Meditation in School Education: A Profound Practice – Meditation is a technique for achieving a higher level of consciousness and focused attention via the application of a set of techniques. It is a technique for enhancing consciousness that has been proved to provide a wide range of benefits to its user.
A Brief History of Meditation: How and When
The oldest documents dating back 5000 years hint at the technique of creating calm to the mind through meditation. Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Sufism, for example, have all advocated for the spiritual advantages of contemplative activities. Meditation was once widely practised throughout Asia, and it only became popular in other parts of the world during the twentieth century. It became popular in the West during the 1960s and 1970s. Meditation techniques such as mindfulness, transcendental meditation, mantra meditation, vipassana, guided meditation, and others are promoted by various cults or individuals. Most people practise yoga not because of their religious or spiritual beliefs, but because of the immense physical and mental benefits they have gained.
Based on his study of religious and secular literature from around the world, Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson used meditation techniques on his patients and discovered dramatic changes in their physiological parameters, including a shift in their brain waves to the relaxing theta waves, after repeated clinical trials. With his scientific confirmation, he dubbed this mind-body interaction the “relaxation response,” and it is now taught in many medical schools around the world and utilised in the treatment of many disorders where surgery and medications have failed.
The advice to “practise meditation or be mindful” is common. This subject has been the subject of numerous publications, videos, and courses. The benefits of meditation are so numerous that they can never be overstated, and school education cannot ignore them or deny pupils access to the benefits of this age-old and now medically recognised practise.
The following are just a few of the many advantages that meditation and mindfulness can provide to our students:
Improved focus and attention –
Meditation can help students be more focused and attentive in their studies. It improves attention span and aids in focusing on the task at hand, rather than scanning the material without fully comprehending its content.
Improves working memory –
Smart devices constantly draw the user’s attention in a million different directions. There’s so much going on all the time on Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube. Our biology does not travel at the speed of light, despite the fact that technology does! Students frequently attempt to work on multiple tasks at once, and instead of completing one thing well, they end up doing many things poorly. Meditation aids individuals in gaining better focus, recovering previously learned subject matter quickly and properly, and performing better at (unavoidably) multiple tasks.
Reduces anxiety —
Harvard studies discovered that the average human mind wanders 47% of the time when they are awake. This wandering of the mind causes discontent by oscillating our mental process between future fears and past emotions, resulting in worry. Meditation is well-known for its capacity to help the mind relax and de-stress by regulating breathing and producing dopamine, the happy hormone. A cheerful and relaxed mind is also more creative and productive.
Meditation encourages introspective reflection, which leads to a greater understanding of oneself. It’s about being aware of one’s thoughts and actions, not merely sitting quietly and focusing on one’s breath. It’s about building a daily habit of responding rather than reacting, relishing every positive experience, cultivating a grateful attitude, and being fully present in every situation — good or unpleasant.
Improves self-esteem —
Regular internal reflection allows students to have a better understanding of their own realities, allowing them to focus more on their strengths while also preparing for challenges, resulting in increased self-esteem.
Builds empathy and compassion –
When you are mindful, you begin to see things from other people’s perspectives and begin to value other people’s perspectives on various issues. In the minds of the young students, it fosters empathy and compassion. They also benefit from strengthening relationships, which they are often chastised for neglecting.
The value of meditation and the advantages of this practise cannot be overstated in writing or speech, but only a regular practitioner can internalise them. Mindfulness is important not just for our own well-being, but also for our connection in order to increase community wellness. All stakeholders in school education, including school administrators, principals, teachers, parents, and the general public, should work together to revitalise this age-old practise and ensure that pupils benefit from early intervention and frequent practise.