago, at a mindfulness in law conference, I found myself sitting next to Amanda Leipold, a former student who, a decade earlier, was among the first to enroll in Miami Law’s mindfulness class for 1L’s. The next semester, Amanda and three classmates, John Ainsworth, Nicole Crabtree, and Maraisy Rodriguez, established the nation’s first law student mindfulness organization as they wished to continue to meet regularly and share what they were learning and practicing with other students. A few years later Amanda and I attended the American Association of Law School’s Annual Conference and participated in a panel discussion on student-faculty collaborations in which Amanda eloquently offered inspiring and useful information to a room of educators on how she and her classmates came together to bring balance into their law school experience.It came as no surprise when she caught me up on her life and career and how she was now bringing mindfulness into her organization. I was taken with the thoughtfulness of her approach and its effectiveness. As law groups, corporations, and other organizations which have introduced their team members to mindfulness and meditative practices look for ways to offer a more enduring set of wellness options, holding a weekly meditation group is worthy of consideration. It can be low cost, limited in time, responsive to those with an interest, and a meaningful experience for most, if not all, who attend. The challenge for many is knowing how to get one started.As Amanda has been doing just this in her organization for several years, I asked if she would share some of her thoughts and ideas for doing so.When I started law school at the University of Miami in 2009, I promised myself I would take care of my physical and mental wellbeing. Partly, that meant waking up early every morning to practice meditation and to never tell a soul about it. The culture of work hard and “tough it out” was strong even in law school and I thought my meditation practice would make me seem weak or strange to my classmates. However, we all know this workaholic “tough it out” attitude results in some of the highest rates of alcoholism and depression within our profession. My first day of orientation, Scott told us about his program and laid out the benefits mindfulness meditation can offer law students. After taking his mindfulness class, a small group of us formed a mindfulness student group called the Insightful Mind Initiative to hold group meditation sessions and discussions. Eleven years later, the group still exists on campus and facilitating those sessions remains one of my proudest memories of my law school experience. I mentioned the Insightful Mind Initiative on my resume and more than one prospective employer has asked me about it. In my current position as in-house counsel for a not-for-profit health insurer, my leadership was so enthused they asked me to do a presentation for 300 leaders from my company on the benefits of meditation. From that presentation I received dozens of requests from department heads to do similar sessions for their teams. One executive vice president who had recently had a stroke and was looking for ways to reduce stress set up regular guided meditation sessions with me at the office and I began offering weekly 7:45 a.m. guided meditation sessions for anyone in my company who wanted to attend. Now the program has grown to three sessions per week, held in at different times of the day and in different buildings to accommodate everyone. We also allow attendees to call into the session to accommodate remote workers. The sessions last about 15 minutes and we generally have been 5-10 people at each session. As a facilitator, I have a rotation of my favorite guided meditation that I like to do. As I grow in my own practice, the guided meditations change and adapt. Sometimes I try something new and it does not work, and sometimes I go back to old favorites upon request. After every session I ask the group if there are any observations they would like to share. This gives folks an opportunity to share their experience and make any comments on the session. I am always encouraging others who are experienced with meditation to try their hand as facilitator. Many folks have years of experience with their own practice and have much to offer the group. You too may have a meditation practice but have not mentioned it to anyone at work. I encourage you to share your practice with your co-workers. Carving out space and time within your workplace to be in the present moment through meditation may be one of the most important initiatives you take on. I asked Amanda for a few tips and she replied:1. Don’t be afraid to out yourself as a meditator. It is a strength! 2. Find a leader who can champion the initiative. 3. Ensure you have a fairly quite space and pick a time when you won’t be interrupted. 4. Get the word out on the benefits of meditation. 5. Have a plan, hold it loosely, and allow the sessions to morph as necessary. You can imagine my delight in learning from Amanda the ways she has meaningfully enriched her work environment and culture — along with serving as in-house counsel — and I am grateful to her for crafting such a helpful response.If you are interested in learning more about effective ways to meaningfully introduce weekly meditation sessions to your firm, or to join in the weekly video Zoom meditation that we offer at Miami Law, let me know. And, as Amanda is interested in sharing her experience with others, you can reach out to her at [email protected] the student becomes the teacher!If you have a question about mindfulness and integrating it into the practice of law that you would like answered in this column, send it to [email protected] Rogers, M.S., J.D., is a nationally recognized leader in the area of mindfulness in law and founded and directs the University of Miami School of Law’s Mindfulness in Law Program where he teaches mindful ethics, mindful leadership, and mindfulness in law. He is the creator of Jurisight, one of the first CLE programs in the country to integrate mindfulness and neuroscience and conducts workshops and presentations on the role of mindfulness in legal education and across the legal profession. He is author of the recently released, “The Elements of Mindfulness.”last_img read more

