Mandala: Autumn 2018

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MANDALA Autumn 2018




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AUTHORS: Jodi Auvin, Craig Blacklock, Kevin Coss, Dessa, Suzy Frisch, Jacques Lerouge, Dianne Lev, Erik Storlie Ph.D. DESIGN: Kellen Renstrom EDITOR: Kit Breshears ( ASSISTANT EDITOR: Jacques Lerouge EDITORIAL STAFF: Pamela Cherry, Dianne Lev Photos courtesy of contributing authors and Craig Blacklock.

Mandala, a biannual publication, is produced by the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. Detailed information about Center research, events, academic courses, workshops, and more can be found on our website at Letters to the editor must include name, address, telephone number, and email address.


Mandala is the Sanskrit word for “circle” and is a sacred symbol that mirrors a state of conciousness through a concrete pattern. Native Americans use mandalas as healing and transformational art in the sand; art therapists to facilitate healing; and Tibetans as visual representation of Buddhist beliefs. As a universal symbol of healing, the respective circles of the mandala capture the many diverse aspects of the Center’s work: reflection, transformation, spirituality, creation, and lastly, the ongoing journey that continues to shape what we are to become.

Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing Mayo Memorial Building, MMC #505 420 Delaware St. S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55455


A Time of Gratitude Every fall when the leaves began to turn and the temperature started dipping, I’d receive a call from Earl Bakken’s office in Hawaii asking if the autumn issue of Mandala had been published. There was no more devoted reader than Earl. He would generally request 2 or more boxes of the magazine and would read each issue cover to cover. He would then act as our chief advancement officer —passing out issues to visitors and guests who visited him at Bakkenhale, his office and home on Kiholo Bay. Earl, the co-founder of Medtronic, who developed the first external, battery-operated transistorized, wearable pacemaker in 1957, died in his home October 21, 2018. Earl’s love for humanity had no bounds. His insatiable curiosity led to discoveries that have touched millions. While Earl is credited with launching worldwide the biomedical device industry, he also had a deep interest in healing and integrative health and medicine. He is quoted as saying “There is, after all, only one effective healing mechanism in the world, and that is the healing capability we have built into our bodies.” He referred to the body’s innate capacity to heal as a “marvelous capability” that needs to be turned on and not suppressed. Last fall, President Kaler, Art Erdman, and I had the honor of traveling to Hawaii to celebrate the naming of the Earl. E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Earl E. Bakken Center for Medical Devices. It was a grand celebration of Earl’s legacy and hopes for the future. I am profoundly grateful for his visionary leadership that will continue to transform healthcare and the world and we will miss him dearly. The Bakken Center has much to be grateful for as highlighted in many of the stories in this issue. A legacy gift from Mary Goepfert, M.D., a graduate of the University Medical School, along with gifts from other devoted supporters has enabled the Center to establish the Center’s first endowed chair. Researchers in our Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program are conducting breakthrough research on non-pharmacological approaches to pain management, an issue receiving heightened attention due to the opioid crisis. The story on our aromatherapy program highlights the contributions of retiring faculty member Dr. Linda Halcon and the energetic vision of incoming lead Dr. Jan Tomaino. I remain deeply grateful for the faculty and staff of the Center whose work inspires me and the many who benefit from our teaching, research, and service.

Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN Founder and Director Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing 3

Some Reflections on Creating Meditation & Mindfulness Courses for Academic Credit at the Earl E. Bakken Center for

Spirituality & Healing


“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will. No one is compos sui if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence. But it is easier to define this ideal than to give practical instructions for bringing it about.” William James, Principles of Psychology (1890)

SERENDIPITY A few drinks of Scotch in 2001 (mindful ones!) with Dr. Charles Moldow, then a dean in the University of Minnesota Medical School, sparked my connection to the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. I’d recently retired after thirty-five years of teaching English and humanities at Minneapolis Community and Technical College in downtown Minneapolis. For as many years I’d studied and practiced Zen meditation. I was sixty, had good years teaching older and first-in-their-family students, but I was leaving dissatisfied. For thirty years I’d dreamt of bringing meditation to Americans without the trappings of religious dogma or Asian culture—especially to those not likely, as I was not likely as a young man, ever to enter a Buddhist or Hindu center. Where better than colleges and universities? Efforts to bring meditation courses to my own college had failed. Curriculum committees rejected meditation as unsuitable for academic credit. 4

Charlie urged me to contact Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, the director of the Bakken Center, to explore whether my years of college teaching and Zen practice might serve in the world of wellbeing and innovative healthcare. Mary Jo was interested!—and throughout the last seventeen years has been an unflagging ally as meditation, mindfulness, and yoga have become embedded in the Center’s work. I shepherded an Introduction to Meditation course through the curriculum process (it took multiple drafts to persuade that silent sitting could legitimately earn graduate credit), and taught it fall semester 2002. The following year an Advanced Meditation course was approved. These were among the first, if not the first, academic courses teaching both the theory and practice of meditation. In 2006, Jon Kabat-Zinn visited the Center to lead retreats and discuss his work with mindfulness at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He suggested an academic offering based on his eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, and my colleague Terry Pearson and I developed a twelve week academic course and taught it spring 2007. In the years since, the Center has sponsored studies examining the benefits of mindfulness in working with disease conditions, developed non-credit community MBSR courses, and created academic offerings exploring mindfulness in business and the workplace, as well as a host of other mindfulness initiatives.


WILLIAM JAMES’ QUESTION Drinks of Charlie’s good Scotch and a meeting with Mary Jo gave me a second career—seventeen years at the Center. And, surprisingly, an approach to the question offered on the previous page by William James (sometimes honored as “the father of American psychology”) over a century ago: how can we teach students to strengthen “the faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again”? For James, “An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.” Indeed, “No one is compos sui if he have it not.” These are strong words! But how can we teach voluntary attention control? What “practical instructions” could his Harvard faculty offer students—or themselves, for that matter? Neither in 1890 or today does our educational system have answers. But many contemplative traditions do. In the Zen approach, one brings the wandering attention back to a focus: on the body, the breath, and ultimately on the flow of awareness as it unspools moment by moment. One forms an intention to work directly with the attention itself in its nakedness (this most mysterious capacity of mind that lies at the very center of awareness)—to work with it and strengthen it. James would be surprised, and I suspect pleased, at this re-awakening in the west to the contemplative arts—and to the essential yet indefinable nature of the attention itself.

THE ACADEMIC COURSES In both the meditation and mindfulness classes, students read materials that include sacred writings in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religious traditions; Native American spirituality; Henry David Thoreau’s Transcendentalism; contemporary approaches to meditation practice; and current scientific explorations of how meditation and mindfulness can promote health and wellbeing. An intellectual understanding of meditation, then, goes hand in hand with learning and practicing meditation—with the practical effort of bringing back the “wandering attention” again and again to the body, the breath, and the flow of thought and emotion. Intellectual understanding is informed by practice itself; and the practice informs the intellectual understanding. As in a course in applied music or art, theory and practice are inseparable.

