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The Conscious Classroom

Author: Amy Edelstein

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The Conscious Classroom with host Amy Edelstein explores the world of mindfulness in education. Amy will share best classroom tools and practices for adolescents, why teaching students about perspectives, worldviews, and context is as important as teaching classic stress reduction tools including breath, body scan, and open awareness mindfulness techniques. We'll look at trauma sensitive approaches, systems thinking, social emotional skills and how to empower teens and support mental wellness. Amy Edelstein is the founder of Inner Strength, which has empowered more than 22,000 Philadelphia teens with mindfulness and systems thinking tools. Visit:

62 Episodes
In this episode, The Future of Education, Amy Edelstein explores a visionary approach to teacher training. If we are to truly inspire teachers and students to engage with their own learning in an innovative and even prophetic way, the training grounds that prepare teachers to teach must exemplify that new world and its higher values. Far too many people are concerned about how AI and Augmented Virtual Reality might subvert learning and far too few are imagining the frontiers that can be created in a virtual reality training ground, where the context is of engaged learning that rests on and fosters our higher human development. From  Socratic dialogue, to libraries of Alexandria, to the Buddha's monastic university at Nalanda, we have rare examples of education that went broad and deep, and fostered amazing breakthroughs in philosophy, ethics, mathematics, science, literature, theater, art, and more. Support the show
In this episode of The Conscious Classroom, Amy Edelstein shares insights about the potential and peril of new AI tools and considerations explored in the recent C20 meetings on Technology, Security and Transformation. As a panelist for the convening on Technology & Education, Edelstein was able to share views on the importance of teachers and teaching, and how to meet this brave new world with caution and optimism.Support the show
In this episode, Amy Edelstein looks at the difference between empathy and compassion, exploring the elements of compassion that allow it to become a source of our own joy and upliftment. She also illuminates how detachment, universality, and self-care enable us to orient ourselves around compassion and fuel our own resilience and upliftment.  Support the show
In honor of Women’s History Month,  Amy Edelstein was invited by Villanova University's School of Business to  unpack what it takes to pursue our own calling, break limits, and strive to for excellence in our work, our personal growth, and our contribution to the world. These days, we are pressured to achieve in so many spheres, from the obligation, as  leaders, to the bottom line to our own desire for a positive and holistic value set that takes into account our planet, our community, and our own interior life. As women, we're told the glass ceiling no longer exists, and yet we still find ourselves rubbing the bruises when we bump into it. In this session, Amy  shares insights and successes to help us orient our life around passion and purpose, while also standing out as leaders in an increasingly competitive and divisive world. She spent three decades researching the impact of cultural assumptions on our own ability to succeed as well as transformational and contemplative methodologies that help individuals and groups realize their higher potentials. In 2014, she founded Inner Strength Education in Philadelphia, which has grown into a successful non-profit and is now one of the largest school-based teen mindfulness programs in the US, having trained more than 22,000 high school students in Philadelphia, with evidence-based results. Amy unpacks lessons learned to reveal how, in the classroom and in the world, we can  pursue authenticity as well as traditional notions of success, and gain valuable insights into how a life well lived may perhaps be the greatest contribution we can make to our world in these fractured and difficult times. Support the show
Virtual Reality Education is not a future prospect. Higher Education spaces like Morehouse College have already taught full semesters using VR. This Metaverse is rapidly expanding into K-12. In this episode of The Conscious Classroom, Amy Edelstein asks who is thinking about the potentials of this space to train us to be truly mindfully compassionate, awakened humans? And what are the downsides to a world where young people become increasingly more mediated in their relationships and their learning? This episode provides a view into the future that's already happening and asks some important questions that we want to respond to now while it will be much easier to have a hand in helping shape for the best what is coming in AI.Support the show
In this episode, Amy shares a brief look at how our awareness of large scale systems that we can intuit through our mindfulness practice and through exploring the interconnected systems we see in nature and in the structure of the cosmos can reveal new solutions to our very entrenched problems. For teens who are discouraged and feeling defeated by the issues of the world and in their lives, this way of seeing can ignite optimism, interest, and passion to make the world a better place. Support the show
A Freedom Worth Striving For - Reflections in Independence on the American Holiday 4th of JulyWhat makes freedom exalted? What can our students aspire to when the "freedom" they have been taught to cherish is either - in the case of politics and social orders - profoundly inequitable and even harmful or - as in the case of personal freedoms - exacerbates a sense of existential anxiety with its proliferation of choices and optionality and its dearth of guidance and directives that ennoble. In this short reflection, Amy Edelstein explores freedom, purpose, and courage in the footsteps of Paul Tillich, and looks at how we can create classroom structures that promote the aspiration towards a more profound expression of our humanity and potential. Support the show
These recent weeks have seen the scourge of senseless gun violence tearing through a school, a supermarket, and neighborhoods across America. In this episode, Amy Edelstein reaches deep into the power of meditation to imprint in us the undeniable experience of interconnectedness and love, a love that inspires us to want to dispel ignorance rather than fight (even for a cause) in ways that only create more division and separation. This entire episode is both a guided meditation and a deep reflection. Support the show
Purpose Driven Education and the Role Mindfulness Can PlayIn this episode, Amy Edelstein talks about the role of purpose in teen flourishing.  When people are connected to a purpose greater than themselves, they experience more resilience, ability to persevere through challenges, sense of connection, and happiness. We can work with tools of mindful awareness to help students connect with their own values and imbue their lives with greater meaning. As educators, we can contextualize any subject we are teaching within a framework of higher purpose. This helps shape our student's ability to interpret their journey in a positive light, learn from their mistakes, and feel fulfilled and significant as they learn and grow. Support the show
The Power of Purpose

