Tag Archives: Holistic Education

Mindfulness Practice Day 7 March 2015

Practicing mindfulness regularly helps enhance neural pathways in the brain, developing a deeper sense of peacefulness, clam and focus.

Research shows that practicing mindfulness regularly helps enhance neural pathways in the brain, developing a deeper sense of peacefulness, calm and focus, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and improving overall well-being.

On Saturday 7th March 2015, there will be a Mindfulness Practice Day.  This is a litte ‘retreat’ for those who have had some experience of practicing mindfulness, yoga or meditation in a group.

We will be reviewing practices from the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Minduflness-based Cognitive Therapy courses.  The aim will be to delve into the heart of ‘being mode’ through a range of mindfulness practices, enabling us to turn towards our experiences with gentleness and curiosity as best as we can, moment by moment.

Research shows that regularly practicing mindfulness enhances neural pathways in the brain related to well-being and postive mental states and reduces those related to stress, anxiety and depression.

For more information see the Mindfulness Practice Day webpage.

Eventbrite - Mindfulness Practice Day in Walthamstow 7/3/15

CARE for Teachers: 7th Annual Retreat, Garrison Institute, NY, August 2014

The Garrison Institute is situated on the banks of the Hudson River, an hour norht of New York City.  It is located in a beautifully renovated former Cupucian Monestery, surrounded by forests and fields.  Its focus is on using contemplative practices to support social and ecological change.

The Garrison Institute is located in a beautifully renovated former Capuchin Monestery, of over 7000 square metres, surrounded by forests and fields.

This summer, from 8 to 13 August, I had the privilege of being at the Garrison Institute, NY, for their 7th Annual retreat on Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) for Teachers.

The Garrison Institute is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization siutated on the banks of the Hudson river, an hour north of New York City.  Its focus is on using contemplative practices to support social and ecological change.

CARE for Teachers is an innovative and well-researched programme that directly enhances teacher well-being and indirectly that of their students.

CARE for Teachers is an innovative and well-researched programme that directly enhances teacher well-being and indirectly that of their students.

CARE for Teachers was developed by a team of researchers and professionals working in education and contemplative practices, including mindfulness-based approaches.  The 5-day retreat included daily meditation and other mindfulness practices and explicit teaching of key prinicipals.  The goals were to develop skills to manage the demands of teaching, enhance the joy of teaching and student-teacher relationships and prevent burn-out.

On some days, the retreat began with an early morning  meditation at a nearby waterfall.  There was the option to swim in the waters too: a refreshing way to begin the day.

On some days, the retreat began with an early morning meditation at a nearby waterfall. There was the option to swim in the waters as a refreshing way to begin the day.

The course included consideration of the resources required to develop emotional awareness.  This included respecting emotions and being able to recognise and label them.  It also involved improving how we regulate emotions and respond to complex and challenging situations.   Overall, greater awareness, presence and compassion were developed for use in complex and demanding work contexts, which for most of us, included classrooms. For more information see the CARE for Teachers website.

Presenting the Mindfulness-based Awareness Training intervention at the Implementation Science Conference

The Handbook of Implementation Science contains essential information for those wishing to implement interventions in educational settings.

The Handbook of Implementation Science contains essential information for those wishing to implement interventions in educational settings.

On 28th July 2014, I gave a presentation on the Mindfulness-based Awareness Training (MBAT) intervention at the Implementation Science Conference, organised by the East London Consortium of Educational Psychologists (ELCEP).  Implementation Science is a relatively new area of scientific, academic and practitioner interest that focuses on exploring and explaining what makes interventions work in real-world contexts.

The conference included inspiring talks and workshops.  One keynote speaker, Barbara Kelly, University of Cambridge, was the co-editor of the “Handbook of Implementation Science”.  She spoke about making use of implementation Science in order to successfully transfer and replicate evidence-based approaches, outlining what an intervention needed in order to be implemented successfully.  The factors for this included focusing on the beliefs and values of those trained to deliver the specific intervention and providing consultation and coaching during the implementation process itself.

Another keynote speaker was Elaine Wilson, also from the University of Cambridge.  She presented two case studies in educational contexts; firstly Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in school-university partnerships and secondly, teacher education reform in Kazakhstan.  She explained that certain factors were important to implementing sustainable change, including adopting a “can do” positive approach and focusing on a few, important ambitious goals.

Download the handout of the presentation on the MBAT intervention given at the Implementation Science Conference 28/7/14

Download the handout of the presentation on the MBAT intervention given at the Implementation Science Conference 28/7/14

One of the workshops was my presentation on the process by which the MBAT intervention had been developed through doctorate research and further refined when implemented in another setting.  The MBAT intervention is a mindfulness training course for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).  It aims to empower the participants with skills for self-regulation of emotions, helping them be calmer and better focused. The intervention includes gathering information about the context in which the child or young persons needs to develop their skills and understanding.  This enables the MBAT intervention to be adaptable to the needs of the individual concerned.

The process of developing the MBAT intervention was outlined in the presentation and the handout for this is available here.  Overall, the conference was an inspirational experience, motivating me to learn more about Implementation Science.  Currently the materials for the MBAT intervention are being developed into a practitioner workbook.  If you are interested in this work, please contact Holistic Education.

 

Chi Nei Tsang: an increasingly popular therapy provided by Holistic Education

Mantak Chia has been the main teacher in bringing Taoist practices into western awareness and has written dozens of books, including a few on CHi Nei Tsang.

Mantak Chia has been the main teacher in bringing Taoist practices into western awareness and has written dozens of books, including a few on CHi Nei Tsang.

Chi Nei Tsang is an ancient therapy that integrates aspects of Shiatsu, Chi Kung meditations and Tai Chi technique.  It aims to harmonise the flow of energy though working predominantly on the abdomen or hara.  It has become increasingly popular in recent years and the result has been an increase in the number of people requesting this therapy from Holistic Education.

In response to this, I have developed a new webpage, specifically on Chi Nei Tsang and I hope you enjoy finding out more about it and maybe, one day having a treatment for yourself.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy watching this introductory video, created by Kris Deva North from the London Healing Tao Centre.  I’m in it, doing some treatments and a bit of teaching.  It was filmed in April 2013.  Your feedback is welcome.

Wishing you well-being, health and happiness, Bernadette

New! Join the Holistic Education Mailing List

MailinglistThe website has been updated! Now you can join a mailing list to receive updates from Holistic Education on events and information about its activities.  You can also specify your interests, choosing from Mindfulness, Yoga, Holistic Therapies and Educational Psychology Services.  if you’d like to join, please click on the picture or here for the sign up form.  Best wishes, Bernadette

Mindfulness Interest Group, Hackney Learning Trust

Hackney Learning Trust

There is a monthly Mindfulness Interest Group at the Hackney Learning Trust.

Today I ran the first Mindfulness Interest Group at the Hackney Learning Trust.  It was brilliant to spend my lunch break discussing and sharing a few mindfulness practices with others.  Some had no experience, and others had done an 8-week course.  Overall, they were keen to have more opportunity to learn about mindfulness at work.

The next session is planned for Tuesday 29th April and the plan is to discuss how best to promote mindfulness in the work place.  We will also explore material from the Peace in a Frantic World book.