An Anecdote –
Upon introducing a meditation class at the Mission High School health fair, I was blown away by the degree to which these kids were disengaged. After teaching in Juvenile Halls, were there is at least an attentive audience due to an extreme lack of alternative stimulation, the kids I faced in high school were basically looking at me with one question. What can you do for me in this second? They assumed, ‘nothing’.
I ended up doing an exercise where I wrote on the board two words. ‘Like’ and ‘dislike’. I asked them to tell me all the things they liked, and all the things they did not, without holding back. Their faces lit up, they looked at me instead of away from me, and started calling out various things that I proceeded to write on the board. At the end, we did an exercise in which we concentrated on each side, first ‘dislike’ and then ‘like’ for about 30 seconds each. ‘Like’ made them feel good, relaxed, content, excited and ‘dislike’ made them angry, tense, and sad. In doing this, they immediately saw the power of thoughts over their body and mind. They were introduced to the power of their mind. However, this exercise revealed something different to me. It revealed that these kids have interests, passions, and inspirations, and that they yearn for an environment in which they can express them. We as educators need to tap into this, honor their yearning and offer them healthy ways to both express it, and along the way, become more self-aware. The self-awareness holds the key to knowing who we are and dealing with life’s challenges in a healthy way.Link: http://www.mindfulness.com/2010/01/05/the-mindfulness-project-mind-body-awareness/