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  • Table of Contents

    Introduction...2

    What is Mindfulness.3

    Benefits of Mindfulness5

    Foundations of Mindfulness.7

    Tips for Teaching Mindfulness.9

    Breathing Exercises and Scripts......11

    Mindful Activities...16

    Guided Imagery Mindfulness Scripts.28

    References...51

  • 2

    Introduction

    Mindfulness is not about avoiding difficult situations or feelings; its not a way to by-pass

    problems or about achieving a different state of mind. Mindfulness is about being present even in

    distressing times, its about not getting caught up in our reactions and its about experiencing our

    current situation in a relaxed, alert and purposeful way without judgment on ourselves.

    Research has shown that practicing Mindfulness in classrooms proves to have countless benefits

    as you will read in this booklet. It is our hope that this resource manual will provide you with the

    basic knowledge of Mindfulness Practice along with tools you can use in your own classroom.

    Please know that any additional resources can be requested by any member of the DREAMS

    team. In addition, DREAMS has a sign out sheet for our Mindful Bells that we encourage you to

    use in your classrooms or with individual students as needed.

    DREAMS would like to thank you for allowing us into your classrooms to begin practicing

    Mindfulness. We look forward to working together to implement the practice of Mindfulness.

    DREAMS

  • 3

    What is Mindfulness?

  • 4

    What is Mindfulness and How to Explaining Mindfulness to

    Students

    Some educators find using this script helpful when explaining Mindfulness to their students:

    Mindfulness is a way of practicing paying attention in a way that helps you live a happier

    life. Mindfulness means paying attention to what is happening right now with kindness and

    curiosity.

    Whats really cool is that you get to learn through playing games, singing songs, talking and

    doing art.

    When you learn about Mindfulness, its like you are being a scientist. You study your own self,

    your own mind. You study your thoughts, your feelings, your friendships and your kindness.

    Like any scientist, you do experiments and you discover things. For example:

    Perhaps youll discover theres a happiness, a quiet peaceful place, which is always

    within you.

    You might discover ways to calm yourself down and lift your mood when upset, angry,

    or sad.

    You might discover ways to be kinder to yourself, others and the world.

    Youll learn about the brain too!

    Through mindfulness, we learn to recognize when we are feeling uneasy or upset. We learn to

    be with our direct experience, bringing kind awareness to what is true in our body and

    mind. This awareness allows us to choose how to respond. We learn to replace harmful ways of

    reacting with beneficial ways of responding.

    Mindfulness Explained to Educators

    Mindfulness means a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations,

    and the surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay

    attention to our thoughts and feelings without judgment. When we practice mindfulness, our

    thoughts tune into what were sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or

    imagining the future.

  • 5

    Benefits of Mindfulness

  • 6

    Why Practice Mindfulness in our Schools?

    Benefits:

    Body and Emotion regulation: when our bodies and emotions are balanced and

    appropriate in our lives

    Insight: self-knowing awarenessthis is key to building positive social connections

    Attunement with others, ie. Resonance: This leads to the other persons experience

    of feeling felt, of being understood. When children become more tuned in to

    themselves, they are more tuned in to others around them

    Empathy: allow us to see from the stance of another persons experience, imagining

    others reality and perspective

    Better Impulse Control/Response Flexibility: the capacity to pause before taking action

    (this is key with children and teens!); being able to consider a variety of possible options

    and to choose among them.

    Fear modulation: our ability to calm and soothe, and even unlearn, our own fears

    Intuition: access to awareness of the wisdom of the body

    Increased Attention Span: practice of paying attention can build our attention muscles

    in our brains

    Morality: taking into consideration the larger picture, imagining and acting on whats

    best for the larger group rather than just ourselves

    Mindfulness Helps Schools

    Theres scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behavior

    problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay

    attention. Teachers trained in mindfulness also show lower blood pressure, less negative emotion

    and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder

    of Mindfulness Based Stress reduction program

    http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/mindful_educationhttp://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/mindful_kids_peaceful_schoolshttp://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/mindful_kids_peaceful_schoolshttp://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/a_training_to_make_teachers_less_stressed

  • 7

    Foundations of Mindfulness

  • 8

    The Foundations of Mindfulness Practice

    By practicing mindful awareness through sitting meditation we learn to cultivate the following

    attitudes towards our life experience.

    Nonjudging:

    Impartial witnessing of thoughts and feelings; with kindness and intentionality, resisting

    the inclination to judge and criticize our experience.

    Patience:

    Resting in the wisdom that things need to unfold in their own time and allowing for this

    process to happen.

    Beginners mind:

    The ability to see things as if for the first time with a sense of curiosity and genuine

    interest. Allowing for preconceived ideas to not influence our direct experience of the

    present moment.

    Trust:

    Recognizing our own inner wisdom and ability to guide ourselves in the practice of

    knowing our minds.

    Nonstriving:

    Allowing oneself to be on the path with direction but also being in the present moment

    each step of the way.

    Acceptance:

    Permitting that whatever arises in your experience to be fully present, no matter what

    your reaction may be, including resistance.

    Letting go:

    Recognizing the inclination to hold onto experiences, whether positive or negative, and

    allowing oneself to let go of what is not needed or helpful.

    Connected to each of these attitudinal foundations is: COMPASSION

  • 9

    Tips for Teaching Mindfulness

  • 10

    Tips for Teaching Mindfulness to Students

    Here are some guidelines that Mindful Schools has created for educators who want to

    incorporate mindfulness into the school day, or for anyone who wants to teach mindfulness to

    children, based on our experiences with Mindful Schools.

    Have your own mindfulness practice. This will make you more effective at teaching

    mindfulness. We can only offer what we have developed ourselves.

    Choose a time for mindfulness. We are creatures of habit! Try to always practice mindfulness

    at the same time. Many teachers find mindfulness helps their class settle down after

    recess or after lunch. Of course, you may do it more than once a day.

    Create the environment. Make it clear that mindfulness is a special time: clear off desks,

    perhaps move to the carpet, or have all chairs face the front of the room. Ask students not to take

    bathroom breaks and refrain from talking and moving for a little while.

    Get the students involved. The best way to make sure you remember to do mindfulness is to

    enlist the help of your students. Create a rotation schedule for who gets to ring the mindfulness

    bell. If you practice mindfulness at the same time every day, pretty soon you wont have to

    rememberwhoevers turn it is will remind you!

    You share. Because children respond well when we relay our own experiences, you can share

    with the students if, how, and when you are using mindfulness in your life. If you share a recent

    story of when you were overcome with emotion or used mindfulness to help you deal with an

    emotion, they can hear how it is applied.

    They share. Many young students like to share what theyve noticed or experienced during

    mindfulness, or maybe something that was challenging or distracting. Sharing also allows others

    to be aware of things to notice while practicing mindfulness that they may not have heard

    otherwise.

    Practice every day! The sooner you begin integrating mindfulness exercises into your daily

    classroom routine, even for just a minute at a time, the quicker it will become a part of the

    classroom culture.

  • 11

    Breathing Exercises and Scripts

  • 12

    Mindful Moments Breathing Exercises

    Teachers can sign out a Mindful Bell from DREAMS for these Mindful Moments.

    Use the instructions and script below for a daily mindfulness lesson; it can be done in just one or

    two minutes. You can do the same thing every day. A simple lesson to repeat daily is one

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