The Power of Purpose


In this episode, Amy Edelstein explores the power of purpose and the value that speaking about purpose with youth has on the rest of their lives. She discusses the great Stanford Educator and Author William Damon and his book The Path to Purpose , which looks at the impact of materialism and our fast-paced technological world on the exploration of greater goals. Going as far back as Aristotle, tapping into Erik Erikson and Piaget, Damon bolsters his argument in favor of purpose as a key foundation for youth happiness, resilience, success, patience, and also humility.  We'll look at how mindfulness can cultivate a sense of meaning and purpose and how we as educators, parents, or mentors can support youth development. Support the show
The world renowned and beloved Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hahn passed this week at the age of 95. This episode is dedicated to his work and life, bringing mindfulness to a secular environment, connecting deep mindfulness practice with social, political, and environmental activism, and being a powerful -- albeit profoundly gentle -- activist for change. We value and honor his life, his spirit, and the work he has left behind. The world is brighter for his presence.Support the show
In this episode, Amy Edelstein talks about the need of our times for greater courage, centeredness and connection to presence, or being. This episode and its guided meditation will start the new year off on a positive and directed note. Support the show
Can technology empower rather than divide? Can we train robots to exhibit the empathy of their operators in humanitarian situations? How is Inner Strength looking ahead and the possibilities for supporting youth wellness through technology? Join Amy Edelstein in dialogue with XPrize semi-finalist and Inner Strength Board Member Anthony Holland.In this final installment, Tony and Amy answer audience questions about their own search for meaning and purpose and the potential they see in creating a positive culture for all to benefit from. More at Inner Strength EducationSupport the show
Can technology empower rather than divide? Can we train robots to exhibit the empathy of their operators in humanitarian situations? How is Inner Strength looking ahead and the possibilities for supporting youth wellness through technology? Join Amy Edelstein in dialogue with XPrize semi-finalist and Inner Strength Board Member Anthony Holland.In this second part of the dialogue, Tony and Amy go more deeply into issues facing students and how Inner Strength is working to empower and heal. More at Inner Strength EducationSupport the show
Can technology empower rather than divide? Can we train robots to exhibit the empathy of their operators in humanitarian situations? How is Inner Strength looking ahead and the possibilities for supporting youth wellness through technology? Join Amy Edelstein in dialogue with XPrize semi-finalist and Inner Strength Board Member Anthony Holland. More at Inner Strength EducationSupport the show
Adventure in Zanskar: one woman's solitary journey to reach physical and metaphysical heightsThis episode of The Conscious Classroom is a little different, some fun. I just published a memoir about a solitary trek I undertook in the highest mountains of the world, the western most corner of the Tibetan Plateau, and area called Zanskar, India.I simply couldn't wait to share it with all of you. It'll take you on a journey in 1983  through a region virtually untouched by western materialist culture and show you what's possible to realize when we dare to go beyond our conventional limits. You can grab your kindle copy here! (Or paperback or hardback for gifts)Please share a review when you finish it'll help others find the book. Enjoy!As acclaimed author Andrew Harvey wrote, A thrilling book takes us into the heart of one of the most powerful spiritual places on Earth - Zanskar. It is a must read for all those who love and recognize the healing power of place and the adventure that spiritual travel can open up. “This is a beautiful book for every woman who has ever wanted to do something extraordinary.  ... Amy's story is sure to light a fire within you to expand your own horizons and tap into untold dimensions of inner strength, courage, determination, and resilience.” — Claire Zammit, Ph.D., Founder,"If you are looking to lift your spirits, read this book—it will lighten your heart and show you a path to lasting happiness."— Marci Shimoff,  #1 NY Times bestselling author of Happy for No ReasonSupport the show
Do you often relate just to the ways teens present in the classroom and forget that what goes on in their personal reflection may be much deeper? Teens present in all their awkward ways, they are in a growth stage and sometimes it feels like their bodies don't quite fit their minds and emotions or vice versa. Remember, there may be much more going on under the surface that is significant and should be acknowledged. In this episode Amy Edelstein shares some subtle insights into the nature of thought and awareness that a student had after just two lessons. She also shares a much more troubling experience a teen in the very same class was having. Insight and gun violence can affect teens sitting within 5 feet of one another. This podcast explores how we can tend to it all. For more guided audios and classroom tools, visit Inner Strength EducationDownload my free mindfulness app for teens on the App and Play Stores! Support the show
Recently I've been asked, "How does your Inner Strength school mindfulness program help prevent gun violence?" When you are being asked that in a city that has one of the fastest rising rates of gun violence per capita in the United States, that's a serious question. In the last 4 weeks, we've seen 4 shootings at schools, with multiple youth killed. This has led to some serious soul searching. How does a focus on conscious awareness impact such a specific soul-wrenching external event?Join Amy Edelstein for this impassioned and thoughtful exploration of Mindfulness as a foundation for social transformation and violence reductionSupport the show
We all know play is important for little kids. Imagination, working out scenarios, assuming roles. It's how kids develop a wider sense of being in the world. Play is also important for teenagers. They need to have fun while learning. Play can also break up the day, change the rhythm. It teaches important and deep values as well. Games help students see each other in a different light, some students who are less skilled at call and response classroom questions, may excel in game format. It teaches teamwork and leadership. Games support creative thinking by allowing students to think laterally, out of the box, looking for solutions or shortcuts or tricks to excel. Games allow for healthy competition, and no hard feelings if one doesn't excel. Join Amy Edelstein, founder of Inner Strength Education, as she shows how to relate specific games to mindful awareness, how to use games when teaching mindfulness to teens, and how to realize their value as a teaching tool for whole person wellness. Support the show
Back to school this year is new territory. How can we manage our own sense of uncertainty? How can we build a welcoming class environment for students who have experienced so many challenges over the past year, challenges which haven't ended. In this Back to School session, you'll learn: 5 Anchor Tools to manage stress in the moment, in the classroom3 Anchor Tools to ritualize and create a positive environment around health, hygiene, and transitions for your students3 Anchor Tools for you to create a pause between your workday and your time after work. Let me know what you think!What anchor tools are you using to ground and stabilize you and your classroom?Support the show
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