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Mindfulness for Better Classroom Learning


Stress reduction for teachers, students, and focused practices to teach resilience, empathy, compassion and loving kindness. Differentiated Mindfulness™ practices establish deep mind/body integrated connections through curated mindfulness and meditation workshops and interactive media. These combine ancient knowledge with the newest instruments and methodology; to provide creative learning environments through acoustic and audiovisual immersion; and mindfulness tools for teachers to de-stress in their work day.

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Mindfulness for Better Classroom Learning


Stress reduction for teachers, students, and focused practices to teach resilience, empathy, compassion and loving kindness. Differentiated Mindfulness™ practices establish deep mind/body integrated connections through curated mindfulness and meditation workshops and interactive media. These combine ancient knowledge with the newest instruments and methodology; to provide creative learning environments through acoustic and audiovisual immersion; and mindfulness tools for teachers to de-stress in their work day.

Differentiated Mindfulness™ practices establish deep mind/body integrated connections.  You breathe, listen, see, speak, vibrate, feel and communicate within a mindful framework. To bring wellness into everyday practice, we engage and educate individuals and groups, leading in mindfulness, stress reduction, mind-expansion and calming techniques, through a differentiated approach. We specialize in mindfulness meditation, sound therapy, immersive audiovisual guided meditation, and storytelling. We cultivate creative expression through personal training and self-healing environments that connect the mind and body. Our curated practices engage in both scientific and wisdom based principles. This creates environments that promote well being, harmony, compassionate thought and action.

 

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NYSAIS Teacher Professional Development Workshop @ ABC Home,    click here for details

 

I customize mindfulness curriculum, and offer enhancements to existing curriculum to get more buy in, run professional development and in class lessons on ways to use mindfulness practices. Your school can benefit. Here are a few possibilities!

• working with your wellness, guidance and student success teams on effective ways to incorporate mindfulness.

• mentoring student councils on mindful leadership, mindfulness concepts and peer implementation.

• establishing expanded, age appropriate classes for lower, middle, upper division students.

• leading mindfulness community assemblies, or meditation clubs. 

• facilitating workshops on stress reduction and reducing academic or social anxieties.

• parent’s association introductions on family mindfulness best practices. 

• offering professional development training for teachers on mindfulness based classroom lessons. 

• creating ambient audio or visual tools for better classroom learning. 

• introducing meditation to philosophy classes or running meditation clubs.

• individualized, inter-active, mindfulness web pages.

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Meditation Club students at The United Nations International School

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Workshop on using sound for reduction of stress, lessening of anxieties, and to develop better focus and clarity

 

curriculum

ONE-ON-ONE and GROUP SESSIONS for PERSONAL AND professional development

With 30+ years of experience in wellness and teaching, we design custom curricula and learning modules for education and business development

 

THE TENETS, OR PILLARS, to Mindfully:

BREATHE  

Awareness of breath, using your mind and intent to direct the flow of breathing, conscious breathing for healing, grounding and focus. We explore generating energy, and we offer practices encompassing simple breathing exercises to restore, detect and break up blockages, relax, calm, and enhance each moment. The breath can be used to open passages within your body to bring about wellness.  There are times you can go without water and food or sleep, but not without breath! Mindfulness allows us to feel the natural joy in breathing. 

 

SPEAK 

We use the elements of nature, inspiration of mind and body and true joy of being in each moment fully and with bliss to express our beauty and feelings. Discover alternatives to falling into the trap of using your voice for purposes of mis-communication and
cynicism. Explore the power of your voice, compassion, and kindness, and allow yourself to say what you feel in a depersonalized way.
Healing for working teams, parent/child relationships, couples or inner conversation with the nature of your true being.