STUDENTS Over the years I’ve seen students from every area—music, literature, art, science, mathematics, engineering, social science, business, and the health sciences, among others. Most students are in the last years of undergraduate or graduate school and face a blizzard of stressors: relationships, roommates, grades, excessive credit loads, demanding outside work schedules, and debt loads. Some

already have families, and most are extremely anxious about future careers and earning possibilities. Having heard and seen reports that “mindfulness” can help them, they want to learn. An occasional student arrives in class simply to fill a credit gap, while others have months or years of meditative practice and want to deepen their experience. Yet others have tried meditation and given up, finding they can’t “stop thinking.” My first job is to assure everyone that the normal thinking mind is welcomed—that over time they can develop a new relationship to the endless flow of thought. A significant minority of students arrive with histories of anxiety, depression, panic attack, ADHD, and/or other emotional and psychological struggles. Every year there are a few students who aren’t ready for meditation, whose personal issues are too powerful. I urge them to delay taking the course, seek counseling or therapy, and address wounds that are too painful to bear in the unstructured openness of just being present. As a semester progresses, most students work through the initial stress and boredom that arises when the mind lacks an immediate task or distraction. A first step is to recognize that lack, to feel it and not fear it—then to disentangle from the many wandering thoughts and emotions that arise to fill the gap—and once again (and again and again) to re-center on the body, the breath, and the present flowing moment. This is not easy, but most are able, over twelve weeks of practice, to connect more deeply with their bodies and minds, to experience volatile emotions and thoughts settling. They slow down, find themselves more centered and grounded, and are not only relieved, but grateful. My greatest reward, as a semester comes to a close, are the students who’ve connected with the deep healing potential of what Suzuki Roshi, my first Zen teacher, called “Big Mind”—the mind that undergirds and, indeed, is each human being, the mind that, with the physical body, has profound capacities for spontaneous healing. This healing emerges as meditative practice enlarges awareness beyond the thinking mind’s immediate and incessant demands. I won’t forget the young woman who spoke up—hesitantly, almost inaudibly—during a final class meeting. She’d done excellent work, but had rarely opened her mouth. “I never expected to share anything today,” she said, avoiding eye contact. “And I never thought I’d say this aloud to anyone, certainly not in a class. But ever since high school, before any big test, I’d have these huge panic attacks. I’d have to throw up over and over. It was horrible. I hated it. But it always happened. Yesterday I had a big test. All morning I was just waiting for it to happen. I felt my body kind of getting ready for it to happen—but this time I just let myself have the feelings, I was ready to let whatever happened happen, I wasn’t panicked. And then I didn’t have to throw up. I just didn’t! I came to school and took the test and it was okay.” We all sat in silence with her for a few minutes, feeling how important her transformation was. I was grateful to this young woman, grateful for her courage, grateful that she was ready, finally, to speak up and tell the story of her struggle. Often I learn of such struggles only through reading students’ weekly writings and papers: stories of chronic pain; or recurring migraine; or sexual abuse; or reliance on prescription meds for depression, anxiety, and panic. As I come to know my students and learn their stories, I have my heart broken again and again. And I’m mended with them as they learn how the deep repose of meditation can open up a wellspring of healing energy.

By the end of the semester, many students report in course evaluations that the class was the most important they’ve taken at the University—that it should be a requirement. They’ve touched a core that lies deeper than turbulent thoughts and emotions. They can meditate for ten minutes or twenty minutes or forty minutes, allowing breath and body to calm, allowing emotions and thoughts to recede back into a larger field of consciousness. They recognize their own strength. They’ve developed a capacity to be larger and stronger than their frustrations and struggles.

FUTURE I look forward to the day when many faculty will explore how meditation and mindfulness practices can develop these capacities—and bring them to students across the curriculum. Classes in the health sciences could integrate minutes of movement and meditation into every class— teaching students to center themselves so that, in the future, they can be fully present with patients. Further, students could be given simple training on how to offer, when appropriate, meditation and mindfulness to patients. Classes in religion, philosophy, and neuroscience could integrate meditation into a curriculum as relevant to explorations of meaning and mind. Classes in literature, music, and the arts could explore contemplative practices as opening into delight in beauty and the unleashing of creativity. Faculty members interested in meditation can explore its relevance to any discipline. Finding none, they can begin classes, or break up long classes, or precede tests with some minutes of silence, introducing soft and flexible attention upon the breath. Class time “lost” will be amply repaid by refreshed attention.

STUDENTS AND COLLEAGUES CELEBRATE DR. STORLIE Erik – I will remain forever grateful for the introduction that Charlie Moldow made close to two decades ago. You have made a profound impact on the Center in so many ways. Students describe your courses as being life changing and transformative. In your teaching, you are known for clarity and simplicity combined with academic rigor and encouragement. I have benefited from your counsel and guidance in countless ways including how to frame meditation as an academic course, working with mindfulness teachers, and carefully discerning the moral and ethical pitfalls particularly as we look to collaboration with those outside of the Center. I have always trusted your perspective and valued your candor. You have mentored so many that will continue to grow and sustain this work for years to come. In deep gratitude for the many gifts you have so generously shared....

MARY JO KREITZER Dearest Erik, The Spirit of the Center award given to you is so well deserved. When I worked at the Center from July 2002 – August 2014, your gentle, even-handed guidance, care and support for the Center, all the students/ constituents (and me) is noteworthy. I still appreciate all the dialogues, encouragement, and poignant humor; your laughter (with your impish smile and twinkling eyes) still resonates in my heart/mind when ever I think of you (which is often), hear your name or have the pleasure of seeing and being with you in person. Your grounded humanity and your scholarship in your meditation courses is shared generously. What a gift starting up the meditation program at the Center, along with your time week after week offering the practice drop in sessions. Your presence and voice with the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, as a seasoned teacher, provided fresh and timely perspectives while the program grew and evolved. Your relationship with everyone at the Center always felt to me very intentional, often providing open-hearted wisdom and equanimity. May the love of everyone you have touched cloak you in a brilliant array of colors, continue to nurture YOUR spirit as your influence continues to ripple out through eternity. Thank you Erik, much love to you and yours, always.


A NEED My dilemma as a college meditation teacher is losing touch with my students. I’ve come to know them. I’ve become close. I’ve struggled with their struggles. I’ve laughed with them. I want to hang on to them. And they scatter. And I worry. Will they continue the practices they, with hard work and impressive success, have given of themselves to learn? Some will, of course, find their own way. Some will find a compatible meditation center. Some will find a teacher. But as yet, neither inside nor outside the academy, do we have venues where meditators of any faith or no faith might join together in community and further their practice. +++


On Nov. 16, Dr. Storlie will receive the Spirit of the Center Award from Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer during the Wellbeing Experience event. Previous recipients of the Award include Earl Bakken and Penny George.

Mentor, teacher, guide, friend, trickster, author, poet, guardian, environmentalist, and so much more. I first met Erik at the Mindfulness for Students club in 2005 when he told a version of the Prince Lindworm fairy tale. He captivated the room with his storytelling skill and quick wit. Over these past 13 years, I’ve had the privilege to witness Erik helping students grow into mature adults by shedding the false skins of self-judgment, academic anxiety, and societal pressures. For me, Erik has been a source of wise counsel with just the right amount of Zen zap to remind me of this great mystery we call life. His gift is always the sparkling water of awareness that fills up whomever happens to hold out a cup.



