I was drawn to meditation many years ago through an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, long before mindfulness hit the mainstream. I loved the teachings about how we could train our mind to become kinder, wiser and more emotionally balanced. Over the years I have continued to study, meditate and try to apply what I have learned from numerous wonderful teachers; sometimes successfully and sometimes not. If nothing else I am more accepting of my own humanity.
Mindfulness training has helped me become more attuned to what arises in my mind throughout the day. I am more able to observe thoughts and feelings without being too caught up in them. When there is a difficult moment with my students, I'm less likely to get caught up in a stream of negative thoughts. I have become become less judgemental and less harsh on myself and others.
Mindfulness training has also helped me be more in the moment and less on autopilot. This means I'm more aware of the nuances of what is happening moment to moment in the classroom and more able to make better teaching choices along the way. Being a teacher is challenging so there are no lack of opportunities to practice patience, mindful listening and letting go. When I am mindful, I am more present to my students and attuned to their needs. Many of our students have difficulty regulating their emotions so bringing a calm, balanced and caring presence into their day can benefit them greatly. When I'm more mindful they too are more likely to calm down.
A regular mindfulness practice helps me be more present in the moment and more alive.