Put down the fork: A mindful parenting mantra

wildmind meditation newsCarla Naumburg, PsychCentral: A few weeks ago, I was on a retreat as part of a year-long course I recently took on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. (For the record, the course meets in person in the Boston area and online for those of you around the world, and it’s fantastic. If you’re a mental health professional interested in integrating mindfulness into your practice, I highly recommend you check it out.) Anyway, we spent about 36 hours of the retreat in silence, during which time our goal was to meditate on whatever we were doing: sitting, walking, washing dishes, and eating.

At each meal, I tried …

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Meditation programme devised for ‘stressed’ primary school pupils

March 14, 2014

wildmind meditation newsThe Westmorland Gazette: Meditation could soon be on the curriculum for primary school pupils thanks to a programme devised by a Lake District woman.

Holly Horsley, 25, is on a mission to reduce stress caused by the school curriculum which, she says, focusses ‘too much’ on career-led subjects and not enough on life skills to combat pressure.

She is working with national charity, Fixers, to produce an information pack about the benefits of meditation, which will be sent out to local schools.

“I like to find a quiet place and just sit there and be in my element,” she explained.

“To me, meditation is …

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Mindful meditation at school makes kids go ommm

March 3, 2014

wildmind meditation newsMary MacVean, Los Angles Times: Hundreds of schools in California alone have mindful meditation programs, and educators see benefits. Mindfulness is said to help with focus, attention, calming the emotions and school performance.

Erica Eihl speaks in a voice that her kindergartners can hear only if they are as quiet as the church mice in children’s storybooks.

And with a couple of squirrelly exceptions, they stay that quiet for 15 or 20 minutes — a near eternity — as Eihl guides them to use all their senses to consider a piece of apple, with directions such as, “Looking at the apple, look on the outside …

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Children ‘need lessons in how to concentrate’ because of impact of social media

February 10, 2014

wildmind meditation newsRichard Garner, The Independant: Children should be taught “attentiveness” skills to help combat the influence of social media, the shadow Education Secretary has said. In an interview with The Independent, Labour’s Tristram Hunt said: “They need to learn the ability to concentrate for sustained periods – especially in today’s world of short attention spans. I think young people need help with being able to do that.”

The intervention comes at a time of rising concern about the impact of the internet and digital gadgets on children’s brain development. The pledge is part of a drive to give more emphasis to developing attributes like …

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Meditation transforms roughest San Francisco schools

January 14, 2014

wildmind meditation newsDavid L. Kirp, SFGate: At first glance, Quiet Time – a stress reduction strategy used in several San Francisco middle and high schools, as well as in scattered schools around the Bay Area – looks like something out of the om-chanting 1960s. Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can’t sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds.

This practice – meditation rebranded – deserves serious attention from parents and policymakers. An impressive array of studies shows that integrating meditation into a school’s daily routine can markedly improve the lives of …

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“The Christmas Quiet Book” by Deborah Underwood & Renata Liwska

November 27, 2013
The Christmas Quiet Book is available from Amazon and Amazon.co.uk.
The Christmas Quiet Book is available from Amazon and Amazon.co.uk.
Shhhhh!! Let’s be very quiet while we review author Deborah Underwood and illustrator Renata Liwska’s The Christmas Quiet Book.

Are you sitting comfortably? Have you silenced all the alarms on your computer and phone? Have you closed all other windows or switched your browser to full screen mode? Have you taken three full breaths, closed your eyes, and spent a few minutes quietly listening to the world around you? No? OK, go do that now…

I adore Ms. Underwood’s books. So does my six-year-old daughter and, to a lesser extent, my four-year-old son. My wife’s a big fan, too. Underwood writes a lot … Read more »

“Room to Breathe” — A documentary film about mindfulness in a troubled middle school

September 21, 2013

room to breathe dvdRoom to Breathe is a documentary about teaching mindfulness to students of the troubled Marina Middle School in San Francisco, which tops its district for disciplinary suspensions, and has overcrowded classrooms creating an environment in which it’s almost impossible for learning to take place. As assistant principal Anthony Braxton explains near the opening of the film, a significant number of students at Marina “don’t do school” — they don’t see school as being for them.

In the class of Seventh Grade teacher Tom Ehnle, we see kids who are unable to stay on task or to pay attention. They seem to be in a constant state of fidgeting, wrestling with each other, carrying on side-conversations, … Read more »

Cookie Monster: “Me practice mindfulness!”

September 16, 2013

cookie monsterWell, Cookie Monster doesn’t quite say that, but he comes close. In this Sesame Street video promoting self-control (which psychologists call “executive function” these days) he says:

When me lose control, when me have no doubt
Me have strategies, that can calm me down
Me can talk to self, me can stand up straight
Me can take deep breath, me can self-regulate!

And also:

When me lose control, when me on the brink,
Need to just calm down, me need to stop and think
Me need control me self, yeah that’s the way to live
And then me functioning, like an executive.

Check out Cookie Monster’s excellent message, which is as applicable to many adults … Read more »

Seven ways to teach your children mindfulness

September 11, 2013

child meditatingHere are seven practices that you can do with young children, to help bring mindfulness into your home.

  1. Just before leaving for school in the morning, stand together and take three mindful breaths.
  2. When your child comes home from school, give him or her a piece of fruit and ask them to pretend they are from another planet and have never seen this piece of fruit before. Ask them to describe their experience using all five senses. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Taste like? Does it make a sound when they bite it?
  3. Take three mindful breaths as a family before eating and try to begin the meal mindfully.
  4. Go for
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Mindfulness training improves attention in children

September 10, 2013

British Psychological Society: A short training course in mindfulness improves children’s ability to ignore distractions and concentrate better.

These are the findings of a study carried out by Dominic Crehan and Dr Michelle Ellefson at the University of Cambridge being presented today, 6 September 2013, at the British Psychological Society’s Cognitive Developmental Psychology Annual Conference at the University of Reading.

Dominic explained: “Mindfulness involves paying attention in a particular way – on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally. It has been shown to reduce levels of stress and depression, and to improve feelings of well-being, but to date researchers have not established…

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