I have learned the importance of a mindfulness practice to come to be more present in the moment in my body during my own healing journey and have come to appreciate more and more the value of such practice as a foundation for addressing the impact of violence on learning.
With breath work and mindfulness practices teachers can calm and bring themselves more present to their teaching and their students. Mindfulness too can support our attempts to remain curious about our students’ behaviour, avoid judgement and limit the stories that we so often create about ourselves and others. With this practice students of all ages can calm themselves, learn to be present in the moment and to be curious about our behaviours, to see ourselves as ever-changing rather than fixed. This practice can help us all avoid the trap of “I am….” and “I am not….” or he or she is or is not… and be more open to the ways we all change when the conditions are different, and to the ways our connections and relationships change each other.
I have been studying Vipassana meditation since 2004 with Molly Swan and Norman Feldman founding teachers of True North Insight. In 2012 I took on a year-long intensive study of the Dharma with Molly and Norman. I attended their residential retreats for many years (from 3 to 7 days).
I am a member of Mindfulness Toronto – where I hope to connect with more professionals in Toronto and exploring the potential of mindfulness practices for supporting learning in the presence or aftermath of violence.
I now attend True Peace Toronto Sangha regularly, on Monday nights, and have attended two retreats organized by the Sangha each Spring – taught by Joanne Friday, a wise and insightful teacher. These retreats are a wonderful space to nurture my own mindfulness in community, and to help me to be more fully present for my work.