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Restorative Practices 3-Day Intensive

  • Oakland, California - Fred Finch Youth Center 3800 Coolidge Avenue Oakland, CA, 94602 United States (map)

Title: Applied Mindfulness Restorative Practices (TM) model: 3 day intensive

Trainer: Gabriel Kram and Applied Mindfulness staff

Location:  Oakland, CA

Cost:  FREE to Title IV-E eligible providers, courtesy of Chabot-Las Positas Community College and Fred Finch Youth Centers. For others a sliding scale applies. $250 for students/unaffiliated individuals. $500 for educators/ non-profit professionals. $750 for government/ corporate.

Training Description:

The Applied Mindfulness Restorative Practices (TM) model is a revolutionary wellness model for individuals and organizations.  Did you know that in America in 2019, 60-80% of doctor visits to primary care physicians are stress-related?[1]  That 80% of adults have experienced a major stressor in the past month?[2] That 80% of adults have experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience?[3] That 68% of employees are dis-engaged at work?[4] That It costs more than $50,000 to train a new human services worker?[5]  

As a culture, in our medical and mental health settings, we are dealing, in isolation, with profound stressors arising from a lack of connection to ourselves, one another, and nature.  For 99% of human history, the way that we lived was all about connection. This evolutionary baseline creates the biological conditions of wellbeing, yet our modern living context represents a systematic deviation from this baseline. Restorative Practices is a transformative blended learning program designed to re-set your physiological baseline in connection through a facilitated experiential learning process that blends cutting-edge applied mindfulness, neurophysiology, relational mindfulness, creativity, and deep nature awareness.

In this deeply experiential 3-day training, we’ll take a deep dive into the Restorative Practices model, addressing its conceptual framework, and exploring practices for deepening connection with self, in relationships, and with the living world.  Advisors to this model include Dr. Stephen Porges, PhD, creator of the Polyvagal Theory, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris MD MPH FAAP, now Surgeon General of California, and Lee Mun Wah, acclaimed documentary film-maker of ‘The Color of Fear’ and master mindfulness and diversity trainer.  For more information, visit

Learning Objectives

1.     Participants will understand the human nervous system in its long evolutionary context, with a focus on understanding how modern western living undermines physiological wellbeing.

2.     Participants will assess their own connection assets, and deficits, as well as their neurophysiological baselines in responding to stress.

3.     Participants will practice a broad variety of connecting and awareness-building experiential activities, related to self, relationships, and the living world.

4.     Participants will develop a mapping of optimal practices for each of them to engage in, based on their individual assessments. 


Day 1



Introductions- Greetings


Trailer to the Restorative Practices film series


Participants take the Connection Assessment


Container setting/ Group Agreements


Conceptual framework of the Restorative Practices model




initial interpretations of connection assessment


Evolved Developmental Niche and ancestral baselines


Universal Language #1: baseline vs. threat


Nature core practices: Bird Language #1: baseline vs. threat

Day 2




Self core practices: sensory calibration, mindfulness, movement

11:30- 12:30

Polyvagal Theory: Importance of Safety




Bird Language #2: Oppression


Small group reflective listening/ synthesis


Polyvagal Theory: 4 neural platforms


Nature practices core practices: nature matrix

Day 3




Relational Mindfulness core practices: mindful inquiry questions/ authentic listening


Caucus groups/ small groups


Large group facilitated discussion: Let's get real



1:30- 2:00

Relational Mindfulness core practices: as real as me


individual assessment reflections


tailored restorative practices (small groups)


Restorative Practices plan for each participant


Closing circle

Meet Our Trainer:

Gabriel Kram

is the Convener of the Restorative Practices Alliance, the Founder of Applied Mindfulness, Inc., and a pioneer in the the (re)-emerging fields of Applied Mindfulness and Connection Phenomenology. He has led over 600 trainings in Applied Mindfulness around the United States. He is Executive Producer, Director, and Host of the film series Restorative Practices, a multi-part educational film series about the art and science of mindfully awakening connection and wellbeing. He is the author of Restorative Practices (forthcoming 2021), Keywords (forthcoming 2019), Inner Life Skills for Youth (2011), and Transformation through Feeling: Awakening the Felt Sensibility, and the novel Beginning at the End of the World. He has had the good fortune to be mentored by a number of remarkable people.


Stephen Porges, PhD, The pocket guide to the polyvagal theory

When The Polyvagal Theory was published in 2011, it took the therapeutic world by storm, bringing Stephen Porges’s insights about the autonomic nervous system to a clinical audience interested in understanding trauma, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. That book was brilliant but also quite challenging to read for some. This book makes Porges’ revolutionary ideas accessible to a wider audience, expanding the meaning and clinical relevance of this groundbreaking theory.

