MBSR PROGRAMS IN RICHMOND, VA
Community Agreement for Cultivating Safety and Support
A central feature of our community is our ability to engage in the present moment with openness and trust – as a group. We as instructors promise to maintain a safe and inclusive space, where we can support ourselves and each other.
Thank you for taking the time to review the following community intentions for our community:
Practice listening without an agenda & without trying to problem solve:
Try to avoid planning what you’ll say as you listen to others. Be willing to be surprised, to learn something new. Listen with your whole self. We support each other by simply listening – not by offering advice or trying to solve each other’s problems. The most transformative learning happens when we each arrive at our realizations in our own time.
Practice self focus:
Using “I” statements. Attend to and speak about your own experiences and responses. Notice when you have the impulse to speak for a whole group or express assumptions about the experience of others, and reframe from your perspective.
Try it on:
Be willing to “try on” new ideas, or ways of doing things that might not be what you prefer or are familiar with.
Refrain from blaming or shaming self & others:
Practice giving skillful feedback. Describe your own feelings. It’s ok to agree to disagree.
Move up / Move back:
Encourage full participation by all present. Notice who is speaking and who isn’t. If you tend to speak often, consider “moving back” and vice versa.
Tend to boundaries:
Be sensitive to your personal boundaries, and the boundaries of others. If you are uncomfortable for any reason, pause, listen to what the boundary is asking for, and voice your needs when necessary.
Right to pass:
You can always say “I pass” if you don’t wish to speak.
Practice ‘Both / And’:
When speaking, try substituting “and” for “but.” This practice acknowledges and honors multiple realities, without negating one perspective.
Understand the difference between intent & impact:
Try to understand and acknowledge impact – even if words were said with a different intent. Denying the impact of something said by focusing on intent is often more destructive than the initial interaction.
Take home learnings but don’t identify anyone other than yourself, now or later. If you want to follow up with anyone regarding something they said in this session, ask first and respect their wishes.
You are always welcome to discuss any concerns (about these agreements or anything else related to our community) with us at 703-973-3473, or MBSRrichmond@gmail.com.
Please feel to share any feedback, questions, or comments:
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