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Paula Gill Lopez, Ph.D. Amy. L. Underhill, M.A. Fairfield University.

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Presentation on theme: "Paula Gill Lopez, Ph.D. Amy. L. Underhill, M.A. Fairfield University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paula Gill Lopez, Ph.D. Amy. L. Underhill, M.A. Fairfield University

2 Participants will become familiar with the construct of mindfulness; what it is, what it is not, how to integrate it with other techniques Participants will realize the numerous benefits associated with mindfulness techniques Participants will practice and learn mindfulness techniques with a focus on adults Participants will practice and learn mindfulness techniques with a focus on children

3 Mindfulness guru, Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as, the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experiences moment by moment (2003, page 145)

4 Mindfulness involves attending EXTERNALLY in the present moment, through the five senses: 1. Seeing 2. Hearing 3. Touching 4. Tasting 5. Smelling As well as attending INTERNALLY in the present moment, through 1. Bodily sensations 2. Thoughts 3. Emotions

5 1. INTENTION involves consciously and purposely regulating attention. 2. ATTENTION is the ability to sustain attention in the present moment without interpretation, discrimination or evaluation; a bare registering of the facts observed (Brown, Ryan & Creswell, 2007). 3. ATTITUDE is a frame of mind brought to mindfulness meditation; commonly described as openness, acceptance, or nonjudgmentality.

6 In practicing mindfulness, one becomes aware of the current internal and external experiences, observes them carefully, accepts them, and allows them to be let go of in order to attend to another present moment experience. (Hooker and Fodor, 2008, p. 77)

7 Pure mindfulness is simply attending to what is happening in the present moment The trick is not to let our thoughts carry us away from the present moment Anchors assist us by providing a focus to bring us back to the present moment Examples of anchors include our breath, our five senses, a mindfulness exercise script

8 In anchored mindfulness meditation, we observe and then simply label a thought, feeling, or sensation before returning our attention to the anchor task. For example, as we focus on our breath for an anchor, we notice the belly growls and suddenly we are swept away in planning dinner. When we notice that, we simply note stomach growling and return to the breath, cutting off more of the narrative about planning dinner each time. (Williard, 2010, p. 6)

9 Mindful breath Energizing breath Calming breath

10 CONCENTRATIVE MINDFULNESS Disciplined, samadhi or onepointedness focus of attention Like a zoom lens A depth practice-vertical movement in the mind Characteristic energy is closed, absorbed & trancelike Sustained unwavering attention on one object Experience of undisturbed stillness Broad awareness of the present moment, not focusing on a single object or purpose. Like a wide angle lens A surface practice-horizontal movement in the mind Characteristic energy is open, available & fully awake Engaged with the full range of human experience Experience of interconnectedness

11 We could say that our minds are like the ocean – the whole ocean. Vipassana [mindfulness meditation] is a resting in awareness on the surface of that ocean - constantly changing, shifting, responsive to weather and climactic conditions. Some days are gray, some are brilliant blue. Some waves are choppy, some quiet. Shikantaza [Zen or concentrative meditation] is hundreds of feet down in that ocean. Its quiet. Its dark. It doesnt change constantly, and strange creatures sometimes inhabit this sphere. This, too, is the ocean... This, also, is the mind... Putting these two great forms of meditation together allows us to experience the vastness of our minds and of our lives.

12 Concentration is a cornerstone of mindfulness practice. Your mindfulness will only be as robust as the capacity of our mind to be calm and stable. Without calmness, the mirror of mindfulness will have an agitated and choppy surface, and will not be able to reflect things with any accuracy... But concentration practice, however strong and satisfying, is incomplete without mindfulness to complement and deepen it... What is missing is the energy of curiosity, inquiry, investigation, openness, availability, engagement with the full range of phenomena experienced by human beings.

