CIE's 47th Annual Fall Retreat - Angels Rest


CIE students and faculty gathered for their annual retreat at Angels’ Rest - a charming conference site set in the hills of Western Massachusetts.  As usual the hills were ablaze with fall colors which provided a backdrop for both serious discussions and community building activities like sharing songs in many different languages at the evening bonfire.


The theme of this year’s retreat was Mindfulness as it applied to the academic program, work, and family contexts.  Exercises and discussion focused on the meaning of mindfulness and the ways its meaning could vary in different cultural settings.  Discussions in small groups highlighted the challenges to mindfulness posed by the pervasive presence of electronic devices which distract us from paying attention to the present.  


Different ways of increasing mindfulness were presented and tried out, including breathing exercises and a basic form of meditation.  Discussions highlighted ways to use mindfulness strategies in schools, literacy classrooms, and educational activities in conflict or emergency settings. Ultimately, the message was that each individual has the power to take responsibility for his or her own mindfulness by employing whatever strategy works for them.