Mindful Mondays: Awareness

“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

One of the most soothing,

the most helpful,

The most grounding efforts one can make in their mindfulness practice, is awareness.

Beth Berila dives into this quite a bit in her textbook, Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy: Social Justice in Higher Education (Amazon link here, author website here). I highly recommend it for those, like me, who are pursuing a degree in education. It’s definitely on our Lit List list (haha).

One of the techniques she teaches is called “Cultivating The Witness” (p. 79-80*), which, at its root, is simply cultivating the skills necessary to be aware of a situation without being overwhelmed by it.

How can we do this?

The first step is to meditate on a scenario that caused a strong reaction in the past. Evaluate yourself without judgment. Ask yourself why you felt that way, explore the root(s) of your reaction.

Then, when confronted with the same or a similar situation in the future, try to stop and evaluate. Compare, in the moment, if the root is the same. If it is, ask yourself:

What can I do to heal?


*Berila, B. (2016). Integrating mindfulness into anti-oppression pedagogy: social justice in higher education. New York: Routledge, is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business.

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