Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered Communities Where Students Focus and Flourish (Creating a Positive Learning Environment Through Mindfulness in Schools)

Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered Communities Where Students Focus and Flourish (Creating a Positive Learning Environment Through Mindfulness in Schools)


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With foreword by Paul Liabenow

Build compassionate classroom environments and mindful schools that prioritize high levels of achievement and high levels of well-being. Based on the latest neuroscience research, Mindfulness Practices details how mindfulness in schools can lead to new, improved ways of educating, learning, and living. The book's mindful education exercises are easily adaptable across grade levels -- from prekindergarten through high school -- as well as across urban, suburban, and rural school settings.

Mindfulness exercises and trauma-informed practices for a positive learning environment:

  • Explore the theory behind mindful education, including the interrelated nature of physiology, cognition, emotions, and mindfulness for students.
  • Learn how mindfulness in schools contributes to a positive mindset, alleviates the impact of toxic stress, and takes advantage of neuroplasticity.
  • Understand the effects of trauma and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) on student behavior and the ability to learn, and discover trauma-informed practices that support healing.
  • Acquire research-based mindfulness practices, including breathing exercises, yoga for the classroom, meditation for students, and cognitive reflection and awareness.
  • Reignite the passion that first drew you to education and prioritize self-care for yourself and your students.
  • Discover how to build a heart-centered learning community in classrooms and create mindful schools.


Foreword by Paul Liabenow


Part I: The Urgency of Now

Chapter 1: The Need to Care

Chapter 2: The Journey--Healing Along the Way

Chapter 3: Our Brain and the Mind-Body Connection

Part II: Mindfulness Practices--Getting Practical

Chapter 4: A Deep Breath

Chapter 5: Move and Stretch--Yoga and Meditation Basics

Chapter 6: Mindful Sensation, Presence, and Emotion

Part III: Mindful and Compassionate Classrooms and School Communities

Chapter 7: Mindful Instruction--Paying Attention to Your Students

Chapter 8: Executive Functioning

Chapter 9: Mindful Leadership From Within--A New Mindset


References and Resources


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947604063
Publisher: Solution Tree Press
Publication date: 10/19/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 786,891
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors xi

Foreword Paul Liabenow xv

Introduction 1

Education of the Heart Through Mindfulness 2

Mindfulness Practices: About the Book 7

Part I The Urgency of Now 11

1 The Need to Care 13

There Is a Mounting Urgency 14

With Mindfulness, Imagine Compassionate Communities 17

Mindful Reflection 18

2 The Journey-Healing Along the Way 21

Through Mindfulness and Compassion Comes Healing 21

This Is a Conscious Shift to Reach All Students 30

Mindful Reflection 35

3 Our Brain and the Mind-Body Connection 37

Function Junctions of Our Brain 38

Emotional Toll of Stress Responses 48

Brain Health and Classroom Implications 50

Mindful Reflection 56

Part II Mindfulness Practices- Getting Practical 59

4 A Deep Breath 61

Breath-A Natural Means to Handle Stress 62

Practical Exercises 64

Practical Applications 69

Mindful Reflection 70

5 Move and Stretch-Yoga and Meditation Basics 73

Body Awareness From Sports and Yoga 75

Yoga in the Classroom 78

Practical Exercises: Yoga 79

Meditation-Calming and Quieting Moments of the Mind 81

Meditation in the Classroom 82

Practical Exercises: Meditation 82

Practical Applications 86

The Impact of Meditation Over Time 88

Mindful Reflection 88

6 Mindful Sensation, Presence, and Emotion 91

Mindfulness: What It Is and What It Does 91

Considerations as You Begin Mindful Sensation, Presence, and Emotion Exercises in the Classroom 95

Practical Exercises: Sensation 97

The Complexity of Emotions for Students Ages Eleven and Older 103

Considerations Before Practicing Guided Visualizations for Sadness and Disappointment 104

Practical Exercises 105

Self-Soothing Behavior and Breath 107

Repeat, Refocus, Recenter 109

Reflection After Learning 110

Natural Integration of Mindfulness in Our Lives Through Practice 110

Mindful Reflection 110

Part III Mindful and Compassionate Classrooms and School Communities 113

7 Mindful Instruction-Paying Attention to Your Students 115

Consider Who You Are Teaching 116

Build Compassion in Classrooms 116

Practical Exercises 117

Mindful Reflection 129

8 Executive Functioning 131

Mind Full Versus Mindful 132

Mindful Lens in the Classroom 132

How Our Brains Help Us Learn 132

Mindful Reflection 142

9 Mindful Leadership From Within-A New Mindset 145

Staying the Course of Change 146

Transforming Schools and Lives as Transformational Change Agents 147

Showing Fearless Leadership and a Drive for Change 147

Using Mindfulness as a Tool of Opportunity 148

Getting to the Heart of the Matter 149

Facilitating a Collective Community of Shared Vision and Leadership 154

Understanding the Need to Lead With Courageous Action 154

Moving Forward 154

Inspiring Others to Move the Needle of Change 156

Mindful Reflection 156

Epilogue 159

References and Resources 161

Index 181

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This profound book points the way for teachers, students, and whole school systems to transform into more mindful and compassionate communities. The authors integrate their expertise in contemplative practices, social justice, neuroscience, and educational leadership in a road map for mindfulness-based education. With eloquent research-based writing, this book can show educators how to transform stress and trauma and create more equitable and peaceful learning environments."

--Daniel Rechtschaffen, author of The Way of Mindful Education and The Mindful Education Workbook

"'Compassion is quintessential.' Wow, we have been searching for this! Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered School Communities Where Students Focus and Flourish is like a breath of fresh air and includes the recipe for success for students and adults. Mason, Rivers Murphy, and Jackson create a sense of urgency, offer practical techniques, and give a road map for us to follow for creating compassionate learning communities, complete with case studies and mindful reflection questions. Mindfulness practices are the true way to meet the needs of everyone we serve!"

--David G. Hornak, superintendent, Holt Public Schools, executive director, National Association for Year-Round Education

"Unprecedented numbers of students across the United States are entering classrooms having had traumatic experiences and toxic stress that can profoundly impact their ability to succeed academically and socially within society. Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered School Communities Where Students Focus and Flourish is a pivotal read that outlines the tremendous impact trauma has on the brain and the moral imperative that we have, as educators, to meet the challenge of 'educating with our hearts and minds.' Mindfulness Practices provides a powerful rationale for transformational change coupled with practical examples from the field and a host of exercises that can be immediately implemented from the classroom to district level."

--Eric Cardwell, Besser Elementary principal, Alpena Public Schools, Michigan

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