Posted in administrators, BUddhism, Business, cause and effect, education, enlightenment, Ethics, fears, happiness, love, Mindfulness, self-help, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged art, chain story, creativity, developmental English, ego, fears, feelings, focus, friends, fun, health, inspiration, Jan CHozen Bays, learning, life, Mindfulness on the Go, poetry, questions, relationships, Say YES, school, science, sharing, students, thoughts, training, Truth, work on February 28, 2017|
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All great teachers have the ability to make learning fun. It not only helps the student learn more easily and retain the information better but it makes our jobs more exciting and fun! Who wants to be bored at work, who wants work to be drudgery? No one I know. I want to be excited every morning as I wake up thinking about the great things I can do at work. To hear the students laugh, see them smile, and to see them waiting with bated breath at what I’ll do next!
Even in my adult corporate training classes I play games, I surprise them with treats, compliments, and more. They soon begin to expect the unexpected when they are in a class with me. This encourages them to want to come to training, to realize that making life at work less tedious for themselves and their team will help them live longer and increase the team’s productivity and decrease its sick days! Yes, live longer and healthier!
I don’t believe the adage that “The good die young and the obnoxious live forever.” I believe that laughter is the best medicine and it opens my mind to creativity!
In my developmental English classes I have them write a “chain story” and in one class the last student actually killed the teacher off at the end. Yes, the class killed me off! I just loved the story it was such fun and they all expressed themselves so well. They were able to see how creative they could be in just a sentence or two and how teams can work together easily and without their egos or fears taking over. Even the shy and quiet ones got to participate fully.
In Jan Chozen Bay’s book Mindfulness on the Go, she has a great little exercise you can use with your classes she calls it “Say Yes.” Find every opportunity to say “yes” to people. She invites us to put stickers up with the word “YES” in spots where you’ll notice them in your home and workplace. She even encourages us to write “YES” on the back of our hand so we can see it frequently. She writes, “This task helps us see how often we take a stance that is negative or oppositional. If we are able to watch our mind when someone is talking to us, particularly if they are asking us to do something, we can see our thoughts forming defenses and counterarguments (page 127).”
She shares some examples of how people have used her technique. “One person noted that an external ‘yes’ might not match the real attitude of ‘no’ inside, and that the task helped him detect a hidden constricted state of mind (page 128-29).”
So say YES to life, say YES to FUN and begin to bring it into your classrooms, work rooms, and living rooms and watch what happens. Try it I think you’ll like having FUN for a change!
Let me know how it goes!
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Posted in administrators, BUddhism, Business, campus unrest, cause and effect, Christianity, discrimination, diversity, education, enlightenment, Ethics, fears, happiness, hate speech, human race, love, meditation, Mindfulness, oppression, planet earth, prayer, protesters, psychology, religion, self-help, sickness, suffering, training, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged Buddhism, Christianity, creativity, culture, faith, feelings, focus, friends, health, Health and Wellness Fair, humanity, inspiration, Islam, Kaplan University, learning, Lynn University, nature, politics, prayer, questions, rage, relationships, religion, school, Serve-A-Thon, sharing, spirit, stress management, students, The Virtual Difference Makers, thoughts, training, Truth, violence on February 19, 2017|
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For anything new to emerge there must first be a dream, an imaginative view of what might be. For something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Then venturesome persons with faith in that dream will persevere to bring it to reality.
Some ideas whose time has come will spread as in a forest fire. But most need the help of a teacher. I had the good fortune to have an extraordinary one. He dreamed a great dream of how servanthood could be nurtured in the young, and he spent his best years in bringing it to pass (page 9-10).
Where I work at Kaplan University they encourage not only the students to volunteer and make a difference in their communities but they encourage all faculty to do so as well through The Virtual Difference Makers. Here is a list of some of the things they did in 2016: ran a Spring Virtual Serve-A-Thon, hosted a Stress Management Series, a Virtual Celebration of Rio, sponsored their first annual Health and Wellness Fair, held a Fall Serve-A-Thon and more!.