 LISTEN

Listening with the intent to say something back or listening to actually understand and have true compassion are different aspirations. One can cause suffering, the other, healing. To develop virtue in your ability to be there for others is the beginning step to unconditional love. Whether in negotiations, relationships, friendships or collaborations, those who truly listen with this intent can hear beneath the surface. Awareness
of listening focuses on the harmonies and rhythms of your body, mind and surroundings, creating holism and wellness.


 

VIBRATE

The world is sound.  By awakening our 'Sound Body', you become aware and can tune into your internal flow of life energy, to recharge, revitalize!  Everything in the universe vibrates. Each cell, each molecule can deeply re-energize.  By using music and sound tools that have unique acoustical qualities you resonate and create sublime states of calm, with profound effects. They entrain your
central nervous system. You re-align, attain deep relaxation, and are able to create healing imprints to enhance both sleep and waking
moments. 

SEE

Awareness of sight, to see beyond objects and discover their true nature, one experiences inter-being.  If each moment is viewed in a non-judgmental manner it allows that which is illusion to flow past and your focus begins to calm.  Sight and thoughts are like rivers within you.  At first they rush, like a waterfall but with practice they become still, like an ocean with no waves. It is in these moments of stillness that you awaken your innate 'Buddha nature', feel joy and compassion, which connects you with all beings, to see subtle magic and wonder. The boundaries of self begin to dissolve and you start to connect deeply with that which is around you. 

TEACH

To teach contemplative practices of Mindfulness is truly a beautiful virtue. Whether receiving or giving, to understand and benefit from the lineage of these aspirations will deepen your understanding. By embedding this knowledge into your daily practices you gain wisdom. Knowledge in itself is subject to momentary accuracy.  Understanding of impermanence, separation of yourself from your thoughts, compassion and unconditional love, giving and receiving, will open your mind and create new clarity in its approach.  You begin to balance emotion, gain lifelong skills of true joy and share in the benefiting of others.

Science Research


Science Research


QUICK SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE BASED RESEARCH STUDIES:

A neural circuit in the brainstem plays a key role in the breathing-brain control connection.  This circuit is part of what's been called the brain’s “breathing pacemaker” because it can be adjusted by altering breathing rhythm (slow, controlled breathing decreases activity in the circuit; fast, erratic breathing increases activity), which in turn influences emotional states. Simple controlled breathing exercises help to regulate the circuit.

Stress is another area where the evidence is particularly convincing. Continued mindfulness practice results in significant lowering of activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that triggers the freeze- fight-or-flight response. This helps to create calm.

Slowing your breathing increases “baroreflex sensitivity,” the mechanism that regulates blood pressure via heart rate. Over time, using controlled breathing to lower blood pressure and heart rate may lower risk of stroke and cerebral aneurysm, and generally decreases stress on blood vessels (a big plus for cardiovascular health).

Studies have revealed that mindfulness practice improved concentration and reduced mind-wandering. The researchers also found that mindfulness had a dramatic effect on working memory—the facility we have to manipulate stored information in order to reason and make decisions in a timely manner. One group of students that underwent a two-week course in mindfulness training boosted their scores on their GREs—the graduate school entrance exams—by more than 30%.

Research on mindfulness practice has shown an enhanced ability to self-regulate cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses. It is postulated that self-awareness (arising from increased attention to the moment-to-moment experience) and acceptance of experiences play a crucial role in self-regulation. 

Neural Mechanisms research suggests that mindfulness practice is associated with neuroplastic changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, temporo-parietal junction, fronto-limbic network and default mode network structures. This is what allows for improved self-regulation.

Further, on the brain, meditators show increases in left-sided anterior activation (a pattern associated with positive affect (Positive affect refers to the extent to which an individual subjectively experiences positive moods such as joy, interest, and alertness).) and changes in grey matter concentration within the left hippocampus (grey matter here is associated with verbal memory, learning and memory). Additionally, research supports improvements in neural processing related to attentional core processes with as little as 10 to 15 minutes of mindfulness-based meditation a day.

