Each of the dedicated participants in the iBme Mindfulness Teacher Training comes with a unique background and motivation for wanting to empower young people. We asked one of the graduates from our first Teacher Training some questions about what brought them to mindfulness and why they do what they do.
Q&A with iBme Teacher Training Graduate John Braman
How did you come to mindfulness and meditation?
I got thrown into a contemplative space as a 17-year-old at Outward Bound during the 3-day “wilderness solo” that was required. Then, many years later, I joined the staff at iBme when we offered the first teen retreat in New Mexico.
Do you remember any “aha” moments when you really started taking it seriously?
After Outward Bound, I was a US Air Force survival instructor during the Vietnam era and relied on a Transcendental Meditation practice to manage my psychological stress. Then, after being assigned to the branch that trained upcoming survival instructors, I helped develop a mindfulness module as a program standard.
What have been the effects in your life?
Mindfulness has helped me address some early childhood trauma, and the practice has been fundamental to both a 30-year teaching career and my creative process.
What made you want to teach young people mindfulness?
I think mindfulness is an essential part of the survival kit, like drown-proofing, in a culture awash in selfishness, materialism, and violence.
What setting do you teach in?
I am currently teaching mindfulness to teens and teachers in New Mexico, as well as with iBme in Colorado, while I co-direct the Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute, which I co-founded in 2016.
Can you share an anonymous story about the impact you saw on one person you taught?
A teacher from a stressed-out public school district in Northern New Mexico said this: “I have been taking care of 1,200 students a week for 25 years, and now I know how to take care of myself.”