Mindfulness in the Garden at Roosevelt

gazebo

Instead of getting our hands dirty in the garden today, I decided to do something different. As everyone trickled into class, I lead the students to a gazebo by the garden. They took off their backpacks, sat in a circle, and got comfortable. I explained to them that today was going to be a day of practicing mindfulness, which would primarily revolve around a meditation. Of my 100 students, 7 had meditated in some form before. Though I only intended on meditating for 15 minutes, it became apparent to take a full class period to settle the class. Students were hesitant at first, particularly about closing their eyes. Many were tempted by their phones and couldn’t stop chatting with their friends. Most of the meditation was guided and ended with moments of silence which varied from class to class. One was barely able to complete a minute and another easily did 4 minutes and begged for an additional 10 minutes.

meditation

 I was incredibly proud of how open minded many of the students were to meditation. Although it was difficult for some of them to close their eyes, the quiet moment still left a big impact. Students are stressed because their mid term grades are due today. After each class, I had them write a short reflection on their experience. I was astounded by the positive feedback and the desire to continue this practice throughout the semester on top of all the other stresses in life. The purpose of today was to become aware of all the distractions and stresses in our lives. We were outside breathing clean, fresh air and feeling silence.

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Lindsay De May

My love for food and enriching food systems has brought me to LA after graduating in May from Syracuse University with a degree in Food Studies, concentrating on food politics and governance. I grew up gardening with my family in New Mexico, spent a summer working on an organic produce farm in New York, and spent three years as a teaching assistant for food science, locavorism and culinary arts classes. I look forward to incorporating my experiences in developing an exciting curriculum for my elementary and high school courses, with the hope that I'll inspire them to appreciate food the way I do!

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