Who Am I?
Hello. My name is Brent Purple Oliver
and I’m a mindfulness coach in Lexington, KY. I’ve been a meditator for 20 years and the positive effects on my life have been immeasurable. In fact, meditation and mindfulness actually saved my life, which inspired me to become a teacher and help others learn these valuable techniques. I bring curiosity, skepticism, and humor to contemplative practice, which is evolving in tandem with modern science.
What Do I Do, Exactly?
I teach people practical skills to deal with issues like anxiety, depression, stress, and chronic pain. I also help them understand themselves at every level, eliminate negative habits, nurture positive ones, and cultivate deep self-transformation. By becoming more aware of our internal and external experiences, we develop amazing concentration, blistering clarity, and unshakeable equanimity. These are trainable abilities
that enhance the good in our lives and make the bad far more tolerable.
Every day there’s more precise and compelling research emerging that details just how beneficial mindfulness training really is. It can let us better regulate our emotional weather, become kinder and more compassionate, and promote overall well-being. Mindfulness is a versatile tool that can be applied to an endless variety of goals. Because of that, it has enormous potential to ease suffering and increase happiness.
Why Do I Need Funding?
I love what I do and it’s much more than just a job. It’s challenging and fulfilling and, even though I don’t make much money, I’ve never really worried about it. This is about far more than cash to me. However, that does present certain problems and I’ve run into a big one recently.
I’m certified to teach general mindfulness, which is like having an undergraduate degree. It’s a good foundation but I’ve decided build something more on top of it, to specialize in a certain area. This will require far more specific and detailed training, which will be very similar to grad school. And, like grad school, it’s very expensive and I don’t have the money.
What Am I Going to Specialize In?
I’m going to focus on providing trauma-sensitive mindfulness to underserved populations. Extreme poverty, mental health issues, and physical disabilities make it impossible for many people to be exposed to mindfulness or get the help it can provide. Institutionalized racism, sexism, and financial inequality are also huge impediments, as is discrimination based on sexual orientation and a lack of jobs, opportunities, education, and health care.
Because violence, abuse, and neglect are endemic, these populations often suffer from crippling trauma and post-traumatic stress, which leaves them extremely vulnerable. Mindfulness, like counseling and therapy, can be invaluable in these situations. However, without the proper education and skills, well-meaning mindfulness teachers can do more harm than good.
I need meticulous, thorough training in order to address these issues in a healthy way that leads to healing and recovery rather than re-traumatization. Trauma-sensitive mindfulness demands in-depth schooling with guidance and tutelage from experienced, compassionate teachers dedicated to this particular area of expertise.
How Will I Do This?
I’ll be pursuing my training with the Engaged Mindfulness Institute
, which offers one of the best, most comprehensive programs available. They have a fantastic core of instructors who are devoted to preparing mindfulness coaches to deal competently with all the issues I’ve mentioned. Upon completion of this program, I’ll be part of a vanguard of teachers capable of working effectively with at-risk populations dealing with unbelievable trauma.
This will require a massive effort and commitment from me, which I’m looking forward to. I feel like I’ve finally found my life’s work and I’m eager to get started. Unfortunately, it’s also going to cost an enormous amount of money, which I don’t have.
There’s the base price of the program, plus two separate week-long trips to Massachusetts, accommodations, and the loss of income from taking that time off. I work for myself, so I don’t get vacation days, sick days, or personal time.What’s the Bottom Line?
(these numbers are approximate)
, after the financial aid they awarded me
Two Round-Trips from KY to MA: $900
Accommodations for two weeks: $900
Loss of income for two weeks: $800Total: $6400What’s My Ultimate Goal?
After I’ve acquired the proper training, I’d like to start a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing mindfulness to the marginalized populations I’ve discussed. This will necessitate even more time, effort, and money on my part once I’ve graduated. But it will allow me to carry forward my vision of bringing free mindfulness to the masses.Why Should You Care?
Because it’s not just about my local community, although that’s where I’ll begin. The idea behind the NPO is to be able to extend our services statewide, then hopefully nationwide, and, with enough hard work and dedication, worldwide.
Imagine if mindfulness were made available to everyone, regardless of finances, social standing, location, or disabilities. Imagine if anyone, anywhere could learn to work skillfully with their minds, to relate to themselves and others more compassionately, to deal with pain so that it doesn’t cause suffering, to find happiness independent of circumstances. Millions of people could become more resilient and peaceful and the world would be a finer place.
As a species, we’re all intimately connected. No one exists in a vacuum; no one survives by themselves. We need each other. Some of our opportunities and advantages happen because of someone else’s generosity, even someone we’ve never met.
You may never meet me, but I could really use your generosity. I can’t do this alone. This idea I have of a better world, it may seem daunting and unrealistic, but I sincerely believe it’s possible. However, it’s not a solo effort. We’re all in this together.
So please, donate if you can. It will make a serious difference. Thank you so very much. I’m grateful beyond words.