Mindfulness is a practice that helps us to attain balance, further resilience, improve and maintain well-being, and reduce stress. While its roots are in Buddhist traditions of contemplative practice, the mindfulness movement is now transforming the western world.
Not only are people using mindfulness in their daily lives, but professionals are applying mindfulness within a range of careers, such as healthcare, counseling, education, and business, among many others.
At Lesley University, you can get a master’s degree or a graduate certificate in Mindfulness Studies—the first academic programs of their kind in the nation. Most of our students are working when they enroll, but throughout their studies and after they graduate, they identify emerging fields and revolutionize existing ones through the inclusion of mindfulness.
To illuminate how our students align their studies to their life experiences and careers, here are 5 graduates’ accomplishments in various industries.
Lauren Ruben ’18, New Parent Support Group Facilitator, Jewish Family and Children’s Service
Lauren Ruben discovered the benefits of mindfulness after the birth of her second child. Lauren spent years cultivating her mindfulness practice while supporting parents through their child’s first year in her role as a New Parent Support Group Facilitator. Once her children were grown, Lauren enrolled in Lesley’s master’s degree program in Mindfulness Studies.
For Lauren, the graduate program illuminated the potential of using mindfulness when working with expectant parents. “It became clear to me how powerful it could be for parents to have a solid foundation in mindfulness practice before the baby arrived. There is not a day that goes by where I’m not using these skills,” she says.
Lauren developed this idea in her thesis, Promoting Secure Attachment Through Parental Mindfulness and Meditation, The SAMMP Curriculum, where she designed a 7-week introductory mindfulness curriculum for expectant parents to help them foster secure attachments with their newborns.
Lauren describes how mindfulness and awareness training enhances new parents’ ability to cope and adjust to a crying baby. “It helps them recognize that their baby is not crying to torment them but simply communicating in the only way they can,” she says. “It helps parents learn not to take it personally and that they have a choice of how to think about it.”
In 2016, Lauren founded Dharmamumma, where she offers workshops, classes, and individual sessions on mindfulness. While she has a passion for working with mostly first-time parents, she also provides introductory mindfulness courses, mindful approaches to address racial bias, and open mindfulness sessions. She hopes that others will benefit from the transformative power of mindfulness practice.