you've got to make something good out of something bad

Jan 14, 2019

One of my favourite TED talks. Delivered by David Hoffman. A mindful response to adversity. A poem for an epiphany.

what happens when you lose everything

not noticing for noticing's sake

Jan 14, 2019

I just got to teaching the second session of the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), and I realised that the first two sessions are about opening up to what we’re noticing, in body and mind. I then became aware of having to respond to questions around notions of just what it is we’re doing with all of this noticing. For instance, is it just about noticing? Is that what I’m supposed to be doing here? 

Well, no it isn't. 

But I found that I needed to consult someone about this. Someone wise but also witty. After all, we don't want to get all earnest about this, do we?

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the mind is all you have

Jan 13, 2019

healing the howling of the monastery cat

Jan 10, 2019

When I think about our education system – actually when I think about the purpose of any organised system of human endeavour – I am reminded of the following Zen story:

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smart advice students need to know

Jan 10, 2019

Tim Ferriss had a great idea. He decided to seek out role models. He wrote to more than 100 ‘eclectic mentors’ to help him ‘navigate life’. One of them was Yuval Noah Harari, the author of the international bestseller ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’, and more recently '21 Lessons for the 21st Century’. Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002 and is now a lecturer in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He’s an influencer worth checking out. He’s also a meditation practitioner. 

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the teacher's time out card

Jan 09, 2019

The quest:

to reclaim agency and identity in a profession assailed by performativity.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you’ve felt like saying to the class,

“Sorry folks…need a little space for myself now… just to take the edge off… See you in five.”

Or have you ever felt like saying to the hand brandishing the ‘Time Out’ card,

“hey, can I have one of those too….please?”

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approaching mindfulness

Jan 09, 2019

What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make and end is to make a beginning….

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

TS Eliot – Little Gidding

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all things are ready, if our mind be so

Jan 07, 2019

In the last post I touched upon the value of role models, and how teaching has to involve role modelling uncertainty as an ignition for learning. This put me in mind of a particular role model of mine. As a teacher I find him a curious case. He’s an ex-grammar school boy who had an apparent disdain for his schooling experience. But boy was he good with words. I mean, just consider for a moment the meaning of the above words and how they might relate to your mindful life.

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teacher in rehab

Jan 06, 2019

First off, an admission: I’m a recovering teacher. I had a chronic case of MCS (Measurable Criteria Syndrome), so I quit. Quit teaching in a classroom, that is. Mindfulness said: Enough. Be kind to yourself. Recover. So I did. Or, at least I think I did. It’s kind of an ongoing thing.

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your mindful life

Jan 01, 2019

Your Mindful Life

For what it’s worth, my own quest for a mindful life side-stepped any epiphanic moment of self-awareness. It wasn’t sudden, or momentous, it just emerged: probably out of weariness with the autonomic toll, the irascibility, the distractibility, the caught-up-ness, the addictive tendencies, the shouting at my kids, the shouting at other people’s kids, the shouting at the parents of other people’s kids, the passive aggression, the muttering at fellow drivers on a particular stretch of arterial road in a small patch of south east Essex. 

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Every month I'll send out ideas and resources. I’ll add links to books, articles, podcasts, quotes, and stories that will  help inspire you to cultivate your mindful life.