The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students

Chapter 13: Working with Stress and Trauma


  • Daniel Rechtschaffen


Mindfulness, Education, Trauma


Thank you to Norton Publishing and Daniel Rechtschaffen for permission to reprint these excerpts. As we learn more about trauma and its debilitating effects on the brain and well-being, The Way of Mindful Education is ever more valued and appreciated by holistic educators.

Rechtschaffen, D. (2014). The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-being in Teachers and Students. Norton.

There is profound healing possible through mindfulness, but we need to be very aware of the mechanism of trauma and the effects of different mindfulness practices. In David Treleaven’s thesis on meditation and trauma (Treleaven, 2013), he raises a crucial inquiry into the dangers of mindfulness becoming a dissociative practice rather than an embodying and healing one. To mitigate these dangers we need to get thorough training in trauma and stress-related disorders. Not only can we be trained to be sensitive and skilled with our students, we can learn how to care for our own stress and trauma. 

This article is accompanied by an additional excerpt called “Roots of Emotions,” a mindfulness activity referenced in the chapter.  See an additional lesson plan entitled Shake It Off, which is from The Mindful Education Workbook: Lessons for teaching mindfulness to students.

Rechtschaffen, D. (2016). The Education Workbooks: Lessons for teaching mindfulness to students. Norton.