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Postcard 2/23

Mmacdougall's picture

In the mindful classrooms video, I noticed the class doing a sort of loving-kindness meditation for the members of the class who were not present. This really connected to a discussion I had in class last week, in which I talked about a previous class in which we had discussed the use of mindfulness as a way to break out of a focus on the self and engage with other people. I think that this focus is a saving one for the use of mindfulness in classrooms. Offering mindfulness as a tool for connecting with the world is a very valid option, and one that seems to not impose a certain view upon one's students. This all reminded me of a speech by David Foster Wallace, "This Is Water," that we discussed in my class on mindfulness. In this speech, Wallace asks a group of graduating seniors to make a choice to notice things that are going on in the world around them, and in the lives of other people with whom they will interact. This very much ties into the idea of loving-kindness meditations that the teacher in the video suggests her students engage in. For me, this also tied into Jon Kabat-Zinn's comparison of preparing for school by practicing mindfulness to an orchestra tuning before a performance. In order to engage with the world with a holistic approach, perhaps one must practice considering themself and others in a holistic manner. And, perhaps, mindfulness is a good way to engage in this. 


The image I have chosen is fish in relation to David Foster Wallace's "This Is Water," as it is named for a line about how one fish asks two others "How's the water?" and the other two fish are called to a sort of mindfulness as they realized that they are in water. This sort of mindfulness can be helpful for engaging with others, whether those are random passersby, students in class, or people at a field placement.


alesnick's picture

As you write about it, mindfulness is a form of connection and also is radically non-prescriptive in content (though it is specific as to form).  Interesting.  I think there is, or can be, something impersonal about meditation -- oriented more to being a human being than a particular personality.