Psychological Benefits Reduced rumination Stress reduction Boosts working memory Increased focus Less emotional reactivity More cognitive flexibility
Health Benefits Increased immune function Decreased pain
Meditation and Higher Education Key Research findings-The Center for the Contemplative mind Shapiro S. Brown, K. and Astin, J. 2008 http://www.contemplativemind.org/resources/h igher-education/syllabihttp://www.contemplativemind.org/resources/h igher-education/syllabi
Cognitive and Academic Performance Mindfulness meditation may improve ability to maintain preparedness and orient attention Mindfulness meditation may improve ability to process information quickly and accurately
Cognitive and Achievement Performance Concentration-based meditation, practiced over a long-term, may have a positive impact on academic achievement
Development of the Whole Person Meditation can support development of creativity Meditation supports and enhances the development of skills needed for interpersonal relationships
Development of the Whole Person Empathic responses are increased with meditation and mindfulness practices Meditation may help cultivate self-compassion
Mindfulness Education: What is it Pedagogical practices that encourage personal growth and learning through the cultivation of conscious awareness of choice in ethical and relational contexts. Beneficial for both students and teachers Instill values such as humility, curiosity, open- mindedness, empathy and caring for others (Roeser & Peck, 2009)
Mindfulness Practices Weekly in class exercises mindful drawing, listening, yoga or sitting Log/journal or blog Active student participation First person investigations Experiential learning exercises
Mindfulness Practices Designed to help students and teachers develop clear, calm, and concentrated states of awareness Beneficial for academic, athletic and interpersonal focus Reduces stress and anxiety
Activities: Self-reflection on Global Interdependence What factors have led to recent struggles in your life? What factors have led to recent struggles in the world? What factors impact your struggles and the struggles of others in the world? What choices do you make that affect the happiness of others in the world?
Aphorisms or Quotes We are all connected – what affects one, affects all in the web of life called Earth. –Chief Seattle
Activity for Quotes and Moral Storytelling Sit quietly and relax for one minute Read aloud, slowly, the entire text, each person reading one or two sentences, then “pass along” the reading to the left to the next reader. One minute of silence and reflection Share a word or short phrase in response to the reading—just give voice to the word without explanation or discussion. One minute of silence and reflection Share what the passage means to you with your group Listen attentively without correcting, judging or disputing One person reads the short passage one last time, followed by another minute of silence
Moral Storytelling The Ant and the Chrysalis An Ant nimbly running about in the sunshine in search of food came across a Chrysalis that was very near its time of change. The Chrysalis moved its tail, and thus attracted the attention of the Ant, who then saw for the first time that it was alive. "Poor, pitiable animal!" cried the Ant disdainfully. "What a sad fate is yours! While I can run hither and thither, at my pleasure, and, if I wish, ascend the tallest tree, you lie imprisoned here in your shell, with power only to move a joint or two of your scaly tail." The Chrysalis heard all this, but did not make any reply. A few days after, when the Ant passed that way again, nothing but the shell remained. Wondering what had become of its contents, he felt himself suddenly shaded and fanned by the gorgeous wings of a beautiful Butterfly. "Behold in me," said the Butterfly, "your much-pitied friend! Boast now of your powers to run and climb as long as you can get me to listen." So saying, the Butterfly rose in the air, and, borne along and aloft on the summer breeze, was soon lost to the sight of the Ant forever.