A Forward-Thinking Legacy BY JODI AUVIN Today, more than half of medical students and more than a third of physicians in the United States are women. In the early 1950s, however, when Mary Goepfert, ’47 B.S., ’51 M.D., began practicing internal medicine, only about 6 percent of physicians were women, a fact that didn’t deter her one bit. She had a calling, coupled with an unconventional outlook on life. The youngest of four daughters, Goepfert was born in 1928 to Roy and Valborg Goepfert. Her mother died in childbirth, so Goepfert was raised by her mother’s sister, Marbry Duryea, a physician and 1924 graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School. At age 4, after helping a friend with an injury, Goepfert realized she too wanted to be a physician, and was actively encouraged by her aunt. A stellar student, Goepfert attended the University of Minnesota from high school through medical school, earning an undergraduate degree in math at age 19 and a doctorate in internal medicine when she was only 23. Later still, she earned a Ph.D. in psychiatry. She practiced medicine for 33 years in Chicago, Washington D.C., Arkansas, and Minnesota, then spent the next 20 years practicing psychiatry in Wilmar, Minnesota. She was also an early champion of what was then called complementary and alternative medicine. To further her knowledge, she audited classes at Capital University of Integrative Medicine in Washington D.C., an early leader in the field. Throughout her career, she maintained strong ties with the U of M, especially medical school faculty and alumni, and visited the campus regularly. She retired in 2004. As passionate about her avocations as she was about health and wellbeing, Goepfert read voraciously, enjoyed meeting people, and loved traveling the United States by car, visiting every state except Hawaii. She also took long drives every Sunday with her aunt, which sparked another interest—real estate. Her first purchase, made in the 1950s, was 160 acres of land near Hudson, Wisconsin. She paid $50 an acre, which she sold 43 years later for a healthy profit. Later, she bought land in South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, which became foundational to her investments. In keeping with her love of math, she managed her portfolio herself. These chapters of Goepfert’s life set the stage for her remarkable legacy gift to the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. After meeting in 2003 with the Center’s founder and director, Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., F.N., F.A.A.N., Goepfert established two trusts, the first to honor her Aunt Marbry and the second to honor her close friend

Edward Wine. Following Goepfert’s death in 2017 at age 88, the trusts, among the largest gifts the Center has ever received, were utilized to fulfill her wishes, establishing the Center’s first chair—the Leadership Chair in Integrative Health and Wellbeing—with $3 million. “We’re thrilled by this,” says Kreitzer, the inaugural holder. “Mary had great pride in the U and saw the importance and potential of the Center. An endowed position provides immediate support while ensuring sustainability—and our legacy—into the future.” Endowed chairs play an invaluable role at colleges and universities. In addition to providing a perpetual source of income, they’re considered the gold standard for recruiting and retaining top talent and supporting academic endeavors. The Center has been working on establishing a chair since 2015, the year of its 20th anniversary. “We asked a number of donors to help us generate the beginnings of support,” says Dianne Lev, the Center’s development director, noting that it takes a minimum of $2 million to permanently endow a chair. A group of devoted supporters made gifts—Ruth and Dale Bachman, Gary and Nanci Smaby, David and Mary Ann Wark, the Roth-Laube Family (Lydia, Herb, Justin, and Josh), and Charlson Meadows, a renewal center led by president Nancy Nelson. Goepfert’s trust provided the remaining funding required for the endowed chair to go into effect in fiscal year 2019. “The timing is auspicious in that the Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020,” notes Lev. “The chair honors Dr. Kreitzer’s visionary leadership and will support the work of the Center’s future leaders.” Additional monies from Goepfert’s trust— just over $1 million—launched the Center’s newly created Strategic Innovation Fund. “The Center is adept at incubating ideas,” says Lev. “The Fund will help provide the resources required to turn those ideas into pilot projects and diminish the risk of missed opportunity.” For more information about the Strategic Innovation Fund, see page 22. “Philanthropy often plays a key role in enabling an organization to meet a need,” says Kreitzer. “Often, it’s a decade or more before gifts come to fruition.

Mary had a deep interest in integrative medicine. Her gifts speak to her foresight and to the impact integrative medicine can make.” +++ 7



On the rivers, there is the pull of gravity drawing me downstream. It creates its own rhythms of standing waves and swirling eddies. Then there is the long, slow inhalation and exhalation of changing water levels.



In the fall of 1968, a group of individuals including Senators Walter F. Mondale and Gaylord Nelson, working with Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy), the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the National Park Service, did something wonderful. They included the St. Croix River and its major tributary, the Namekagon, along with 7 other riverways when they co-sponsored the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act—the St. Croix (including the Namekagon) being the only one given national park status. Like any park, this was a gift we gave to ourselves, but it was also a gift from Northern States Power, which donated nearly 30,000 acres along the rivers. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this enduring gift, thanking those who provided it for us, and taking stock of what the rivers mean to us, and what we must do to protect them into the future. Today in the U.S. there are 12,754 river miles protected by the Wild and Scenic River Act, a mere 0.35% of the total— making our St. Croix very special indeed. I recently spent more than two and a half years paddling every mile of both the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers to gather photographs for my book, exhibition, and video, St. Croix & Namekagon Rivers: The Enduring Gift. I’ve traveled wilderness waterways my entire life, making my living photographing the interface of land and water. Even so—I was amazed by these rivers and their tributaries: White pines towering above mixed hardwood forests, gleaming rapids, basalt and sandstone cliffs, and an abundance of waterfalls and wildlife, all astonishingly existing within easy access of millions of people. This is where many of us learned to swim, canoe, and fish. On everything from innertubes to luxurious yachts, each summer weekend we immersed ourselves within the rivers’ seemingly unspoiled beauty. Few of us realize the riverway we travel through now is vastly different than it was just a few decades ago. The forests have largely re-grown following the intensive logging begun in 1839, and wildlife populations rebounded from the use of the pesticide DDT, habitat loss, and overharvesting of numerous species to the point of their being extirpated, or nearly so, from the riverway. Rebuilding populations of beaver, gray wolves, osprey, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, trumpeter swans, giant Canada geese, wood ducks, great egrets, sandhill and whooping cranes, bluebirds and other species within the watershed often required tremendous efforts on the part of wildlife biologists and volunteers. Along the way, we learned perhaps the most important lesson the river has to teach us—that the world is finite. It would be easy to look at those success stories, and the fact the rivers lie within state or national park boundaries and assume the rivers and their inhabitants are now safe. But that undermines the cornerstone of all ecological teachings—that everything is connected. These parks are but a thin ribbon within a much larger watershed experiencing rapid human population growth. With that growth comes habitat loss, and an increase in runoff pollution both from farms and suburban yards.

