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Mindfulness

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Dean Huyck

on 13 October 2016

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Transcript of Mindfulness

Mindfulness in Education
What is it?
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Who are we?
And why are we here?

Where are we going?
What is it?
Brain stuff & Benefits
Day in the Life
Lots of Exercises
1, 2, 3, Clap
Jennings (2009) Review of Educational Research
"Beyond just conveying the course material, teachers are supposed to provide a nurturing learning environment, be responsive to students, parents and colleagues, juggle the demands of standardized testing, coach students through conflicts with peers, be exemplars of emotion regulation, handle disruptive behavior and generally be great role models;...the problem is we rarely give teachers training or resources for any of them.
Expanding interest in the plasticity
of the brain, the brain's ability to produce
new neurons and neural connection across
the lifespan, has prompted exponential increase
in cognitive and affective neuroscience research.
What does the research
say about Mindfulness?
Holzel et al. 2011
Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.
S0?
Evidence-based research is indicating
that mindfulness training fosters enhanced
resilience and optimal brain function.
Correlations between mindfulness training
and increased thickness of cortical structures
associated with attention, working memory, processing
sensory input, self-reflection, empathy and affective
regulation (Holzel et al. 2008; Lazar et al. 2005)
Mindfulness increases health by reducing stress,
anxiety and depression; enhancing neuroendocrine
and immune system function; improving adherence to
medical treatments; diminishing need for medication;
altering perception of pain; increasing motivation to make
lifestyle changes; and fostering social connection and enriched
interpersonal relations.(Ludwig and Kabat-Zinn 2008: Ruff
and Mackenzie 2009)
Core Practice
http://www.onlinemeditationtimer.com/
"What" Skills - Take hold of your mind
Observe!
Be curious about what you feel.
Just notice how you feel, without trying to make feelings stronger, or weaker, go away, or last longer.
See how long your feeling lasts, and if it changes.
Notice how feelings flow in and out of your body like waves.
What comes through your senses? Touch, smell, sight, sound, taste.
Be like a non-stick pan, letting things slide off of your body and your emotions.
Describe!
Use words to describe your experience.
Use “fact” words, call a thought “just a thought”, call a feeling “just a feeling.”
Try to let go of your emotions about being “right” or about someone else being “wrong” while searching for words to describe.
Don’t paint a colourful picture with words, or magnify a situation with words. Try to avoid emotional words.
Participate!
Get “lost” in an activity.
Let go of your sense of time
while you are doing something.
Allow yourself to be natural in the situation.
"How" Skills
See, but don't evaluate
Take a non-judgmental stance. Just the facts.
Unglue your opinions
Accept & Acknowledge
...each moment, the helpful, the harmful... but don't judge it.
Don't Judge your Judging
Do One Thing at a Time
Play by the Rules
Act as skillfully as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in, not the situation you WISH you were in.
Let Go
...of “right”, “wrong”, “should”, “should not”, “fair” and “unfair”,
vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness that hurts you and doesn’t work.
10.When you’re annoyed at waiting for a stop sign, or anything else for that matter, just SMILE (Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhism)
Finding Compassion in the Dark
How to's & basics
Teaching?
There's a huge difference between teaching something
"I think ought to be useful" and something "I know,
from experience, is useful." You don't need to have
significant expertise - rather, you just need to practice
yourself so you have an experiential foundation on which
to base your teaching.
Developing Mindfulness - a process of human development -
is not like other cookie cutter curricula that can be learned in a day, outlined in a resource guide and then be brought in to the classroom using a transmissive approach.
Teachers may be able to pick up tips and techniques from these
types of trainings that benefit student learning and development
More comprehensive benefits depend on a felt sense of presence
that is embodied by the teacher in everyday classroom actions
and instructional strategies.
Training teachers to embody mindfulness by
developing a foundation of personal practice
creates a wider and more sustainable benefit
to the system of education.
1.Mind your feet while you’re grocery shopping.
2.Mind your chair while you’re typing.
3.When going through a door, think ‘I am I’ (Fourth Way exercise)
4.When putting on your shoes, try and put on the one you usually put on second first. (also Fourth Way, Ravi Ravindra)
5. Drink your tea without sugar if you’re used to sugar in your tea. If you’re used to no sugar, just once put in sugar. Works with coffee too obviously. The point is, like the previous one, to become aware of patterns and how hard it is to break them. The point is NOT to change the pattern. A new pattern is just as much a pattern as the old one. Just create a bit more flexibility.
