Faculty Stories

August 28, 2016
In a new 3-credit course offered by the Center for undergraduate students, students will examine questions, such as: How was your worldview formed? How can an interconnected worldview create wellbeing and a sense of community?
January 26, 2016
Dying is an uncomfortable topic of conversation. No one wants to bring it up, not even our doctors. Unfortunately, this leads to miscommunication about how a person wants to die. In fact, about 7 in 10 Americans would prefer to die at home, but only about a quarter of them actually do. “There is a fundamental disconnect between what happens and what we want, and that stems from a lack of communication about dying,” says Frank Bennett, MDiv., senior fellow in the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing and former hospital chaplain and minister. “Most care providers frame the conversation around therapeutic interventions, because that’s their focus, but patients think in terms of goals, hopes and fears.”
December 2, 2015
On calm mornings and evenings, the sandstone cliffs, rising hundreds of feet from the lake, are perfectly reflected below. While working with art models, the images, for me, always start with the landscape and my feelings about the land. I strive to utilize the figure as a way to connect the viewer in a deeper way to the sense of place. What does it feel like to be immersed by this environment?
December 1, 2015
At the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, we often talk as a team about the importance of living the work, and not just doing the work.
October 2, 2015
For more than a decade, the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing has offered mindfulness programs to the campus and Twin Cities communities. From an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, to other opportunities like Mindfulness at Work, Mindfulness in Motion, and Mindful Eating, the Center has provided learning opportunities to thousands of people. At the heart of this program are our mindfulness teachers, who are all certified – or currently in training – at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the nation’s most established and rigorous training institute. Learn more about our instructors in the following stories.
September 11, 2015
Investigating the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic and other integrative health approaches for spine pain is Brent Leininger’s passion. Leininger, DC, is a chiropractor and junior researcher in the Center’s Integrative Health & Wellbeing Research Program.
May 27, 2015
Exercise of any kind can be beneficial to our health and fitness, but exercise in nature, called ‘green exercise,’ can provide additional physical and mental health benefits. As we swarm the treadmills at the local gym, perhaps we should consider hitting the trails, the park or the lake, too. “When you go outside, you have a more rich, holistic benefit to your exercise routine,” said Jean Larson, Ph.D., director of nature-based therapies at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. “Green and traditional exercises are both beneficial, but there is a bump in the satisfaction and overall impact of the experience when you go outside.”
May 8, 2015
A new initiative aims to regain the language and skills needed to empower, nurture, and care for people at the end of life.
February 13, 2015
Valentine’s Day puts love on the brain. Throughout the world, people dedicate the day to celebrating relationships. But we ought to be paying more attention to them, researchers say. Relationships are important to our health and wellbeing every day of the year – not just February 14th. “Healthy relationships enable us to be who we are,” says Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., RN, Director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing. “They nurture us and they help us grow. They help us become better people.”
May 17, 2014
For us Northerners, who have just lived through the cold and long nights of winter, the thought of spring brings on a torrent of adrenalin as full and fast as the snowmelt-flooded streams. With the longer days and warming temperatures comes new growth—a procession of wildflowers, each emerging at the optimal time to out-compete the neighbors for sunlight and fertilizing insects.

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