mindfulness and education

Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness


Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to present-moment experience and doing so with kindness and curiosity. It is not cognitive but sensory, and so taps into and strengthens different but vitally important parts of the brain that have been neglected by traditional education. One crucial attribute of mindfulness is that it is practiced without judgment. Many of our students are so hard on themselves and their internal critic is so loud that just a few moments of being given permission to not judge can bring huge relief to body and mind. I have seen it bring students to tears.

There is now ample evidence that mindfulness practice enhances positive emotions (PDF).

4 Ways to Refuel Your Gratitude


Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks


[don’t] check your smartphone before bed

This is what happens to your brain and body when you check your smartphone before bed

Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, lays out all of the negative effects that bedtime screen viewing can have on the brain and body. WATCH THE 2 MIN VIDEO


Hemingwrite Modernizes The Typewriter With An E-Ink Screen And Cloud Storage


Want to get off the grid? well, not entirely, since you still will be in the “cloud.” :)

But if you are into “disconnect” and “mindful computing,” this typewriter can be a good start


contemplative computing, contemplative pedagogy and getting “unplugged”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister Published A Book About A Child Whose Mom Takes Her iPad Away

social media etiquette



Contemplative Pedagogy and Dealing with Technology
Dan Barbezat, Amherst College; David Levy, University of Washington


The accelerating pace of life is reducing the time for thoughtful reflection and in particular for contemplative scholarship, within the academy. The loss of time to think is occurring at exactly the moment when scholars, educators, and students have gained access to digital tools of great value to scholarship. This interactive session reviews research on technology’s impacts and demonstrates some contemplative practices that can respond to them. Contemplative pedagogy can offset the distractions of our multi-tasking, multi-media culture, and show how the needs of this generation of students can be met through innovative teaching methods that integrate secular practices of contemplation.

Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning

Walking the Labyrinth: Contemplative Instructional Techniques to Enhance Learner Engagement
Carol Henderson and Janice Monroe, Ithaca College

Bringing ancient traditional meditative skills into the contemporary classroom, con-templative learning techniques serve as an effective counterbalance to the speedi-ness and distractions of today’s fast-paced technology-based cultural environment.  Applicable to both faculty development programs and to faculty working directlywith students, contemplative methods create a richer, more engaging learningenvironment by allowing participants to quiet their minds and focus deeply on the material at hand. This interactive session provides instruction and practice in con-templative techniques, offers examples of their use, and supports the integration of these techniques into any discipline or subject area.

Topics: Faculty Professional Development, Teaching & Learning

Contemplative Computing and Our Future of Education

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Stanford University

A generation of educators have spent their professional lives hearing that technol-
ogy is changing the world, transforming the way we think, and that higher educa-
tion must evolve or become obsolete. In case you didn’t get the message in the

1960s and 1970s, with cassette tapes, television and mainframe computers, it was

repeated in the 1980s when personal computers appeared; repeated again in the

1990s, with CD-ROMs (remember those) and the World Wide Web; repeated again

in the early 2000s with blogs and wikis; and recently, repeated once again in the

wake of social media, YouTube and the real-time Web.

This language of technological revolution and institutional reaction is backward. It

gives too much credit and agency to technology, and makes today’s changes seem

unprecedented and inevitable. Neither is actually true. Contemplative computing—

the effort to design technologies and interactions that aren’t perpetually demanding

and distracting, but help users be more mindful and focused—provides a language

for talking differently about the place of technology in teaching, learning, and edu-
cation. We think of today’s technologies as uniquely appealing to our reptilian, dopa-
mine- and stimulation-craving brains. In reality, distraction is an ancient problem,

and the rise of contemplative practices and institutions (most notably monasteries

and universities) is a response to that problem. Abandoning our traditional role as

stewards of contemplative life is as dangerous for the societies we serve as it is

short-sighted and counterproductive. Contemplative computing argues that even

today, people have choices about how to interact with technologies, how to use

them, and how to make the parts of our extended minds; and that part of our job

as educators is to show students how to exercise that agency.