Unleashing the Power of Consciousness and Mindfulness for Effective Teaching and Learning: A Special Reference to Management Education
6 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 30, 2015
An operational definition of consciousness is not easy. Consciousness is something we never completely understand. The word ‘consciousness’ derives from two words: the Latin verb scire, which means to know, and the Latin preposition cum, which means with. Thus, consciousness, etymologically means “to know with”. Consciousness is also the totality of impressions, thoughts, feelings and awareness which make up a person’s conscious being. It may be even said that only man has real existence in this world in so far as he alone possesses consciousness and self-awareness. Without fellow human beings, we should experience a sense of enormous emptiness. Every improvement we make in our private world improves the world at large for everyone. In a way we all float on the collective level of consciousness of mankind so that any increment we add comes back to us. What we do to serve, life automatically benefits all of us because we are all included in that loop of life. We are life. But the individual is like a cork in the vast sea of consciousness - he doesn’t know where he is, where he came from, or where he is going, and he doesn’t know why. Human beings wander around in their endless conundrums, asking the same question century after century, and, failing a quantum leap in consciousness (Hawkins David, 2012). Against this backdrop, suppose we start asking a question: What of a true teacher? A true teacher explains how to advance consciousness of his students. Is there any substantial gain by being conscious? Can there be a conscious teachership and learning? How can a conscious teacher contributes to the creation of a congenial environment for learning? An attempt will be made in this paper to understand the power of mindfulness for effective teaching and learning. Mindfulness is both a process (mindful practice) and an outcome (mindful awareness). It begins with the simple act of paying attention with care and respect (Barbezat and Bush, 2014). Mindfulness is a particular degree and strength of awareness. Mindful awareness allows us to observe our mental state without over identifying with them, creating an attitude of acceptance that can lead to greater curiosity and better self understanding. Awareness is the feeling of seeing everything as though it was for the first time and the last time and at the same time. Mindfulness is, indeed, a capability we can all cultivate. As management education teachers, can we teach mindfulness in the classrooms as a human activity? Can we guide and support our management students to become good independent reflective thinkers and doers through consciousness and mindfulness? As teachers, how can we unleash the power of consciousness and mindfulness for effective teaching and learning? A modest attempt will be made to answer these questions in this paper.
Keywords: Consciousness, Mindfulness, Mindful Awareness and Shraddha
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