Mindfulness, Youth, and Social Justice: A Conversation with Dr. Dan Siegel, Dr. Sará King, and Caverly Morgan

Mindfulness, Youth, and Social Justice: A Conversation with Dr. Dan Siegel, Dr. Sará King, and Caverly Morgan

The Old Church (map)

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A Friendraiser for Peace in Schools
Moderated by Gia Naranjo-Rivera & Featuring Teens from Peace in Schools

We invite you to gather together with us in Beloved Community! Join us for a panel discussion and “friendraiser” to benefit Peace in Schools. Peace in Schools is a nonprofit created to support the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of our youth. We offer for-credit mindfulness classes in ten high schools in Portland—and mindfulness trainings for educators and youth-serving professionals.

Youth in our nation are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and violence. We recognize the relationship between these crises and the history of inequity, systemic oppression, and institutionalized racism that destroys our social fabric. Youth feel these deep injustices in their bodies, minds, and hearts—undermining their ability to experience healthy, supportive, and loving relationships.

Mindfulness, when taught with the intention of supporting social justice in schools, can give rise to healing, compassion, empathy, altruism, healthy relationships, and a wise heart. It can create empowered school climates and cultures within which students can thrive—and experience safety and true belonging with one another.

We are honored to offer up a space to celebrate the youth and to hear heartfelt stories about how their lives have been transformed by their involvement in Peace in Schools, to share the Wheel of Awareness contemplative practice led by Dr. Dan Siegel, and to open a community conversation around how we can further support our youth and come to a deeper understanding about the relationships between mindfulness and social and ecological justice.

Sliding scale ticket prices:

  • $15 - Supported: for those with currently limited financial resources who will avoid further hardship while benefiting from access supplemented by the community.

  • $25 - Fair: for those with sufficient financial resources who can pay fair value for the experience.

  • $35 - Rebalancing: for those with more than enough financial resources (personal or institutionally supported) and a desire to support access for others to help rebalance systemic inequity.

  • Extra donation: If you’d like to offer an additional donation with your ticket reservation to support the work of Peace in Schools, you may do so with the donate button on the registration form.

    *Sliding scale language borrowed with permission from Rev. angel Kyodo williams.


  • 5:45 Doors open

  • 6:30 Program begins

  • 8:30 Formal presentation ends

  • 8:30-9 Q&A


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Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, founding co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities. Dr. Siegel’s psychotherapy practice spans thirty years, and he has published extensively for the professional audience. He serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which includes over 70 textbooks. Dr. Siegel’s books include his five New York Times bestsellers: Aware: The science and practice of presence; Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.: The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include: The Developing Mind (2nd Ed.), The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, Parenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.), The Yes Brain (also with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D). He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and TEDx.

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Dr. Sará King is a mother, a UCLA-trained education philosopher, political scientist, critical theorist and neuroscientist who will begin a post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Neurology at OHSU in Portland this fall. She is an internationally recognized thought leader in field of mindfulness and social justice in schools, and enjoys public speaking and advocacy work at the intersection of these fields. Sará is also an author, entrepreneur, and yoga and meditation teacher who founded MindHeart Consulting, a company dedicated to creating cutting edge research projects and community healing experiences through "The Science of Social Justice" — a framework she developed that uses the power of an intersectional understanding of the biopsychosocial impact of systemic oppression on marginalized populations, combined with the application of the science of well-being to understand how to create research and healing projects that serve the aims of social justice in underrepresented communities. She has studied and practiced hatha yoga, Buddhist philosophy and vipassana meditation for the past 14 years, and has completed a 500 hr. Mindful Yoga and Meditation teacher training at Spirit Rock. She is also an artist who uses poetry, contemplative photography, creative writing and painting as her favorite forms of exploring self expression, and blends these into her personal contemplative practice and professional mindfulness consulting work. She teaches corporate mindfulness seminars through WITHIN Meditation in San Francisco, and has been featured in LA Yoga and VoyageLA magazines.


Caverly Morgan is the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Peace in Schools — a nonprofit which created the nation's first for-credit mindfulness class in public high schools, as well as Presence Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to igniting personal transformation and collective awakening. She has been practicing mindfulness since 1995, including eight years in a monastic setting. Prior to her pioneering efforts with Peace in Schools, Caverly formerly worked for nonprofits serving people with special needs. An artist and educator, she brings insight, passion, warmth and humor to her transformative work with students of all ages and experience levels. Caverly leads meditation retreats, workshops, and online classes internationally. She has been a visiting teacher at Open Circle, the Science and Nonduality Conference, Insight Meditation of Seattle and Charlottesville, Against the Stream in San Francisco, MNDFL, and the New York Zen Center of Contemplative Care. Caverly also speaks publicly at conferences on topics including contemplative practice, social entrepreneurship, authentic leadership, and mindfulness education, and has been featured in publications such as Mindful Magazine and The New York Times.

