Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Buddha in the Snow

As we have been shivering in the cold and snow here in the UK this photo from one of our members seemed appropriate to share...................

The following piece is from The Dharma Primary School website. The Dharma Primary is Europe’s only primary school based on Buddhist principles and is located in Patcham in Brighton.

Buddha in the Snow’ – a simple exercise to help ‘cloudy’ minds find a clear focus

Mindfulness in Education has been in the news again this week with an interesting article in Scientific American that discusses the benefits of teaching mindfulness practice to children. But what do we really mean by mindfulness? And how do we engage young children with the practice? Throughout the coming weeks, we will be bringing you a series of short blogs on how we actually apply mindfulness in the classroom. To begin, Ross Young, who helps teach Ocean Class, describes a simple exercise that is often an effective tool for calming pupils’ minds after their busy lunch time in the playground:

“Sometimes, after lunch break, the children can find it hard to settle from a period of play-time into learning-time. They often find their minds are ‘cloudy’, rather like when we shake our Buddha snow-globe (pictured above). The snow-globe can show them how their minds are working; they may have positive or negative thoughts, feelings and emotions towards themselves or others after a lot of interaction in the playground.

What we like to do together is to accept this and understand that our minds are busy and ‘cloudy’ from the past hour of rushing around and playing. Because a lot has gone on in the playground, we can’t always focus clearly or learn easily as our minds are busy with all these thoughts and feelings. So we take a moment. We take time. We feel our breathing, we rest. We see what happens.

We often notice that our minds settle. These thoughts or feelings may pass and change or they may still be there, but more settled and not clouding our perspective anymore. We can deal with them more easily and we can make better judgements. We often agree that this enables us to work and learn with clearer, focused minds.”

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