Georgina Hooper is a visual artist, painter and lecturer based in Australia. She trained as a yoga teacher after six months of artist residences in China and Japan, and her work is in personal collections across the world including a 100-year ceiling installation in a Buddhist temple in Japan. She is also an arts researcher, specializing in Eastern artistic traditions, visual language and the philosophies that underpin them. As part of her practice-led research, she draws together neurology and art history to understand how painting as concentrated meditation can shape the brain and bring about enlightenment.
A how-to book that provides students with the necessary tools and strategies for learning. Like all great resources, the information you read in Mindful Thoughts for Students easily applies to other areas of your life.
Students of all ages would benefit from applying the techniques that are presented in Mindful Thoughts for Students.
For the younger student, I envision mom or dad reading, then discussing a particular chapter with them to see how they could integrate it into their study habits.
Organization of the Book
There are 26 short chapters, each averaging 5-6 pages. Each chapter begins with an illustration that connects it to the topic in a colourful way.
Here's another idea for the younger child: Show them the picture and ask them to guess the subject of that particular chapter.
The idea that mindfulness can be a learned skill that helps you stay in the moment, recognize your accomplishments, notice the areas that need work or practice all the while enjoying the ebb and flow state that is all part of the learner experience.
"What is clear in the process of learning is that until the light turns on, you may find yourself in the dark. With mindful practice we can see how we move from novice to expert to novice again, constantly...This ebb and flow can be a wonderfully humbling experience if we surrender to it. Learning to be self-aware and accepting of what you don't know, can help you identify where to go next." (Page 23)
Adult learners, many of whom can be impatient because, well, they're adults and they "know stuff." Mindfulness can help understand the stages of learning and increase the enjoyment of the process. Here is my experience with an introductory acting class that I jumped into: Acting: Thinking to Doing - Part 1.
Georgina beautifully describes the joy of connecting with the text, in what I call a "book-book." It's why I don't have an e-reader.
"The book itself, weighted, textured, requiring constant attention in our holding of it, becomes an anchor for our concentration and state of alertness. It repeatedly reminds us, with each whispered turn of the page, of the hear and now, in the subtle friction of one page caressing another. Time is marked by a different kind of measure, that of the turning page, revealing to us an insight of our experience of reading, as it is happening. The rhythm of our reading pace reflects our engagement with the text, an echo of the undulations of our attention and enthusiasm." (Page 114)
Next time you pick up your book, spend a few moments and reflect upon Georgina's words. Engage your senses and breathe deeply and easily. Does this change the quality of what you have just read?
The Stress Connection
When people hear that I am a stress coach, one of the things I hear is "I don't have time to deal with my stress." My response is that since you are breathing, thinking and feeling anyway, choose to acknowledge your stress-producing breaths, thoughts and feelings, then gently replace them with ones that are more in tune with how you really want to feel.
"No matter how much pressure you might be under, making time to tune into your body, emotions and thoughts is critical. Don't put it off or think you are too busy. It is often during the high-pressure times when you feel you don't have the time to be mindful that is its most important to stop what you are doing and observe yourself." (Page 63)
What Others Are Saying
"I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this magnificent work and I LOVED this book. Georgina Hooper spoke of mindfulness, stress, joy, studying techniques, and so much more. As a full-time college student, I found this book especially helpful and will be putting all of what I've learned into practice immediately. I recommend this book not only for college students but for all students so they may have the best school experience possible."
"Students will relish these practical techniques for intentional learning."
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Mindful Thoughts for Students for review purposes.