It’s estimated (conservatively) that one in ten children in the United States would qualify for a diagnosis of Attention Hyperactivty Disorder. We live in an age of "continuous partial attention," where the constant pressure to react to a flood of stimuli goes beyond the reasonable capacities of our brains. We know that young, growing brains are especially vulnerable to being shaped by negative experience—a scattered attention can create a brain in disharmony, which may further impede our ability to focus. And a mind that can’t sustain focus is a mind that will find it difficult to learn something new.Read more »
Here in the Mindful office, a couple of us have fantasized out loud, wondering when mindfulness might be seen as commonplace, so normal, so American—and with their emphasis on self-reliance and compassion, mindful ideals really are American ideals—that “Mindful Angels” begin to appear. Well, on Hallowe’en, at least.
After all, you know you’ve made it, and are no mere flash in the pan, when kids start dressing up like you. Sure, the adults will go out as whoever’s “hot” at the moment; we can expect, some say, to see lots of glasses and black turtlenecks worn in homage to Steve Jobs this Hallowe'en. But kids often go for classics. There are and ghosts, zombies, and vampires, of course, but you’ll also see virtues and values embodied. Little angels, faeries, soldiers, and firefighters are unlikely to stop coming to our doors any time soon. Or, wizards; the loyal and sensitive Harry Potter is a great example of the kind of positive character kids love to emulate.
Part of the decision to become a parent involves responsibly weighing whether the world is a place you want to bring children into. I’m generally an optimist, and I’ve always believed, to put it simply, that there is more good in the world than bad. That’s what my husband and I teach our kids.
Yet a recent event has absolutely made me question that faith—an event that the whole world is talking about, but we’ll address here too, if only because of the absence of awareness and compassion it reveals. Little Wang Yue (affectionately called “Yueyue” by her parents) has died. Almost a week ago, the two-year-old was callously run over by two different vehicles and ignored for an agonizing seven minutes by passersby (as many as 18, according to some reports) before someone stopped to help her.Read more »
Location: Decatur, GA
When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?
I began practicing mindfulness about 12 years ago, as my wife and I prepared to have our first child. I realized I had lived a lot of my life by either avoiding discomfort or placing my thoughts far from the present moment.
Did you take a class? If so, what sort of class did you take?
I took introductory meditation classes at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center (around 2000 or 2001) and have since practiced with the Shambhala Center of Atlanta here in Decatur, GA.Read more »
In my talk at Creating a Mindful Society, I introduced the concept of “the meditation hallway.” You might know what a meditation hall is—but what is a meditation hallway, and why should you have one?Read more »