Daily practices like breathing, walking, body scans and circle sharing with a bus driver, math teacher and university lecturer.
Daily practices with Rose Dombrow, Bus Driver for American School Bus Company and Janitor in Orland Park, Illinois (US).
I used to teach Montessori, but now I drive a school bus for special needs children, and I work as a janitor.
Mindfulness practice is part of my day, and the 14 Mindfulness Trainings are a guideline for my life. For example, I repeat this gatha, a poem I wrote myself, when I get to my bus: “Entering this powerful bus, I vow to protect all beings”.
I make sure to nourish myself daily, taking a half hour walk to commune with Mother Nature.
Mindfulness doesn’t need to look different: when I worked in a Montessori School, we practiced ‘walking the line’, putting one foot directly in front of the other. You need to move slowly and carefully. It is a naturally very mindful activity.
I find doing deep belly breaths with the students helpful. Whatever emotions come up, I make them okay. We let them up and let them go.
If I’m ever triggered, I don’t do or say anything. I use mindful breathing and walking to take a deeper look at why I got triggered in the first place. And if I have aches or pains, I breathe in to recognize the pain and exhale to release the pain.
These practices help me take good care of myself and the kids.
Breathing and body scans with Mary Beth Berberick, math teacher at a middle school in Putney, Vermont (US).
Mary Beth enjoys integrating her mindfulness practice with teaching middle school math in Putney, VT. Each day she sets the intention to see each child with fresh eyes, practicing with her own emotions as they arise, knowing that her mindful presence provides one of the most important teachings for her students.
She offers the students breathing and body scan exercises, and invites them to use the “Chill Zone”, a space in the classroom that encourages cultivating greater self-awareness and self-compassion. She also enjoys participating in the greater mindfulness in education movement in the region.
This piece was originally written for the MorningSun Community newsletter.
Circle Sharing with Emelina Corrales, a neighbor of Plum Village (France) and a professionally Certified Coach who teaches Ecology and Project Management as the postgraduate level.
I recently held a two-day workshop on project management in ecology and began the intensive with a novel request of my 23 to 25 year old students: to turn off all devices, computers included. This caused an initial stir, but everyone soon settled into the hands-on exercises.
After the lunch break, we practiced circle sharing where everyone sat down to share as colleagues. This helped dissolve the more conventional, hierarchical relationship between professor and student. I acknowledged that I was tired and wouldn’t mind having a siesta instead of continuing our work together. The students smiled and chuckled. Then a young woman said she felt relaxed since she could acknowledge her feelings. Otherwise she would have felt that her classmates would judge her as lazy.
In the final evalutation, another students shared, ‘I feel like you’re here and present. I can tell you’re concentrating on what we’re doing together.’