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.
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?)