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Pawling Students, Staff Learn Mindfulness

Doug Worthen, the director of mindfulness programs at The Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., recently spent a day speaking about what mindfulness is to students at the Trinity-Pawling School.
Doug Worthen, the director of mindfulness programs at The Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., recently spent a day speaking about what mindfulness is to students at the Trinity-Pawling School. Photo Credit: Maura Cody

PAWLING, N.Y. -- On a recent Monday, students and faculty at the Trinity-Pawling School and their fellow students from the Mizzentop Day School spent time learning about mindfulness and how to incorporate it into their daily lives, school officials said.

To teach the students and staff, Doug Worthen, the director of mindfulness programs at The Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., talked about what mindfulness is and provided some practice and tools so the students could begin to be more mindful as athletes, as students, as teachers, and on a more general human level, said Maura Cody, director of the parent program at Trinity-Pawling,

“Mindfulness teaches us how to better connect and attune with others and develops our awareness of all our relationships,” said Worthen. “Mindfulness brings people together -- uniting the two communities of Trinity-Pawling and Mizzentop for this event is a great example of the connections that mindfulness can create.”

As a former university lacrosse player, Worthen experienced firsthand the need for a more mindful approach as he found himself missing routine ground balls in games and struggling to remain present under pressure. It was this challenge that initially sparked his interest in a book about mindfulness he was given by his uncle. In the years since that first introduction to mindfulness, he has used it as a tool in myriad aspects of his life, notably in his fight against Stage IV lymphoma, Cody said.

During the day, students were given several opportunities to try mindful practices themselves, as Worthen mixed stories of his life, theory and information about mindfulness with led meditations, Cody added.

Throughout the day, Cody said Worthen also spoke with various groups on campus, including Trinity-Pawling’s varsity athletes, and in the evening to Trinity-Pawling and Mizzentop faculty and parents. Each presentation allowed time for practice so that those present could begin to experience some of what he described.

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