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The Awakened Heart of the Mindful Teacher: A Contemplative Exploration
Format: Book
Publication Year: 2016
Publisher: ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Source ID: shanti-sources-88181
Abstract: This dissertation is a contemplative narration of my lived experience of bringing mindfulness into my teaching. The dissertation first portrays the process of entering into the dialogic space of mindfulness as a Buddhist concept intersecting with the scientific, educational, and public domains. I then describe the contemplative reflection process I used to explore my incorporation of mindfulness into my teaching praxis. From this, I wrote contemplative reflections during a year and half. In this way, I tried to embody mindfulness in my methodology. I used the same process to contemplate these reflections to deepen my understanding and identify themes.The two main themes I arrived at are an openhearted quality (bodhichitta) and a newfound openness that resulted from bringing mindfulness to my professional spaces. I illustrate these themes through six contemplative narratives that portray my heightened consciousness of how my embodiment of mindfulness has influenced my classroom presence and opened my heart. Each contemplative reflection narrates the quality of open awareness towards my own and others' emotions--good and bad. Each narrative also includes a reflective aspect that explores the themes that emerged. My contemplative reflections illustrate how mindfulness helped me stay open to both the joy and the pain of teaching. Mindfulness practices also provided me with the social and emotional awareness and tools to confront the highly emotional and sometimes volatile space of public schools. My contemplative reflections depict the lived experience of mindfully working through the positive and negative experiences of daily life in public school. Coming from the place of an open heart makes teaching much more rich and full of joy, but at the same time also makes the painful parts of teaching and working in a public, bureaucratic institution more palpable. However, by using my mindfulness practices to delve into that pain, I felt my connection to others, which brought about compassion and a desire to help. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]