During our in-class program, we regularly ask children if they have practiced mindfulness between sessions. One little girl said, “I was at home playing school, and so we were in class and we were doing mindfulness.” What may seem cute at first is actually a very profound statement: to her, mindfulness is simply something that naturally takes place during the school day.
Through the efforts of so many of us working hard to integrate mindfulness in education, that little girl’s observation is starting to be shared by people in all parts of the educational ecosystem, from district supervisors to school administrators, social workers, psychologists, teachers, and of course, children.
We are so excited to work with you on making the little girl’s dream a reality!
We wish you a wonderful summer!
The Mindful Schools Team
Upcoming Adult Courses for Summer Several new training events are coming soon! Even if you’ve already taken these courses, please spread the word to friends and colleagues who could benefit.
For complete information about all these trainings, as well as full descriptions of the courses, please visit our Adult Training page.
New “Day of Mindfulness”
Need a refresher? Want more mindful presence in your daily interactions? Looking for a day to reflect and learn?
Join us for our first “Day of Mindfulness“.
A full day of mindfulness provides space for increased awareness, renewal of body and mind, and personal investigation into any sources of stress or unrest for you. The day will consist of guided and silent practice time, small group discussions, and mindful movement.
Whether you are new to mindfulness or a long-time practitioner, the day will enrich your practice, and deepen your awareness and well-being in everyday life.
We are piloting this new course on Sunday, July 10 from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm at Park Day School in Oakland, CA. For details and to register, please click here.
Looking for Sponsors for the Jon Kabat-Zinn Event in Feb. 2012
We are looking for sponsors to help underwrite the event that Jon Kabat-Zinn is doing in support of Mindful Schools on Feb. 17, 2012.
If you work for a company that might want to support the event, please email Laurie Grossman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her at (510) 535-6746. Thank you so much for your help!
Thank You to Everyone Who Attended Our May 1 Banquet!
We are so grateful to everyone who supported our fundraising banquet on May 1. Thanks to the generosity of more than 250 people, we were able to raise about $30,000 from the event, which will help us provide more scholarships for schools and adults, as well as to further our research efforts this fall.
If you share our vision for transforming education and helping children learn the fundamental preventive skill of mindfulness, we would be grateful for any help or advice you may have in the following areas:
1. Connecting to Large Donors (Foundations & Individuals): Your personal endorsement of our work can help establish connections with large donors. We will gladly meet them and present our business plan and strategy to convince them of the huge and cost-effective impact we can have on education.
2. Presentations: We are happy to present in front of key decision makers at district meetings or even small private gatherings.
3. In-Class Instruction: If you know of schools who would like our program, please let us know. The entire 8-week program is just $40 per child.
4. Training for Educators, Parents, and Other Adults: We have a number of training courses coming up in the next few weeks (please see http://www.mindfulschools.org/training/ for details. It is key to teach mindfulness to more adults, because they naturally understand why it needs to be shared with children.
If you have any contacts in any of these areas, please contact us.
Also, if you did not have the opportunity to donate and wish to do so, please visit our PayPal donation page.
And finally, if you would like to share feedback from the event to help us plan future events, please fill out this short survey.
Mindfulness is More Than Just Breathing
It’s easy to mistake mindfulness for breathing; often we attempt to remain focused on the breath for extended periods; instructors are continually redirecting us to our breath; in short instructions it is suggested to simply stay with your breathing; breathing often makes us feel calm. At first glance we might say, “mindfulness is about breathing.”
However, there is much more to mindfulness. Ultimately, we can learn to be mindful of anything we are experiencing – seeing, hearing, walking, eating, emotions, thoughts, etc. The purpose of utilizing our breath is to anchor the mind/attention in order to 1. build concentration and 2. know where our mind is.
Staying focused on any one thing strengthens concentration allowing us to be mindful of all our experience with more clarity and strength of mind. Staying focused on something also lets you know when your mind has wandered. If you are attempting to stay focused on your breath and suddenly you realize you have been thinking for some time, you know you have lost mindfulness. Having one thing to return to creates a good “home-base” or anchor for your attention.
With focus and awareness of where your mind is, you can remain mindful of breathing or you can choose to be mindful of any other experience. Being mindful of your range of experience can reveal underlying thoughts and habits of mind that are negative or don’t serve you. Noticing these thoughts and habits is the first step in changing them. Therefore, it’s important to expand your mindfulness beyond your breathing. Try listening to our guided audio instructions to start learning how to do this.
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Mindful Schools Seeks a Lawyer to Help with Trademarking
We are looking for a volunteer lawyer in intellectual property to help us with trademarking and some general counsel. If you are interested, please contact us.
Mindful Schools Seeks a Public Relations/Advertising Volunteer
We are looking for a public relations/advertising expert who would like to volunteer with us. If you are interested, please contact us.
About Mindful Schools
Founded in 2007, the mission of Mindful Schools is to transform education through mindfulness. We achieve this by offering in-class instruction, professional training, and other resources to support mindfulness in education.
Our program has used a scientifically proven technique called mindfulness to teach concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy to over 11,000 children and 500 teachers in 41 schools, 71% of which serve low-income children. Mindful Schools has conducted training and workshops for over 1,500 public and private school parents, teachers, therapists, and other professionals in education and social work.