COURSE TITLE:

MINDFULNESS: A Path to Wholeness

NO. OF CREDITS:

5 QUARTER CREDITS
[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]

WA CLOCK HRS:  
OREGON PDUs:
50
50

INSTRUCTOR:

Brenda McKinney
bbbrain@comcast.net

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Most of the time, our attention is not where we intended it to be; it can be hijacked by our thoughts and emotions, by our stressors, life experiences, and memories of the past. Mindful awareness is like training a muscle. It is not a quick fix; instead, it is practicing being with all experiences. Practicing mindfulness reduces that tendency to respond in autopilot. Our brain loves repetition, whether it is negative or positive. This course is a chance to train your brain and create new neural pathways while letting go of distractions. Interest in mindfulness has been growing steadily in recent years. This course provides an opportunity to learn and practice mindfulness while strengthening skills and practicing turning toward and being with whatever arises in life. Join me to begin the process of mental training involving meditation and mindful awareness while positively transforming yourself. Remember, every moment counts. This is a perfect opportunity to influence your brain, healthy, and longevity. Text by Jon Kabat Zinn, Wherever You Go There You Are, is available on Amazon for about $4 (kindle) to $14 paperback, and is responsible for launching public awareness of mindfulness. 

NOTE: This course was designed by Heritage Institute President, Mike Seymour, who has over forty years of meditation experience in Buddhist and Christian traditions. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Understood the importance of mindfulness to health and emotional well-being.
  • Learned through direct practice various modes of mindful meditation.
  • Experienced the difficulties in meditation and how to accommodate them.
  • Explored how to bring various mindful practices to their professional situation
  • Helped create daily/weekly plan for mindfulness

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.


HOURS EARNED:
Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.




 

UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT INFORMATION

REQUIREMENTS FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%



 

CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.

ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION

REQUIRED TEXT

  • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn (2005-01-05).  Buy from Amazon                     
  • Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life: Kindle version. ISBN# B0037B6QSY. by Jon Kabat Zinn Hachette Books
  • This is the kindle version. View Online

None. All reading is online.

MATERIALS FEE

KABAT ZINN, JON: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Daily Life ISBN-13: 978-1401307783 Cost used on Amazon about $4. New for $11. Audiobook also available.

ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR HOURS OR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT

A. INFORMATION ACQUISITION

Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments. 

Assignment #1: Introduction

Read the introduction to our text, Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat Zinn.
Read as well the chapters titled Meditation Develops Full Human Beings, Part One, pg. 81-86 and Practice as a Path, Part One, pg.87-92.

Respond in 750+ including your personal introduction and response to the assigned reading:

  • Share about yourself and your professional situation

  • What led you to register for this course?

  • What do you hope to take away from the learning?

  • Discuss at least three points Jon covered in your assigned reading that were particularly meaningful for you.

  • What, if any, concepts were brought up by Jon that was new to you or at odds with your own belief system?

Assignment #2: The Concept and Experience of Mindfulness

Read the following chapters in your text, Wherever You Go, There You Are:

  • What is Mindfulness. Pgs. 3-7

  • Simple but Not Easy. Pgs. 8-10

  • Stopping. Pgs. 11-13​

  • This is It Pgs. 14-16

Next, watch this truly wonderful presentation on mindfulness given by Jon Kabat-Zinn to attendees at the Mindfulness in America Summit, 2018, in New York City. I suggest that you imagine yourself in that room, so you can experience the talk just like you were in the audience. As Jon says, there is no real beginning or end to mindfulness, so consider his entire talk a meditation; keep your eyes closed; listen while experiencing the meditation. (For this and all future meditations, please make sure your TV is off, and ring tones on your mobile devices are turned down). 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5zGTORjxyTc?t=10?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

I hope you enjoyed viewing this video. Now go back and watch again, but this time experience the meditation with eyes open. I suggest this time you take notes mainly on those portions of the experience, which resonates with you.

In 750+ words:

  • Describe your overall experience of the reading and meditation. What is noteworthy for you?

  • Describe the nature of the content that went through your mind: list-making, feelings of boredom or impatience; a sense that you were not doing well; past memories; thoughts of the future.