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Gia Naranjo-Rivera is a PhD Candidate in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, with a focus on child and adolescent development, health equity, trauma, and translational research. Growing up in a low-income, trauma- and adversity-affected family and community fueled her passion to ameliorate suffering and promote thriving. She has directed programs for at-risk youth, advanced human rights in the US and abroad, served as a Public Health Analyst at the National Institutes of Health, conducted health equity research, and taught mindfulness and yoga. Gia recently received the US Excellence in Public Health Award from Johns Hopkins University for her research assessing the impacts of the Peace in Schools mindfulness program on adolescent health, with an emphasis on trauma-affected and marginalized youth. She holds Master’s in Public Administration and MA in International Relations degrees from Syracuse University, and a BA in Political Science with a focus on human rights from Columbia University.


Teens from the Peace in Schools program will offer stories about how their lives have been transformed by their involvement with Peace in Schools.

Buckhorn Springs Silent Retreat - Ashland, OR

Buckhorn Springs Silent Retreat - Ashland, OR

Buckhorn Springs (map)

Resting As The Stillness of Being

A seven-day silent retreat led by Caverly Morgan, Vivienne Verdon-Roe & Latifa Till

July 27-August 2, 2019
Buckhorn Springs | Ashland, Oregon

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In the refuge of this serene natural setting, together we’ll practice the ‘non-practice’ of simply being. The backdrop of silence will allow presence to shine at the forefront of experience. The group sessions will allow us to bring consciousness to what sometimes gets in the way.

The retreat will consist of sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement, group sessions, and private guidance with Caverly Morgan. Mindful movement and qigong will be offered by Vivienne Verdon-Roe, and Latifa Till will lead Sufi practices. Join us as we rest in spaciousness, exploring our direct experience of presence. Join us as we rest in the stillness of being.

Buckhorn Springs is a historic retreat center tucked in a hidden valley outside Ashland, Oregon. Nestled in its own valley, it's set against a dramatic backdrop inside the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. It has been run by the Sargent family for decades — they have preserved a piece of Oregon’s history to share with their guests.

The permaculture principles on the land create a more resilient and bountiful landscape and guide the sustainable forestry and organic agriculture. The 120 acre property contains diverse micro-habitats, from moist riparian cedar forest to sun-baked grassy slopes to oak and madrone mosaics.

Chef Leslie Sargent has been preparing meals at Buckhorn for almost 30 years. Creating in the kitchen has always been Leslie’s passion. The dishes are always fresh, with ingredients from seasonal harvests, local farmers and primarily from Buckhorn’s on site organic gardens.


Pricing & Discounts:

Early Bird Tuition (good through June 27th):
Use code EARLYBIRD when registering

  • Single : $1,295 (private)

  • Double : $1,085 (shared)

Regular Tuition (June 28th-July 20th):

  • Single : $1,395 (private)

  • Double : $1,185 (shared)

  • New! Bring a Friend Discount: If you register with a friend who has never attended a retreat with Caverly before, we want to offer you both a special discount upon registration! Email alyssa@presencecollective.org for more information. (Referral discount offered for retreaters who have not previously attended a Peace in Schools or Presence Collective retreat.)

  • New! Returning Participant Discount
    Have you attended a previous retreat with Caverly before? If so, we want to offer you a discount to say thanks for being part of our community! Before you register, email alyssa@presencecollective.org for your discount code. (May not be combined with Early Bird discount).

More information:

  • Registration includes: single or shared accommodations; three daily meals, tea, & teachings.

  • Visit www.buckhornsprings.org to learn more about the location & accommodations.

  • We will be working to arrange carpooling from the Portland metro area to this southern Oregon location.

  • Please note: we will be accepting donations at the end of retreat. We keep our costs low in part to allow for these donations to be given. Please keep this in mind when registering and preparing to attend retreats.

Daily retreat schedule (subject to minor changes):

7:00am Mindful Movement (optional)
7:30am Sitting Meditation
8:00am Breakfast
10:00am-12:00pm Morning group
12:30pm Lunch

2:30pm Short teaching on group requested topics (mindful eating, etc.)
3:00pm Afternoon group/Sit-Walk-Sit
4:30pm Bio Break
4:45-6:00pm Mindful Movement
6:00pm Dinner
7:15pm Evening group



Caverly Morgan is a meditation teacher, nonprofit leader, and visionary. She is the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Presence Collective, dedicated to igniting personal transformation and collective awakening. She is also the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Peace in Schools — a nonprofit which created the nation’s first for-credit mindfulness class in public high schools. Caverly blends the original spirit of Zen with a modern nondual approach. Her practice began in 1995 and has included eight years of training in a silent Zen monastery. She has been teaching contemplative practice since 2001. Caverly leads meditation retreats, workshops, and online classes internationally. She has been a visiting teacher at Open Circle, the Science and Nonduality Conference, Insight Meditation of Seattle and Charlottesville, MNDFL, the Mind and Life Conference, Esalen, and the New York Zen Center of Contemplative Care. She has also been interviewed on Buddha at the Gaspump.


Vivienne Verdon-Roe came to qigong after a lifetime of activism, the highlight of which was winning an Academy Award for a film about women and peace.  For twenty years, she’d suffered from chronic Lyme Disease and finally couldn’t work anymore.  She was introduced to a very powerful form of qigong that healed her Lyme and brought her back to life.  And has given her so much more.

