020In the long run – decency wins, anyone who tries to take more than they deserve  alienate others and that is the seed of their own destruction. 3D Painting FAN has a new application that you give you a 20 % discount on a painting for “liking” the page.

I was hacked

If you have been getting strange tweets from this site – I was hacked.  I blog about education, psychology, learning styles, neuroscience, social emotional learning, art, creativity and mindfulness – only.  Sorry to inconvience.

Resilience and Mindfullness

Mindfullness or Attention to the Present puts light on the inner dialogue that may be limiting your willingness to try new things. When you refuse to identify with a label such as “clumsy” or “dumb in math” then there is courage and energy to try. Resilience suggests the ability to “do over, or do differently” for that courage/ heart is needed. (Old French corage (12c., Modern French courage) “heart, innermost feelings; from Latin cor “heart” (see heart) which remains a common metaphor for inner strength.


Flying hearts (659x800)3D Painting by Ken Gidge

Don’t tell me what to do !

A surly attitude may seem chronic with ADD students . Along with being utterly saturated with corrections when you tell them what to do it is a cognitively demanding task. First the student must stop their own head chatter and listen to you. Then they have to comprehend what you said, next they have to follow and execute those instructions while simultaneously giving up their own preference. It is not so much that they don’t think what you tell them it a good idea, it is just more effort to process the input.

Time Saving technology

I wanted to listen to Adashahti on Youtube for a little while this morning
So I found Youtube on my husband I pad and it asked that I log in to my account
I put in my E mail and password and then YouTube sent a verification message
to my mobile phone but my mobile phone was in my husband’s car so I didn’t get it
Then I checked the log in to send it to my alternative number at home
I ran to pick up the phone in the kitchen
Heard the message and one finger typed it in… it was wrong.
I forgot the number
Then I got a popup from the popular Youtube videos from “ASAPscience” about how mental practice doing something is nearly as powerful as physically doing something
Well , I liked that article so I tried to log in to facebook but it didn’t log because password and capital letters were out of sync.
Next – I gave up- picked up the book next to me and read a chapter from Adyashanti’s book.
True Meditation.

Mirror Listening

Mirror Listening

This particular exercise was suggested by Dr. Susan Stillman of Six Seconds. Its usefulness is apparent and the lesson is fairly easy to execute although it requires at least 30 minutes doing a complete round.
The objective of the lesson is to have students observe the dynamics of communication. It contains elements of body language, emotional charge, word choice, tone, pace, inflection, the speaker’s perception and so on. It is a much evolved skill to listen cleanly and objectively.
Tell the class that they are going to doing a “Listening Mirrors “exercise – trying to be a Mirrors or video recording to the students speaking. They are to listen without interrupting the description from student designated as speakers and they need to observe and copy every detail of tone of voice, posture, and pace of words, word choice and emotional intensity. Then divide the class into teams of three students each by counting off: one, two, and three… and so on. In the first round, the students counted as ONE’s speak, TWOs listen, and the THREEs observe for accuracy. Then switch until each has had a turn at the different roles.
Ask the class to think about an event that made them very sad, angry or frustrated. Let the group process and visualize that moment in time for a minute or two. Then give time about 2 minutes for the Speakers to tell their story, 2 minutes for the Listeners to repeat the story, and lastly have the observers give feedback to on the accuracy of the repetition.
Because this lesson can get rather noisy you may want to send kids into corners, or the hallways to do it. Have the observers keep track of the time. Each complete set might be about 12 minutes- moving rather quickly. When the class has regrouped, have one member from each team – share out what they learned, heard or observed… Try to draw some conclusions or principles such as,
“It is important to _____” not change the words”
The tone of voice makes a difference.
An extension of this practice might be that – when a student is not explaining the story well and/or the repetition is not accurate – the observer asks a question to the speaker and or coaches the partners… to clarify the intent, meaning and intensity.

How Mindfullness encourages Orientation

How “mindfulness” improves orientation
The pause practice, the stop exercise or a moment of REST at the beginning of a task provides a way to settle the nervous system, sets up orientation to time, place and offers mental clarity before the anticipated activity. When a student has a chance to clean the mental white board, it is an opportunity to dissolve residual tensions or attachments from the prior activity and simultaneously grounds the student in the here and now. During the STOP the body is used as an anchor for awareness and then students expands that awareness to include the play of air on the face, their weight in the chair, listening out into the room, including the group or any other sounds. This gives students a much needed and often welcomed respite. With the stop Exercise – there is a cessation of all social and cognitive demands – it is just REST. Mindfulness: encourages student to be awake to their current task and situation with a one or two minute pause at the beginning of a class. A sharply delineated end to that and a beginning to this gathers the fullness of potential energy and points it to now.

Why Acceptance at school is important

Why is it so important?  The life of a child depends so much on his social interactions at their school and relationships with their friends. Finding our place in the world, being accepted and learning to fulfill our potential talents requires that we feel safe enough to take risks. When a teacher creates an atmosphere that is mutually respectful, supportive and encouraging, children can be their authentic selves and ask the questions that puzzle them the most.  This requires that learning differences be honored so that elitism doesn’t evolve and crush the participation of children who are less typical learners.

Freedom in Service

Service provides us with a special kind of freedom. We can detach from the consequences of an action, do our best, perform with attention and love and then release the action back to sumashti. Service requires the unfolding of intelligence, skill and fearlessness. It gives us an opportunity to try new projects, or build pathways into talents and understanding ourselves because as the need presents itself we are invited to develop our capacity for love.

Practicing Attention – there love arises

When a class is asked to do a hands on project you can practice an attention exercise such as “listen to the sound where the working surfaces meet” or  “watch the hands as they work.”  Any physical task can be used as a meditation especially when it requires hand eye co- ordination.  Projects such as building a boat, a model, gardening, washing dishes and so on can be done in a contemplative way such as “Doing one thing at a time .”

A sanskrit shruti reflects this principal in the following words.

“Where the hand goes, the eye follows; where the eye goes the mind follows; where the mind goes, the heart follows, and thus is born expression.”

“Where the hand goes, the eye goes
Where the eye goes, there the mind follows
Where the mind is, there the heart is also
Where the heart is, there love arises.”
(Nandikesvara – Abhinayadarpanam)

In experience, one usually finds that with careful attention love arises. I am reminded of Ray Bradbury’s classic  short story, The Electric Grandmother who asked, ‘ Love and attention, it’s the same thing isn’t it ? “