Lawerence Synett: Students in a freshman honors English class at Prairie Ridge High School were asked to assume certain positions, chant and lie on the floor as part of an activity connected to reading the novel “The Alchemist,” drawing a complaint from a father who is a minister and thought the exercise had religious overtones.
Teacher Christine Wascher let students opt out if they felt uncomfortable, but now has stopped what was intended as a new way to relate to the book.
“What she had them do was a mind-clearing visualization exercise that a parent felt was transcendental meditation,” Superintendent Jill Hawk said. “It was an activity to engage them in a part of the … Read more »
Helen Adamopoulos: First, get into a comfortable position. Keep your spine erect, but don’t get tense. Close your eyes. Now breathe. Concentrate on the air filling your lungs.
If your mind wanders, note the thought (with a label such as “last night’s dinner”) and then return your focus to your breathing.
That is how to practice basic mindfulness, a meditation technique that can help people cope with conditions including depression, anxiety and chronic pain, according to Chicago social worker Georgia Jones.
She teaches clinicians the fundamentals of mindfulness and its relevance to psychotherapy and covered the basics at a lecture Wednesday at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital.
Jones works for the Community Counseling Centers of Chicago and … Read more »