The iBme Retreat Model
We teach teens proven awareness and concentration practices that have been used for thousands of years. Teens learn how to: settle a busy mind, skillfully handle emotions and thoughts, direct and sustain attention, cultivate compassion, and truly listen and communicate to one another. Through guided mindfulness meditation, small group discussions, and fun workshop activities, participants experience a sense of connection and safety that many have never felt before.
The core of the iBme retreat model is mindfulness. Mindfulness is embedded in all the daily activities, which include several formal sitting and walking meditation periods. Using the mindfulness skills that are taught, teens begin to calm their mind and explore their own mind and body. Recent studies have also shown some of the other benefits of practicing mindfulness, which include an increase in concentration, empathy, emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and memory.
The second element of the iBme model is relational activities. In twice-daily small group discussions, participants are introduced to interactive mindfulness practices that help teens connect with each other and learn valuable communication skills. There are few words to convey how profoundly youth (and adults) are affected when they experience being seen and heard by their peers in the safety and intimacy of these small groups. For many teens and adults, these small groups are the highlight of the retreat.
Connecting with the Natural World
The third element of the iBme model is helping students realize our connection with the earth. The retreats are held in natural settings and activities include taking silent or guided walks,practicing primitive skills like animal tracking, and eating wholesome foods. As teens quiet their minds, many are able to connect with the natural world in an entirely new way.
Each day on retreat, teens are offered a variety of workshops including mindful sports, art, music, poetry, theater, and discussion groups on topics such as diversity, gender, and non-violent communication. The retreat culminates in a community share and celebration of artistic expressions on the final night.