2,300 runners and Ultra Trail World Tour series status for HK100

first_imgThis year’s Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race (HK100), supported by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), has concluded with an impressive field of 2,300 international runners taking part.Taking place from 17-19 January 2020, the event drew runners from as far afield as France and the UK; to the USA and Canada; and from Singapore and Malaysia to Thailand and Japan. A total of 1,800 athletes ran the full 103-kilometre course, which ran along the Maclehose Trail from Pak Tam Chung to Sai Kung. 500 participants joined The Half, the newly designated 56-kilometre trail that encompassed the first half of the full course.“Hong Kong is a magnet for some of the world’s best trail racers,” said Janet Ng, Vibram Hong Kong 100 Race Director. “Now in the second year of its elevation to ‘series’ level in the Ultra Trail World Tour, this year’s HK100 attracted participants from over 50 countries.“It is an event that has been blessed over the years by the incredible support of our sponsors and supporting organizations, and Hong Kong’s strong, friendly, close-knit trail-running community.”“I would like to congratulate all of the talented racers who gave it their all in the HK100,” said Dane Cheng, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. “It is wonderful to see such camaraderie and community spirit among international competitors, which is what this race is truly about. Sharing the resilient traits of ultra runners, Hong Kong continues to shine as an events capital in the Asia-Pacific region, hosting renowned races and attractions that are excitingly anticipated by participants from all over the world.” Relatedlast_img read more

Senator Micciche Wants Answers Over Wildfire Management

first_imgFacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Senator Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) sent a letter last Thursday requesting a meeting with federal officials to investigate why efforts to fully extinguish the Swan Lake Fire were significantly scaled back in June. Senator Micciche: “It’s time we had answers. Fire management policies on federal lands near Alaskan communities must adequately protect human life and property. If that’s not the case, then federal policies need to change.” The lightning-caused fire began on June 5 and was nearly under control at around 38,000 acres in July when efforts to fully extinguish or contain the fire were reduced. In mid-August, a high-wind event dramatically increased the size and risk of the fire overnight, according to a press release from the office of Micciche. Micciche: “We were led to believe federal policies allow fires to burn when there is no immediate threat to life and property to improve moose browse and overall forest health. While these policies make sense when fires are in remote areas, not all wilderness is created equal. In this year of record low relative humidity and record high temperatures that followed a winter of low snowfall and a dry spring, the policy of ‘Letting It Burn’ seemed ill-advised.”   Micciche said he is currently arranging a venue and date for the meeting, to be held sometime between November 4-11. Micciche extended invitations to U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan; Congressman Don Young; Representatives Ben Carpenter, Gary Knopp and Sarah Vance; Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige; and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, in addition to officials from the U.S. Forestry Service, Fish and Wildlife; Chugach and Kenai National Wildlife Refuges; State Forestry; Department of Public Safety; and the Department of Transportation. Photo provided by the Great Basin Incident Management Team. Media provided by the office of Senator Micciche.last_img read more

FIFA hand out fines for ‘third party’ deals

first_imgMANCHESTER, England, (Reuters) – FIFA have handed out a series of fines to clubs for transfer deals involving “third party influence”, world soccer’s governing body said on Thursday. FIFA policy on third-party ownership bans either clubs or players from entering into economic rights agreements with third-party investors. Frequently such deals involve outside investors retaining or gaining a share of ownership in a player.Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon was fined 110,000 Swiss francs ($113,695) for “entering into two contracts that enabled a third party to influence the club’s independence as well as for failing to record an existing third-party ownership agreement”.Another Portuguese club Benfica was fined 150,000 francs for two deals involving third-parties. Spain’s Rayo Vallecano was fined 55,000 francs for a third-party deal and Celta Vigo was sanctioned 65,000 francs for a deal which FIFA said “enabled Benfica to influence the club’s independence”.Qatari club Al Arabi was fined 185,000 francs for several third-party deals and for not entering correct information in FIFA’s mandatory International Transfer Matching System in the cases of seven transfers.last_img read more