Back in 2019, I had the opportunity to attend a two-day Search Inside Yourself training lead by Tony Back and Larissa Benson sponsored by the UW Resilience Lab. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about, and have the lived experience of brining mindfulness practices into my daily life and work. I wanted to have them on the podcast to talk about Search Inside Yourself and some of the mindfulness practices that listeners can try.
I interviewed the pair remotely in March of 2020, just a few days before the Covid-19 Pandemic forced the shutdown of in-person instruction and closed the UW Campus. Due to some technical issues with the remote interview service I was using for the first time, the sound quality of the recording was less than ideal. Upon re-listening to the conversation, I decided that the content was still relevant today and did my best to clean up the audio, edit the conversation and release it here.
Tony Back is a medical doctor, the co-director of the UW Center for Excellence in Palliative Care at the UW and a UW professor of Oncology and Medicine and an adjunct professor of Bioethics and Humanities. He is also the founder of Vital Talk a training organization for clinicians seeking to advance their communication skills with seriously ill patients.
Larissa Benson is a leadership embodiment coach, the host of the Government Joy Network, Is the president of the board of the Whidbey Institute and use to lecture at the Evans School of Public Policy here at the University of Washington.
We discuss how they both came to Search Inside Yourself — the mindfulness training program developed at Google — how they bring mindfulness practice into their work and life, and some practices you can try in your life to be more mindful and communicate more effectively.
- Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute www.siyli.org
- The Inner Work of Racial Justice by Rhonda Magee (chair of SIYLI and law professor at U San Fran)
- Leadership Embodiment by Wendy Palmer
- My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem – for trauma informed healing and embodiment practices
- Rick Hanson’s online course the Foundations of Well-Being and he has tons of free resources https://www.rickhanson.net/
`If you’d like to try mindfulness on your own, you can check out apps like Calm, Headspace, Ten Percent Happier, and Waking Up all end up requiring a subscription fee after a few free sessions. Insight Timer has thousands of free meditations, Oak and Healthy Minds are also free(mium). You can also find guided meditations from the Whole U and FreeMindfulness.org.
Other resources at the university include the Whole U Meditation Series a video series that helps to reduce stress, increase calmness, and promote happiness. All of them are great, but there are two short, guided meditations on gratitude that by UW Mindfulness Manager Danny Arguetty and UW Tacoma associate professor Jane Compson. You can listen to my conversation with Jane Compson from Season 1.