Journal of Contemplative Inquiry


Teaching hand embroidery as part of an academic course on mindfulness was found to enhance students’ learning and foster mindfulness. It functioned as a bridge between mindfulness theory and practice and helped students limit compulsive thinking, develop a beginner’s mind, engage in metacognition, experience presence, promote therapeutic benefits, and in some cases, manifest wisdom. Students were learning to add mindfulness to their daily lives through body-oriented pedagogy. Further, inviting an embroidery teacher from the local community promoted reverse community-engaged learning. It challenged students’ and educators’ assumptions of privilege, power, and class and helped form new ties based on mutual respect. This interpretive phenomenological analysis is part of a larger study based on teaching mindfulness as an academic course for two years. I adopted double hermeneutics to analyze data from critical reflective journals of 24 consenting students and from semi-structured interviews with 20 students.