Opportunities for Practice


August 12, 2021


“Really being mindful of the interactions that I have when I’m teaching people [about inclusion] relates closely to how we navigate mindful meditation “




This month’s conversation was with Alex Lisowski, who is Awaken’s Assistant Treasurer to the Board of Directors. In this conversation, Alex shares some amazing insights about the intersection between mindfulness and diversity and inclusion, as well great advice for all mindfulness practitioners. I hope you enjoy it!

Awaken Pittsburgh: It seems like most organizations say they care about diversity and inclusion now, but some do a lot more than others. Can you say more about how mindfulness and intentionality affect an organization’s efforts towards inclusion?

Alex: Yeah, I think there is surface level intentionality and taking the beginning steps towards getting involved in diversity and inclusion. Awaken does a good job by offering bias awareness training since a lot of organizations tag unconscious bias to their training for employees. I think that’s great and a lot of corporations do that, but it is important to take it a step further and measure it in a way that’s impactful to your employees. So, making sure employees actually reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace shows an organization is being intentional and mindful about their efforts.

Awaken Pittsburgh: Do you think there is a line that needs to be navigated between dropping our preconceived notions during interactions like we practice in meditation and recognizing that people have vastly different circumstances and experiences than our own?

Alex: I think it’s a series of building blocks on both sides. From a mindfulness perspective, you kind of start your practice by learning what type of meditation works best for you. And there are so many different ones out there that it might take a while to find what is actually beneficial for you. And I think it’s the same when you’re talking about taking the steps to understand different perspectives through the diversity and inclusion lens. And it’s building blocks where you are also taking baby steps; acknowledging that you have a lot to learn and aren’t familiar with the space. I think when you mesh the mindfulness piece together with that journey you realize that there is so much more out there and you’ve been a little closed minded in your perspective. That it’s best to approach each unfamiliar interaction with a fresh lens approach and an open mind. We do that by allowing a space for people who have not had the same equity and experiences as us to speak and teach us something…As much as we like to think that we’re diverse and inclusive in all our interactions, being mindful is knowing when to step back and giving others this space so that you can learn.

Click here to read the whole interview.




“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller

You may have had the good fortune to have attended an Awaken program delivered by Trinley. She is an amazing meditation instructor, wonderful friend, and human committed to making the world a better place. She and her husband Michael recently moved to Northern California (where Michael is from) to live on Michael’s family land. Unfortunately, they lost everything this past week in the River Fire. I’d like to share this Go Fund Me link to help them https://gofund.me/523aa2f8. I invite you to donate any amount to help them. You can also help by supporting Michael’s tea business and purchasing a subscription at: viatiempo.com.




Saturday Online Guided Mindfulness Meditation
August 14th @ 9:30am

Awaken Pittsburgh is offering guided meditations open to anyone twice a month! This is a chance to practice in community together. Each session follows the same format: introductions, a period of guided meditation, and then a chance to support one another, discuss how our meditations are going at home, and ask any questions we have about practice. We hope to see you there!

In August, our topic is Soaking in the Good.

There is no charge for attending, but donations to support our work are appreciated! Sing up here:




In-Person Day of Practice
Saturday August 21st 9:00-4:00

Join us for a full day of practice where we will support one another in deepening our mindfulness awareness through a variety of contemplative and embodied practices. If a whole day is not workable for your schedule, you can come for half! Morning 9:00-12:00 or Afternoon 12:45-4:00. If you plan on eating a mindful lunch as part of this day (12:00-12:45), please bring a bagged lunch. Water and tea will be available.

If you are not fully vaccinated, we ask that you wear your mask for the entire day and social distance while eating or drinking. For those who are vaccinated, masks are still strongly recommended when not eating or drinking.

If you are interested, find more information and register here.

Please note that you must register by 5:00pm on 8/20/21.




Awaken Pittsburgh needs additional support to continue to provide programming to those who cannot afford it, which allows us to continue connecting mindfully to those most in need. Please donate and support our work.




Do you have a skill or talent that could support a growing nonprofit? Do you have experience in Nonprofit Management or Leadership? We are always looking for folks to help out. Find our postings here.


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