“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character and will. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.”
- William James
(The Principles of Psychology, p. 463)
Barbara Veale Smith
As the founder of Undefended Heart, Barbara welcomes the opportunity to partner with you to meet your goals in the arenas of conflict prevention, attention training and stress reduction. Barbara has a rich background in education, community service, attention training and contemplative practice. She is committed to transforming consciousness toward the unfolding of a just, sustainable, peaceful planet.
Barbara is a two time graduate of Boston College, earning a BA in History and Economics in 1985 and an M. Ed. (Masters of Education) in Religious Education in 1994. She was formally introduced to contemplative practice and mindfulness while serving in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 1985, but her deep love of the sacred was nourished throughout childhood. In the JVC, she served as the Assistant Director at Jobs with Peace for two years which gave her a great beginning in the world of non-profit organizations. She went on to serve as the Communications and Marketing Director for the United Way of Holyoke, Massachusetts, and later served seven years on the Board of Directors of the Notre Dame Mission Volunteer program, a non-profit organization and AmeriCorps partner that places 400+ full-time volunteers in low-income communities to promote literacy and education.
She began her teaching career in 1993, sharing her love of the world's religious traditions and contemplative practices with high school students. In 2006 she apprenticed herself more deeply to silence, guided by several non-dual teachers, while also raising a family and actively serving her community. In the spring of 2014, she was thrilled to co-create the contemplative practice curriculum and assist in training the leadership team for the inaugural PULSE Institute, a project of Sustained Dialogue.
She is a Board Certified Coach (www.ContentmentCoaching.com), specializing in Open Focus™ attention training and Psychosynthesis (a spiritual psychology), facilitating embodied living of one's purpose, meaning and values; and a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Teacher. She is a life-long learner and educator, with a passion for peace and a heart for service. Along with her husband Mark, she is the co-founder of Harmony Lake Ranch. Barbara and Mark have two young adult children, Conor and Tara. Along with her daughter Tara, she is the co-author of The Invisible Present, a book about attention, being human and being happy.
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