July 5, 2017 :: LUCAS BUTT
SOME INSIGHTS FROM THIS SESSION:
- Appreciation techniques, over the long run, tend to trend towards transcendence.
- Touching formless absorption.
- Integrating a broad repertoire of techniques: there doesn't need to be "one best" technique in any moment.
Lucas Butt works in primary school education in London, UK. He’s also taking mindfulness teacher trainings with a local group called Breathworks. The program is geared toward teaching mindfulness to adults, although Lucas hopes at some point to bring it into his work at school as well.
Generally people are open to mindfulness in schools. There seems to be a push for mental health for children -- at least that’s what they say at the government level. The Mindfulness in Schools Project is growing quite rapidly. The issues, of course, are budget and budget cuts…and more budget cuts coming.
Lucas discovered mindfulness practice through a course offered while he was at university. He’s attended a Buddhist center in London and discovered Shinzen’s methods about 18 months ago.
I came across Shinzen's PDF on mindful awareness and was blown away by the detail in which he broke down the CC&E attentional skills, and since then have devoured everything I can of his work.
In terms of life practice, he does Focus Out or Note Everything on his commute, a lot of Just Feel throughout the day, and he’s been playing with Feel In as a background practice. Here he cites early benefits he garnered from meditation practice.
I learned I didn’t have to be bored any more. If there ever is a time when I’m not doing productively, instead of just flooding my senses with something to keep myself engaged, I can instead do some informal meditation. That is really freeing.
He also learned to work with emotions.
Being able to look at emotions objectively was another early benefit. I was able to give them a size, a shape, etc., as opposed to kind of knowing they were there in the background, but not really knowing what they were.
In regard to the future of mindfulness in education in the UK, Lucas says he is quietly optimistic.
When you’re scaling these mindfulness projects, what you need is loads of teachers who are themselves practicing mindfulness in order to be able to implement teaching the techniques in their classrooms without dilution. That’s a big barrier which I’m not sure how we will overcome. But I am hopeful.
LUCAS BELIEVES NAPPING TO BE THE ONE OF THE MOST UNDERVALUED MOOD ENHANCERS AND TAKES ONE AT ANY OPPORTUNITY.
IF IT WERE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE, HE WOULD WEAR PAJAMAS 24/7.
LUCAS LOVES TAI CHI. HE’S ALREADY LOOKING FORWARD TO RETIREMENT SO THAT HE CAN PRACTICE IT IN THE PARK EVERY DAY.