More boaters bring an increased risk of transporting invasive species, and global population growth has given rise to climate change that respects no borders, and is pummeling the rivers with increased major flooding and warming waters. There are many threats to these rivers, and indeed towards everything we love. But each has a solution starting with the decisions we make as individuals, multiplied by 7.7 billion of us. This starts with what many scientists are now stating: that we must encourage one child families until our population gradually declines back to two billion—the number the earth can sustain with a decent standard of living for all, while retaining viable ecosystems to sustain all the other species. The enduring gift our predecessors gave us when they protected the St. Croix required personal sacrifice, and diminished corporate profits, both done for the greater good of others and future generations. I hope my daughter will be able to look back 50 years from now and see that we were as magnanimous. +++

Craig Blacklock’s book, ST. CROIX & NAMEKAGON RIVERS — The Enduring Gift, with a foreword by Walter F. Mondale, is available in three editions. To learn more about this project, and order the books, go to: A portion of book sales benefit the St. Croix River Association, the official friends group of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.


THIRD INTERNATIONAL INTEGRATIVE NURSING SYMPOSIUM TO BE HELD IN GALWAY, IRELAND Integrative nurses from around the globe will gather from May 22 – 24, 2019 at the Third International Integrative Nursing Symposium in the beautiful Irish oceanside town of Galway. The Symposium’s theme, “Leadership and Innovation in Integrative Nursing,” will be explored by workshops, presentations, posters, and plenary speeches. Speakers include Dr. Brendan McCormack, who will discuss person-centered care, Dr. Michael Shannon who will present on leadership, and Lori Knutson, who will discuss building integrative care models. On the first night of the Symposium, several Irish nursing professionals will be featured. Geraldine Murray will present about the legacy of nursing leadership in Ireland, and Drs. Martin McNamara and Sean Teeling will discuss integrative nursing in Ireland. Prior to the Symposium, Dr. Janet Quinn will lead a workshop titled “The Most Beautiful Way of the Healer.” “I believe that integrative nursing is the way of the healer for our times,” says Quinn. “Embedded in our work is a way to return to our roots, and a lineage of healing that goes back to Florence Nightingale and even before that." Drs. Robin Austin and Laura Kirk, faculty in the University’s School of Nursing will also present a pre-conference workshop titled “Integrative Nursing Research.” “We see our Integrative Nursing Research preconference workshop as an opportunity to do a deep dive into conversations related to integrative nursing, where we think the field is today, and potentially co-creating a vision for the future going forward,” says Austin. Kirk emphasizes the need to further explore integrative nursing research through this workshop. “We want to facilitate a more unified voice in defining, describing, and disseminating what it is integrative nurses do and why it’s so effective,” she says. “We look forward to reconnecting with old friends, meeting new friends, and advancing integrative nursing as an effective strategy for making the world a better place.” Abstracts for presentations have been submitted, and the program for the Symposium is currently under development. If you would like to attend the Symposium, please visit +++


Leadersh Innova Integrative

ship and ation in e Nursing


KREITZER AND KOITHAN RELEASE SECOND EDITION OF INTEGRATIVE NURSING BOOK The second edition of Integrative Nursing by Drs. Mary Jo Kreitzer and Mary Koithan was released by Oxford University Press in mid-October. “Our first edition of the text focused on the importance of whole person, whole system care,” says Kreitzer. “The second edition expands the focus of integrative nursing to include many new topics, including planetary health.” Integrative Nursing is a complete roadmap to integrative patient care, providing a guide to whole person/whole systems assessment and clinical interventions for individuals, families, and communities. Treatment strategies described in this version employ the full complement of evidence-informed methodologies in a tailored, person-centered approach to care. The book explores concepts, skills, and theoretical frameworks that can be used by healthcare leaders interested in creating and implementing an integrative model of care within institutions and systems, featuring exemplar nurse-led initiatives that have transformed healthcare systems. Content covered in this edition includes the foundations of the field; the most effective ways to optimize wellbeing; principles of symptom management for many common disorders like sleep, anxiety, pain, and cognitive impairment; the application of integrative nursing techniques in a variety of clinical settings and among a diverse patient population; and integrative practices around the world and how it impacts planetary health. The academic rigor of the text is balanced by practical and relevant content that can be readily implemented into practice for both established professionals as well as students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate nursing programs. Integrative Nursing is now available for purchase from major booksellers. You may purchase it from Oxford University Press at —Use discount code (AMFLY1Q) for a 20% off discount. +++


H T A M O A B R AM A The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing teaches the art and science of using essential oils for patient care BY SUZY FRISCH






R.N. .P. N . ,D

.R P.H M.




Inspired and motivated, they decided that essential oils and their role in healing would be a fitting part of the Center’s mission.

Ever since, the Center has taught many people how to safely and effectively use aromatherapy to help patients relax during anxious times, reduce pain, fall asleep, or feel better during an illness. Also known as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy is a key part of integrative care and often patients and practitioners’ first brush with such practices.

“Aromatherapy, like other integrative therapies, empowers patients to be in charge of their healthcare, whether it’s for stress reduction or symptom management,” Voss says. “It’s our job as DNPs to tease out ways integrative practices align with patients’ healthcare goals and use them in effective ways.”


egan Voss, D.N.P., R.N., knows the power of essential oils and aromatherapy to relieve pain, anxiety, and nausea. She saw it work frequently and effectively with her oncology patients, helping them relax and breathe easier during long and often arduous hospital stays.

Aiming to broaden her toolkit of palliative care beyond pharmaceuticals, Voss earned her doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in integrative health and healing in 2013 from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She wanted to do more to ease her patients’ physical, mental, and emotional suffering as they coped with cancer, while also caring for caregivers. Through the program, Voss gained those skills and more. She bolstered her ability to evaluate research about aromatherapy and essential oils. She also learned to safely roll out integrative therapies for various patient populations and across large organizations. After being recruited by the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, Voss put these new capabilities to use right away.

Many hospice and healthcare systems now offer aromatherapy, typically at the request of patients. Other times, they start programs based on practitioners’ interests in providing effective integrative care. One main driver is the evidence that it works—knowledge grounded in the scientific understanding of essential oils’ complex chemical properties and pharmacological effects, explains Halcón, who recently retired. When Kreitzer endorsed introducing a clinical aromatherapy curriculum, Halcón raised her hand to develop and teach it. An aficionado of plants, gardening, and botanical medicine, she wanted to marry these interests with nursing. Halcón first took several courses in the agricultural, scientific, and medical uses of aromatherapy.

As director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Integrative Therapy Program, Voss was first tasked with enhancing the existing aromatherapy program for kids on the unit. Though aromatherapy wasn’t new to the hospital, Voss found that some of its essential oils practices were outdated and not created specifically to suit the needs and safety of pediatric patients. Together with a pediatrician and nurse coordinator of integrative therapies, a group was formed to revitalize aromatherapy across the hospital.

Then she created two clinical aromatherapy classes, totaling four credits, that aimed to give nursing and other health professions students enough training that they could sit for registration exams. About a decade ago, Halcón narrowed the focus but broadened its appeal to healthcare providers and others interested in clinical aromatherapy. The Center now offers it as a one-credit course online or in Hawaii in January, and has educated students from around the world. Some hospitals require their aromatherapy resource persons to take the class or an equivalent before implementing new clinical aromatherapy initiatives, Halcón says, and many facilities recommend that staff using essential oils complete the online aromatherapy module that can be found on the Center’s website.

Another part of her job involves teaching other nurses proper aromatherapy practices for use with patients and their own self-care, aiming to help them reduce stress and avoid burnout. “The DNP program taught me leadership skills and how to make changes on a systems level,” Voss says. “I was able to create education so nurses working at the bedside understand more about essential oils and create policies and infrastructure in the healthcare system so that everyone is practicing at a safe level.”

