The Wisdom Page 


Mindfulness Training in Education

A popular June 16, 2007 article in The New York Times titled "In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind" called attention to the current interest in introducing mind-quieting practices into K-12 classrooms. The problem was stated clearly by Stanford researcher Philippe R. Golden who said: "Parents and teachers tell kids 100 times a day to pay attention. But we never teach them how." This new movement is intent on correcting that.

Mindfulness training outside the meditation hall was pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn who, as the article put it, "pioneered in the secular use of mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts in 1979 to help medical patients cope with chronic pain, anxiety, and depression." One of Kabat-Zinn's current interests is mindfulness in the classroom, and at the Association for Mindfulness Education web site you can find a talk by him in mp3 format, as well as many other resources.

The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at UCLA has a similar mission: "to foster mindful awareness through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society." Among the resources they offer are downloadable mp3 guided mindfulness meditations of 3 to 17 minutes duration.

Another organization with a mindfulness education focus is the Inner Kids Foundation, founded by Susan Kaiser Greenland, who calls mindfulness "the new ABCs — learning and leading a balanced life."

An excellent source of additional mindfulness resources is the Web site of the Mindfulness in Education Network.