A systematic review of more than 20 randomized controlled trials in 2011 successfully demonstrated improvements in overall mental health, as well as its benefit for reducing risk of relapse from depression. Similarly, substantial evidence exists that mindfulness has a positive impact on anxiety disorders.

Mindfulness practice plays an important role in cultivating enduring qualities, such as selflessness, equanimity, and impartial compassion. Research has shown that as you continue practicing, these become part of your way of being. They become traits.

Poor sleep and sleep disorders are linked to a plethora of negative medical and psychiatric outcomes. Mindfulness-based interventions offer promise. Randomized, controlled trials have demonstrated a reduction in total wake time and decreases on the Insomnia Severity Index, a tool commonly used to assess for insomnia.

 

THESE ARE CONCEPT AREAS WHERE CURRENT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FOCUSES ON DIFFERENTIATED

MINDFULNESS, MEDITATION, AND WHERE THEY ARE ENHANCED BY SOUND THERAPY:

 

  • Engaging breath through mindful breathing and meditation improves aerobic capacity and brings more oxygen to the blood
  • The mind has the power to correct physiological imbalances through a mind body connection
  • Psychoacoustics, the scientific study of sound perception, is the branch of science studying the psychological and physiological responses associated with sound
  • The use of sound for therapeutic and medicinal purposes includes singing, toning, mantra chanting, harmonic and overtone chanting, sympathetic sound vibration,  use of sound tools, rhythm, melody.  As we are both vibrating and vibration sensing beings, we react to these stimuli in positive ways
  • The use of positive sound resonation boosts endorphins, the brain's natural painkillers, which in turn help build a stronger immune system
  • Sound can be heard through the ears as well as felt through the skin
  • Bone Conduction is an example of this, for instance using tuning forks, or toning with gently body connection touch
  • Reorganization of the body's tonal structure, on a cellular level, can occur by sound vibrations penetrating cells. This in turn re calibrates the bio-physiological system
  • Our Autonomic Nervous System regulates involuntary action, such as that of the intestines, heart and glands.  Meditation accompanied by certain sound vibration creates a drop in stress hormones that activate our body's fight or flight response
  • Sympathetic autonomic response is associated with acceleration of the heart rate, constriction of blood vessels, rise in blood pressure, - is activated by stress and triggers the release of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, this in turn triggers FOFL, as the body and nerves get ready for action, tenses muscles.  Through the mindful use of meditation and sound therapy, parasympathetic response occurs, which slows heart rate, increases digestive and glandular activity and relaxes the muscles, as well reduces the release of cortisol.  
  • Through this relaxation response brain waves take on distinctive patterns characteristic of relaxation, and further causes beneficial physiological changes, have positive effect in relieving symptoms of illness and helps promote healing via chemical hormonal and cellular changes including Increased levels of immune-cell messenger molecules that help regulate the activity of other immune cells.
  • This results in stimulating healthy brain cells, lowering blood pressure, promoting deep breathing, boosting the immune system, regulating heart rhythm, lowering heart beat rates, lowering respiratory rate, which in turn produces greater relaxation, reduced stress, enhanced concentration, focus, elevated mood, lowered anxiety
  • Harmony and overtones have integral roles in how sound is perceived by the body.
  • Binaural beats have a positive effect on entrainment of left and right brain hemispheres and the ability to enter deeper levels of brain wave states which enhances relaxation and sleep
  • Tuning Forks, in a single tone or through harmonies, like a 5th, produces Nitric Oxide (NO) . When body is under stress, body's production of this diminishes, which causes various levels of illnesses. When puffed back up, which is what tuning fork vibrations do, creates enhanced cell vitality, vascular flow, heart healing, stronger immune system, more resistance to stress, greater levels of energy and stamina, sharper mental clarity, diminished states of depression, improved digestion.
  • By using certain rhythmic patterns we can recreate sensation of the womb. At approximately 72 beats per second, our body is at rest. These rhythmic patterns at this tempo create what is called heartbeat entrainment
  • Rhythmic entrainment has been shown to have positive effects on the study of and therapy for Parkinson's
  • Chinese medicine -states each organ has a unique energy structure, vibration and movement - certain sounds can shift these in theraputic ways
  • Neuroplasticity - ability of brain and nervous system to change structurally and fundamentally as a result of input from the environment 
  • Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) - uses melody and rhythm to repair language expression in the brain... also improves memory, coordination, cerebral function and health
  • The vestibular system can be stimulated through bone conduction of specific sound vibration. This tones the tiny muscles in the ear
  • Focused therapeutic ultrasound, non invasively beaming sound waves into brain tissue, oscillating superfast, open up the blood-brain barrier, clearing out toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer's.

