Mindfulness in schools

‘Mindfulness’ is a buzz word these days and that has to be a good thing.  I found a resource the other day that had the instructions for a mindfulness exercise a teacher could do with their class. All well and good if the teacher is an experienced practitioner.

Authenticity is everything. You would not go into a class and teach maths or history for example if you knew nothing about the subject yourself. You may get so far reading off a crib sheet but once the pupils started to ask questions if you did not have the necessary background knowledge you would soon be outed as a fraud.

Mindfulness is no different, you can only go so far reading out a document you found on the internet. If you do not have a regular practice yourself you will find it very hard to embody it while teaching it to your pupils. That is not a problem however, start doing it yourself, even 5 minutes a day is better than nothing. Keep a record of what you notice, however small and insignificant it may seem. The effect is compounding (think compound interest) if you improve by as little as 1% a day that is 3778% in a year!

Find guided meditations online, buy a CD and/or go to a class. For me the last option is the best because you have the support of your peers. It has taken me several years of going to a meditation group nearly every week to establish a regular daily practice myself. That’s not to say it will take you that long, I know someone who went on a retreat (her first) and then carried on meditating every day from then onwards. Also going on retreat for me is a must, I go several times a year. It gives me space to consolidate my practice and meet with like-minded people. The beauty is though whatever your lifestyle you can find a way that works for you. There is no one-size fits all. Just start where you are.