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kram training at california endowment

At the core of our service offerings is expertise in the design and facilitation of 

•    Measurably effective
•    Demographically-targeted
•    Outcome-specific behavioral change interventions

Applied Mindfulness training engagements begin with a needs assessment, typically a phone consultation, at which time we can assess client needs as well as organizational culture.  Based on client’s articulated needs and our assessment we will design an outcome-oriented scope of work prior to beginning service delivery.

Applied Mindfulness is interested in transformational change for individuals and at the level of organizational culture.  Therefore we prefer to create long-term relationships with clients and to train in a progressive sequence beginning with foundational concepts and developing from these into more elaborate schema.  The trainings list articulates core elements of this sequence.

Trainings are available in half-day or day-long modules.  A daylong module can deepen a single training area or combine two training areas.  Customized trainings are also available.  We also work in extended sequences (6-12 months) with clinical staff or other types of teams to help transform organizational culture, the way that providers relate to their work, and the nature 
of the clinical or client interaction.

Applied Mindfulness trainings are highly experiential in nature.  We create immersive learning environments where theoretical understanding is grounded in experiential practices so that clients can feel and understand the theory from inside.  The structure of trainings is driven by the inquiry process of the group.  Training is therefore not didactic, but responsive to the needs and concerns expressed by the group on a given day.

At this time, Applied Mindfulness has two books that articulate our methodologies.  Transformation through Feeling: Awakening the Felt Sensibility is available to the general public through our website and  Applied Mindfulness: Inner Life Skills for Youth is available as an additional resource to our training for providers working with at-risk youth.

Cultures of Awareness

posted Nov 4, 2011, 11:20 AM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 4:12 PM ]

Learn simple practices for increasing engagement in the workplace by creating a culture of mindfulness and emotional equilibrium that honors what’s real, creates intentional non-hierarchical space for community, and holds space for purpose.  Through the norming of simple awareness practices in the workplace culture, learn to tap your own wisdom and the wisdom of your organization in a different and deeper way.


•    Understand why 75% of employees are fully disengaged from their work
•    Learn the characteristics of a mindful workplace culture
•    What does it mean to show up completely?
•    Envisioning the work community we want
•    Ways to open/ close meetings
•    The power of check-ins: creating space for what’s really here that no one is talking about
•    An introduction to The Council process

Nature Awareness Training

posted Nov 4, 2011, 11:19 AM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 12:06 PM ]

nature awareness training

Humans are an expression of nature at the deepest level, and until the last several hundred years we always lived deeply embedded in natural cycles- day and night, seasons, weather.  It is only recently, as human civilization has become more ‘advanced’ that we’ve begun to separate ourselves from these natural cycles.  At this time in history, most people spend most of their time in a temperature-controlled box- either at home, at work, or in the car.  Yet because of our unique evolutionary inheritance, we carry nature within us all the time, whether we recognize it or not, and our own internal dysregulation can be a pointer to the fact that we are out of balance with our own nature.

Nature awareness trainings move us intentionally, mindfully, towards a deeper connection with nature as a direct avenue for more directly connecting with ourselves.  These trainings are based on the understanding that direct felt contact with nature is an intrinsically healing and vitalizing experience, that it taps directly into our innate and primal human programming and helps to surface our own organic intelligence.

Nature awareness trainings take place in nature, and offer participants the opportunity to step into a more primal or indigenous version of themselves.  As we come to understand and experience the enchantment with nature, we better understand that not taking care of it is the same as not taking care of ourselves.

•    Understand nature-deficit disorder, and how it shows up in humans
•    Understand the necessity physiologically, and psychologically, for connection with ‘wild’ nature, or ‘non-human mediated’ nature
•    Practice orienting and attuning to nature and observe its effects on personal wellbeing
•    Experience a variety of practices for attuning to nature, such as grounding, and tracking techniques
•    Practice mindfulness in nature
•    Understand how practices of nature attunement are directly applicable to attuning to ourselves and one another
•    Learn how to ask nature for help with problems, or as an avenue to insight
•    Look to nature as a source of inspiration, creative problem-solving, and design genius
•    Figure out how we can build connection with nature into our daily lives

Creativity Training

posted Nov 4, 2011, 11:17 AM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 12:06 PM ]

creativity training

When we are truly creating, we can find ourselves in a flow state where time seems to stand still, and we see the world through slightly different eyes.  Creativity is a force that we can learn to invite into our lives to help us solve problems in new ways, see situations through fresh eyes, and create new outcomes.  Many people find themselves stuck in habitual patterns of thinking and responding: creativity allows us to step ‘outside-of-the-box’ to see and understand in new ways.   Creativity is one example of a kind of direct connection with a deeper or less-conscious knowing.  To cultivate creativity we have to learn how to surrender a little bit; how to get ourselves out of the way.  In this training, we will explore cultivating flow states.  We can’t make ourselves creative; but we can remove impediments to creativity, and that’s what we’ll explore doing.