Current Articles


Current Articles


CURATED ARTICLES, VIDEOS ON MINDFULNESS, MEDITATION AND RELATED CONCEPTS. FOR THE MOST CURRENT PLEASE VISIT MINDFUL SYNC ON FACEBOOK. I WILL BE UPDATING THIS PAGE SOON.

  • The Art and Science of breathing through yoga

Mindful Connections


Mindful Connections


Mindful Sync - On Mindfulness and Meditation, for professionals, teachers, musicians, dancers, artists, administrators,
parents, students, athletes, all beings! This is a curated facebook group for sharing practices, information, knowledge,
exploration, wisdom and ideas.

Plum Village - Thich Nhat Hanh's Mindfulness Practice Centre in France

Blue Cliff Monastery  - Thich Nhat Hanh's Center in upstate New York

Call To Care - Educational research curricular Initiative aimed at developing a heart based teaching model

AMRA - The American Mindfulness Research Association, who's mission is to support empirical and conceptual efforts
to facilitate Mindfulness related dialog and discovery.

The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

The Center For Mindfulness at University of Mass, established by Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindfulness in Schools - UK based organization, founded by Chris Cullen and Richard Burnett

AME - The Association for Mindfulness in Education Listserve, a forum for those offering Mindfulness to youth in school
and community settings

The Child Mind Institute  Dedicated to transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health and learning disorders

dot B - courses created by the Mindfulness in Schools Project

Tuck Sleep Research - A community for advancing better sleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum Sample


Curriculum Sample


Mindfulness Curriculum   
 

WHAT:   Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware of each present moment and understanding your relation to those moments.

HOW:     It uses basic meditations of breathing, listening, visualizing to create calm, joy, compassion for others, and self appreciation.

FOR:      These practices have proven effective for all age levels of students.

 

BENEFITS:   

Reduction of stress

Ability to be less reactive

Increased clarity in decision making

Increased retention of knowledge

More desire to focus and learn

Understanding of relationships

Better interactions with others

Enhanced and deeper sleep

 

WHY?  In our multi tasking, fast paced, global communities our quest for quick answers, immediate results and productivity often preclude us from momentarily stopping, breathing, de-stressing and being joyful, learning from and being appreciative of each experience.   These life skills are needed to optimize the quest for academic excellence.

 

RESULTS: 

Mindfulness practices bring out the natural positive qualities that are already within us! Every child is born with positive virtues, aspirations, and innate knowledge that they already came into this world with!  So, Mindfulness does not mean they have to try to be someone different!  This allows students to bring forth their natural selves.

The result is better students who have a deeper understanding, increased learning ability, compassion for others, and know how to truly listen to create solutions.

More empathetic and resourceful community and family members that have increased opportunity to experience joy, have tools to be often less reactive when faced with adversity, and have a better overall sense of well-being towards themselves and in relationships.