  • Describe moments of stillness. What were the qualities of these moments besides being quiet? If it’s hard to recall, then take a moment now to be aware (eyes open or closed) and see if you can sense more deeply into the nature of still awareness.

Assignment #3: A Sitting Meditation

Read in our text, Wherever You Go, There You Are, the following chapters: Capturing Your Moments through Can Anybody Meditate, Pgs. 17-34.
Then read additional chapters in Part Two on methods of meditation: Sitting Meditation through No Right Way, Pgs. 103-130.

From now on till you finish the course, and hopefully after, take some time each day to do a sitting meditation of whatever duration is comfortable for you following the instructions provided in your reading. If you want, use your phone or iPad to listen to your sessions to this audio guided meditation by Jon if you feel this will be helpful. If not, just sit in silence. Suggested apps are available in the bibliography.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8HYLyuJZKno?t=123?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0
 

At the end of each meditation session for the next week, make brief journal notes indicating the time, place, and nature of the experience.

Summarize your week of meditation in 250+ words, describing any difficulties and subtleties of the experience. 

Assignment #4: Meeting Difficulties in Meditation

Meeting and accepting difficulties in meditation is an integral part of the process of deeper peace and understanding. Meditation is not about getting rid of or avoiding thoughts, feelings, or physical discomforts, but about “being” with them as part of life. In time as we observe and bear witness to the flow of so-called disturbing experiences, we notice that the so-called obstructions become fewer and less powerful. I have experienced a wide range of phenomena which I now would not call “problems” but aids or training tools to help me become a more peaceful, clear-minded, aware, and heartful person. These have included: riotous thoughts, list-making, future planning, recriminations over things I did in the past, angry conversations with someone who hurt me emotionally, bolts of fear about death, great ideas for my work or writing which begged me to stop and write them down—and the list goes on. Experiencing these things is part of the process.

Read the second to last chapter in your text, Wherever You Go There You Are, Pitfalls Along the Path Pgs. 260-262

Describe in detail your meditations from the week and one or more difficulties in meditation you had during the prior week.

  • Practice saying thank you to these so-called difficulties as they are your teacher

  • Now continue your practice and observe what you once felt as a difficulty while hopefully turning it into a strength

In 250+ words, describe any difficulty you experienced after the reading while reframing the issue from a problem to a benefit that will deepen your experience.   

Assignment #5: Non-doing

Read chapters titled In Praise of Non-Doing through Doing Non-Doing, Pgs. 35-40.

When Kabat Zinn speaks about a “bloom” in the moment, he is referring to an arresting of mental activity and a special sense that calls us into alert being. In my own experience, I have found that an on-going contemplative practice takes on a life of its own where the culture of inner silence infuses more of our being and waking moments. We start to experience non-doing as an inner quality of effortlessness, not just in times of meditation but in our active lives. We may find ourselves going through our day without an inner pusher who is trying to get somewhere or be finished with what’s before us. We’re totally in and with the moment.

  • View Jon Kabat Zin’s talk with students at Middlesex school titled, From Doing to Being. He shares some insights about the contemplative state.
    Start at about minute 7:55

https://www.youtube.com/embed/q-2QoTYujNg?t=1328?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

In 500+ words, describe your learning.

  • What do you think Kabat Zinn means by being in relationship to everything, and what does this have to do with being aware our awareness?

  • Share your reflections on my experience of being moved.

  • Finally, share any experience you’ve had that felt effortless, including any teachable moments that just seemed to arise in or out of the classroom.

Assignment #6: Important Qualities & Attitudes

There are many qualities and attitudes that are important to happiness and health. Kabat Zinn talks about some of the most significant ones: Beginner’s Mind, Non-judging, Acceptance, Letting Go, Trust, Patience, Non-striving, Gratitude, and Generosity. A life of mindfulness is a wonderful way to observe and prayerfully welcome the greater presence of these qualities, especially by noticing when they are not present. Times when we are impatient, bored, jealous, judgmental, pushy, mistrusting, resistant, or stingy can become transformative moments as we observe, detach from the constricting mindset and make space for a freer, more expansive experience.

  • Read chapters in our text Patience through Generosity, Pgs. 47-64.

