I live on Kibbutz Nir-Oz in the Western Negev in Israel. I teach at Nofei Habsor Regional High School and have been for the past 25 years.
My interests in education have focused on pupils with ADHD or creative learning styles. Early on I discovered that if I can reach those pupils, then the others in the class will benefit as well!
Since 2014, I’ve incorporated mindfulness sessions in my teaching and this year, I have been given the privilege of teaching all of the 7th Grade students mindfulness. The 8th and 9th graders have the option to participate in a weekly workshop.
I also have offered an open invitation to the people on my kibbutz to come practice mindfulness meditation. A loyal group has formed and we experiment with present-moment experiences, using sound, movement, vision and sensation as well as focus on the breath.
My daily routine includes writing a morning haiku – which I publish on a separate blog judihaiku.wordpress.com. Engaging in art is a tool for focusing ourselves in life, especially in stressful external conditions.
Living and working in this beautiful area is a gift, but for the times when war is our reality, I personally have opted to look at coping mechanisms devised by our population. This is for a few reasons: due to the fact that I have family in Canada and the USA, and small bits of information would only cause them distress, and also, I believe that the more I concentrate on fear, advertising trauma, the more I experience it.
In speaking to pupils and parents here and a little further north in the city of Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev area, I know that speaking about what’s going on is the only way to honestly clean out blockages that keep us locked into fear.
Expression is a wonderful coping mechanism. And as I’ve discovered, mindfulness meditation is a way to actually recognize the degree of fear or anger or frustration and to accept it enough to deal.
This blog, then, is for talking about things.
Judih, September 25, 2012