I have been invited to Lynn University to participate in an interfaith dialog and will be back there again in April for another interfaith dialog. The hall was jammed with students! Standing room only! They asked wonderful questions of the panel.
These were the words on the Flyer for the event: Healing the Divide: Interfaith Dialogue.
In a world where religion so often is the cause of hate and intolerance, we stand together at Lynn to create a world where our religious differences are not simply tolerated but celebrated. This event is precisely that; where religious leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Atheist traditions will come together in celebration of our diverse faith traditions. Come and be amazed!
Imagine the great education the students are receiving at both Kaplan and Lynn and many other colleges around our country when their faculty and administration support such events.
If you are able to create similar events on your campuses I encourage you to do so. Create a Virtual Difference Makers club for students and faculty, run interfaith dialogues, offer training for faculty on meditation and mindfulness. Be the change you want to see in our world! Be the catalyst for peace, love, and kindness spreading around your campus and beyond! The time has come to spread the message of servant leadership at all levels. Change has always come from the bottom up not from the top down! Be the change you want to see in the world!
Good luck with that! Let me know how it goes!
 Greenleaf, R.K. (1987) Teacher as Servant: A Parable. The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership: Indianapolis, IN
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Posted in birth, BUddhism, cause and effect, diversity, education, Ethics, fears, happiness, hate speech, human race, love, oppression, prayer, religion, self-help, suffering, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged adults, art, Arthur Zajonc, Buddhism, children, Christianity, creativity, education, environment, feelings, focus, friends, fun, group exercises, humanity, inspiration, learning, life, Megan Scribner, Parker J. Palmer, questions, relationships, religion, school, science, sharing, students, The Heart of Higher A Call to Renewal, thoughts on February 10, 2017|
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In the book The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal the authors write about this idea of connectedness or lack thereof in our lives, schools, and communities.
Many of us bear the wound of invisibility, believing, not without reason, that no matter how hard or how well we work, no one really sees us. When we invite each other to tell our stories, we have a chance to create community in the simple act of saying “I see you.”
Storytelling can create community at an even deeper level: the more one knows about another person’s story, the less one is able to dislike or distrust, let alone despise, that person. This is a good thing in and of itself, but it serves a larger purpose as well by helping us weave a more resourceful and resilient collegiality. At some point down the road, when we need to solve a problem or deal with a difficult conflict, we are more likely to have woven the fabric of relationships required to do it well (page 139).
As teachers we can offer this opportunity to our students to come out from the shadows, to be really seen and heard with some simple exercises in our classes. By dividing your class in to groups you can help them get to know each other better and become more familiar with the way they may live, their hobbies, their family vacations, favorite books, sports, or movies. They might share stories about their religious and spiritual beliefs. Depending on the age of the groups the topics should be appropriate for them.
After they have shared in the small groups you can invite them to share with the entire class by sharing some of the topics that came up. They might even want to have a member share their story with the entire class. This exercise helps the participants learn to be connected with each other in a personal and emotional way. The students become not just someone they see in class but a real person with feelings and likes and dislikes.
We live a world that is so disconnected any time we are given the opportunity to share in this way as children or adults it opens our hearts and minds to others and we often find that we are more alike than different! We all have a favorite food and a food we hate! I sometimes start the first day in class by getting everyone to share the food they love to hate the most! Then we can divide the class up for group exercises in okra, broccoli, and cabbage haters. This gives them just another way to be connected!
Even though as a Buddhist I am not supposed to pick and choose I’m still NOT going to choose okra! I don’t mind being in the okra haters group! You’re welcome to join me! See you there…
In gassho, Shokai
 Palmer, Parker J.; Zajonc, Arthur; Scribner, Megan; Mark Nepo (2010-06-17). The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal (Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education) (p. 139). Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition
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