Today, more than ever it seems, students are most in need of ways to cope with anxiety and stress. Mindfulness is an excellent tool to help them. But unfortunately, it has also become somewhat of a fashionable term and everyone is into it in one form or another. There is a ton of information about mindfulness on the Net, and not all of it is accurate. In any case, reading and knowing about mindfulness in its myriad forms has almost become a barrier to its practice. But the practice itself remains remarkably simple, worthy of all the words that can ever be written about it, yet requiring few to exposit its sublime beauty and relevance. It can only be experienced, not intellectualized or known, in the conventional sense of the word.
The critical word above is practice. Like swimming, one may read all they can about mindfulness, enough fuel to sound wise and profound at every social they attend, but unless it is practiced (with surprising ease, I might add), it adds little of substance to a person’s life.
At Foothill college I plan to hold mindfulness meditation practice sessions during the 10 minutes before each of my 8am lectures (usually twice a week) starting Week 2. We will not talk about mindfulness at these sessions, but do it. Any mindfulness related discussions will happen on this site as conversations under blog articles such as this one.
During the first few sessions, we will convene a minute before the session starts, at 7:49am sharp. I’ll provide no more than 60 seconds of very brief instruction on what we will be doing. And then the session will proceed in noble silence and dimmed classroom lighting until a gong sounds at 8am, when my subject lecture will start. We will not talk about the practice during or after class. We will focus on Computer Science.
To participate, you must commit to attending all sessions of the quarter, be on time every time and promise not to disturb your co-meditators. If the classroom door has shut by the time you arrive, please do not enter until 8am when the subject lecture starts. You should let me know of your intent to participate during a lecture in Week 1.
Please keep in mind that questions about the course subject always take priority over all other matters during my office hours. If you want to talk to me about mindfulness during my office hour, you must yield to any other student who has a subject matter or administrative issue to discuss.
Practice mindfulness diligently and see its effect on your well-being and performance in your classes. The kind of mindfulness we will work on is ana pana meditation, an introductory primer to the non-sectarian technique of vipassana.
See you at 7:49am in FH5607 on Wednesday, 18 Jan, 2017 (Since Monday 1/16 is a holiday).