Keeping the Silence: Meditation In Public Schools
As someone who attended public schools her whole life, I am here to tell you why we need to invite meditation into the public school system. There are so many reasons why this is a healthy practice to incorporate into the lives of children, especially if you are looking for a more long-term change in behavior patterns. So I’m going to break down the following aspects of what is currently offered in the schooling system and what we can do to make it better.
Detention Still Exists
Did you know that there are still schools that use detention as a form of punishment? If you’re unfamiliar with it, detention is where a student goes when they’re misbehaving in class. Within this detention time, it usually lasts the duration of the class they were kicked out from. While in detention, the student has to sit in silence anyway with a teacher who usually could care less about what they are doing. Not only for the students, the teacher is insanely bored too! You have options to do homework, stare aimlessly at a wall, or invite negative self-talk into your mind. You are already sitting there not doing anything, why not meditate?
Children Are Sponges
Children have a natural ability to learn and absorb everything around them. Learning languages, subjects, and a lot more is a lot more reachable to someone younger. So why not introduce a meditation practice? There are many options and ways to meditate — a favorite amongst the children I have learned is the “Sa Ta Na Ma” where everyone sits in comfortable seated position, eyes closed, hands on their knees (facing upwards), and take a mudra by pressing their index finger to their thumb. As they move through “Sa Ta Na Ma”, each sound takes on a new finger.
Sa = thumbs and first fingers
Ta = thumbs and second fingers
Na = thumbs and third fingers
Ma = thumbs and fourth fingers
You repeat this and chant out loud. You most through different tones, ranges, paces, and more! The children absolutely love this one to help focus their minds.
Other Ways Public Facilities Use Meditation
Did you know that meditation is practiced in jails and prisons? There have been proven study after study that meditation invites and restores so much peace in your life — no matter where you are at in life. The rise of peace and decline in violence within these places that carry so much tension should be a huge wake-up sign to public schools that it is time to change! Most people believe meditation means you have to be a yogi — I’m here to tell you that you don’t! Look around the world and see who else is using these practices and see the numbers for yourself.
Where To Begin?
Begin by switching detention for open meditation. Create a space in a classroom that is comfortable, inviting, and nurturing. Allow students to learn and dive deep into themselves because that is how you will see a change in the world. Detention is ancient and absolutely has no benefit to it except that it causes negative thought patterns. What children need is the ability to see their own energy within their hearts and the only way to get there is through meditation!