13 RELAXATION MINDFULNESS Characterized by progressive muscle relaxation & autogenic training Pursuit of a particular psychophysical state of reduced autonomic arousal Taught as a stress management technique to use during anxiety- provoking situations Involves witnessing events and experiences as they present themselves on a moment to moment basis Relaxation may be a by- product of mindfulness, but its not the goal Mindfulness is not contingent on stressful situations but is considered a way of being (Kabat-Zinn, 1996)

14 Pure Mindfulness is merely observing without altering However, there is value in integrating mindfulness with other practices like relaxation Examples of integration Calming Breath – relaxation & mindfulness Energizing Breath – increased metabolism & mindfulness Body Scan – Pure mindfulness vs. Tension release (stress and chronic pain relief)

15 Mindfulness Body Awareness Body scan Self-massage Standing posture

16 ... there is a great deal of hatred and anger and discrimination. How is it possible, in such a state, for people to practice deep looking with the aim of achieving a deep knowledge...So it is necessary to practice mindfulness- it could be Buddhist or Christian- but it is necessary to bring mindfulness to our everyday life. If you are a journalist, a teacher, or a filmmaker you should practice mindfulness- for the sake of your own calm and your own happiness, but also for that of other people as well. Because we need your calm, your compassion, your understanding. So we should be mindful as individuals but also as a community, as a family, as a nation. (Thich Nhat Hanh, 2006, pages 93-94)

17 Statistically significant improvements associated with Chronic pain Eating disorders Depression relapse Fibromyalgia Psoriasis Mood and stress levels for cancer patients Anxiety, depression, obsessive neuroses, narcissistic and borderline personality disorders General psychological and spiritual functioning

18 Burke (2009) conducted a rigorous statistical review of mindfulness-based approaches with children and adolescents, findings included: Reasonable support for the feasibility and acceptability of mindfulness-based approaches Lack of empirical evidence of the efficacy of interventions Major methodological flaws (small samples, no control groups or randomization) Research is in its infancy

19 Results of pioneering studies that examined mindfulness approaches to promote the students learning experience found 1. Students were better able to generalize learned material to new situations 2. Students to be more creative 3. Students to be more independent thinkers 4. An increase in students selective attention, a decrease in test anxiety, and teachers ratings of ADHD behaviors in students 5. School staff could benefit from mindfulness interventions themselves







26 Washing the dishes Taking the trash out Vacuuming Folding laundry Grocery shopping Baking or cooking Bathing Playing with your pet Driving to work Listening to traffic Lifting weights Shaving Grooming

27 Works well in small groups or individually Start simple Be prepared for things to get silly It takes time Be sure to play; make it fun Avoid falling into stereotyped meditation. Taking time is a better way to word this Practice frequently Be ready to improvise

28 Bubble breathing Belly breathing Fabric feelings Morning check ins (eye color, color of shirt) Whisper time Snack Time Tiptoeing Animal Stretches Listening to Silence Closed Eye Games 100 Things Kids Can Do Mindfully (Williard, p.54-55)

29 Snow/Rain Activities Silent Screams Monkey Chains Guided Imagery Pebble Sorting Singing Bowl Musical Instruments, Pots and Pans Ice/Heat Packs Drinking a heated drink

30 Snow globe/ Glitter balls Stress balls Classroom chains Shoelaces/charms Mindfulness bracelets Stickers/signs Bell in classroom Stones/buttons Magic beans

31 Mind Up (Canada) Wellness Works (PA) Inner Kids (CA) Mindful Schools (CA) Mindfulness Project (OH) Still Quiet Place (CA) (Adapted from Association for Mindfulness in Education, 2011)


33 Baer, R. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, Burke, C. (2009). Mindfulness-based approaches with children and adolescents: A preliminary review of current research in an emergent field. Journal of Family Studies. Springer Science and Business Media, LLC. Goleman, D. (1972). The Buddha on meditation and states of consciousness. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 4 (1-2), 1-44, Hooker, K. & Fodor, I. (2008). Teaching mindfulness to children. Gestalt Review, 12(1):75-91, 2008 Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever You Go There You Are. Hyperion. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, Napoli, M.; Krech, P.R. & Holley, L.C. (2005). Mindfulness training for elementary school students: The attention academy. Journal of Applied School Psychology, Vol. 21 (1), Shapiro, S.; Brown, K.W. & Astin, J.A. (2008). Toward the integration of meditation in higher education: A review of research. Prepared for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Williard, C. (2010). Childs Mind. Parallax Press. Thich Nhat Hanh. (2006). True Love. Shambhala.

34 - mindfulness practice scripts - a school based 15 week curriculum for k-8 teaching neuroscience and mindfulness. - a research site with a monthly newsletter- FREE subscription - Link to videos, sample lessons and kids commentaries another curriculum for kids devised by this Holistic Medical professional


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