Students in the one-credit course learn about six of the most common essential oils used in clinical settings and how best to employ them, as well as learning safety and practice principles for patient and self-care. For example, some essential oils are irritating when used directly on the skin but are safe to inhale. Other times, instructors are dispelling beliefs that it’s generally safe to ingest essential oils—not true—or that they should use toohigh doses, which can be toxic, Halcón adds.

“Aromatherapy empowers patients to be in charge of their health care”

CREATING CURRICULUM Healthcare professionals from diverse fields turn to the Center for education in the safe and effective use of essential oils and aromatherapy. It’s a focus area that goes back nearly 20 years. The seeds were planted when Center Director Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., and associate professor Linda Halcón, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N. joined other faculty at a weekend retreat about aromatherapy.

Through her DNP aromatherapy education, Voss gained a wealth of knowledge to share with other nurses. She stresses not using more than a 2 percent concentration of essential oils to avoid rashes or medication interactions. She also advocates for blends so that patients don’t associate scents like peppermint with chemotherapyinduced nausea. Voss suggests a blend including citrus, ginger, and peppermint in an aroma stick instead.


Another essential part of the Center’s approach is making sure instructors don’t teach aromatherapy in isolation, Halcón says. Instead, practitioners must learn how to integrate the modality in a holistic and personalized way based on patients’ needs and circumstances. “The way we teach it in the Center is to use principles of integrative care for aromatherapy like you would with anything else,” she notes, adding that caregivers should collaborate with patients about their options. After trying aromatherapy, “talk to the person and observe their response. Pay attention to their needs and wants.”

PROVEN THERAPY Halcón recently retired, and was succeeded by Jan Tomaino, D.N.P., R.N., an associate professor who has been certified in aromatherapy for 13 years. She is updating some of the course modules, but its essence will remain the same: providing students with clinical and scientific knowledge about aromatherapy. Tomaino comes to the role with rich field experience, thanks to her DNP. She implemented aromatherapy programs at Essentia and Fairview hospitals and a hospice facility in northern Minnesota. Calling aromatherapy an entry to other integrative healing practices, she finds teaching about essential oils challenging at times. Many people listen to companies that don’t always promote scientifically sound and safe practices.

ASKINS, D.N. P., AG N A. N G. A H -

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An advocate for essential oils after personally experiencing their healing power, Gaskins frequently uses them along with other healing arts like guided imagery or Reiki to relieve patients’ pain and reduce anxiety. She appreciates the additional expertise she gained from the Center about the evidence backing essential oils. Living in Northern Virginia, Gaskins relies on her knowledge of the science of aromatherapy when explaining the practice to other healthcare providers and advocating for its use for patients. “When I’m talking with providers who pooh-pooh the idea of this kind of practice, having research and evidence supports my practice and position,” says Gaskins, who recently started her own consultancy, Seek Wellbeing, an online platform of self-discovery and healing. “That helps me support my patients and it helps me help other clinicians grow in their knowledge base.” Essential oils are powerful tools for healthcare practitioners, with dangers around the corner if used incorrectly. That makes the Center’s role in helping healthcare practionioners learn to use aromatherapy properly, safely, and effectively more integral than ever. +++

ESSENTIAL PARTNERS The Center’s aromatherapy program found vital allies in the husband-wife team of Bill McGilvray and Jill Rivard at Plant Extracts International in Hopkins. For the past decade, they have hosted classes and workshops on essential oils taught by authorities in the field, including a recent event about essential oil chemistry with E. Joy Bowles.


They continue to mentor many nurses, DNP students, and graduates. Because their company is in compliance with all FDA guidelines governing the use of essential oils in manufacturing, they don’t offer health information to the general public. They do enjoy answering questions and working with healthcare professionals, and sharing expertise gathered from being in the industry for more than 30 years. McGilvray and Rivard aim to promote safety, such as minimal use of essential oils, and address questions or needs from healthcare practitioners by formulating essential oils into specific products. It’s rewarding for them to be involved with the Center and support its pursuit of embedding essential oils and aromatherapy more deeply into healthcare settings.




“We would love to see essential oils fully researched and incorporated into healthcare as adjunctive materials,” McGilvray says. “The leadership and encouragement from the Center has moved things forward enormously.”



The Center’s aromatherapy education gives practitioners the tools they need to establish firmly rooted programs for people of all ages facing myriad circumstances. Johanna Gaskins, D.N.P., A.G.-P.C.N.P., C.C.A.P., a nurse practitioner with experience in critical care and home health, can attest to its real-world applications. She came to the University for a DNP in integrative health and healing, aiming to ladder her aromatherapy certification into preventive care work.

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Armed with scientific expertise and clinical experience, Tomaino aims to challenge unfounded claims—and some healthcare practitioners’ skepticism about essential oils— through her teaching. “We want to provide students with current research and focus on the safe use and application methods of using essential oils with patients and for selfcare,” she says. “We provide the base understanding of essential oils and the chemical properties of them.”

Tomaino points to lavender and its nearly 100 chemical constituents; each one has the potential to interact and react in the human body. She aims to impart knowledge, such as research documenting that when someone inhales lavender, their heart rate, blood pressure, and other physiological metrics may improve, plus people feel calmer.




Remembering Earl Bakken Center friend, mentor, and namesake Earl Bakken passed away on Sunday, Oct. 21. Through articles and columns in past issues of Mandala, you have come to understand the Center’s deep connections with Earl and the many ways in which he has influenced our work to advance wellbeing for all.

academic courses for graduate students, such as those in the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching programs, and a two to three week rotation for medical students. Below, past students who attended these immersive learning experience share memories of meeting Earl.

Since 2004, the Center has been hosting integrative healing and wellbeing courses in Hawaii. These include

In 2017, the Center dedicated a special issue of Mandala to Earl. To view this magazine online, visit

It was an honor to meet Earl Bakken. Having trained as a mechanical engineer, I was able to fully appreciate his contributions to the field of medicine. His life story is an inspiration, and his altruism is humbling. I hope that I can leave a positive legacy like him. – Tracy Marko

I was always in awe when in the presence of Earl, thinking of all the things he did with his life to help make other’s lives better. The first time I went to Hawaii, it was just two other DNP students and me. As we toured TuTu’s House, Earl’s garage, and the hospital that he inspired and helped create, I just couldn’t help thinking how wonderful, brilliant, and caring this one man was. He was also the man to invent the first wearable pacemaker; my daughter Christy, who was born with a congenital heart defect, has had a Medtronic pacemaker since her early 20s. She is now 40 and the mother of 2 children – all this is possible because of Earl.

I was part of the first group of DNP students to study on the Big Island in 2010. The learning experience I found most impactful was meeting Earl Bakken. Earl prepared folders and stacks of books to discuss with the students Mary Jo Kreitzer brought to him. He took hours engaging in conversation that expanded my mind in ways I didn’t know were possible. I had been a nurse for only three years when I met Earl. He made me feel confident that the world was an enormous place with infinite learning opportunities, and I had made a sound decision by choosing to study integrative health. I am humbled to have been impacted by such an incredible human being.

