Mindfulness in the Classroom, and Beyond

Learn Mindfulness from a Buddhist monk? Where do I sign up!? But the benefits from the session went beyond just Mindfulness.

I attended a recent talk given by a wonderful guy called Amaranatho (www.amaranatho.com) on the subject of mindfulness. I’d wanted to go as I was keen on increasing mindfulness into the school programmes and thought this was as good introduction as any. Ama was, after all, a once Buddhist monk so it was reasonable to assume that he’d have a decent handle on the subject.

The Earth has no boundaries or borders other than the ones we have imposed on it

The talk was wonderful and gave a lovely incite into the practise of mindfulness, and it was good to hear that many of the ideas and thoughts were already in some nestled in schools’ programme. Of the many things I took from the seminar was the opening slide of the Earth. Ama described the slide by highlighting that the borders and boundaries are man-made.

His comment stuck with me as I drove away: the Earth has no boundaries or borders other than the ones we have imposed on it. We have imposed those boundaries and they are relatively new. Were you to go back 500 years, the borders would have dramatically changed. These borders change over time either by choice or by force – usually the latter. Yet from space the Earth would not look any different. It wouldn’t reflect the turmoil, transitions or tranquility  beneath the clouds.

We are not our borders we are more than that

I drew the comparison that, like the Earth, we have our boundaries and borders that define us,  that determine our behaviour. Yet these too are imposed. We place these limits around us that control our decisions. But we are not our borders we are more than that. We are more than these definitions. Nevertheless so many of us see these borders and allow them to define ourselves; worse still consciously or unconsciously reinforce them through our choices.

This observation makes for a useful metaphor that I think children could grasp. So to the pupils I would say this: you are not the limitations that others, or you, feel you are. You, just like the Earth, can change and alter. These borders are imposed on you and can be broken and you can live a life unrestricted.

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