“Healthy Habits of Mind” – An Online Film About Integrating Secular Mindfulness Instruction into Schools


HEALTHY HABITS OF MIND: This film shows how kindergarteners in Oxford Elementary School in Berkeley, San Francisco are introduced to mindfulness in school. They practice mindful listening, mindful eating, mindful movement and yoga. Mindfulness is a way of being and one of the benefits is that it teaches how to pay attention. As a kindergartener your attention is required in order to learn how to read and write - often in an environment with a lot of external stimuli. Starting early with practicing these healthy habits of mind is a very good idea. Like learning to play an instrument it is much easier early on in life than later on in life. Includes interviews with Neuroscientist Richard Davidson and Mindful Schools Program Director Megan Cowan. Mindful Schools offers courses for educators, psychologists, and parents to learn mindfulness and use it with children and adolescents. Learn more at www.mindfulschools.org. — by personafilmdk on October 3, 2013 to Education (2475 seconds)

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — A new online documentary film called “Healthy Habits of Mind” shows how secular mindfulness meditation practices can transform the educational landscape. The full film is freely available at http://www.mindfulschools.org/hhom.


Introduced in medical environments by Dr. Kabat-Zinn in 1979, secular mindfulness practice has since cascaded from hospitals to therapy, corporations such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Genentech, government agencies, and now schools.

Backed by a rapidly growing volume of neuroscience and research, mindfulness training provides the essential practice-based complement to allow children to develop their social and emotional intelligence as well as their ability to regulate stress, attention and emotion. Cost-effective and easy to implement in public school environments, mindfulness programs are quickly gaining ground in schools across the United States.


Produced by Danish filmmaker Mette Bahnsen, “Healthy Habits of Mind” is an online film about integrating mindfulness into education, featuring:

NEUROSCIENCE: World-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson (founder and chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds) explains the science behind mindfulness and how it can increase happiness and well-being in youth.

IN-CLASS INSTRUCTION: See kindergarten teacher Renee Harris (a Mindful Schools Curriculum Training graduate) teaching mindful breathing, listening, eating, movement, and heartfulness in her Berkeley, California public school classroom.

TRAINING FOR EDUCATORS: The film peeks into a Mindful Schools Curriculum Training course taught by Program Directors Megan Cowan and Chris McKenna.

THE VALUE OF MINDFULNESS IN EDUCATION: Interviews with Megan Cowan, Renee Harris, and Dr. Richard Davidson explain why mindfulness belongs in schools.

“This film presents an engaging, scientifically-supported, and well-produced case for integrating mindfulness into education,” said Randima Fernando, Executive Director of Mindful Schools. “It’s a powerful ally for anyone making the case for using mindfulness at schools or youth service providers.”


For those who want to learn more about mindfulness, how it can help in education, and how to bring it to schools, there are several easy ways to take action:

1. Share the film with educators, parents, and other adults who may be interested: http://www.mindfulschools.org/hhom

2. Take a mindfulness class to learn mindfulness for yourself — reduce your own stress, augment your coping skills, and cultivate empathy for yourself and others. Mindful Schools offers a highly-rated 6-week Mindfulness Fundamentals class: http://www.mindfulschools.org/mf

3. Encourage educators to take a Curriculum Training course to learn how to use mindfulness in the classroom with children and adolescents: http://www.mindfulschools.org/ct

4. Help lead the Mindfulness in Education movement by getting certified: http://www.mindfulschools.org/yl


Mindful Schools is a non-profit organization that provides multi-tiered courses and certification for educators, parents, school psychologists, and youth service organizations to learn mindfulness and to teach it to children and youth from grades K-12. Over 70,000 children have learned concentration, attention, and empathy from Mindful Schools staff and their trainees. Over 2,000 people in 37 U.S. states and 20 countries have taken Mindful Schools courses. Learn more and register for upcoming courses at http://www.mindfulschools.org.


Mette Bahnsen graduated with an MA in film studies from Aarhus University and has produced educational documentaries since 2001 through her own production company, Persona Film. The vision of Persona Film is to disseminate research, best practices, and create debate while highlighting narrative and visual structures. Mette has produced films on a variety of subjects including mindfulness, language, schizophrenia, relational competence, and more. Her upcoming documentary is about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in the Danish Healthcare System, featuring Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. Learn more at http://www.personafilm.dk/en/.


Parties interested in writing articles or generating other media coverage should contact Mindful Schools at 510-479-7702 or email info(at)mindfulschools(dot)org.


Randy Fernando