– Megan Voss

The special experience listening to Earl’s vision and wisdom for the future of healthcare and his Aloha Spirit provided inspiration for my integrative nursing career.

– Katelyn Erickson

I greatly appreciated Dr. Bakken’s kindness in welcoming me into his home. He lived a very inspiring life! My classmates and I were touched by his generosity to the world and hospitality for so many! – Robin Sautter I remember walking into Earl’s home and touring his power and water plant. He was very gracious, welcoming, and curious about our experiences in Hawaii. – Justin Laube

My favorite memory of that visit was seeing the progression of Medtronic pacemakers from the earliest to the newest. Christy & I hold Earl in a very special place in our hearts. – Jan Tomaino Earl was a wonderful man, and what a huge loss for all who were able to be close to him. I remember first meeting him in Kiholo Bay, Hawai’i in his conference room. This first thing he said after greeting me was “Have you ever heard of Medtronic?” He was interested in providing minority women leadership opportunities at his organization. Earl was concerned that minority women were not being highlighted, and he trusted the education of students attending the U. He shared the calendar of his life and we discussed projects he still wanted to do stating “let’s get something a three year project, I don’t know how long I’ve got for anything longer than that.” I thought this man was extraordinary and I felt big being around if I had arrived somewhere great in my short life next to him.

– Johanna Gaskins


Treating Low Back Pain Earlier in Life BY KEVIN COSS As a society, we’re starting to pay more attention to low back pain. The mounting public health crisis around opioid addiction, the huge costs of procedures to diagnose pain, and the aggressive treatment options like spinal surgery have spurred the search for alternative ways to treat this condition, which affects at least 40 percent of adults at some point in their lives. But what about their younger counterparts? Research shows low back pain is developing with increasing frequency in adolescents, and many carry it on into adulthood. “Clinicians and researchers are measuring pain occurrence more frequently and tracking it more closely,” says Roni Evans, D.C., M.S., Ph.D. “As a part of that process has come the growing recognition that kids and adolescents are experiencing low back pain, too—it’s not just happening in adults.” Evans, director of the Integrative Health & Wellbeing Research Program in the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, is lead author on a recently published study that shows encouraging signs for adolescents suffering from this condition. The study, funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services and published this summer in the journal PAIN, found that children ages 12 to 18 could benefit from a combination of two nondrug therapies currently used to treat low back pain in adults. Advancing integrative healthcare through research is a key part of the Center’s mission, and testing nondrug treatments for low back pain in adolescents was an area ripe for study—very little research had been done. Finding effective treatment alternatives could empower adolescents to take control of their health while limiting or avoiding the use of potentially addictive medications. It’s easy to imagine how low back pain hinders physical activities, like lifting something heavy or standing for long periods, but the condition can have many more subtle consequences. For example, adolescents may feel isolated or frustrated trying to “fit in” with friends and peers who can’t see, and therefore can’t understand, the pain they feel. Pain can also hinder their ability to concentrate or disrupt their sleep, making it harder to manage school and social obligations.


“Psychologically, it can be hard on adolescents when they are not able to do the things they want and need to do,” Evans says. “Even pain that isn’t very severe can be taxing when it lasts for long periods of time.” Why is it important to study low back pain in adolescents, rather than just using treatments suggested for adults? Adolescents’ bones, joints, and muscles aren’t just smaller versions of adults’, Evans explains. They are at a different level of biological development, meaning that a given treatment may not help younger people in the same way as adults. Adolescents are also at a different stage of psychological development, which means they may use different methods for coping with and managing pain.

Combined Therapies, Lasting Results In the study, the researchers examined two groups of adolescents with low back pain over the course of a year. The first group performed supervised exercises designed to stretch and strengthen the body’s core muscles. The second group did these same exercises, but also received a treatment called spinal manipulation therapy. This technique, commonly used by chiropractors, physical therapists, and other licensed healthcare practitioners, involves applying a controlled force to joints in the spine with the goal of restoring motion and relieving pain. Both supervised exercise and spinal manipulation therapy can be used for new cases of low back pain as well as longerstanding problems. Immediately following their three months of treatment, both groups experienced less low back pain, and there had been an 80 percent overall drop in medication use. Members of the group that received spinal manipulation however, saw a much greater reduction in the intensity of their pain, with 30 percent of them feeling 75 percent less severe pain,1 compared with just 14 percent of the exerciseonly participants.2 A full three months after treatment ended, the groups were still feeling the benefits with 70 percent of the second group feeling 50 percent less severe pain,3 compared to 40 percent of the exercise-only group.4 Craig Schulz, D.C., M.S., assistant professor at the Center and an investigator on the study’s research team, said the results were an encouraging sign.


Calling Adults with Low Back Pain

“Providing patients the option to gain control of pain with spinal manipulation therapy, along with complementary interventions such as exercise and self-management education, is a promising approach to reduce or substitute for medication use,” Schulz says. “These therapies can aid individuals in developing an understanding for how to manage low back pain on their own.”

As researchers at the Center make headway into new low back pain treatments in adolescents, they are also delving deeper into strategies for helping adults— and figuring out how to better integrate nondrug treatments into the healthcare system.

A Path to Pain Management It’s too early to say for certain that a combination of spinal manipulation therapy and exercise will benefit all adolescents with low back pain. More research needs to be done to see if the outcomes of this first study can be replicated in further research. Still, Evans hopes health practitioners will recognize that there are safe and potentially effective alternatives to drug therapies out there, and will consider referring their younger patients to chiropractors and physical therapists. “It’s really important that scientists continue to explore these and other nondrug approaches to helping adolescents with low back pain,” she said. “I think the future lies in teaching kids and adolescents how to respond to and manage their pain in ways that will best help them physically, psychologically, and socially.” +++

Immediately After Treatment Feeling 75% less severe pain



Exercise Only

Exercise + Therapy



Three Months After Treatment Feeling 50% less severe pain



Exercise Only

Exercise + Therapy



A research team led by Professor Gert Bronfort, D.C., Ph.D., in collaboration with researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh, is now recruiting participants for a multisite clinical study that aims to discover the best strategies for addressing the physical, mental and social challenges that come with short-term low back pain to help prevent it from becoming a chronic condition. The study, called “PACBACK,” is supported by federal funding from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Participants will receive two months of low back pain treatment, followed by 10 months where researchers check in periodically to gauge how much pain they are feeling. The treatment techniques will consist of either spinal manipulation therapy; self-management techniques including relaxed breathing, imagery, exercise, and lifestyle changes; a combination of these two approaches; and conventional medical care. While evidence has suggested for nearly a decade that nondrug treatments can help adults with low back pain, healthcare practitioners have been slow to take advantage of these methods in their regular practice. In addition to discovering effective treatment options, the study aims to understand the perceptions that surround therapies like spinal manipulation and self-care to figure out how these treatments can be better integrated into practitioners’ regular practice. The PACBACK study is now seeking participants ages 18 and up with low back pain. For information on participating, visit 17

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“THROUGH ONLINE EDUCATION, ANYONE CAN LEARN ANYTHING,” says Allison Gage, president of The Big Know.