David Treleavan, PhD, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is an increasingly mainstream practice. At the same time, trauma remains a fact of life. This means that anywhere mindfulness is being practiced, someone in the room is likely to be struggling with trauma. This book explores how mindfulness can exacerbate symptoms of traumatic stress if not modified skillfully– and then explains how to modify practices. It distills these insights into five key principles for trauma-sensitive mindfulness. Covering the role of attention, arousal, relationship, dissociation, and social context within trauma-informed practice, Treleaven offers 36 specific modifications designed to support survivors’ safety and stability. The result is a groundbreaking and practical approach that empowers those looking to practice mindfulness in a safe, transformative way.

Jon Young, Ellen Haas, Evan McGown, Coyote’s Guide to Connection with Nature

The essential guidebook for mentors, parents, teachers, camp directors, and others wanting fun and exciting ways to connect children (and adults!) with nature. Coyote mentoring is a method of learning that has been refined over thousands of years, based on instilling the need-to-know. Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature, 2nd Edition reveals this approach and what happens to student and teacher during the mentoring process. Strategies like questioning, storytelling, tracking, mapping, and practicing survival skills will inspire student curiosity and encourage self-sufficiency. Background information will help parents, teachers and others feel more confident in introducing children to new ways of experiencing and learning about the natural world.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris MD MPH FAAP: The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was already known as a crusading physician delivering targeted care to vulnerable children. But it was Diego — a boy who had stopped growing after a sexual assault — who galvanized her journey to uncover the connections between toxic stress and lifelong illnesses. The stunning news of Burke Harris’s research is just how deeply our bodies can be imprinted by ACEs—adverse childhood experiences like abuse, neglect, parental addiction, mental illness, and divorce. Childhood adversity changes our biological systems, and lasts a lifetime.  For anyone who has faced a difficult childhood, or who cares about the millions of children who do, the fascinating scientific insight and innovative, acclaimed health interventions in The Deepest Well represent vitally important hope for preventing lifelong illness for those we love and for generations to come .

Mary Watkins and Helene Schulman, Towards Psyschologies of Liberation

Understanding that the psychological well-being of individuals is inextricably linked to the health of their communities, environments, and cultures, the authors propose a radical interdisciplinary reorientation of psychology to create participatory and dialogical spaces for critical understanding and creative restoration.

Darcia Narvaz, PhD, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality

Moral development has traditionally been considered a matter of reasoning―of learning and acting in accordance with abstract rules. On this model, largely taken for granted in modern societies, acts of selfishness, aggression, and ecological mindlessness are failures of will, moral problems that can be solved by acting in accordance with a higher rationality. But both ancient philosophy and recent scientific scholarship emphasize implicit systems, such as action schemas and perceptual filters that guide behavior and shape human development. In this integrative book, Darcia Narvaez argues that morality goes “all the way down” into our neurobiological and emotional development, and that a person’s moral architecture is largely established early on in life. Moral rationality and virtue emerge “bottom up” from lived experience, so it matters what that experience is. Bringing together deep anthropological history, ethical philosophy, and contemporary neurobiological science, she demonstrates where modern industrialized societies have fallen away from the cultural practices that made us human in the first place.

Stephen Porges, PhD and Deb Dana, LCSW, Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory

Clinicians who have dedicated their work to bringing the benefits of the Polyvagal Theory to a range of clients have come together to present Polyvagal Theory in a creative and personal way.Through the insights of innovative and benevolent clinicians, whose treatment models are Polyvagal informed, this book provides an accessible way for clinicians to embrace this groundbreaking theory in their own work.

Jon Young, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World

A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided by three basic premises: the robin, junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest; by tuning in to their vocalizations and behavior, we can acquire much of this wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit; and the birds’ companion calls and warning alarms are just as important as their songs. Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by Native peoples the world over, and science is finally catching up. This groundbreaking book unites the indigenous knowledge, the latest research, and the author’s own experience of four decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the animals and, in the end, a deeper connection to ourselves.

Stephen Porges, PhD, The Polyvagal Theory

This book compiles, for the first time, Stephen W. Porges’s decades of research. A leading expert in developmental psychophysiology and developmental behavioral neuroscience, Porges is the mind behind the groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory, which has startling implications for the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, and autism. Adopted by clinicians around the world, the Polyvagal Theory has provided exciting new insights into the way our autonomic nervous system unconsciously mediates social engagement, trust, and intimacy.

Ilarion Merculieff, Wisdom Keeper

Alaskan Unangan elder Ilarion Merculieff shares a startlingly intimate portrait of his experience growing up among the Unangan, an indigenous community that has continuously inhabited islands off of the coast of Alaska for thousands of years. Part spiritual biography, part cultural love story, he describes his work for the past 30 years bringing together Western Science and Indigenous People’s traditional knowledge and wisdom to address the most pressing problems of our time.

[1] JAMA Intern Med. 2013; 173(1): 76-77

[2] APA 2017 Stress in AmericaTM survey

[3] Felitti and Anda, ACES study, 1999 and extrapolation by Applied Mindfulness, Inc.

[4] Gallup Polls, 2015

[5] UC Davis Human Services Division, Beth Cohen, PhD