You may have heard about the buzz around meditation and mindfulness as of late. Everyone from celebrities to entrepreneurs to big-time techies are looking for a little stillness amidst the rush of everyday life. Workshops and retreats are ...
Mindfulness is an important part of human growth and forming. The backlash might more accurately be seen as against making mindfulness into a commodity. This diminishes its value which is intrinsic to the practices involved and not something which adds to corporate bottom lines which is often what it is being used for.
Being aware and working with the negative thoughts is important and challenging work. Trying to be present is a continuous journey navigating those distractions and negativity that sometimes overwhelm.
Taking time and meditating, just pausing for a moment and quieting oneself, are helpful. These practices helped immensely in the latter years in the classroom. I looked for the source. What made me feel a particular way?
There are many daily activities which can help practicing mindfulness. For example, Thich Nhat Hanh described tea drinking as an ordinary activity which can be a mindful and extraordinary activity. It is about being present in a given moment.
Quantum theory and physics provides us with considerable new insights about what is possible. Karen Barad writes about the entanglement of phenomena. This is an important subject in teaching and forming human subjectivity. We are not disconnected, but rather connected in ways that we are not always aware of. This is important in teaching from an ethical consideration. We are not outside the world and ourselves, but in both the world and our lives as teachers.
The myth of Proteus powerfully displays the nature of Soul, exhibiting various archetypal faces. Drawn from the earliest Greek legends, Proteus appears as an old sea-god, Poseidon’s right-hand man, so to speak. He was said to be Poseidon’s shepherd of sea-beasts. According to Homer, he could see through all the depths of the sea. If one were to ensnare him, and, without releasing him, endure his shape-shifting tricks to the end, Proteus would reveal great knowledge of the present and future.
Are you teaching mindfulness to your kids? It may be more important than you think. Imagine it from their perspective…You get to school on time carrying your backpack. It’s filled with hours of finished homework, your computer, phone and lunch. You’re only seven and you’re already running to keep up with a busy schedule. Not just at school but at home too! You’re tired and just want to play or ride your bike. But after school you have a new list of obligations… Even the youngest among us are feeling the speed of our accelerating world. I have found that the perfect remedy for the rapid pace of change in our culture is mindfulness and meditation. We can sail through life’s many twists and turns if we practice daily. And, from my own experience, it’s beneficial to include your children in this transformative process. But how, exactly, do you teach mindfulness and meditation to your kids? 3 Simple Ways to Model Mindfulness for Children As a mother of four, I believe preac
“Concern yourself not with what is right and what is wrong but with what is important.” ~Unknown
I remember quite distinctly the point where my rational self, less invested in the discussion, took a step back and pointed out that I was descending down the path of needing to prove that I was right.
It was precisely when I started seeing the other commenter as needling my position and attacking the ideas as mine.
What started out as an appeal to respect cultures that celebrate death as a normal part of life turned into a mud-slinging event the moment I ceased to educate and instead went down the road of righteous anger.
Even if one were to keep our social network to the closest friends and family members, there will inevitably come the time when, as we scroll through our Facebook feed, we encounter something that we disagree with.
If we are not careful about the way we react or respond to these kinds of things, drama will arise.
And oh, such drama it was! Despite not participating any further once some ganging up occurred and outright insults were being flung, I came away from the debacle more furious with myself than anyone else.
In hindsight, it really was hilarious the way it quickly descended into a playground squabble where the crux of the matter was “I’m right, you’re wrong!”
But unlike childhood fights where it is rare that full-blown grudges develop (notice how children make up and play together easily?) the issues that adults tend to have petty fights over are a bit more complicated, simply because we are way more invested in it.
It isn’t over a fire truck belonging to us that can be easily shared with another child. It is occasionally belief systems and ideologies that define us and so we do not take too easily to them being challenged.
I later received a long message from the other person that was essentially an attempt at civility after the earlier descent into childishness, but while the absence of trolling was a nice welcome, here too was another invitation to engage further in another bout of drama.
Ignoring the comments about my character and only clarifying issues I felt were relevant to the earlier discussion, I refused to bite.
What I’m slowly learning, and I am quite a slow learner when it comes to social interactions, is that personal affronts are key to the development of drama, and how we choose to respond to what the other person doles out will determine our state of being.
This isn’t something solely confined to social media interactions either; Facebook, Twitter, and other sites like them are all just platforms where our interactions take place. Unnecessary drama and squabbles did not appear after the Internet but are simply magnified by it.
If you decide earlier on that personal attacks will not hurt you and that you will not yourself fling them, you’ll be much more likely to have a discussion that’s conducive for education and sharing of ideas.
These attacks often come out innocuously enough. An adept practitioner of shade can fling one at you with much subtlety, and so control is necessary in ensuring that you are always on the right road.
Unfortunately, I have yet to be gracious enough to not throw shade myself, and thus the initial eruption of drama was precisely due to my lack of control. I’m not referring to one’s personal direction of a discussion; you cannot control what the other party will perceive or retaliate with. I am referring to our grip over our own reactions and choices.
The moment we choose to take the issues personally, we cease to participate in civil discourse as we insist upon the particular details that we feel attack our characters.
We feel the need to yell that we are right rather than strive to seek and communicate truth.
With that said, however, I am certainly not excusing those who choose to create conflict rather than communicate peacefully. Once you see things heading down that awful road, it is best to simply disengage and leave because nothing fruitful will come out of it.
What matters at this point, I feel, is how you resolve your position, and it isn’t about how you appear to other people who may be watching (or reading the thread), but how you now feel about your beliefs and ideas.
Are ad hominem attacks ever conducive to the truth? The moment we associate ego and pride with our various ideologies, we miss the mark.
In a world of multivariate opinions, beliefs, and philosophies, friction is bound to occur when these ideas inevitably collide.
There are certain fields more volatile than others, like politics and religion, and they require careful treading. When in the thick of drama, especially with drama-hungry spectators egging us on, we lose the point and indulge instead in a battle of wits over who can yell the loudest in being right.
To keep drama at bay, it is necessary to maintain that while ideas form much of what we think we are, they are merely constructs that only help us make sense of life and do not essentially form who we are.
It is perhaps worth bearing this in mind whenever we feel the urge to take something personally.
Being right is quite different than each of us having a different perspective on the same event. We each bring our own autobiography which filters experiences. This is like a personal curriculum in school when we are teaching and learning. Awareness of bias rather than elimination is important.
Parker Palmer says the most often-ignored question is about who the self is in any particular role. His example is the self who teaches. Ultimately, it is about the self who lives this life. Those explorations can never be engaged in with superficial questions.
"Whether you’re as skeptical as I used to be, or you’re well ahead of me with a meditation habit of several hours, I think it’s always interesting to find out how new habits affect our brains. I had a look into meditation to see what’s going on inside our brains when we do this, and what I found is pretty interesting."
Daily Meditation: A Childlike State Of Wonder Huffington Post Today's meditation features a video from Jason Silva's YouTube show, "Shots of Awe." In this video, we remember the importance of cultivating a childlike state of wonder and, most...
Meditation and mindfulness are about developing a child's mind where there are many ways to think rather than one. Ken Robinson cites research which indicates creativity declines after kindergarten. School limits teachers and students to one right answer, one right way.