|Color water drop by Worldizen|
Mindfulness is making lots of news these days, being touted by teachers, healers, and mystics alike. It is a powerful practice and can be quite fun to teach! Mindfulness practice can be used to enhance the core skills essential to learning: observation, awareness, an open attitude, concentration, curiosity. Guided mindfulness meditations can reduce stress and the negative impact of pain.
Centering is a related, but different skill:
Any method used by a person to calm himself physically, mentally, or emotionally, usually in preparation for performing an activity requiring concentration- e.g., meditation, an exam, or a sports competition
"Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet." ― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
"Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one." -- George Fox, 1656
In a world chock full of over-stimulation and distraction, both these practices can be a real gift. As a Quaker, and a Quaker educator, I have had the pleasure of attending workshops and practicing with others often. Now that I've moved to Midcoast, I'm looking forward to sharing a few favorite introductions to the practice, especially with the children during the next few first day lessons.