During a time in which many struggle with a sense of hopelessness, I feel honored to share with you a deep optimism. This is not an optimism based on a fairytale or blind faith. It is rooted in experience. Our current generation of teenagers is learning how to pave the way for a more conscious and compassionate world. I see it and feel it daily.
At Peace in Schools we end our semester-long mindfulness course with a final project that invites teens to spend four hours in silence and solitude utilizing the tools that they’ve learned in the class. This is their opportunity to practice befriending themselves and resting in that which is most authentic within. In preparation, teens are asked to create an intention for the project.
I could tell you about countless beautiful intentions from teens who have been deeply engaged in the class I teach at Madison High School. Instead, I pause to share what two teens who have struggled deeply in life had to say:
“I hope to be more fully with me on this retreat. To be able to see the world and the conditioned mind differently. To see it all clearly.”
“My intention for this retreat is to connect with a real part of me that I haven’t. I know this part of me exists now.”
This is huge. These are students who have been marginalized, with lives affected by intense intergenerational trauma, violence, substance abuse, and poverty. It is huge that the teens who encounter the most obstacles are seeing new possibility. They are having a direct experience of knowing how to find peace.
As cliché as it might sound, these teens truly are our future. For me, this is a flame of hope. Every day I witness teens learning to experience a deep connection with others, feel their own adequacy and inherent worth, and love unconditionally. Every day I see teens learning to embody an experience of presence and love. Every day.
Thank you to everyone who values creating the possibility of a more conscious and compassionate world. During such times of turbulence and divisiveness, it is, indeed, a powerful thing that we have ways to embody the alternative.
At Peace in Schools, and in mindfulness education at large, we are building a model that manifests the alternative. It is a model of love and of connection. We are so deeply grateful for everyone that is a part of this movement. Thank you for feeding this flame.
Caverly Morgan is a meditation teacher, change-maker, nonprofit leader and public speaker. She is the Founder, Executive Director and Head Teacher of Peace in Schools — the nation’s first for-credit mindfulness class as a secular program in high schools pioneering new depths in mindfulness education, based in Portland, Oregon. Her personal mindfulness practice began in 1995 and has included eight years spent in a silent monastery. She has been teaching contemplative practice to adults since 2001 with the aim of igniting personal transformation and collective awakening. Caverly speaks publicly at conferences on topics including contemplative practice, social entrepreneurship, authentic leadership, and mindfulness education, and has been featured in publications such as Mindful magazine and the New York Times. Caverly presents “Inherent Wellbeing: The Future of Mindfulness Education” in 2018’s Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference.