"Mindfulness is both the art of bringing attention to what is happening, as well as uncovering the courage to notice the quality and tone of our noticing." -Michael Stone
Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference: Insights, Innovations, and Obstacles in Child and Adolescent Mindfulness
Feb 2-4, 2018
San Diego, CA
Register at: http://bridgingconference.org/ to learn about the latest information on mindfulness–based interventions with youth, featuring Daniel Rechtshaffen as one of the plenary speakers.
How do we live with greater presence, purpose, and wisdom in the digital age
Feb 22-24, 2018
San Francisco, CA
Register at: http://wisdom2conference.com/ to hear 50 incredible speakers, including Jon-Kabat-Zinn and Golden Hawn share their insights. Often this conference is live-streamed to watch at no cost.
As I read a story to an eighth grade eighth-grade class, they were instructed to imagine themselves as the main character and to notice what the character was thinking and feeling. “What’s the difference between a thought and an emotion?” asked one 8th grade student. I was surprised that I had to explain the difference to an almost high-school age student from an upper middle class background. I went on to explain that emotions are sensations we experience in our body, sometimes strongly, sometimes subtly, that tell us how we feel and that thoughts are ideas, words, opinions, interpretations, judgments, etc., that may give voice to that feeling or arise from other outside stimulation, formed in our heads.
I was grateful that the student had the courage to ask that question, for his own sake and for others who were wondering the same thing. This was a powerful reminder to me of how important it is to educate students about what they experience on the inside, regardless of age so they can learn how to better navigate the terrain of both their inner and outer worlds.
Do we have the recipe right yet? A randomized controlled evaluation of a secondary school mindfulness program for early adolescents
Behavior Research and Therapy, 99, 37-46.
Johnson, C., Burke, C., Brinkman, S., and Wade, T. (2017).
Johnson et al aimed to provide a rigorous evaluation of the mindfulness curriculum called .b
(“Dot Be”) in early adolescence. A randomized controlled design was used with 555 students assigned to one of three conditions: 1) control (no curriculum); 2) 9 week in-class .b curriculum with teacher involvement; and 3) 9 week in-class .b curriculum with teacher and parent involvement. The measures included anxiety, depression, weight/shape concerns, well-being and a multi-dimensional mindfulness measure consisting of 8 factors. The students’ average age was 13.44 years. Results were measured post-intervention at 6 and 12 month follow up. No interactions were found between the 3 groups. Only one main effect occurred --students in the two mindfulness conditions had lower scores on one measured mindfulness factor: Acting with Awareness. The researchers explored what might have led to the null findings, such as low distress scores prior to the curriculum introduction. Particular study limitations included low parental involvement in the 3rd condition and limited compliance with home practice in both tested curriculum conditions. While the results from this rigorous study suggest a lack of efficacy for use of .b with this age group, it warrants further replication with a US sample and with students at a later stage of adolescence.
Winter is the perfect time for inviting silence, reflection and shifting the focus to just BEING. We hope to see you at our half-day retreat of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion held for the first time held in Harper Woods. Consider staying in the afternoon for lunch and participating in a discussion where Grace Helms Kotre will discuss strategies for mindful parenting. Grace is certified mindfulness instructor through Mindful Schools, and developer of a mindfulness preschool curriculum featured in the online Preschool Mindfulness Summit January 22-26.
The Way of Mindful Education
Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students
Daniel Rechtschaffen, MFA
This book has been hailed as a unique resource for transforming our schools by a number of prominent leaders in the fields of mindfulness and social emotional learning. The first half of the book is divided into three parts and sets the context for mindful teaching and education. In Part 1, Why Mindfulness Matters, Rechtschaffen defines mindfulness, introduces us to a range of mindfulness work already happening in schools and presents an overview of scientific findings on personal benefits. Part 2, Begin With Yourself, emphasizes the importance for teachers and parents to experience mindfulness practices before effectively teaching these skills to children and teens. In Part 3, The Mindful Classroom, the author describes the qualities of a mindful teacher, and essential ingredients for a mindfulness classroom, including ways to address diversity and inclusion, stress and trauma and the needs of different age groups.
The second half of the book focuses on the Mindful Education Curriculum - "how to introduce students to mindfulness in an accessible way that has the greatest impact”, and shares a basic lesson planning layout, along with eighteen specific lessons to cultivate embodiment, attention, heartfulness and interconnectedness. The book ends with brief 'best practice' illustrations of mindfulness curricula that can be incorporated in schools and other youth-based settings. This book is a thorough and easy to read resource for educators and parents interested in introducing mindfulness practices into their schools and helping students develop the ability to concentrate, cope with stress and in sum, thrive.
We are excited to have Daniel Rechtschaffen come to Michigan and present a 1.5 day workshop on the Five Literacies of Mindful Education on March 16-17. Drawing from one of his books, the Mindful Education Workbook Curriculum, we will learn how to sharpen our skills to apply mindfulness to children of different ages, populations, and special needs. Daniel Rechtschaffen, is a marriage and family therapist, published author of two books, and founding director of Mindful Education, a mindfulness and social and emotional learning platform for educators. Register before February 25th to receive the early bird rate.
We gathered with 40 participants for a wonderful morning of guided mindfulness practice. Half of us stayed for an afternoon of enlightening conversation and engaging presentation. Donna Russotto, our guest educator from Escanaba, demonstrated how to engage teachers in mindfully and empathically meeting student needs, using a creative approach that involved identifying and matching functions of the triune brain.