Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Mindfulness Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Melissa Jean

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew Olendzki


Much sound research indicates that the significant negative health impacts associated with social isolation affect increasing numbers of older adults. Thus, addressing their social isolation could be an effective means to support older adults’ wellbeing while reducing demands on limited healthcare resources. The relative effectiveness of various interventions to address older adults’ social isolation is not clear. This thesis proposes using a new relational mindfulness practice, Tea and Dialogue (T&D), that combines elements of Japanese tea ceremony and Insight Dialogue developed by Gregory Kramer. Videos of older adults engaging in variations of T&D show trusting connection indicated by nonverbal social clues and statements of appreciation. This is consistent with what research suggests the practice’s qualities of generosity, dignity, social connection, and creativity as well as its components (drinking tea, reminders of interdependence, and meditative dialogue) should support. Wisdom and sensitivity gained from life experience are assets for T&D and baby boomers who tend to be proactive in adopting practices that support good health might help to promote the practice’s wider adoption while helping to fight ageism.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.