 

 


PROGRAM OPTIONS:

Single Day, One Week, Six Week

 


 

CORE CONCEPTS:

The tenets of mindfulness are introduced and implemented through creative pilot programs that are embedded into each day, and at varied times; before school, after school, during advisories, community times and well as intensives during exam and other stress periods.  Additionally, outreach facilitated by peer-to-peer videoconferences, apps, sound and visual media technologies, the seeds for these concepts and practices are shared.  By embedding these into classroom and day flow in practical ways, students share responsibilities and opportunities to lead, thus it becomes systemic, holistic and empowering. 

THE SIX TENETS:  To Mindfully Breathe, See, Listen, Speak, Vibrate, and Teach
 

PROGRAM GOALS:

  • Breathe in to areas of tension, breathe out slower and let these tensions melt, relax

  • Gain awareness, gaze deeply into and beyond objects and perceptions, begin to notice things you may not have seen before

  • Stimulate Imagination and the ability to observe emotions through energy spheres

  • Notice that you are not your thoughts, and that you can observe emotions and reactions, without owning or being affected by them

  • Know that our mind and our thoughts often feel like a rushing waterfall - just let them float by like a river, calming

  • Realize that everything is impermanent; … will you feel this way tomorrow?

  • Understand that all things in the universe vibrate, you do too! - and you are connected to others through a concept called 'inter-being' 

  • Gain unconditional love and compassion through this for yourself and for others

  • Get in touch with your natural self, learn to make peace with our imperfections "to be completely incomplete" & comfortably evolving

  • Allow yourself to be passionate and caring and create action but with a calm mind, and an understanding of other's

  • Be fully aware of each moment, and live with true joy

 


 

MINDFULNESS FOR UPPER DIVISION STUDENTS:  SIX WEEK PROGRAM
Curriculum will be customized for your specific classroom and student population needs.  
 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
 

WEEK 1:

BREATHE: Awareness of breath, using your mind and intent to direct the flow of breathing, conscious breathing for healing,
grounding and focus. We explore generating energy, and we offer practices encompassing simple breathing exercises to restore, detect and
break up blockages, relax, calm, and enhance each moment. The breath can be used to open passages within your body to bring about wellness.  
There are times you can go without water and food or sleep, but not without breath!  Mindfulness allows us to feel the natural joy in breathing.

ACTIVITIES

Conscious and intent breathing

Becoming comfortable with silence and stillness

Deep listening - work with sound minitations

Being aware and in the present moment

App Technology -  Facilitating breath work through Meditation DJ app

 

WEEK 2:

SEE: Awareness of sight, to see beyond objects and discover their true nature, one experiences inter-being.  If each moment is
viewed in a non-judgmental manner it allows that which is illusion to flow past and your focus begins to calm.  Sight and thoughts are like
rivers within you.  At first they rush, like a waterfall but with practice they become still, like an ocean with no waves. It is in these moments of
stillness that you awaken your innate 'Buddha nature', feel joy and compassion, which connects you with all beings, to see the subtle magic
and wonder. The boundaries of self begin to dissolve and you start to connect deeply with that which is around you.  

ACTIVITIES

Expansive and guided imagery

Calm abiding Blue Flower and Shamatha meditation

Walking, visualizing and observing

Media - Mindfulness Connect Video Conferencing forum

 

WEEK 3:

LISTEN:  Listening with the intent to say something back or listening to actually understand and have true compassion are different aspirations. One can cause suffering, the other, healing. To develop virtue in your ability to be there for others is the beginning step to unconditional love. Whether in negotiations, relationships, friendships or collaborations, those who truly listen with this intent can hear beneath the surface. Awareness
of listening focuses on the harmonies and rhythms of your body, mind and surroundings, creating holism and wellness.

ACTIVITIES

Transforming emotions

Practicing equanimity

Giving and receiving

Music Technology - Creating sound tracks for classroom ambience

 

WEEK 4

VIBRATE:  The world is sound.  By awakening our 'Sound Body', you become aware and can tune into your internal flow of life
energy, to recharge, revitalize!  Everything in the universe vibrates. Each cell, each molecule can deeply re-energize.  By using music and
sound tools that have unique acoustical qualities you resonate and create sublime states of calm, with profound effects. They entrain your
central nervous system. You re-align, attain deep relaxation, and are able to create healing imprints to enhance both sleep and waking
moments. 

