When my own two children (now ages 9 and 11) became preschoolers, I had a deep desire to instill the same values and spiritual skills that had so fortunately been shared with me. I feel that learning a spiritual language of any kind is key to articulating a meaningful and purposeful life and that the sooner one can learn that, the more fluent, creative, and playful one can be. From my own experience, I knew that spiritual growth needs the soil of community. As such, I started a local meditation group for families here in North Carolina, which in time became a fully-fledged parent and child program called the Buddhist Families of Durham (not very Buddhist, in fact — more of a Buddhist-inflected mindfulness program).
Lindsay duPont is an artist and illustrator whose work is undeniably funny and joyful, which she says helps her achieve her own “happiness quotient.” She has illustrated six children’s books and self-published two more. Her drawings are expressive and bold, often colorful and witty, and imbued with the unmistakable texture of Lindsay’s personality. Lindsay is also the artist of the many wonderful little illustrations in Mindful Games and across this website. Raised outside of Chicago in a big family, Lindsay is now a mother of three and lives about 30 minutes outside of New York City, where her studio overlooks the Hudson River. Interviewed by Ellie Duke
From childbirth classes to programs for senior citizens, the Flourish Foundation proudly offers mindfulness to all residents of Sun Valley, Idaho, regardless of their ages. Fueled by its core belief that people’s inner lives determine the way they engage with the world, Flourish has been inspiring systemic change from the inside out since 2010. Ryan is a close friend and core faculty member of the Inner Kids training model, and we’re delighted to talk to him about his work with the foundation. Interviewed by AJ Urquidi
A former staff writer for Forbes magazine, Kelly Barron brings her journalistic sensibilities into her practice as a mindfulness teacher. She reads incessantly, gleaning information from a wide range of fields to inform her work. Her background in journalism also means she is familiar with stress, and all of the havoc it can wreak on the body. She started meditating in order to deal with that stress, and its benefits were so powerful and wide-reaching that she decided to devote her life to bringing the work to others.Interviewed by Ellie Duke
A former labor and employment attorney in the entertainment industry, Angelike Dexter was first introduced to mindfulness strategies for children in one of Tandy Park's baby groups in Santa Monica. Angelike's daughter found the world to be a challenging place and learning tools to help her find emotional balance was a gift. As Angelike's practice deepened, she was inspired to teach mindfulness to kids other than her own. Interviewed by Ellie Duke
Based out of Culver City’s independent Echo Horizon School, Ellis Enlow has embarked on a noteworthy journey, having served as a Pre-K classroom teacher, a visiting classroom mindfulness teacher, an educator of parents, a preschool director, and (albeit briefly) a lawyer. She co-teaches in a holistic program for Pre-K students that she designed years ago that continues to evolve. Given the many professional hats Ellis has worn over the years, it's no surprise that she has plenty of stories to tell and wisdom to share. Interviewed by AJ Urquidi
Juanita Cabrales, a native of Texas, has been a Pre-K teacher at Momentous Institute for more than 14 years. At Momentous Institute, Juanita has specialized in the development of three-year-olds, guiding and strengthening their social-emotional health in order to equip them for the challenges of their advancing education. Interviewed by AJ Urquidi.
Amidst those cold Wisconsin winters, Kelly Petrie brings warmth and energy to her practice of mindful education, bringing out the inner exuberance in all of her students. Before getting her Master of Arts in Contemplative Education from Naropa University, Petrie worked in education as a support person for children on the autism spectrum. She brings the awareness of and attention to inclusivity fostered in her previous career to her work as a mindfulness educator. Petrie strives to create a welcoming community in her workshop spaces, with a particular interest in creating an inclusive environment for students on the autism spectrum, and for transgender and gender nonconforming students. Interviewed by Eleanor Duke.