Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in Education

Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in Education

by Thich Nhat Hanh, Katherine Weare


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Happy Teachers Change the World is the first official, authoritative manual of the Thich Nhat Hanh/Plum Village approach to mindfulness in education. Spanning the whole range of schools and grade levels, from preschool through higher education, these techniques are grounded in the everyday world of schools, colleges, and universities.

Beginning firmly with teachers and all those working with students, including administrators, counselors, and other personnel, the Plum Village approach stresses that educators must first establish their own mindfulness practice since everything they do in the classroom will be based on that foundation. The book includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step techniques perfected by educators to teach themselves and to apply to their work with students and colleagues, along with inspirational stories of the ways in which teachers have made mindfulness practice alive and relevant for themselves and their students across the school and out into the community.

The instructions in Happy Teachers Change the World are offered as basic practices taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, followed by guidance from educators using these practices in their classrooms, with ample in-class interpretations, activities, tips, and instructions. Woven throughout are stories from members of the Plum Village community around the world who are applying these teachings in their own lives and educational contexts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941529638
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 46,127
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered Zen teachers in the world today. His best-selling books include Be Free Where You Are and Peace of Mind. He lives in Plum Village in southwest France. Nhat Hanh has been teaching the art of mindful living for more than 70 years.

Katherine Weare, PhD, is Professor of Education at the University of Southampton and the University of Exeter. She is internationally known for her writing, speaking, research, and development work on mindfulness and compassion for children and young people and those who care for them. Since 2000 she has advised the English government's Department for Children, Schools, and Families on policy in the area of social and emotional learning. She is an honorary member of the Society of Public Health Medicine, and a board member of the international network INTERCAMHS (International alliance for child and mental health in schools). She also serves on the editorial boards of several mental health journals.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jon Kabat-Zinn xiii

Letter to a young teacher thich nhat hanh xvii

Preface: A vision for education the plum village community xxvi

Preface: The plum village contribution to the field of mindfulness in education Katherine Weare xxxii

Part 1 Core practices

1 The breath 2

Breathe, you are alive! thich nhat hanh 3

Teaching notes on getting in touch with our breath 6

Core practice: getting in touch with our breath 8

Mindful breathing in our lives and our teaching 12

2 The bell of mindfulness 20

An ambassador for peace and happiness thich nhat hanh 21

Teaching notes on the bell of mindfulness 24

Core practice: inviting the bell 27

Core practice: listening to the bell 28

The bell of mindfulness in our lives and our teaching 30

3 Sitting 40

Sitting like a mountain thich nhat hanh 41

Teaching notes on sitting mindfully 44

Core practice: short sitting practice 47

Teaching notes on finding the best sitting position 52

Sitting mindfully in our lives and our teaching 53

4 Walking 58

Walking just to walk thich nhat hanh 59

Teaching notes on mindful walking 61

Core practice: mindful walking in a circle 63

Core practice: longer mindful walk 66

Mindful walking in our lives and our teaching 69

5 The body 81

Body and mind united thich nhat hanh 82

Teaching notes on the body practices 84

Teaching notes on awareness of body and breath 85

Core practice: awareness of the body and the breath 86

Teaching notes on ten mindful movements 88

Core practice: ten mindful movements 89

Teaching notes on deep relaxation 96

Core practice: deep relaxation 98

Teaching notes on lying down in the classroom 102

Awareness of the body and body practices, in our lives and our teaching 104

6 Eating 110

The cosmos in a carrot thich nhat hanh 111

A food contemplation 112

Teaching notes on mindful eating 113

Core practice: tangerine meditation 116

Core practice: eating a snack mindfully 119

Core practice: eating a whole meal mindfully 121

Mindful eating in our lives and our teaching 122

7 Taking care of our emotions 130

No mud, no lotus thich nhat hanh 131

Teaching notes on taking care of our emotions 136

Teaching notes on using our breath to get in touch with our emotions 138

Core practice: using our breath to get in touch with our emotions 139

Teaching notes on tree in a storm 142

Core practice: tree in a storm 143

Teaching notes on pebble meditation 145

Core practice: pebble meditation 147

Taking care of emotions in our lives and in our teaching 151

8 Being together 160

Deep listening and loving speech thich nhat hanh 161

Teaching notes on being together 165

Core practice: sharing in a circle with deep listening and loving speech 168

Teaching notes on beginning anew 173

Core practice: beginning anew 178

Being together in our lives and in our teaching 180

Part 2 Bringing it all together

9 Cultivating mindfulness in ourselves 194

Mindfulness begins with ourselves 195

What do teachers gain from practicing mindfulness? 196

Becoming more mindful ourselves: first steps 201

Deepening our practice: going on a retreat 206

Building a local community 209

Cultivating mindfulness in our everyday lives 210

10 Cultivating mindfulness in our students and classrooms 214

Cultivating mindfulness in our students 215

Relating skillfully to student behavior 215

Preparing to teach students mindfulness 218

Methods and approaches for teaching mindfulness 221

Mindfulness and learning 224

Integrating mindfulness within an ethical and social and emotional curriculum 227

Mindfulness and the mainstream subject-based curriculum 238

When mindfulness is difficult to teach 256

11 Cultivating mindfulness across school and university communities 260

Cultivating a sense of family 261

Sharing mindfulness with our colleagues 262

Reaching out to students' families 271

A whole-school, comprehensive approach 279

Happy teachers change the world 285


A Summaries of the core practices 289

Getting in touch with our breath 290

Inviting and listening to the bell 292

Mindful sitting 294

Mindful walking 296

Awareness of the body and the breath 298

Ten mindful movements 299

Deep relaxation 302

Mindful eating (tangerine meditation) 304

Using our breath to get in touch with our emotions 306

Tree in a storm 308

Pebble meditation 310

Circle sharing 312

Beginning anew 314

B The five mindfulness trainings 316

C The five contemplations before eating 319

D What next? resources to develop your personal practice and your teaching of mindfulness 320

Notes 330

Acknowledgments 334

Contributors to this book 336

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