I’m sadly one of those people who thinks meditation and yoga are a great idea. Thinks. I haven’t quite gotten around to the doing bit just yet. My secular psychic forays haven’t exactly stuck, despite binges on Bikram every few years, and I haven’t made a good habit of any of the things I profess to feel are beneficial. One thing I do, though, every few years is have a mental spring clean with a counsellor. And one of the things that strikes me after each run of sessions, is that not everybody thinks of the mind as something to be cared for, exercised, and rested. I think of counselling as something akin to buying a gym membership or buying a series of laser treatments for my skin. It’s expensive, but undoubtedly good for me. Like my body and skin, I have one mind, and I want to look after it. Zero stigma.
Unfortunately, lots of people don’t see it that way, and that’s the family culture that kids bring to school. This is where modelling comes in. Our job as aides and teachers is to model positive behaviours. Just what if, for once, we included mental health in the PD/H/PE curriculum – and I don’t mean showing the kids the way to the school counsellor’s office. I mean preventative mental health, like Mindfulness Training. Non-secular meditation is a great way to deal with the bazillions of strange emotions and hormones coursing through a student’s mind and body. And I would be willing to bet my salary that it will have a positive and noticeable effect on our mainstream disability students.
I have resolved to sign up for a course and collect some inspiration for visualisation which my coach and counsellor reckons will work a treat with students. Have you had any experience with meditation in schools? How did you rate the experience?
(To hear Jon Kabat-Zinn talk to Google staff about mindfulness, click here.)
Image: Nothing is New.