Events & Workshops

Race to Nowhere

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Karuna School held a public screening of Vicki Abeles’ documentary film, “Race to Nowhere,” followed by facilitated discussion groups at the Harvey Wheeler Center in Concord, MA.

“Race to Nowhere” is an award-winning documentary about the need for school reform in the face of the current policies and practices of American schools that are obsessed with testing, performance and competition. The film offers a glimpse into the impact these practices have on the physical and mental well being of students and calls for more humane schools in which students can learn in a stress-free environment of support and collaboration.

The facilitated discussion groups following the film focused on identifying the guiding principles that we would like to see for our children’s education, how to bring real change to our schools and how to help students deal with stress.

For more information about this film and the movement for school reform it has fostered, please click here:

Talking to Kids about Sex, the Internet, Stress and Drugs

A Workshop Series for Parents

March 4, 2011
April 1, 2011
May 6, 2011

Presented by Dr. Sharon Maxwell, clinical psychologist, educator and author of The Talk: What Your Kids Need to Hear from You About Sex

Dr. Sharon Maxwell3 Nights/3 Critical Topics

Do you stay awake nights wondering how your kids are handling these important topics, what guidance you can give them, and how you can get them to listen to you?

We are raising our children in a high stress culture of extremes. Sex has become a “benefit”, drugs and alcohol a “normal” part of dealing with the pressures of adolescence, and the Internet a “necessity” for social acceptance. How do we stay on top of the world our kids are entering? How do we stay connected and offer a healthy, responsible way of dealing with these issues?

Dr. Maxwell is an award-winning author, educator, and practicing clinical psychologist. Her work has been featured in TIME Magazine, US News and World Report, Working Mother, The Boston Globe, on NPR, Oprah and Friends, and Fox News. The Boston Parents Paper has voted Dr. Maxwell a 2009 Family Advocate of the Year.

Reflecting on the success of Making Friends With Our Minds: A Mindfulness Training for Adults and Teens

October 15-17, 2010
Facilitated by Daniel Rechtschaffen

We are thrilled to report that the mindfulness training weekend, Making Friends with Our Minds, that took place on the weekend of October 15-17 went incredibly well. Daniel Rechtschaffen inspired both adults and teens with his authenticity, insight, and skill. Fifty people attended Friday night’s Mindful Community Night, in spite of the dramatic weather. The evening provided both an introduction to mindfulness, some instruction and sitting practice, as well as a discussion of how mindfulness can be integrated into school settings. Clips from the video that we took of Friday night will soon be available on this site.

On Saturday, over fifty adults gathered for a day-long retreat that included talks on mindfulness, several periods of meditation, a silent lunch with walking amidst the spectacular fall trees, and ample opportunity for questions and answers.

Twenty-six teens participated in the Teen Mindfulness Training on Sunday. The amazing group of five young adults who formed the “Teen Team” designed a day that flowed from council circle to meditation instructions to mindful eating to movement. The participants were very enthusiastic about the day and, like the adults the day before, expressed interest in The Karuna School creating an ongoing practice group. We are in the process of creating a mindfulness practice group for adults and another one for teens and will let everyone know the details of time and location very soon.

Participant Feedback:

There were a lot of good questions and really helpful answers. I think the practice of embracing what comes into our minds during meditation and then bringing the mind back is a good way of keeping balance and being accepting of ourselves.

–Adult Participant

I enjoyed the opportunity to have a day of meditation and have some techniques thrown in. I think that Daniel is doing some very vital work at this point in history.

It is inspiring to know he is doing this with young people.

–Adult Participant

I most appreciated Daniel’s presence and his way of helping me be compassionate about myself when I’m impatient meditating.

–Adult Participant

The training met so much more than I was expecting!
I was able to make a personal connection to my own life. I also felt it was very helpful to have some practical aspects to take home and use right away, both personally and professionally.

–Adult Participant

I appreciated Daniel’s model of vulnerability and joy! I’ve never been taught in a group like that.

–Adult Participant

This was an easy event for a solo newcomer to enter. It deepened my practice. What kind leaders and participants!

–Adult Participant

It was a great joy!

–Adult Participant

Daniel was wonderful. I especially appreciated his ability to
make this meaningful for my son at the teen workshop. What a wonderful
role model for a way to be in the world with presence and compassion.

–Adult Participant

I appreciated the small groups where we spoke about events in our lives and used mindfulness to help us gain control when we loose focus.

–Teen Participant

Previous Events Offered By The Karuna School

2010 Events


SEEDS of Peace: Forging Friendships That Will Change the World

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Giving Back to Our Local Community

Service Day Saturday, May 1, 2010
The Food Project, Lincoln, MA


Teens and the Internet: Transforming the Experience of Childhood

Friday, April 30, 2010
Film: PBS FRONTLINE: Growing Up Online
Dr. Sharon Maxwell, clinical psychologist, author and internationally recognized speaker led a discussion on teen internet use after the film.

2009 and Older


Re-Visioning The Learning Journey
A Chautauqua on Values in Education

May 30, 2009
Facilitated by our Board Member, Ward Mailliard of the Mount Madonna High School in Watsonville, CA, and his former student Ryan Oliver.

Watch video clips from our Chautauqua!

Video #1: The Learning Journey Rubric
Video #2: The Learning Journey Rubric – Kids as Gifts
Video #3: The Learning Journey Rubric – Return
Video #4: The Learning Journey Rubric – Holographic Perspectives
Video #5: The Learning Journey Rubric – Dragon of Complexity

Communicating with Compassion: Foundations of Non-Violent Communication

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In this day-long workshop facilitated by Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, we explored how to reframe the way we express ourselves and listen to others to bring more understanding and compassion into our relationships.

Ventolin And Xerostomia