Center for Mindfulness Compassion and Resilience

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Arizona State University has created the Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience to help students and staff cope with the strains of modern life. Teri Pipe, ASUs chief well-being officer, will tell us more about the center she created.

KIM COVINGTON: ASU HAS CREATED THE CENTER FOR MINDFULNESS, COMPASSION AND RESILIENCE TO HELP STUDENTS COPE WITH THE STRAINS OF MODERN LIFE. WITH US IS TERI PIPE, CHIEF OF THE WELL BEING. THE WELL BEING OFFICER. HOW DID YOU BECOME A WELL BEING OFFICER?

TERI PIPE: THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION. IT'S A GREAT STORY. THE STUDENTS, EVERY YEAR, THE STUDENT LEADERSHIP PROVIDES PRESIDENT MICHAEL CROW WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WHAT THEY SEE AS PRIORITY NEEDS AND PROBLEMS AND SUCCESSES. TWO YEARS AGO THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT PROVIDED PRESIDENT CEO WITH RECOMMENDATIONS. AROUND THE TOP OF THE LIST WAS THEY WANTED AN EXECUTIVE LEADER TO BE TASKED WITH STUDENT WELL BEING. THEY DIDN'T STOP WITH STUDENTS. THEY WANTED TO SEE FACULTY AND STAFF INCLUDED IN THE UMBRELLA. THE WAY THEY DESCRIBED WELL BEING WAS SO ARTICULATE AND BEAUTIFUL FROM MY PERSPECTIVE. IT WASN'T SIMPLY ABOUT THEIR PHYSICAL WELL BEING OR EMOTIONAL WELL BEING. IT WAS FINANCIAL, SOCIAL, SEXUAL, SPIRITUAL, VERY HOLISTIC. THEY WERE VERY CLEAR FOR THEIR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, THEY WANTED WELL BEING TO BE NEAR THE TOP OF THE LIST OF CONSIDERATIONS, AND THAT IT WASN'T ENOUGH TO BE FOCUSED ON THEM, ON THE STUDENTS. BECAUSE OF THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, THEY WANTED STAFF AND FACULTY INCLUDED IN THE UMBRELLA, WHICH I THINK IS GENEROUS AND INSIGHTFUL ON THEIR PART.

KIM COVINGTON: THAT IS INSIGHTFUL AND SO SMART. WE HAVE BEEN HEARING ABOUT THE NEED TO BE MINDFUL SINCE WE HAVE IPHONES AND VIDEO GAMES AND WHAT CAN THE CENTER TEACH ALL OF US?

TERI PIPE: GREAT QUESTION. THE WELL BEING OFFICE IS BROAD. IT HAS TO BE MINDFULNESS. I WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT THIS IS A CORE COMPONENT OF THAT. IT'S ACTUALLY A LEVER TO INFLUENCE WELL BEING MORE BROADLY. THE CENTER HAS COME ABOUT ORGANICALLY AND IN A GRASSROOTS WAY. BEFORE ASU, I WAS AVAILABLE FOR MINDFULNESS THERE. I CAME ACROSS THOSE WITH MINDFULNESS. IT'S THE ABILITY TO FOCUS ON THE PRESENT MOMENT WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT THE PAST OR FUTURE.

KIM COVINGTON: THAT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE, HOW DO YOU TEACH SOMEONE MINDFULNESS?

TERI PIPE: AGAIN, GREAT QUESTION. WE CAN TRAIN THEM TO PRACTICE JUST LIKE AN ATHLETE WOULD PRACTICE, AND TEACH THEM TO FOCUS ON BREATH.

KIM COVINGTON: GIVE US AN EXAMPLE.

TERI PIPE: SURE, YOU WANT TO DO THIS WITH ME?

KIM COVINGTON: SURE.

TERI PIPE: OKAY. SIT WITH YOUR FEET FIRMLY ON THE FLOOR, LET YOUR ARMS BE RELAXED AND NOT TENSED. ALLOW YOUR GAZE TO SOFTEN A BIT.