Vivienne is known for her ability to activate a tangible unified healing qifield, experienced as an ocean of unconditional love.  With her guidance, the separate self relaxes its hold, old conditioning dissolves and a big “yes” to life is awakened.  

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Latifa Till considers herself a student of the human heart. She believes that ease, joy and love are our natural state, and it’s useful to notice, and be kind with, what gets in the way of these. Her spiritual path is reflected in the Rumi quote, “Your task is not to seek for love, but rather to seek for and find all the barriers you have built within yourself against it.” She believes our work as individuals, and in community, is to open the heart, search for and try to speak truth, explore the mysteries of union, and celebrate the glories and sorrows of being in a human incarnation. She studies Japanese Tea Ceremony, and is a senior Dance Leader with the Dances of Universal Peace and a Sheikha with the Sufi Ruhaniat International.


Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel 30 or more days prior to the event start date, payments made will be refunded in full (less a $50 processing fee).

  • If you cancel between 29 days and 1 day prior to the event start date, a nonrefundable credit (less a $50 processing fee and any non-cancelable charges levied by the venue, such as room and board), will be held for one year from the date of issue. The credit can be applied to any Presence Collective event.

  • No credit or refund is available if you cancel on the event start date, if you do not show up, or if you leave a program or event early.

  • If Presence Collective cancels: on rare occasions, due to unforeseen circumstances, we may need to cancel a program. Should this circumstance arise, you will receive a full refund.

Immortal Messages: Mindful Making – Bakersville, NC

Immortal Messages: Mindful Making – Bakersville, NC

Penland School of Crafts (map)

Caverly is delighted to offer a workshop on Mindfulness and Making at the Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville, North Carolina. She will be joined by co-teacher Joy Seidler.

That which is never born and never dies is always singing. This workshop invites you to explore ways we can source our creative endeavors from the deep river-beneath-the-river—the eternal wellspring of consciousness experienced in quiet moments of meditation and creative practice.

We’ll explore how intention and attention, spontaneous play, structured limits, and direct experience of the mystery can guide us. We’ll employ multiple crafts—including paste-paper, journal making, clay, and more—as vehicles for the practice of presence and receptivity. We’ll explore meditation, weaving creative mindful practice into life, and the role of service in the craft arts. All levels are welcome!

Awakening to the New Year: A Six-Day Retreat - Damascus, OR

Awakening to the New Year: A Six-Day Retreat - Damascus, OR

Still Meadow Retreat Center (map)

This retreat isn’t about making resolutions, though it is about intention. It’s about realizing your deepest heart’s desire. It’s about embracing change out of love and passion, not obligation and fear.

Through awareness practice, we remember who we authentically are. We remember what we authentically are. When moving through the world from that recognition, intention manifests differently than when our attention is aligned with the feeling of separation.

From separation, awareness practice is distorted into a self-improvement plan and resolutions are a familiar and painful by-product. This retreat focuses on the alternative.

Join us for an inspiring and empowering journey of self-inquiry on this silent retreat. The retreat takes place from December 28th 2019 - January 2nd 2020 at Still Meadow Retreat Center in the tranquil Oregon countryside 30 minutes from Portland. See photos of Still Meadow Retreat Center.

Activities include meditation, group discussions and private guidance sessions with Caverly, as well as mindful movement, guided imagery, journaling, and mindful walking — all within the backdrop of silence.

No experience required. All are welcome.

Sample of a typical daily schedule:

7:00am Mindful Movement (optional)
7:30am Sitting Meditation
8:00am Breakfast
10:00am-12:00pm Group
12:30pm Lunch
3:00-4:30pm Group/Sit-Walk-Sit
4:45-6:00pm Mindful Movement
6:00pm Dinner
7:15pm Group


Caverly Morgan is the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Presence Collective, dedicated to igniting personal transformation and collective awakening, as well as Peace in Schools — a nonprofit that is pioneering new depths in mindfulness education. Caverly blends the original spirit of Zen with a modern nondual approach. Her practice began in 1995 and has included eight years of training in a silent Zen monastery. 


Madeline Harmon is a mindfulness teacher, and has worked with K-12 students to help them develop personal mindfulness practices since 2011. She also carries her practice from the cushion to the mat, having completed her 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher trainings.


What retreat participants say:

The retreat provided a beautiful container for me to deeply listen to myself. All of my needs, that often get ignored in daily life, were heard and addressed. Everything was met with love I can’t wait to share this feeling in the world.
— Stephanie
This retreat is the most precious part of my year. The environment and teachings burn with love, wisdom, and deep intention. So grateful for this community and this retreat.
— Michael
It was such a profound honor to witness Caverly’s clarity, love, presence, wisdom and humor. I felt held and seen in a way that was so welcoming and compassionate. I felt accepted just as I am, with no conditions. Thank you for creating such a profound space of connection with self and sangha.
— Rebecca
This retreat was the most meaningful gift I’ve given to myself.
— Julie

We are committed to being an open and inclusive community. We accept and support diversity in age, race, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation and gender identity. Please let us know how we can fully support your retreat experience.