MEDITATION FOR SELF-CARE
Meditation not only benefits students and the learning environment, but can also benefit one’s personal life outside of the school. The lives of students, educators, and teachers are filled with a number of stresses, challenges, anxieties, and tasks that can, at times, seem overwhelming. Meditation can help calm the mind and help focus energy in healthy ways so that as educators we can care for ourselves and in turn better care are for our community of learners and the larger world around us.
This short video talks about the benefits of meditation and how doctors at the Mayo Clinic recently designed an iPhone app that helps users fit meditation into their lives.
Meditation does not always have to take the form of what’s featured in this video, however. And although it may be helpful, an iPhone app is not necessary. There are several ways that meditation, conscious breathing, relaxation, and being present can be incorporated into our every day activities.
Read this excerpt from Peace Is Every Step. In it, author and Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh shares a number of techniques that we can incorporate into our daily lives – from walking and sitting, to eating and answering the phone.
“We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
…This book is an invitation to come back to the present moment and find peace and joy. I offer some of my experiences and a number of techniques that may be of help. But do no wait until finishing this book to find peace. Peace and happiness are available in every moment. Peace is every step. We shall walk hand in hand.” (Hanh, 5-6)
Reflection Question: Try one of the techniques Thich Nhat Hanh describes in the excerpt you read from his book, Peace Is Every Step. What technique did you choose? What was this experience like for you? Did you find it difficult or easy to practice? Is this something you could see yourself incorporating into your daily life?
- Cummins, Claudia. Breathing for Relaxation: How Simple Breath Work Can Lead You to a Deep State of Relaxation. Yoga Journal.com.
- The Meditation Podcast