KIM COVINGTON: STILL THINKING ABOUT THE COMEY TESTIMONY. YOU HAVE TO FACE IT. CLOSE YOUR EYES.

TERI PIPE: SOFTEN YOUR GAZE. AND THEN JUST ALLOW YOUR ATTENTION TO REST ON YOUR BREATH. YOU DON'T NEED TO CHANGE ANYTHING OR CHANGE ANYTHING AROUND.

KIM COVINGTON: SO NO HUMMING OR ANYTHING?

TERI PIPE: NO HUMMING. PEOPLE CAN ADD THAT. IT'S NOT NECESSARY. JUST SITTING QUIETLY LIKE THAT AND BEING STILL RG ALLOWING YOUR FOCUS TO REST ON SOMETHING. IT MIGHT NOT BE THE BREATH YOU ARE FOCUSED ON. IT COULD BE SOMETHING YOU ARE EATING OR DRINKING OR A CONVERSATION WE ARE HAVING. IT COULD BE WALKING. IT'S NOT SO MUCH THE BREATHING, BUT THE QUALITY OF ACTIVITY AND THE ATTENTION YOU ARE GIVING IT.

KIM COVINGTON: WE ARE MISSING LIFE, AREN'T WE? WE ARE NOT STOPPING TO SMELL THE ROSES OR LISTENING TO EACH OTHER. WHAT DO YOU HOPE THIS CAN DO FOR US, AND THE STUDENTS AND FACULTY?

TERI PIPE: I THINK IF WE CAN TEACH PEOPLE, I KNOW IF WE CAN TEACH PEOPLE SKILLS, IT WILL BRING A SENSE OF PRESENCE AND COMPASSION FOR THEMSELVES. YOU ARE PROBABLY LIKE THIS TOO. THE PEOPLE WE ARE HARDEST ON OUR OURSELVES. IF WE CAN BRING THAT QUALITY OF CENTEREDNESS AND PEACE TO OURSELVES AND COMPASSION TO OURSELVES, IT'S MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BRING IT TO OTHER PEOPLE. NEVER HAS OUR WORLD NEEDED COMPASSION AND MINDFULNESS MORE THAN NOW.

KIM COVINGTON: CAN IT BE MEDICINE? I MEAN, IS THIS GOING TO KEEP US HEALTHIER?

TERI PIPE: IT DOES IMPACT BLOOD PRESSURE, BLOOD SUGAR. EVEN AGING AT THE CELLULR LEVEL. THAT USUALLY GETS PEOPLE'S ATTENTION.
KIM COVINGTON: SO OUR LIVES DEPEND ON MINDFULNESS?

TERI PIPE: IN A WAY, YES, AND CERTAINLY THE QUALITY OF OUR LIFE WILL. OUR COLLECTIVE DREAM FOR THIS, STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF, ANYONE THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH AS, WILL KNOW MINDFULNESS IS A CORE VALUE OF THE UNIVERSITY AND THAT WE WILL IMPACT SOCIETY THROUGH THE WORK AND SHOWING UP IN THE WORLD.

KIM COVINGTON: CAN THE PUBLIC COME TO THE CENTER? I KNOW IT IS FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY, BUT IS IT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?

TERI PIPE: IT WILL BE SOON. WE HIRED AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. WE ARE STARTING WORKSHOPS AND RETREATS AND OTHER COURSE WORK, AS WELL AS APPS, AS YOU MENTIONED THE IPHONE BEFORE. THERE IS LOTS OF WAYS TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP US BE MINDFUL.

KIM COVINGTON: THIS IS SO NEEDED. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I APPRECIATE YOU. I'M GOING TO HONE MYSELF TO THE BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

KIM COVINGTON: FRIDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," IT'S THE JOURNALIST ROUND TABLE. WE TALK ABOUT THE EMERGENCY TO TACKLE THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC AND WE TALK ABOUT THE LATEST TO THROW HIS HAT INTO THE GOVERNOR'S RACE. THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M KIM COVINGTON FOR ALL OF US HERE AT "ARIZONA HORIZON," HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Teri Pipe: Arizona State University's chief well-being officer

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