On Mindfulness at Bay: Shahara Godfrey’s Perspective


How would you describe your role at Bay?

My role is to coordinate mindfulness meditation throughout the school in ways that students, faculty and administration can participate.

What was your first impression of Bay? What is your impression now?

Prior to coming to Bay, I did some research and was impressed with the philosophy of the school as demonstrated through the precepts. These guiding principles are reflected in the students, faculty, and administration.

How did you come to be interested in mindfulness?

As a Buddhist practitioner, I have always been interested in bringing the teachings of the Buddha to a wider audience. Mindfulness offers a way to do this in a non-threatening, secular, accessible and fun way that is very inclusive in its practical application. The premise of causing no harm is universal to all people.

What makes you want to share that interest with high school students in particular?

I would like to imagine that I am planting seeds for future generations to live their life with joy, integrity and to handle difficulties with discernment and skill.

Do you think there’s an advantage to beginning a mindfulness practice at a young age?

Yes…the younger the better because the skills lay a foundation that can be utilized in so many different life situations. As one gets older, they are adaptable and still very effective.

How does mindfulness change your outlook/attitude/life? Do you have an example of such a change (in yourself or a student)?

A mindfulness practice allows me to slow down, be kinder to myself and others, explore different options and integrate the skills in all aspects of my life. I recently was in a car accident. I was backing out to straighten out my parking.  Someone honked. I thought it was the sound of the radio but it wasn’t. I was going about 5 miles an hour. My bumper hit the passenger side of her car. We both got out of our cars and simultaneously asked, “Are you okay”? I was quite calm and accepted the fault was mine. She was very kind and we both were unharmed

What do you hope graduating students take with them to college and beyond?

My wish for all the students is that a seed of mindfulness has been planted. These skills are very helpful with handling difficult emotions, decreasing stress, expressing oneself thoughtfully and enjoying being in the present moment.