“This is the democratization of education and learning!” This fall, the Center is partnering with Minneapolis-based company, The Big Know, to offer cinematic, affordable, online courses to learners around the globe.

The Big Know is only one part of a larger initiative to bring wellbeing and integrative health education to larger audiences. California-based Coursera, an online learning platform that offers courses, specializations, and degrees, is another. For many years now, the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing has offered online, for-credit courses, but these have been largely accessible to only University of Minnesota students. “What’s different about both The Big Know and Coursera,” says Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, the Center’s founder and director, “is that they are oriented as professional development opportunities or even just lowcost educational experiences for the public as a whole.” Louise Delagran, director of the Center’s Learning Resources Group, is excited about the broader reach that these new course delivery mechanisms offer. “How can we reach new audiences? How can we respond to the needs of our current audiences? These questions are driving our exploration of new platforms like Coursera and The Big Know.” Since fall 2017, the Center has been offering online, for-credit courses through Canvas, the Universitysponsored learning platform designed to serve students. Business clients who are investing in the Center’s online Mindfulness at Work course for their employees, too, are learning via Canvas. “Canvas is a strategy that we have used successfully in the past,” Delagran says. “It’s a great tool for creating a community of learning. We use it as a way to develop cohort-model courses where people learn together in a 6-week period. We can deliver video, audio, and written or interactive content in so many different ways through Canvas. There can be quizzes and many different educational tools as desired by our business clients. These are very deliberate strategies that are employed to create a feeling of community.”





Kreitzer is enthusiastic about the affordability and worldwide audience of Coursera.

“The Center has been so fortunate throughout the years to have philanthropists that recognize the importance of investing in something new,” says Kreitzer. “We have been able to establish a Strategic Innovation Fund that supports new development in areas such as innovative learning strategies.”

“Coursera is a platform for reaching learners all around the world in an accessible fashion because it is relatively inexpensive,” she says. “It provides people actionable skills that they can apply in their jobs.” The Center will offer the first specialization in integrative therapies on the Coursera platform. Health professionals who seek to further their careers by gaining new knowledge about integrative healing and wellbeing are most likely to benefit. “The ability to teach a variety of health professionals around the world is a wonderful opportunity,” Kreitzer says, and hopes that this platform will be able to inspire some of these learners to go back to school and get a degree that focuses on an integrative approach – like health coaching or a Doctor of Nursing Practice. With some 35 million learners already in their database, Coursera has the potential to reach many learners with a wide array of backgrounds

THE BIG KNOW The Big Know is focused on helping organizations offer online personal development courses to their employees. “The Big Know creates Netflix-inspired online courses for organizations,” Gage explains, “We partner with bestselling authors, celebrities, and industry experts to create fun and engaging online courses. Through our courses, we help organizations of all sizes teach the skills of health and wellbeing at higher quality and lower cost than has ever been done in the workplace. Our model is truly effective.”

“It’s very expensive to develop online resources,” says Delagran. “It takes not only the expert’s time but a whole team for instructional and graphic design, as well as programming and video production. Because online course development is such an investment, the Center needs to find a sustainable way to keep sharing its expertise. The revenue that comes from these strategic initiatives will help us add, update, and enhance content in all our online resources, much of which is offered free.” When asked why the Center is committed to working toward global wellbeing education, Kreitzer replies simply, “Why not? We’re the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing! The very core of our mission is advancing health and wellbeing around the world.” Courses offered through The Big Know and Coursera will be released to the public in 2019. Visit CSH.UMN.EDU

to learn more. +++

Taught by experts from the Center, The Big Know will add new courses on mindfulness, behavior change, and workplace wellbeing to its Being Library that is offered through employers. These courses will also be available to the public through the Center’s new digital series “Wellbeing U.” “When The Big Know approached us with an interest in creating the Being Library and having the Center’s Wellbeing Model at the core of that,” says Kreitzer, “we saw it as another great way to reach a larger audience.” Gage agrees. “The partnership is the perfect combination of the Center’s strong research and subject matter experts with The Big Know’s distribution channels and deep learning expertise.” “We are working with The Big Know to create a rich library of wellbeing topics,” says Kreitzer, “including our first course, which is titled ‘Wellbeing 101.’” 19



Today’s conventional wisdom says that the best way to live a life is to keep all the components partitioned— love, money, friends. You’re not supposed to date your boss, or go bowling with your analyst, or borrow large sums of money from your drinking buddies. We think of ourselves as a store-bought cake with a sheet of wax paper separating all the slices so that they never touch: neat, single servings. But hanging out with Doomtree, it was all one thing — social, professional, romantic. I did all of it with the same people and often at the same time. There were no hobbies and no offhours, no work - life balance; there was just writing songs and walking to SuperAmerica for cigarettes and drafting set lists and drinking with the guys and making album budgets and goofing off and collapsing into sleep tucked into the leopard print of my boyfriend’s left shoulder. None of it came apart from the rest. On stage, we were still a mess, and that was part of the magic. Someone was always bleeding into his microphone or trying to catch the mixer before the bass rattled it off the table and crashed it to the floor. The precariousness of the live show was like a watermark that proved to the audience it was all real: we hadn’t rehearsed these moments, choreographed these feelings— that was not a staged fall, that was just a fall-fall. I sweat through my clothes with the rest of the guys, full of whiskey and adrenaline and youth and anger. Stage was a place for all of the outsized feelings that didn’t fit neatly into daily life. You can’t scream in love or fury in line at the Walgreens pharmacy; you can’t roughhouse with grown men at the post office; and you can’t calmly explain to your parents that you’d rather sleep outside, under a stranger’s hedge, than in your own bed. But with a little songcraft, those dark moods were perfect grist for performance — we rattled up the biggest feelings in one another, and anyone else close enough to hear.

From My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love by Dessa, published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright (c) 2018 by Dessa. 20

On Nov. 16, 2018, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer and Dessa will present talks at the Center’s Wellbeing Experience. Prior to the event, a lively self-care festival will take place in Northrop that will include indoor nature experiences, therapy animals, aromatherapy, acupuncture, massage, health coaching, food trucks, and much more. Videos from the talks will be hosted on the Center’s website at following the event.

Photo by Bill Phelps



Wellbeing for All Campaign MAJOR GIFTS GUIDE THE


BY DIANNE LEV, Director of Development A beautiful September weekend gave me the chance to

enhance dimensions of my personal wellbeing, informed by the Center’s Wellbeing Model (at right). Biking (Health) in Door County was something I had looked forward to since spring (Purpose), and riding in glorious weather on back-country roads (Environment) with ten compatriot cyclists (Community) created an amazing fall experience. Adventuring, eating, laughing, and working together permitted me to deepen bonds and make new friends (Relationships). That’s five out of the six Wellbeing dimensions, Security being the other.

has a sturdy base, able to withstand storms and steadfastly advance wellbeing efforts. The foundation of a lighthouse often contains a cellar where provisions can be stored for times of scarcity; the Center’s endowment serves a similar purpose. In terms of our Wellbeing for All campaign, this secure base addresses our strategic priority to grow sustainably into a bright future. A lighthouse’s ground level and second story include spaces where the lighthouse keeper works and lives— an oil room, a gallery with maps and tracking devices, a kitchen, and sleeping quarters. In the metaphor, these rooms stand for the Center’s three other campaign priorities:

1) Transformational Learning, 2) Research and Discovery, and 3) Strategic Innovation

All weekend, I felt secure, led by our trip leaders and surrounded by my companions. I also enjoyed the presence of a classic symbol of security—the lighthouses we viewed while bicycling around the tip of Wisconsin’s peninsula, and ferrying to and from Washington Island. They were majestic—distinctive in location and design. Each one stood out in a unique setting, poised for duty to guide ships on Lake Michigan. es ot a

— all areas where our work is done.