ACTIVITIES

Toning and awakening your ‘Sound Body’

Sacred sound and vibrational instruments

Psychoacoustics and central nervous system entrainment

Music technology - Using binaural beats and patterns for enhanced sleep

 

WEEK 5

SPEAK:  We use the elements of nature, inspiration of mind and body and true joy of being in each moment fully and with bliss
to express our beauty and feelings. Discover alternatives to falling into the trap of using your voice for purposes of mis-communication and
cynicism. Explore the power of your voice, compassion, and kindness, and allow yourself to say what you feel in a depersonalized way.
Healing for working teams, parent/child relationships, couples or inner conversation with the nature of your true being.

ACTIVITIES

Storytelling through verbal and visual expression

Mindful writing and speaking

Practicing circles of kindness and compassion

Recording Technology - Creating personal affirmations

 

WEEK 6

TEACH:  To teach contemplative practices of Mindfulness is truly a beautiful virtue. Whether receiving or giving, to understand and benefit from the lineage of these aspirations will deepen your understanding. By embedding this knowledge into your daily practices you gain wisdom. Knowledge in itself is subject to momentary accuracy.  Understanding of impermanence, separation of yourself from your thoughts, compassion and unconditional love, giving and receiving, will open your mind and create new clarity in its approach.  You begin to balance emotion, gain lifelong skills of true joy and share in the benefiting of others.

ACTIVITIES

Development of intuition and wisdom senses

Recalling innate knowledge

Empowering yourself through the joy of others

Media - Positive sharing of mindfulness practices through social networking


In The Moment - mindfulness game


In The Moment - mindfulness game


Use this zen game to visualize or go to locations where you can experience a waterfront, city, dunes, lake, mountain, forest, blue sky. Sit comfortably or walk slowly.  Read the breathing in and out lines with purpose and intent to see in a deep manner - first detail and then beyond the details of the subject. Feel the connection to the space.  You can meditate in this way on all lines or even just use one set of lines, choose what feels best for you.  Be in the present moment, fully aware and pause to reflect on what you see, hear, feel, sense.  Enjoy!  Here is the text for 'Waterfront'.  If you are interested in the others please email me - daniel@meditationdj.com, and use this button below and the password provided.

 


Waterfront


Aware of the waterfront I breathe In

Aware of my vision of the waterfront I breathe out


Aware of the peacefulness of the waterfront I breathe In

Aware of my peacefulness within the waterfront I breathe out


Aware of the compassion of sun shining I breathe in

Aware that the sun shines on all people, like my compassion does, I breathe out


Aware of the clouds drifting in and out I breathe in

Aware that the clouds are impermanent, like emotions, I breathe out


Aware of the birds effortless glide I breathe in

Aware that they balance with the winds I breathe out


Aware of the water I breathe in

Aware of the illusion of the water's color I breathe out


Aware of the river's flow I breathe in

Aware that the river flows like thoughts, sometimes in one direction, sometimes in the other, I breathe out


Aware of the distant trees I breath In

Aware that the trees wait for Spring, I breathe out

Aware of the buds on the trees I breathe in

Aware that the buds know naturally what to do I breathe out


Aware of the color of the sky I breathe in

Aware that the colors in the sky change like moods I breathe out


Aware of the Horizon on the water I breathe in

Aware that the horizon is infinite I breathe out


Aware of the people on the other shore I breathe in

Aware of the visions of the people I breathe out


Aware of my reflection I breathe in

Aware that my reflection is in harmony I breathe out


Aware of the stillness and silence of the Waterfront I breathe in

Aware of the stillness and silence in me I breathe out



                                                                                                                                    © 2015 Daniel Lauter