6.When you have to wait for something (grocery line, pc starting up etc.) breath consciously.
7.Cleaning the house: be aware of every step of cleaning.
8.Keep a diary of your thoughts and feelings. The goal isn’t to create literature, but to observe. So don’t mind repetition.
9.Notice… take a deep breath; notice five things you can see. notice five things you can hear; notice five things you can feel (shoes, pants, hair against forehead etc.)
Mindfulness is not a function of speed;
"mindful" does not mean "slow">
Remember that noticing when you're gulping
your food or tearing out of the house running late is as valuable as relishing a hot shower or noticing the quality of sunshine streaming through a window.
Choice vs Decide
“Discipline" is a difficult word for most of us. It conjures up images of somebody standing over you with a stick, telling you that you're wrong. But self-discipline is different. It's the skill of seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no power over you. It's all a show, a deception. Your urges scream and bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry no stick at all. You give in out of habit. You give in because you never really bother to look beyond the threat. It is all empty back there. There is only one way to learn this lesson, though. The words on this page won't do it. But look within and watch the stuff coming up-restlessness, anxiety, impatience, pain-just watch it come up and don't get involved. Much to your surprise, it will simply go away. It rises, it passes away. As simple as that. There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience.”
Perspectives
A Day in the Life
Two Rules
Greet the day!
genuine greetings support positive outcomes in the classroom
Why not adapt the same methodology to the morning?
Lots of possibilities... it's personal
Greeting the day involves witnessing and participating in its arrival, and your gesture of acknowledgment merges mindfulness with your behaviour.
Intentions
develop a mental, emotional or attitudinal model of the way you intend to encounter activities.
The process of working with intentions is ultimately more important than whether or not you actually fulfill them.
Intention focuses attention and mindfulness harnesses awareness to sustain focus.
Be Gentle and Kind with Yourself!
On To School
The way you segue between your personal and professional responsibilities matters both in terms of the quality of your actual experience and its influence on what follows.
Stop before you start
Core Practice
Greetings
Modelling
By being more aware of your own thoughts and emotions you are more likely to develop a reciprocity with students that will support their development and promote social and emotional learning (SEL)
Thinking
We are not are thoughts.
-makes critical feedback easier
-more willing to take risks intellectually
Such intellectually openness, combined with empathy, is among the roots of tolerance for oneself and others.
-essential for intellectual engagement and mastery
Revisit Intentions
mindful lunch
patience
mindful conversation
core practice
Full Circle
Teachers give all day...
be mindful of the transition at the end of the day
breath... see the sky... feel the air..
Reflect... satisfaction... gratitude... challenges... intentions
Be here and now
Resources
Thanks for being here
Resources
2 Questions
What is the only thing we truly own?
Are we our thoughts?
The Honest Guys
You Tube
Fredrickson (2011) - has looked at something called respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), which is a variation in heart rate affected by a cranial nerve called the Vagus nerve.
Keltner (2010) has linked the Vagus nerve to the experience of compassion; sure enough, Fredrickson has found that people with higher RSA report more moments of close, warm, positive connection with other people—and the more they report these moments, the more their RSA increases throughout the day.
What’s more, her studies show that learning loving-kindness meditation leads to increased RSA, in conjunction with positive emotion and social connection. So it seems that meditation may encourage an upward spiral of positivity and compassionate connection to others.
When meditation “experts” watched videos of other people suffering, functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) scans of their brains showed heightened activity primarily in structures that are important to care, nurturance, and positive social affiliation—that is, brain regions that orient them toward the well-being of other people.
In non-meditators, the videos of suffering were more likely to engage brain structures that support unpleasant feelings, such as sadness, aversion, or pain—which, in turn, makes people distressed and want to remove themselves from the situation.
Yet when non-meditators receive training in contemplative practices—specifically those that center on compassion or the Buddhist notion of loving-kindness—Singer and Davidson have observed shifts in brain activity, with relatively less activation in neural structures that support unpleasant feelings and thinking about one’s own self. When these new meditators tried to extend compassion toward sufferers in the videos after as little as a week of training, the researchers saw changes in their brain response that suggest an intentional shift toward greater concern for the victim.
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