Mindful voices

Thursday, November 10 2011

As teachers and parents we often find ourselves rushing about with our minds focused on getting things done: getting the kids dressed and out the door, getting through that important math lesson so our students will do well on the standardized test, etc. This goal orientation keeps our attention focused on the future rather than the present.

As a result, when a child needs our attention, we often perceive this need as an interruption. “Not now, honey. I need to finish this first” “I can’t get through this lesson when people are talking.” Depending upon the level of pressure, we may feel frustrated, even angry. We may loose our cool, especially if we feel our job is on the line. However, we rarely consider how our reaction is experienced from the child’s perspective.

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posted by Tish Jennings, 1:00 am
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Friday, November 4 2011

When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?

I am a new convert, enthusiast and practitioner of mindfulness. I took my first eight-week workshop starting at the end of this past March.

I recently decided (after 20 years) that anti-depressant medications were not helping me, and I was motivated to find tools to help me combat, deal with and stave off the crippling bouts of depression I have experienced for more than 40 years.

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posted by Mindful readers..., 3:07 pm
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Tuesday, November 1 2011

When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?

Years ago, my husband had been layed off. We were experiencing financial difficulties. I had also been newly diagnosed with a chronic illness. My physician referred me to the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Hospital to help me to cope with my changing circumstances.

How has mindfulness made a difference in your life?

It broadened the way I looked at life and life's circumstances. The practice has given me a larger container in which to handle the discomforts of my illness and life's challenges. It has helped me to look at life in a more honest and optimistic way. It has taught me not to let thoughts, emotions, the past or the future take me away from this present moment by creating stories that can undermine my life's happiness.

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posted by Mindful readers..., 3:39 pm
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Tuesday, November 1 2011

It’s not too often that my first response to pain is, “Fantastic!”

But when I collapsed to the ground after banging my ankle on a hardwood meditation bench, I knew this was an opportunity for a scientific experiment. I had spent the last few days preparing a talk on the neuroscience of meditation. More specifically, how meditators process pain differently than non-meditators.

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posted by Kelly McGonigal, 12:00 am
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Tuesday, October 25 2011

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.

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posted by Ed Halliwell, 10:50 am
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