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The Metta Yoga Project

October 2, 2018

The Michigan School of Psychology is pleased to welcome back Dr. Ronda Diegel for our second annual hosting of The Metta Yoga Project on campus on Saturday, November 3 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. 

Last November, Dr. Diegel led an atrium full of community members – all ages and ability levels – through a peaceful hour long yoga session followed by a 15 minute loving kindness meditation in support of Equality Michigan.  Below, Dr. Diegel shares an update on The Metta Project and talks about what continues to inspire her work.

Last year, we raised money for Equality Michigan.  Who is The Metta Yoga at MSP supporting this year, and why?

Last year, all money raised by The Metta Yoga Project went to groups that protected the environment or the civil rights of various populations endangered by the current political wave.  This year I expanded the vision of the Metta Yoga project to include other causes. Towards that end, we’ll be raising money for the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence (MVPGV).   

A few events factored into my selection.  In my previous life, I worked as a school psychologist and, in the early 2000’s, co-authored a risk assessment instrument for schools to use when assessing possible dangerous behaviors.  Unfortunately, mass shootings – in schools, workplaces, and recreational events –  have increased rather than decreased.  I am always heart-broken when I watch the news and see the lives lost and devastated by the senseless violence and, truthfully, enraged that organizations with deep pockets and influence (particularly the NRA) work to defeat all attempts to legislate sane/protective gun laws.  

This issue has particular resonance to me as a psychologist.  Appropriate background checks before guns are sold to the mentally ill have the potential to not only prevent mass shootings, but also to decrease suicide rates and violence against women (women in the US are 16 times more likely to be killed by gun violence than women in other high-income countries).

After the Parkland, FL high school shooting I was inspired by the courageous, powerful, wise response of Parkland students.  I’ve wanted to do something that both supported their efforts and touched our local communities here in Michigan.  After exploring several organizations, I selected the MVPGV.  They are an affiliate of the States United to Prevent Gun Violence a national non-profit organization focused on supporting state-based gun violence prevention programs.  MCPGV and its partners work collaboratively to prevent gun violence through community action and stronger gun laws.

I hope that MSP faculty, staff, and students will join us on November 3rd!  Not only will there be yoga, meditation, and bagels, but Mike Diegel (famous MSP library clerk and my husband) will provide live guitar and vocals throughout the yoga practice.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP to [email protected].  

Dr. Ronda DiegelRonda Pretzlaff Diegel, PhD, LP is a licensed clinical psychologist, yoga teacher, and mindfulness meditation teacher. Dr. Diegel was previously an adjunct member of MSP’s faculty and often teaches mindfulness in MSP’s Continuing Education Series. 

For more information on The Metta Yoga Project, check out this Q&A with Dr. Diegel from last fall.