I spent some time today with the staff from Grandview Heights City Schools exploring mindfulness practice. In session one, we explored informal mindfulness practice (otherwise known as living mindfully in daily life). In session two, we explored formal mindfulness practice (sometimes known as meditation).
We started out with a difficult prompt:
Have you ever done something because of an overwhelming emotion that you later came to regret? What were the effects on you? What were the effects on the people around you?
We then watched this excellent (and funny) short video “Why Mindfulness is a Super Power: An Animation” featuring the voice of ABC news correspondent and author of 10% happier.
In case you don’t know Dan Harris’s story of finding mindfulness, here is a five-minute video of his story. In short, he had a panic attack on national television that prompted a reevaluation of his life, and he has become a self proclaimed “evangelist” for mindfulness practice since that time.
Here is the Q and A from the sessions:
“What worries you masters you.”
– Beam, “Ten Mindful Quotes…”
Aaron Sherman, long-term partner in the Pages program and teacher at ACPA, asked me a few months ago to visit his class, creatively themed around power. He wanted me to present/co-teach a lesson on gaining power through mindfulness over various aspects of one’s life.
We explored this topic in three different areas:
Power over thinking– In this part of the two-day lesson we explored how focused attention practice, such as focusing on the breath, can allow students to get distance from their thoughts enough to decide with which thoughts they would like to engage.
Power over feeling– In this part of the lesson, we focused on practices for dealing with negative emotions due to overwhelming stress via heart-focused breathing meditation.
Power over actions– in the final section of the lesson, we focused on how loving-kindness meditation can be used to feel more compassion and connection for others