I am inspired by a successful presentation I made on March 4 here in Washington, DC to an enthusiastic group of upper school students. The topic was mindfulness/bodymindfulness and non-violence. I was invited to speak with them because of my expertise in mind-body practices, and because they read Thich Nhat Hahn for their coursework. I offered them a glimpse of the evidence on the benefits of mind-body practices to build mindfulness, and we practiced some elementary techniques. I left them with the idea that peace and change begins with individual awareness, which begins with our own breath. I applaud their teacher, their school, and each of them for connecting with this important topic.
I am reminded that our future ability to face the challenges of living together on this planet rests with the youth. While my graduate students inspire me each day with their commitment to learning and promoting evidence, I believe the key to mindful interaction begins with what we teach our children. Shifting our values to one of self-care, in all matters ranging from the environment to health care, begins with cultivating self and somatic awareness amongst our young people. I have added this vision as a personal goal for my work with wellness and education.
I welcome the opportunity to repeat and expand the presentation I made yesterday, in schools, community centers, and any venue that is curious about how to embrace a more mindful way of being. It all begins with one breath.
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