Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Susan Barduhn


BREATHE is an acronym for Breathe, Reflect, Empathize, Accept, Thank, Hearten, Engage. The addition of Understand allows for a holistic approach to living a healthy and balanced life both inside and outside the classroom. This paper took form as a result of my personal, spiritual journey, as well as my teaching practice. I noticed that the majority of my students enjoyed experiential activities that included time and space for self-reflection, relaxation and meditation. I began looking for books, seminars, and workshops that explored these areas. Deepak Chopra, Jonathan Kabat-Zinn, Dan Siegel, Eckhart Tolle, et al. offer insights into the benefits of meditation and mindfulness as a vehicle for improved quality of life. His Holiness the Dalai Lama describes compassion as a basic human value that is separate from religious practices and beliefs. The positive effects of gratitude on a person’s well-being have been studied by Dr. Robert Emmons and others. In addition, Charles A. Curran writes about the importance of understanding and its connection to our sense of belonging. SIT Graduate Institute’s focus on reflective teaching practices is another piece of the puzzle that creates a holistic approach to life-long learning. Each chapter includes practical activities for EFL teachers to use in the classroom. The goal of this paper is to provide a framework for EFL teachers, students and anyone interested in lifelong learning to incorporate activities that enable all of us to BREATHE to Understand as a part of our daily lives.


Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Methods | International and Intercultural Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Metaphysics | Other Education