Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Mindfulness for All Ages
Category:
Mind

It's that time of year again when our children and grandchildren head back to school. While many parents may be (literally) sighing in relief, the transition to a more structured schedule may cause some anxiety for kids. According to Esalen's own Gazebo Park School director, Jessica Tamayo, we can help alleviate stress for even young children by introducing — and modeling — mindfulness practices.

“Mindfulness might sound like an advanced concept, but life-long foundations can be encouraged from an early age,” she says. “We can simplify our idea of mindfulness simply as paying attention to our present experience (emotions, thoughts, sensations) and allowing that experience to be there without judgment. This can be modeled through our own actions as adults — just by slowing down we can teach mindfulness.”  

Gazebo Park School teachers model mindfulness many ways. One is through the use of language and using “I” statements such as: "I don't like when you put that sand in my shoe — it feels uncomfortable" and encouraging children to do the same. The team also encourages children to take a moment every day to check-in to see how they are feeling and express those feelings to each other.

Through a mindfulness approach, children are supported in uncomfortable experiences by fully feeling and expressing their emotions, according to Jessica. “We don't try to change the child's experience into one that we think should be happening,” she says. “For example, we don’t tell a child not to be upset if she is upset that she misses her mom; we do help her identify and express those feelings. A teacher might say: ‘Wow, you sound really upset right now. I hear you. I hear that it's hard to be away from mom this morning.’"

The Gazebo Park School has been serving the Esalen and greater Big Sur community for 38 years. It features an eco-education curriculum which teaches environmental stewardship through hands-on learning for children up to First Grade. Gazebo includes both full-time teachers as well as teacher interns and sits on an acre of land that features meadows, gardens, and orchards. To learn more visit us online, connect with us on Facebook or email us at gazebo@esalen.org.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Mind

It's that time of year again when our children and grandchildren head back to school. While many parents may be (literally) sighing in relief, the transition to a more structured schedule may cause some anxiety for kids. According to Esalen's own Gazebo Park School director, Jessica Tamayo, we can help alleviate stress for even young children by introducing — and modeling — mindfulness practices.

“Mindfulness might sound like an advanced concept, but life-long foundations can be encouraged from an early age,” she says. “We can simplify our idea of mindfulness simply as paying attention to our present experience (emotions, thoughts, sensations) and allowing that experience to be there without judgment. This can be modeled through our own actions as adults — just by slowing down we can teach mindfulness.”  

Gazebo Park School teachers model mindfulness many ways. One is through the use of language and using “I” statements such as: "I don't like when you put that sand in my shoe — it feels uncomfortable" and encouraging children to do the same. The team also encourages children to take a moment every day to check-in to see how they are feeling and express those feelings to each other.

Through a mindfulness approach, children are supported in uncomfortable experiences by fully feeling and expressing their emotions, according to Jessica. “We don't try to change the child's experience into one that we think should be happening,” she says. “For example, we don’t tell a child not to be upset if she is upset that she misses her mom; we do help her identify and express those feelings. A teacher might say: ‘Wow, you sound really upset right now. I hear you. I hear that it's hard to be away from mom this morning.’"

The Gazebo Park School has been serving the Esalen and greater Big Sur community for 38 years. It features an eco-education curriculum which teaches environmental stewardship through hands-on learning for children up to First Grade. Gazebo includes both full-time teachers as well as teacher interns and sits on an acre of land that features meadows, gardens, and orchards. To learn more visit us online, connect with us on Facebook or email us at gazebo@esalen.org.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

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