We, Michael Porterfield and Tina Doley Carlson, are the founders of Aware Oasis. Our relationship was forged through years of extensive mindfulness mediation together at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, partner of the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology within the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
We feel strongly about the benefits of mindfulness, the cultivation of love, resilience, gratitude, compassion, and joy, and how these qualities are the essential building blocks that combine to make a better world.
We recognized that what we found so beneficial was not readily available to a wide range of people, groups and populations, thus we were inspired to create a space for all people to enjoy an inclusive community, where they can learn and practice together, relaxing in awareness and celebrating the present moment.
"As a full speed ahead member of the 21st century workforce, the idea of simply sitting was hard for me to even contemplate, but with the gentle guidance of the wonderful Michael Porterfield, I have learned to embrace the downtime. Mindfulness has helped me wake up from a life of autopilot action and reaction. It gives me space between my emotions and my reactions, allowing me time to reflect and respond more thoughtfully. Mindful awareness has helped me to sit with what is instead of worrying what should be happening. It's made me realize that if I want to make changes in the world, I have to start with changes in myself. As Michael says, "it's a practice" - and it's one that is helping me to become more aware and present in my daily life. It's been a true and ongoing gift!"
- Cynthia Cassutt