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PDV 103 — Playful Mindfulness

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Apr 18—May 23
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: May 1
Unit: 1
Tuition: $365
Instructor(s): Ted DesMaisons
Limit: 30
Status: Closed
Please Note: This course has a different schedule than what appears in the print catalogue. The course will meet from April 18 to May 23.
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 18—May 23
6 weeks
Drop By
May 1
1 Unit
Ted DesMaisons
Please Note: This course has a different schedule than what appears in the print catalogue. The course will meet from April 18 to May 23.
The fast-paced demands of our current world often leave us breathless and frustrated. Mindfulness—paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and kindness—helps us slow down, take a breath, and befriend the inner resources that lead to discovery, delight, and a life well-lived. Integrating insights and exercises from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) with those from improvisational theater, this course will help you forge new neural pathways and develop a more connected personal presence.

While mindfulness training sometimes takes on a somber or even pious tone (this is serious stuff!), in this course we choose a different track, learning to “play attention” through traditional methods and also through humor, games, and exercises drawn from improvisational theater. As a collaborative art form, improv offers the benefits of shared adventures that deepen enjoyment of life’s good times and provide a buoy in rough waters. Our topics will include our relationship to failure, paying attention, cultivating curiosity and kindness, the mind as storyteller, mindfulness in motion, and moving from reactivity to response. Learning modes will include formal mindfulness practices, informal practices that integrate these skills into daily life, and shared inquiry using safe small and large discussions to draw wisdom from the whole group.

Students are expected to commit to at least twenty minutes of daily practice at home for the duration of the course.

Ted DesMaisons, Founder and Principal, ANIMA Learning

Ted DesMaisons has studied, performed, and taught improvisation internationally, including with Patricia Ryan Madson, the Stanford Improvisors, and BATS Improv of San Francisco. He is a trained Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor and also serves as the US partner for the UK-based Mindfulness in Schools Project. He received an MBA from Stanford and an MTS from Harvard.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Mark Williams, Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World, Reprint Edition, November 2012 (ISBN 978-1609618957)
(Recommended) Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Wisdom (ISBN 978-1400081882)