Why Tortoise?

While there are many interpretations of Aesop’s fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare”, we closely align with the version that focuses on perseverance and ingenuity. The term “slow and steady” applies not only to the tortoise that beat the hare but also to the practice of creating a new mindset. It is a deliberate process. There are no shortcuts. However, with an attitude of kindness and curiosity, as well as confidence in the outcome, we can be like the tortoise and meet our goals no matter the challenge. The Tortoise Institute offers several services that are steeped in self-awareness and resiliency.

Our Mission

Wherever you go, there you are. Like tortoises, we carry our baggage on our backs. We take our stuff with us. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), wrote a book called “Wherever You Go, There You Are”. This book explains that living each moment fully can bring you back to yourself in a stillness that ultimately enriches your life. It describes the discipline and detached self-observation (i.e., meditation) required to achieve it. The Tortoise Institute teaches people to understand how this discipline and healthy detachment works and helps people achieve it.

The tortoise is prominently featured in cultural mythology. The tortoise symbolizes wisdom and knowledge, and is able to defend itself on its own. It personifies water, the moon, the Earth, time, immortality, and fertility. A tortoise's longevity is suggested by its long lifespan and its shell, which was thought to protect it from any foe. In African fairy tales, the tortoise is the cleverest animal. For the Chinese, the tortoise is sacred and symbolizes longevity, power, and tenacity. 

These are just some of the traits The Tortoise Institute develops in the people we work with.