Mindfulness, Claremont Core

Learning Objective 1: Understand mindfulness as a phenomenon and practice.

Artifact: Assignment 1 (PDF)

Rationale: In our first assignment I applied this learning objective to my discussions about the historic origins of mindfulness, the main types of meditation practices, their core teachings and the influence of leaders/practitioners such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richard Davidson and Eckhart Tolle.

Change: This course has fundamentally changed the way I view mindfulness, moving it out of the realm of only a religious or philosophical practice to a deep understanding of how it can be integrated to improve our experiences in all areas of our lives.

Learning Objective 2: Research the physiological and biological effects of mindful practice.

Artifact: Dialogue Week 4 (PDF)

Rationale: In this dialogue post I reported my stress test number, behavior patterns and the habits that I have cultivated over the years to help cope with stress. The habits mentioned reflect our research on mindfulness practices.

Change: Learning how meditation and mindfulness literally changes the brain when practiced regularly was enough to convince me to commit to a minimum of 10 minutes of meditation every morning. I have since expanded on the habits I discuss in this dialogue and have successfully added a 10-20 minute seated meditation into my daily morning routine. I now can’t imagine starting my day any other way.

Learning Objective 3: Analyze the effects of the physical and social environment on mindful behavior

Artifact: Dialogue Week 5 (PDF)

Rationale: In this dialogue post I discuss how mindfulness is gaining inroads into the social and professional world and is being practiced in many Forbes 100 and Forbes 500 corporations in order to reduce workplace stress and increase focus and productivity.

Change: I am fascinated by the possibility of how appreciation and focused attention can create valuable outcomes in professional organizations. I have ordered the book, The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change by Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom and look forward to diving more deeply into the topic during the break.

Learning Objective 4: Develop strategies to identify personal stress-pattern responses and to overcome them.

Artifact: Assignment 2 (PDF)

Rationale: In this assignment I explore my triggers to stress and how to reduce them through daily and ongoing mindfulness practices.

Change: Taking an in-depth look at my stressors was a great exercise to understand what new mindfulness based habits I needed to cultivate in order to break the pattern of stress. Through practicing many of the mindfulness techniques, including meditation, kindness and compassion, I have been able to significantly reduce stress in my daily life.

Learning Objective 5: Apply a mindful practice in personal and professional settings.

Artifact: Collaboration Week 4 (PDF)

Rationale: For this collaboration, I discuss how I applied the mindfulness technique of attentive listening in a meeting with a potential client, with the outcome of the client feeling heard and understood and becoming a new client.

Change: This technique is one that I try to practice in all my conversations now. In professional settings it is allowing me to really understand what is being communicated and become better at understanding how I can serve my community better. It has been an amazing transformation in my communication with my children  – pausing what I’m doing and giving them my full attention in conversations means I am present with them and an active support in their experiences.

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