Meditation

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A problem:

Our minds have minds of their own.

Think of our minds are dumb, sometimes-raging elephants, barely under control of the puny riders ("us") sitting on top of them. Most of the time, in our school, we whisper to the elephants — giving them curriculum that will interest them. (In fact, we consider "School for Elephants" as the name of this blog.)

But sometimes, we just have to take control. Meditation is a way to do that — to calm the elephant.

Our basic plan:

Kids meditate throughout the day, in short bursts. Over time, they get good at it.

The goals:

In the short-term, meditation helps kids segue from more-active pursuits (e.g. recess) into less-active ones (e.g. reading). In the long-term, kids become able to control their elephants more easily.

If you walk into our classrooms, you might see:

Kids, sitting at desks and on the floor, meditating, while a teacher leads them.

Some specific questions:

  • What curriculum already exists for this? Is there a "best practices" curriculum for meditation?
  • What specific religious objections should we be prepared to work around?
  • What specific types of meditation should we engage? (Mindfulness meditation? Lovingkindness meditation?)
  • Is it possible to link meditation to any of the other subjects? (Art? Literature? Science? Math?)
  • Is there an app for this? Are there ways to help kids do this individually, or in small groups?
  • When should this be done in the school day? (Before/after what sort of activities?)

Brandon Hendrickson

Seattle, WA