Mindfulness and Experiential Learning

Over the last forty years researchers from many different theoretical perspectives have discovered that individuals develop consistent, routinized approaches to learning called learning styles (Sims and Sims 2006). Learners use these learning “habits” to make sense of the world and adapt to it. But what happens when learners over‐routinize their learning styles? Are they missing opportunities to reach their potential as learners? Mindfulness is an age old practice used to overcome the tendency to “sleep walk” repetitively through our lives. In recent times it has been accepted into mainstream psychology, social psychology, and medicine. Empirical studies are now finding statistical support for what many have known for two millennia: that practicing mindfulness enhances mental and physical health, creativity, and contextual learning. In a world of flux and rapidity, living mindlessly can result in a host of problems including but not limited to: tunnel vision, increased stress, reduced physical health, reduced creativity, and difficulty navigating complex systems. In this article we explore discuss mindfulness as a tool to assist learners in unlocking their full learning potential.