WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

"Ms. Cohen, before mindfulness class, I didn't know I was thinking when I was thinking."  - ninth grade student

MINDFULNESS refers to...

  • purposefully paying nonjudgmental, compassionate attention to whatever arises in one’s moment-to-moment experience, such as thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and sounds

  • becoming more aware of what you are experiencing, strengthening your ability to replace autopilot or impulsive reactions with more thoughtful responses.

  • To learn more about the positive effects of mindfulness on both the brain and general well-being, check out this 2014 Scientific American article and Parade Magazine's "The No. 1 health booster of 2015." 

  • To learn more about the role mindfulness plays in reducing racial bias, read UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center series, beginning with Professor john a. powell's piece "Understanding Our New Racial Reality Starts with the Unconscious." For recent research on the positive effects of mindfulness training on bias, check out this Harvard Business Review article.

 

HOW DOES MINDFULNESS TRAINING BENEFIT SCHOOL COMMUNITIES? (the VERY short version)

**Check out Alison's article on one of the main benefits of mindfulness in Schools: "Building a Community of Self-Compassion"

Research has found that mindfulness training has significant effects on students’ and school staff members’ focus, stress management, impulse control, and relationships. For school staff members, the benefits also include improved classroom management, more skillful interaction with students, and burnout reduction. If you would like to learn more, please visit the comprehensive Mindful Schools website and check out the testimonials from teachers and students whom Alison has taught.

*Please email ALISON if you are interested in the data on the mindfulness program she directed at Williamsburg Prep in Brooklyn, NY.

Below is a page from a ninth grader's math exam. He had recently completed the mindfulness course Alison had taught in his English class. Ultimately, he was able to determine the right answer. His teachers congratulated him on his perseverance and asked him how he had managed to keep trying instead of giving up earlier on in the process. He responded, "I was mindful."