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In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, June 16, 2007
Posted: June 23rd, 2007

The lesson began with the striking of a Tibetan singing bowl to induce mindful awareness. With the sound of their new school bell, the fifth graders at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School here closed their eyes and focused on their breathing, as they tried to imagine loving kindness on the playground. I was losing at baseball and I was about to throw a bat, Alex Menton, 11, reported to his classmates the next day. The mindfulness really helped. Students at dozens of schools across the country are trying hard to be in the present moment. This is what is known as mindfulness training, in which stress-reducing techniques ... are wedged between reading and spelling tests. Mindfulness, while common in hospitals, corporations, professional sports and even prisons, is relatively new in the education of squirming children. But a small but growing number of schools in places like Oakland and Lancaster, Pa., are slowly embracing the concept ... and institutions, like the psychology department at Stanford University and the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, are trying to measure the effects. During a five-week pilot program at Piedmont Avenue Elementary, Miss Megan, the mindful coach, visited every classroom twice a week, leading 15 minute sessions on how to have gentle breaths and still bodies.

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