About Shine

The signature program of the Center for Mindful Awareness is SHINESM (Support Honor Inspire Nurture Evolve). This program consists of a carefully structured ten-week series of workshops, firmly anchored in current cognitive neuroscience. SHINE program participants meet weekly for 1-2 hours of meditation, learning and practicing informal mindful awareness skills, conversation and reflection. (Timing is flexible based on organizational and participant needs.) An experienced SHINE facilitator leads the group in various activities designed to introduce and integrate the benefits of mindfulness into daily life.  The program ultimately builds resilience so people can respond more effectively to the unique challenges they face.


At the CMA, we truly believe that mindfulness practices can benefit every individual, every family, every community. For many of our program participants, SHINE is the only place where they truly feel safe, heard, and loved.

CMA staff model, mentor and supervise key members of host organizations, in order to train them to implement a SHINE program. The goal of working with partner agencies is ultimately to embed mindful awareness practices into their programs and throughout their culture. We provide professional development for staff as well as resources for clients. The end result is a happier, healthier, and more effective organization overall.

Since 2000, SHINE has provided hundreds of workshops to more than three thousand at-risk individuals, who would not otherwise have access to these life-changing practices, and the staff who support them. The Center has provided SHINE programs to:

  • Low-income urban families
  • Families who are homeless
  • Teen parents
  • Women with mental illness, in recovery, and returning from incarceration
  • Low-income elders in subsidized housing
  • Women living in transitional housing
  • Urban youth
  • Teachers and paraprofessionals in inner-city schools
  • Hospice residents
  • Cancer patients

The vast majority of SHINE participants report improved moods, increased ability to regulate their emotions, and decreased anxiety. In a Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Study, participants in our ElderSHINE program had reduced blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after eight weeks, compared to a control social support group.