  • Watch this illuminating talk by Jon:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2n7FOBFMvXg?t=14?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

Over the next week, as you observe your thoughts, feelings, and reactions, make a note of which qualities and attitudes you need to work on. Be careful to observe impartially without making self-judgments, which only hampers your progress.

Then, at the end of the week, summarize in 500+ words:  

  • Discuss where you think you need work and what happened as you simply observed the unhelpful thoughts or behavior.

  • What part of the reading and video most rang bells for you?

  • Did you find you were judging yourself and were you able to let that go?

Assignment #7: Different Postures and Meditation Objects

So far, we have introduced sitting meditation, focusing on the breath. This is a basic and excellent way to begin. Even though I have practiced for almost forty years in many different traditions and types of meditation, I still engage in sitting breath meditation several times a day. Now we’re going to expand our mindfulness repertoire to additional postures and objects.

Read the chapters in our text, Wherever You Go There You Are, from mountain meditation to lying-down meditation, Pgs. 135-156.

In this coming week or weeks, if you need more time, make a point of walking mindfully wherever you go. Notice the sounds, sights, the feeling of air/wind, the sense of pressure on the soles when your foot contacts the floor, and as your clothing comes in contact with your body.

  • Watch and listen first to the two videos on walking meditation, then try his slow form of walking meditation several times.
    Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YSOKte6TeMI?t=77?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0
https://www.youtube.com/embed/QdO1vZJgUu0?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

A great way to go to sleep is to observe your breath as you are lying down at bedtime. Follow your breath, and then if you can without your mind wandering too much, expand your awareness to encompass as much of your body as possible.

Pick a place in nature as your meditation object. I prefer to do this in nature, but you can also capture a visual from a book, a picture in your house, or a nature scene on your iPad. I used to sit and contemplate the Olympic mountains from my house on Whidbey Island in Washington State, as well as the expanse of Puget Sound waters. Trees or magic places in your garden that attract you are also great meditation spaces. Try one or more of these several times this week.

  • Try now this guided mountain meditation.
    Jon Kabat-Zinn

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3Kg-Z8RIiAI?t=13?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

In 500+ words what did you experience in the mountain and walking meditations?

  • What changes did you notice as you brought more awareness to your walking?

  • Describe your experience meditating before sleep. Did you sleep better, worse, the same? 

  • Describe any meditations you did in nature. What was your meditation object and what did you learn?

Assignment #8: Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation and three other associated meditations lead to mental conditions considered in Buddhism and other religions, as divine, and highly propitious states of being. Loving-kindness practice is used to warm the heart and dispel afflictive emotions such as anger, sadness, or shame. In this practice, we receive the loving energy of people in our lives who have loved us, and then share that with others. The precise words spoken will vary from one teacher to another. People who decide to make this their primary meditation will often customize their own words.

For the next week, watch each of the following loving-kindness meditations at least once and then select one to practice with the other four days. You can substitute this for your regular mindfulness meditation or do both as you wish. While all three teach from within a Buddhist framework, all these practices are essentially secular in nature and free of dogma.

 

Tara Brach 17 minutes

https://www.youtube.com/embed/mYk-MldGDWA?t=4?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

Jack Kornfield  22 minutes

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4dMucFZtnxQ?t=8?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

Jon Kabat Zinn  47 minutes  

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0H20wUUo2-c?list=PLbtXYlcr9l1jUmHcGsf0C_mE3W2_O2AXG&t=2508?autohide=1&controls=1&showinfo=0

In 250+ words, describe the experience of using the loving-kindness meditation. What were the effects, and what differences between these meditations and what you have been doing with your mindfulness practice? Which of the three loving-kindness videos worked best for you and why?

Assignment #9: Mindfulness in the Way You Live

Ultimately mindfulness is not just another thing that you do. The deepest part of you, your pure awareness, wants you to realize that the spaciousness, dignity, peace, and compassion mindfulness brings is who you are. As you are absorbed more into this way of thinking and being, formal times of meditation become an organic part of your life. That’s why I appreciate many of the short vignettes shared in part three (3) of your text. Each one comes across as very human and mundane made lyrical and beautiful through the lens that mindfulness adds to life now felt as much more vivid and precious.

