In this chapter I address mindfulness and wellness as priorities for educators and citizens in a complex, rapidly changing world. The issues I address include the context of everyday life, emphasizing stress and emotions as salient to the quality of interactions and wellness. The importance of educating the citizenry from birth through death is identified as a priority. Meditation and mindfulness are presented as components of a toolkit that is pertinent to improving lifestyles by, when it is desirable to do so, enabling people to detach emotions from what they do. Also, meditation and mindfulness can be options for people to use to change the emotions they express in particular situations and also reduce the intensity of emotion, if and when it is considered desirable.
A second section of the paper provides an advance organizer for many chapters in this volume that concern complementary approaches to health and wellbeing. In this chapter I focus on Jin Shin Jyutsu as an approach that individuals can use, as selfhelp, to maintain wellness and address health projects that emerge. Jin Shin Jyutsu is presented as a complement to Western medicine, not a replacement for it. The examples I provide in this introductory chapter set the stage for what is to follow in the remainder of the book.
In this chapter I describe event-oriented inquiry and ways in which it has been used, and evolved in our research. Our uses of event-oriented inquiry are grounded in the research we have done on teaching and learning, and more recently, on the expression of emotion and wellness. Event-oriented inquiry is frequently used along with other methodologies in a multilogical approach that is participatory, interpretive, and embracing of hermeneutic-phenomenological frameworks that also incorporate critical pedagogy and aspects of ethnomethodology. A most important component of our methodology is authentic inquiry, which embraces four criteria – ontological, educative, catalytic, and tactical authenticity. Each of these criteria needs to be planned and enacted. In this chapter I pay particular attention to catalytic and tactical authenticity, and related aspects of designing and utilizing heuristics, as interventions, intended to improve the quality of education, at individual and collective levels, to ensure that all benefit from what we have learned from our research. Throughout the chapter I illustrate the principles of multilogical inquiry and event-oriented inquiry with examples drawn from previously published research that examined the expression of a teacher’s emotions and associated changes in her pulse rate, blood oxygenation, prosody, and proxemics. As part of ongoing research, I present what we learned about breathing while teaching in two scenarios, when the teacher’s blood oxygenation was low, and when it was high.