77KAREN hooKER AND IRIS FoDoR
difculty identifying or verbalizing those feelings. However, children also live in a
wrld f being tld wat t d: wat time t wake up, wat time t g t scl, wt d eac activity wile at scl, and s n. Teir lack f agency may lead t gingtrug te mtins f teir daily tasks witut cnscius awareness f wat tey areding. Ask a cild wat e r se ate fr dinner last nigt. Yu may be surprised tattey may nt remember. Tis is nt simply wing t a pr memry, but mre likelytat tey were nt paying attentin at te time. Tey ate wat was put in frnt f tem, peraps befre rusing ff t watc a favrite televisin sw, r just after arrivingme frm sccer practice.
What is Mindfulness?
If yu want t be appy, be. – henry David TreauWe can teac cildren t begin t pay attentin t tse tings in te present m-ment tat tey never nticed befre trug a prcess called mindfulness. Mindfulness
is dened as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the
present mment, and nnjudgmentally t te unflding f experiences mment by
moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, p. 145). The rst part of this denition expresses the idea
tat mindfulness is an active prcess; it invlves active attentin wic leads t aware-
ness. The second part of the denition highlights that it regards the present, rather than
te past r future. Te tird part empasizes tat te attentin is nnjudgmental andaccepting, witut tinking tat te experience f te present mment is gd r bad,rigt r wrng, imprtant r nt. It invlves attending t te external envirnmentsuc as sigts, sunds, and smells, as well as t internal bdily sensatins, tugts,and feelings. In practicing mindfulness, ne becmes aware f te current internal andexternal experiences, bserves tem carefully, accepts tem, and allws tem t be letg f in rder t attend t anter present mment experience.
Origins of Mindfulness
Te nly jurney is te jurney witin.– Rainer Maria RilkeMindfulness as its rigins in te Buddist traditin, trug Eastern practices f meditatin. It is ften learned and practiced trug meditatin exercises. hwever,mindfulness suld nt be cnfused wit meditatin. Te gal is nt t acieve aiger state f cnsciusness r t distance neself frm te present experience, butrater t ave an increased awareness f te present mment. T igligt wit anexample, ne frm f meditatin is meditatin using a mantra, in wic te fcus ist be aware f te canting f a syllable r prase, and nly n te canting (LeSan,1974). In cntrast, te fcus f a mindfulness meditatin is t be aware f and bservete cnstantly canging internal and external stimuli (Baer, 2003). Mindfulness als