My attraction to lighthouses is not random. I’ve long had a passion for ports and maritime lore (“Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”). A photograph of the Sand Island Lighthouse in the Apostle Islands, taken by Center Senior Fellow Craig Blacklock, calls to me each time I look at the cover of the Spring 2017 issue of Mandala. A print of his photo hangs prominently in the home of Center founder and director, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer. As I cycled, a metaphor began to take shape—lighthouses… the photograph…Mary Jo…the Center. I played with the notion of the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing as a lighthouse, standing confidently with beacons of wellbeing light streaming out into the world. The lighthouse offers a helpful image to describe several recent developments that have made our work more solid and relevant than ever. So join me in exploring this metaphor of the Center as a lighthouse. In 2017, we announced Earl Bakken’s legacy gift devoted to strengthening the Center’s foundation. Our lighthouse now 22

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1) Learning — Each year, I am awed by the thousands

A lighthouse’s uppermost level contains a lantern room, where its spotlight generates an essential focal point for all to see. In the Center metaphor, the lantern is Dr. Kreitzer. Her view sweeps the landscape, and her leadership becomes a beacon when piloting innovations or mentoring students, staff, and faculty. We are honored that Dr. Goepfert’s estate also established the Center’s endowed Leadership Chair in Integrative Health & Wellbeing. Dr. Kreitzer will be the first to hold this prestigious title, and the Chair will be in place to support the work of future visionary directors.

2) Research — Center faculty currently lead four studies

Like lighthouses on the Great Lakes, the Bakken Center is grounded, resilient, and positioned to lead ably in these dynamic times. New resources to support our foundation, emerging strategic priorities, and the Center director role now empower our leaders to take on new challenges and explore horizons to better understand how individuals, organizations, and communities can flourish. It’s now our time to stand tall and shine the light. +++

of academic and community learners that explore and grow through the Center’s courses, workshops, and events. In 2018, the Center’s graduate education program was strengthened through a legacy gift from University professor emeritus, Dr. A. Marilyn Sime, who passed away two years ago. Dr. Sime valued the Center’s commitment to create courses and workshops that permit professionals with diverse perspectives to come together and learn in transformational ways.

funded by the National Institutes of Health that will generate new evidence about integrative therapies, mindfulness, and the healing power of community. A grant from the NCMIC Foundation now supports two integrative research fellows, expanding the Integrative Health & Wellbeing Research Program’s capacity. NCMIC’s remarkable leaders understand that the care we provide for people with painful chronic conditions will change only when health providers are presented with compelling evidence about integrative healing practices and patients’ abilities to take charge of their health.

3) Innovation — The Center is adept at incubating ideas. To advance emerging innovations, we have relied on seed grants from forward-thinking philanthropists. This was true for the Mindfulness in Education and Nourishing Minnesota initiatives, and we are grateful to those efforts’ early supporters (described in previous issues of Mandala). Yet entrepreneurial ventures take time to gain traction and prove their merit, and it’s been challenging to secure grants that will sustain the work for the long term. Proactively addressing this dilemma, the Center established a Strategic Innovation Fund that can be tapped at pivotal junctures when an initiative needs an infusion of resources beyond what has already been secured. A timely gift from the estate of Dr. Mary Goepfert this year gives the Fund a solid balance for advancing innovation and taking worthwhile strategic initiatives to scale. The full story about Dr. Goepfert’s legacy appears on page 7.

CAMPAIGN UPDATE With our Wellbeing for All campaign, the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing is proud to contribute to the larger University of Minnesota’s Driven campaign. Both multi-year efforts are successfully on pace toward their goals—ours of $12 million and $4 billion at the University level. More importantly, these campaigns are accomplishing exactly what they set out to do—focus priorities, secure game-changing private support, and ready this remarkable enterprise of higher education, research, and public engagement to address the global challenges of today and tomorrow. For the Bakken Center, the Wellbeing for All campaign has generated an excitement and momentum to advance beyond our goal and continue working intensely on several fronts. First, building on NCMIC’s formative gifts, we have set out to establish the nation’s first Integrative Health & Wellbeing Research Fellowship Program. We will train the brightest, most passionate, emerging researchers to rigorously study benefits of mindfulness, physical movement, integrative healing practices, and self-care so that, with credible evidence, people can confidently enhance their lifestyle choices and overall wellbeing. Second, we will continue to pursue strategic Wellbeing initiatives and opportunities, and take those that have proven their merits—like Mindfulness in Education—to a larger scale. The future calls for the Center’s expert teams to utilize their insights and skillsets to impact more individuals, workplaces, and communities. We’ll use far-reaching educational technology as well as the strengths and capabilities of trained leaders in their own clinics, schools, businesses, and nonprofits. Read more about these innovative educational approaches in the story on page 18. As we head toward the Bakken Center’s 25th anniversary in 2020, I invite you to join in the Wellbeing for All campaign! Each one of our priorities will advance due to your contribution of any amount. I look forward to discussing your passions soon—now could be a perfect time to plan a year-end gift that makes a difference in ways that matter most to you! Please contact me at or 612-624-1121.

23 Mayo Memorial Building MMC #505 420 Delaware St. S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55455


BECOME A HEALTH COACH Are you interested in partnering with people to help them make self-directed, lasting changes to their health and wellbeing? Become a health coach. The Center's master's degree in integrative health and wellbeing coaching program is currently open for applications. Learn how you can change the world by becoming a health coach at Z.UMN.EDU/HC.

SAVE THE DATE Join us on MARCH 27, 2019 , for a Wellbeing Lecture featuring Pilar Gerasimo, author of “The Healthy Deviant.” Details coming soon. Visit CSH.UMN.EDU to learn more.

TAKE A COURSE AT THE CENTER THIS SPRING Earn academic credit while improving your health and wellbeing! The Center’s academic courses are open to students at all universities and members of the community. Learn more about our spring academic courses and register at Z.UMN.EDU/CENTERCOURSES.


EXPLORE WELLBEING AT WORK IN ENGAGING ONLINE COURSE Mindfulness at Work is an experiential, completely online course designed to teach core mindfulness skills while also exploring specific applications to the workplace setting. The course explores key mindfulness traits and how they relate to essential workplace skills, such as presence, emotional regulation, resilience, cognitive flexibility, and communication, all of which are critical skills for thriving at work. By exploring these topics from the perspective of the workplace, participants will gain an understanding of how to apply evidence-based techniques to help them succeed on the job. This course is 6 weeks in length, with weekly course work taking 30-45 minutes per week to complete, and formal home practice of 10 minutes per day. Course begins in January. Learn more and register at Z.UMN.EDU/MINDFULNESSATWORK