•    To spark your creativity
•    Understand creativity as a flow state
•    Learn about the neurobiology of flow states
•    Understand that creativity is not something that you have to create; it is something that you have to dis-inhibit
•    Examine how most of us have been trained out of creativity through the priorities of the western educational system
•    Articulate some of the primary characteristics of creative flow states, including deep concentration, curiosity, direct engagement, and not-knowing
•    Explore how to create the initial conditions that support creativity
•    Explore creativity as a state of active listening and receptivity
•    Experience creativity as stepping out of ‘shorthand’ representations we have of the world
•    Practice a variety of exercises to help open creativity
•    Understand how we can support creativity arising regularly in our day-to-day lives

Mindfulness Training

posted Nov 4, 2011, 11:16 AM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 12:05 PM ]

mindfulness training

Would it help you to be more centered, calm, and clear at work and in life?  Learn to center the body and mind in present moment awareness for greater equilibrium, stress reduction, and effectiveness in the workplace.  Awareness Training (mindfulness) is the practice of bringing attention to the present moment: to the direct experience of what is happening 'right now'– in a particular way, on purpose, and without judgment.  It is the practice of dropping beneath the ‘thinking mind’ into a more direct experience of our feelings and our bodies.

This practice of non-judgmental awareness represents a radical shift in how most people are paying attention, and in how they are experiencing the moment-to-moment unfolding of their lives.  Practicing mindful awareness is the practice of training attention, and it forms a foundation for a new way to relate to our experience, and the experience of others.  This experience is less reactive, less caught up in ‘doing’ and in ‘fixing’, and less likely to get locked into fixed afflictive patterns.

The sustained practice of mindful awareness has been extensively documented to transform the information processing structures of the brain and to have documented positive effects on a variety of physiological, emotional, and cognitive functions.


•    Learn about basic goodness or ‘true nature’ as an introduction to awareness training
•    Learn about the power of the present moment
•    Learn to find and intentionally place attention in a particular way
•    Experience mindfulness of breath and body sensation
•    Learn practices for self-care, stress reduction, and inner clarity
•    Learn basic principles of mindful awareness, such as ‘What you focus on gets bigger’
•    Understand how to utilize these practices to align vision with values

Emotional Awareness

posted Nov 4, 2011, 11:14 AM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 12:05 PM ]

Emotional Self-Awareness

In our highly ‘thinking-oriented’ culture, it is rare for people to have clear, stable, moment-to-moment contact with their feelings as they are happening. Yet in feeling is our direct contact with experience, and an immeasurable source of information and intelligence.  In many indigenous and traditional cultures around the world, this is in fact the primary way of knowing.

This way of knowing is present-moment centered, directly engaged, and of infinite scope.  It is always available to us.  It conveys information of a type, density, and texture not available through discursive thought.  It connects us to ourselves, to one another, and to nature.  Its vocabulary is embodied experience; its logic is of the heart.  It is an antidote to the separation, disconnection, and violence of the modern world.  And this intelligence can be developed.

This training explores ways to open more to feeling, and to feel more accurately.  Through awareness training and interpersonal practices, we’ll expand our contact with our own emotional self-awareness and its integration into our decision-making.


•    Learn about emotional intelligence from an evolutionary perspective as part of the neuro-sequential model
•    Learn about the ‘logic of the heart’ from a neuro-vascular physiology perspective
•    Learn how social conditioning and pain avoidance as well as avoidance of negative emotions diminish our access to the full intelligence of feeling
•    Explore the moment-to-moment experience of feeling states in the body at the intersection of sensation and emotion
•    Learn awareness-based techniques for accessing and clarifying emotions and for working with negative emotionality
•    Learn why certain emotional states need to be discharged, and practice doing this
•    Learn the interpersonal ‘sessioning’ technique for accessing and discharging emotional accumulation

Somatic Awareness

posted Nov 4, 2011, 11:13 AM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 12:05 PM ]

Our bodies are always ‘talking’ to us, offering us information about our subtle and not-so-subtle responses to the internal and external environments.  Yet many of us are in the habit of ‘checking our bodies at the door.’  We step out of, or fail to recognize or utilize the wisdom of our physical bodies in our work.  For many people this disconnection from the experience of the body represents a fracturing of experience, and deprives us of an entire language and realm of information that can be an invaluable support in our decision-making, self-knowledge, and therapeutic relationships. 

