To help students focus, we could use less medication and more meditation

October 13, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMichigan Radio: There is a lot of pressure in schools these days.

From the early grades through high school, students take tests and then more tests and shuffle from one extracurricular activity to the next, all while many are also trying to navigate instability at home.

Budget worries keep countless administrators up at night, and, says Rita Benn, director of the Faculty Scholars Program in integrative health care at University of Michigan’s Department of Family Medicine, about 50% of teachers leave within the first five years because it’s so stressful.

Benn, who is also co-founder of the Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education, says meditation …

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Cuddly robot monk is here to answer your questions on Buddhism!

October 8, 2015

wildmind meditation newsDaniel Paul, Shanghaiist: The future has landed in the form of a chubby robot monk unveiled at Beijing’s Dragon Spring Temple earlier this week. Developed with the help of artificial intelligence experts, “Xian’er” is able to sense his surroundings and answer deep questions about Buddhism.

He is already known as the young and affable main protagonist of an animated cartoon series developed by Longquan Comic and Animation Group. The short stories he stars in are created by monks and volunteers and dispense little nuggets of Buddhist wisdom in an easy to understand and relatable way.

Their aim is to engage with new and contemporary …

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Mindfulness can help de-stress children and youth

September 11, 2015

wildmind meditation newsDr. Peter Nieman, Calgary Herald: Ask any teacher or pediatrician what has been the single predominant shift in their work over the past two or three decades. The odds are high that many will admit that children and youth are experiencing a dramatic increase of medical conditions which previously were only seen in adults.

To see diabetes in children — previously called “adult-onset-diabetes” — is now so common that few people gasp. To see children whose coronary vessels have aged prematurely surprises few pediatric cardiologists. And the notion that childhood should be a time of innocence and playfulness, lasting well into the teen years, experienced a …

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Meditating as a family

September 10, 2015

wildmind meditation newsAmy Wright Glenn, Philly Voice: It’s hard to imagine my life without a 20-minute pause in the middle of the day. As my son naps, I sit up tall, close my eyes and gently bring attention to the ebb and flow of breath. No matter what is going on, I can uncover insight and find rest for a joyful or troubled heart while opening to the comforting presence of peace.

As a long-time meditator, the practice of cultivating a calm inner state is woven into my experience of living. There were years when I sat in silence for hours a day. Today, as a …

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Meditation can help children learn to manage emotions

September 3, 2015

wildmind meditation newsDr. Manoj Jain, The Tennessean: This summer’s Disney-Pixar movie “Inside Out” makes us think about our thinking. But, I wonder, first of all, “can we even think about our thoughts?”

In fact, over the summer with campers ages 6 to 13, I was teaching them how to observe their thoughts: a course in mindfulness and meditation for children.

We begin by sitting up tall, like a tree. Then we become still, like a mountain. Then we “go inside,” like a turtle in a shell. By this time the children are sitting upright, cross-legged on the floor or with feet hanging on a chair, motionless as statues …

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Teach mindfulness, invite happiness

August 17, 2015

wildmind meditation newsErin Sharaf, Edutopia: By objective measures, our young people are more anxious, more depressed, and have more psychopathology in general than students did a few decades ago. This has important implications for educators, school administrators, and society at large. What if our traditional school systems are unwittingly contributing to the problem — and what if a relatively simple practice could help?

As we are all well aware, the current educational system is narrowing its definition of what defines student success. It’s almost all cognitive knowing, as evidenced by standardized testing. The pros and cons of that system have been widely debated, so I won’t rehash them here. However, a …

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Why meditation should be taught in schools

July 17, 2015

wildmind meditation newsLea Waters, The Conversation: New research in the fields of psychology, education and neuroscience shows teaching meditation in schools is having positive effects on students’ well-being, social skills and academic skills.

A recent meta-review of the impact of meditation in schools combined the results from 15 studies and almost 1800 students from Australia, Canada, India, the UK, the US and Taiwan. The research showed meditation is beneficial in most cases and led to three broad outcomes for students: higher well-being, better social skills and greater academic skills.

Students who were taught meditation at school reported higher optimism, more positive emotions, stronger self-identity, greater self-acceptance and …

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Is mindfulness a technique that can help kids succeed?

July 14, 2015

wildmind meditation newsNews.com.au: I’m in a small room with 25 other people. At our teacher’s instruction, we are all sitting very still, eyes closed, hands in our laps, concentrating on our breath.

Outside, a bus roars past, which makes me sneakily open one eye. But it appears I’m the only one who’s distracted; nobody else has moved. Eventually, the teacher invites everyone to open their eyes when they’re ready. There’s a second of silence before chairs scrape back and there’s some muffled chatter among the participants. The clatter of a pencil case falling to the floor reminds me exactly where I am; not in an idyllic …

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Mind your manners: mindfulness becoming a way of life

July 10, 2015

wildmind meditation newsBrian Haggerty, NorthJersey.com: Mindfulness. You may be reading about or hearing this word more often. While the word is not new, its usage among the general population as well as within education is on the rise. In essence, it is a state of mind which is achieved by focusing our awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting our feelings, thoughts and physical sensations. Originally intended as a means of therapy, mindfulness, today, is becoming more of a way of life. We are, after all, the sum total of our thoughts. Our thoughts affect the way we feel by producing chemicals, …

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How being mindful in class has made me a more effective & reflective teacher

wildmind meditation newsThe Mindfulness Pedagogy: What we do, think, say and feel as teacher is embedded in social structures that most often are invisible but no less real. The social structures of schools and classrooms are complex, layered with aspects of power, and usually taken for granted. Mindfulness is a fruitful way to unpack or come to see these structures more clearly, thereby coming to know your pupils, way of teaching, social interactions more fully.

Being in a school environment where mindfulness is encouraged can open opportunities for learning & reflecting. Focusing on critical incidents within your day in a state of mindfulness creates space …

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