- WHAT IS MINDFUL & ARTFUL THINKING?
- HOW IS IT RELEVANT FOR INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, TEACHERS, AND ORGANIZATIONS?
MINDFUL THINKING or MINDFULNESS: Just as there are limitless opportunities for exploring mindfulness, there are limitless ways to describe it. There are also limitless ways to apply it.
A few ways one could describe mindfulness are:
- being present in the moment--bringing attention to what you are doing right now.
- settling into the moment by noticing your breath, posture, thoughts, sensations, energy levels, or whatever works for you.
- being self-aware--noticing your words, actions, surroundings, and interactions--reflecting on how they affect you and how you affect them and others.
- deep observation--intentional exploration of the overlooked to the obvious, noticing the particulars.
- conscious and open listening.
- patience, compassion, empathy, non-judgment.
- finding and creating potential as opposed to operating within barriers.
- noticing opportunities for further investigation, learning, and growth.
- exploring multiple perspectives in any situation.
- approaching tasks with a sense of focus and play, opening yourself up to the unexpected.
- realizing there are multiple ways of doing things and playing with those multiple ways in big and small ways--taking a new route to work, sitting on the other side of the bus, eating a meal with your non-dominant hand, or...
- clarity. clear thinking.
- asking why. cultivating reflection, curiosity, wonder.
- intentionally using all senses--sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste.
- doing, creating, speaking, and interacting with intention, or conscious attention and purpose.
ARTFUL THINKING offers a framework for practicing mindfulness in multiple settings (home, work, classroom, communities). AT was developed alongside teachers by Project Zero. Its original purposes were to integrate art into the classroom and use art as a springboard for cultivating students' habits of mind. However, it may be used to study any topic or concept, including yourself!
AT's thinking routines cultivate such habits as: observing, questioning, taking multiple perspectives, and more. For example, the thinking routine, SEE THINK WONDER, asks: What do you SEE? What do you THINK about what you see? What do you WONDER or want to know more about? These three questions, seemingly so simple, can lead to exciting and clarifying discoveries in your life and work. These three questions are at the heart of mindfulness.
Thank you for your interest in reading this rather lengthy page! I invite you to take a long inhale and exhale. Settle into your breath. Reflect on what mindfulness could mean to you. How could you integrate mindful and artful practices into your life and work? Maybe use the thinking routine, SEE, THINK, WONDER to begin your exploration.
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