The Lotus School of Liberal Arts Open House

Can a Jar Full of Glitter Help with Mindfulness?

In this recent article from The New York Times there’s a discussion on how the use of a snow globe or “mindfulness jar,” constructed from a household jar and glitter, can help teens weather emotional storms. A glitter jar provides a reminder to anyone who is feeling stressed to be patient with themselves and be confident that emotions often rise, swirl and settle all by themselves.  Watching glitter settle isn’t the only solution to teenage meltdowns, but it’s a good first response. At The Lotus School’s upcoming Open House on…

1 Minute Mindfulness Exercises

Interested in doing mindfulness meditation but don’t think you have the time? Below are some mindfulness exercises you can do in a minute or under. Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour. Do a fake yawn if you have to. That will trigger real ones. Say “ahh” as you exhale. Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present.  Then stretch really, really slowly for at least 10 seconds. Notice any tightness and say “ease” or just say hello to that place (being mindful — noticing…

Hawk Mountain Field Trip

    On a still cold day in late November, the staff and students traveled out west to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, PA for a day of hiking. Our learning and mindfulness objectives that day were to choose an appropriate trail related to the weather and be aware of our surroundings. We decided to take the Lookout Trail to the Escarpment Trail to reach the North Lookout. The Escarpment Trail is a moderately technical, small rock and boulder climb…

Why is it so hard to say “NO”?

“No” is a word most of us use too infrequently. And, what’s worse, when we say “No” we usually add on all sorts of weak explanations. But “No” is a complete sentence.  Saying “no” is all about creating personal boundaries that allow you to focus your time doing the things that will make the most impact. Saying “no” is difficult for so many people because saying it brings feelings of guilt. We feel like we’re not doing enough and that things are going to fall apart without our personal involvement. Of course, logically, we know this…

How Your Breath Controls Your Mood and Attention

At the Lotus School we have long known that a period of paced breathing within a meditation practice helps students cope with transition from home to the school day, from lunch to the afternoon studies, and before leaving for the day (school to home.) This article from Mindful.org focuses on how paced breathing can control both mood and attention. New research explores the relationship between the pace and intentionality of your breathing, and the brain networks involved in mood, attention, and body awareness. Slow down, and pay attention to…