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Mindful Meditators Find Their Focus

The Mindful Meditators Club meet every week during 4th and 5th lunch periods at Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center.  thumbnail161089
The Mindful Meditators Club meet every week during 4th and 5th lunch periods at Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center.
The meditation room is a cozy and quiet place with a calm, welcoming energy.  thumbnail161090
The meditation room is a cozy and quiet place with a calm, welcoming energy.
Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens, is what it means to be mindful.  thumbnail161091
Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens, is what it means to be mindful.
As the salt lamp purifies the air, meditators listen to music to help them focus during the art making process.  thumbnail161093
As the salt lamp purifies the air, meditators listen to music to help them focus during the art making process.
Sound meditator Annette Peraino gave students the opportunity to explore using ancient instruments to induce a relaxing state of mind.  thumbnail161094
Sound meditator Annette Peraino gave students the opportunity to explore using ancient instruments to induce a relaxing state of mind.
From playing the gong to trying Tibetan Singing bowls, students discovered how soothing sounds could promote mindfulness.  thumbnail161095
From playing the gong to trying Tibetan Singing bowls, students discovered how soothing sounds could promote mindfulness.
Students listened to one of Ms. Anglisano’s “Sleep meditations” that they can use to relax a restless mind before bed.  thumbnail161096
Students listened to one of Ms. Anglisano’s “Sleep meditations” that they can use to relax a restless mind before bed.
Ms. Anglisano reflects with her students after meditating, encouraging them to check-in with themselves before and after each session. thumbnail161097
Ms. Anglisano reflects with her students after meditating, encouraging them to check-in with themselves before and after each session.
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment.  thumbnail161098
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment.

Ms. Michelle Anglisano's "Mindful Meditators Club" have been experiencing different types of meditation each week at Silas Wood, while either in the Mindful Meditation room or in her classroom. Ms. Anglisano teaches Social Studies and English Special Education at Silas and owns her own pop-up meditation business called the Zen Den, alongside Walt Whitman Special Education teacher Ms. Kristen McDermott. Last year, she spearheaded the mindful group meetings and with the understanding approval of Principal Steve Toto, Ms. Anglisano was able to transform one of the school’s small spaces into an inviting and relaxing meditation room. The space is cozy with a calming energy that enables students and teachers to peacefully quiet their minds. Ms. Anglisano utilizes different methods to promote focus and relaxation, from essential oils and incense, to air purifying salt lamps and sound bowls. With a non-judgemental approach, all of Silas' sixth-graders are welcome to join the group to experience the benefits of mindfulness. 

This study was expounded upon recently by enjoying the work of sound meditator Annette Peraino during Ms. Anglisano's 4th and 5th period meditation club. Annette graciously volunteered her time to come in and guide 2 sessions of 18 students in the history of different instruments used in singing bowl meditation. Annette also allowed the students to play the gong, Zen Tube, Tibetan Singing bowls, chimes, bamboo chimes, crystal singing bowls, and Shruti box. The students then enjoyed a 15-minute sound bath singing bowl meditation. While they laid down on the floor, they listened to the different instruments being played simultaneously, producing vibrations which brought about a mindful meditation encompassing peace and deep breathing.

“I like giving students tips to help them focus and to help with loving kindness,” Ms. Anglisano explained as she shared that she writes her own meditative scripts to guide listeners in being mindful, calm, and more focused. "The students love it. It gives them a sense of focus that they can bring with them during class or when taking a test." Each week, students can sign up to participate during their 4th and 5th period lunch and recess and depending on how many students attend, they will either practice meditating in Ms. Anglisano’s classroom or in the quiet meditation room. Practicing meditation encourages people of all ages to reach a deeper sense of calm and focus that allows them to be less reactive and more present in their lives. As Holistic Meditation Coaches, Michelle and Kristen bring guided meditation, visualization, and mindfulness into homes, businesses, schools, libraries and places of worship. Their goal to cultivate a calmer sense of being by bringing the peace, tranquility, and focus of meditation into the lives of others has truly made a positive impact at Silas Wood.  

Thank you Ms. Anglisano for sharing this practice with our students!