How can we integrate the intelligence of the body in our moment-to-moment decision-making as a source of reliable and direct information?  How can we learn to trust gut feelings or access the information buried in a headache?  In our ‘thinking-oriented’ culture, many of us are cut off from this deep and direct source of wisdom.  How can we learn to develop a more inclusive relationship with our own body in our decision-making?  In these trainings, we begin to deeply explore our relationship with our own somatic awareness.


•    Learn about the somatic field of the body and the mind-body connection
•    Explore the information we can gather from our breathing, heart-rate, and muscle tension
•    Explore the kind of body you ‘wear’ to work, at home, and on vacation
•    Examine how the body itself, and your body specifically, responds to 'spatial power'
•    Learn to understand how the body itself, and your body specifically, responds to threat
•    Examine how the body itself, and your body specifically, holds boundaries
•    Explore how the body itself, and your body specifically, sends you resources for emotional equilibrium all the time
•    Learn techniques for inviting more of the body’s awareness into your day-to-day life and decision-making

Applied Neurophysiology

posted Nov 3, 2011, 7:58 PM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Nov 19, 2014, 3:11 PM ]

The human nervous system organizes and mediates our lived moment-to-moment experience.  Our nervous system is a remarkably adaptive
(plastic) system that is constantly being conditioned through our experiences, and has been conditioned in this way since we before we were born.  Much of the dysregulation, dis-ease, and suffering that people experience is a result of lack of nervous system coherence.  Much of this lack of nervous system coherence arises from brilliant survival strategies embedded in the neurophysiology that served us well at one time in our lives, but that are no longer adaptive.

These trainings focus on helping people understand the functional and hierarchical structures of the nervous system, and how they are shaping our experience moment-by-moment.  As we begin to understand these structures and their functionality, we can coordinate ourselves into greater alignment with their operation to support our own wellbeing at the most primal level of our physiology.  These trainings also begin to map the terrain of recovering resilience at the level of the nervous system, and form a foundation for understanding a neurosequential model of working with self and others.


•    Understand the micro/macro activation/ de-activation cycles of the nervous system

•    Understand how these cycles form a template for experience

•    Examine why human beings have been so successful in evolutionary terms
Understand our threat detection and response systems
•    Inquire into what it means to have a healthy threat response system

•    Understand the stress response as the threat response

•    Differentiate the layers of the nervous system and how they process information

•    Learn about the language of the reptilian, mammalian, and ‘thinking’ brain

•    Learn about how to be in direct conversation with the reptilian and mammalian brain

•    Understand how accurately experiencing the evolutionary structures that are activated by a given stimulus, e.g., a threat, allows us to process information at the appropriate evolutionary level so that we can resolve it

•    develop a felt experience of the moment-to-moment state of the nervous system in a variety of states, especially relaxed versus stressed


posted Oct 31, 2011, 10:16 PM by Gabriel Kram   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 12:04 PM ]

At the foundation of our work is self-care training.  Providers in direct service work face a variety of challenges arising from the increasing acuity of the needs of the populations they serve.   Since much of what we do in direct service is happening through human relational contact, as clients face increasing levels of stress and trauma, those of us working with them are in turn experiencing increased stress levels.  This phenomenon, known as ‘vicarious’ or ‘secondary’ trauma or ‘empathic fatigue’ can have profound impacts on providers.  Increased and chronic stress has a cascade of negative health repercussions, including the obvious (hyper-tension, difficulty sleeping, lack of enjoyment of work) as well as immune dysregulation, negative emotionality, and effects on memory.  Additionally, trauma in clients can activate unresolved emotional issues in providers, or simply become overwhelming.  This can result in providers being less willing to, or capable of attending to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of their clients.  For this reason, it is imperative that providers have access to tools for self-care, stress reduction, and for managing/ working with their own trauma and negative emotionality so that they can maintain equilibrium and vitality in the face of the intensity of demands made on them by their clients. 


Self-care trainings give providers concrete tools and practices for:

•    Examining own core beliefs around the importance (or lack of) they place on self-care
•    Understanding how those core beliefs were created and re-enforced
•    Understanding that the practice of self-care is the practice of changing habits
•    Understanding that habit change is the practice of re-wiring behavior
•    Understanding the neurological basis of behavior change in neuro-plasticity
•    An understanding of the importance of cultivating the relaxation response
•    The physiology of the relaxation response, and why it needs to be practiced
•    Cultivating the relaxation response, increasing equilibrium and positive emotionality
•    Exploring how to prioritize self-care so that it isn’t one more item on a to-do list
•    Mapping self-care as a response to weekly stress cycles
•    Developing a personal self-care schedule based on our unique preference

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