  • Each day for the next week, read at least one of these chapters Pgs.173-257: I suggest starting with Early Morning. Please do not rush, but give yourself the time to absorb the energy from his writing.

  • Then just sit quietly for a time and meditate in whatever way you want. (Try chapters: Sitting by the Fire, Harmony, Early Morning, Direct Contact, Going Upstairs, Cleaning the Stove..., Cat-Food Lessons, Parenting and Practice).

  • At the end of your week of readings and meditation, write 500+ words describing how the feeling of being mindful and present to your life felt, and note any differences compared to prior weeks.

Assignment #10: Mindfulness in School

Mindfulness, along with other social-emotional learning practices, has finally found acceptance in our public schools after years of being viewed as “touchy-feely stuff” that was a distraction to basic education. Now that has all changed as we see many students coming to school from environments that increasingly reflect the hectic, chaotic, and unsupported nature of families and institutions. Mindfulness is now seen as supporting the educational mission. In this assignment, you will become aware of teachers with mindful practices. I think it’s essential, however, for you and any teacher, to first have seriously explored mindfulness in their own life before bringing it to students. Without the personal experience and first-hand knowledge of the benefits and obstacles, mindfulness can get trivialized as simply another game or classroom management tactic, when in fact, it is so much more.

 

Read and consider best practices, designing a school program, create a culture of mindfulness plus any two others.

In 500+ words, provide a brief summary of the articles you read, and indicate which practices you think may be useful to you with students.

ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT

B. LEARNING APPLICATION

In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments. 

 



Assignment #11: Sharing What Has Moved You

If this course so far has accomplished what I hope, then you will feel moved in some way by having brought mindfulness (more) into your daily life. Kabat-Zinn expressed this feeling as being at the crossroads of the here and now. Hopefully, you were searching in your soul for this mindfulness experience. I believe that the learning provided a quick and effortless way to begin and continue because of the immediate calmness you felt. The beingness is something that I hope you are beginning to experience all the time, not something you are trying to achieve. I simply want you not to see yourself separate or apart from this new or continuing path. This assignment gives you free rein to express your newfound or renewed self in any way you desire. That could be an essay, song, poem, painting, photo collage, or all of these put together in some form that suits you. Find a way to communicate this in a doc, PPT, web site, video, podcast, etc. Be creative and choose something uplifting for you.

Assignment #12: Mindful Activities in the Classroom

Prepare and describe several whole-class as well as individual student activities that lead to a more mindful learning environment.

If you are doing this assignment during the school year, implement your practices and report back in essay or video accompanied if possible by student products/reports on how the activities were received.

Assignment #13: Parent Communication

Create a poster, digital newsletter with graphics, info night presentation, or other means of communicating with parents, the what, and why of the mindful practices you are introducing to their children. 

Assignment #14: (500 Level ONLY) Option Assignnment

Complete one of the following options:

Option A)      Designing Your Own Personal Retreat
This activity is to help you remove yourself from daily challenges. My recommendation is that you set aside one-half day. Calm your mind first; stillness and insights will come later.  If you feel antsy, write it down for later (using pen and paper), then let it go. This is your time for you. You’ll also eat alone in silence and without distraction (no devices nor reading). This helps maintain silence.

Your commitment would include: turning off your phone, eliminating any distractions, warning all those who need to know about your retreat. Think about where you want to be. You can be at home. You can go somewhere that will allow you to be in silence. At the end of your experience, share your reflections, your observations, your enjoyment, any difficulties, and why you might want to use this activity periodically to keep you grounded.

                                                                                     OR

Option B)    Research on Mindfulness in Schools
It is important to be well-versed on the positive academic and behavioral outcomes of mindful practices with students. This will enable you to integrate mindfulness with greater confidence in your teaching and to speak more authoritatively with parents as well as administrators.

  • Select and read the entire page from Mindful Schools on research. Review and select four articles from this page and, in about 500+ words, summarize each.
    https://www.mindfulschools.org/resources/explore-mindful-resources/

  • Create a Google site, Prezi, or PowerPoint presentation for your staff outlining the scope of evidence-based mindful practices used in education and the outcomes documented from research.

