Recently, I was lucky enough to take part in a mindfulness meditation session arranged by the University Chaplaincy as part of Mental Health Week. It was a very peaceful break in the day, and definitely one of the nicest ways of raising mental health awareness.
I have always been a fan of mindfulness, or ‘Buddhist Meditation on the Mindfulness of Being’ as it was called when I first tried it at Glastonbury in the 90s. I’m an old hippy, I’ll own that.
But meditation practice has had very beneficial effects in my own life, in improving focus, reducing stress, and generally re-evaluating my perspective on things. For the last couple of years, I have been going to weekly Mindfulness @ Lunchtime meditation practices at St Mark’s Unitarian Church whenever I could get there, and I’ve found these sessions very helpful. So I was very interested to see this offer from Mindful Schools, encouraging the practice of mindfulness in education.
But how is it being used? Here’s an example for teachers:
Pause and Check In
Follow this link to find a 3 minute sample guided mindfulness meditation for teachers at the beginning of the school day from Mindful Schools. I found it through a LinkedIn advert. It’s short, and I really like it:
Who are Mindful Schools?
Mindful Schools is one of the leading organizations in the movement to integrate mindfulness into the everyday learning environment of school classrooms. They’ve trained over 50,000 teachers, parents, and mental health professionals who work with youth. This is their website: Mindful Schools.
If you are in education, they ask,
“How are you cultivating empathy in your classroom?”
For teachers, students and parents alike, we all know that the beginning of the school year is a busy and stressful time. So I may be a bit late with this, but on the off-chance that anyone else out there is not completely stress-free yet, this free Back to School Kit is here to introduce some calm and help you explore mindfulness together: Back to School Mindfulness Kit
I signed up for it myself to see what it was (it only took an email address), and it opens a web page that includes two audio guided meditation practices for teachers (including the one above) that you can play on the page or open in SoundCloud, and a downloadable, printable PDF with back to school activities for school aged kids and printable posters for classrooms (or the living room in my case).
If you’re also interested and inspired by the potential of mindfulness in education, this is a free resource that you can share with friends, teachers, and parents.
If you’re interested in developing empathy, I used to have an audio tape of a wonderful meditation practice for this purpose, called Metta Bhavana. I am still looking for the best version of this on YouTube.
I hope they bring their mindfulness sessions for staff to King’s Buildings soon. In the meantime, it’s very interesting to see there’s a labyrinth in George Square, especially as I’ll be there next week!
Update: Strangely, I just went to George Square and looked for this labyrinth, but couldn’t find it. Perhaps it only appears when you’re ready…
Join Mindful Schools in imagining the possibilities of a world where every young person has access to the gift of mindfulness.
- Mindful Schools on LinkedIn
- Free Back to School Kit – available here
- Mindfulness courses at the University
- Mindfulness @ Lunchtime: Tuesday lunchtime meditation practices at St Mark’s Unitarian Church, Castle Terrace, Edinburgh
- Mindfulness @ Lunchtime Facebook page
- Meditate at Your Desk
- Recommended Tracks related to ‘Pause and Check In’ on Soundcloud
- Mindfulness@Lunchtime Podcasts