Assignment #15: (500 Level ONLY) Meditation Effects on the Brain

Research the effects of mindfulness and meditation on the brain in ways used in schools. In short descriptions, bullet points, visuals, and or videos, document one of your significant findings.

C. INTEGRATION PAPER

Assignment #16: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

SELF REFLECTION & INTEGRATION PAPER
(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 350-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS ON YOUR WORK:

Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHING THIS COURSE:

Brenda McKinney, CEO of Vancouver, WA based BrainVolution, is a developer and dynamic facilitator of workshops that teach practical thinking and learning tools for raising student achievement with the brain in mind. She has trained educators throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a popular presenter because of her ability to motivate, make things fun, and teach practical techniques for the classroom that can be used immediately. Brenda continues to read hundreds of books and articles on the subject of neuroscience and searches for the answer to success for every student. Her work with at-risk students and those with reading problems have made her a popular speaker at the state, regional and national level.

Brenda is able to synthesize the new research and continues to address the role of how to use the latest findings to create high achievement classroom. She brings 30+ years of experience at the elementary, middle school, high school and university level as a mentor teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, university instructor, and reading specialist. Brenda has her Master’s in Education from Washington State University and is nationally certified in Brain Based Learning through the renowned  Jensen Corporation, led by Eric Jensen, a noted international spokesperson for neuroscience and education.

 

Brenda will inspire and motivate you with her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. Her wisdom, techniques, and brain based approach to education will inspire you and challenge you to meet the demands of this ever changing world.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

MINDFULNESS: A Path to Wholeness

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Hanh, Thich Nhat. 1976. The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation. Beacon Press Books. Boston. ISBN: 978-0-8070-1239-0.

This book serves as an introduction to mindfulness meditation not by offering guided meditation sessions, but by suggesting all the different times in your daily life that you can practice mindfulness meditation. This includes such times as washing the dishes and peeling oranges when you are unlikely to be doing anything else. This book can be useful to those who want to get into mindfulness meditation but do not yet understand how they can fit it into their lives.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. 2016. Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment – And Your Life.  Sounds True, CO.  ISBN: 978-1-62203-667-7.

This book serves as a complete mindfulness meditation program. An amazing distillation of everything you need to know about mindfulness. I enjoyed the progression of the book, and it was both illuminating and helpful. If one cannot go take some sort of mindfulness meditation class in person, this might be the next best thing.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. 1994. Wherever You GO, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Hachette Book Group, New York. ISBN: 978-14001-307783.

Text for this course. This book has changed many lives. Whether you have just beginning or deeper into the practice, this will serve as a reference and a refresher for you. It is important to read the introduction so that you are grounded in the importance of Zinn’s book. The chapters are short, and I am sure you will find this refreshing. I found this book best to be read in small segments at a time, so that is how the course is set up. This book allows you to enter living each moment fully and appreciate how this might look in your life.

Seligman, Neil. 2016. 100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection of Inspiring Daily Practices.  Conscious House.   ISBN:  978-0-995-52320-3.

This book consists of 100 mindfulness meditation options which any practitioner can undertake, including activities and games. These are broken up into Foundations for Mindfulness Practice, Applying Mindfulness in Daily Life, and Advanced Practices. This book can serve anyone who is looking to broaden their mindfulness meditation practice, making it suitable for practitioners of all experience levels

Shapiro, Ed & Deb. 2019. The Unexpected Power of Mindfulness & Meditation. Ixia Press. New York. ISBN: 978-0-486-83182-4.

The authors remind all of us how important it is to look after the health of our minds. In fact, true happiness is linked with that transformation. The book is helpful in teaching and outlining how to pay attention to the present moment. It also reminds us that it takes work to make mindfulness a practice and discipline. Large print, incredible authors. I found this one very helpful. Discover how to transform your own life from the inside out Easy to read and a great introduction.
 

 

ADDITIONAL READING


VIDEOS


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • The Mindfulness Association
  • Openground Mindfulness Training
  • The Centre for Mindfulness Studies
  • Mindful Awareness Research Center (UCLA)
  • Mindfulnet.org
  • Sensational Meditation for Children Child-Friendly Meditation Techniques based on The Five Senses –

 

APPS
Best Meditation Apps of 2019 - Enjoy
https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/top-meditation-iphone-android-apps