On-going Class Relax practice

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This third year of going into classrooms at Nofei Habsor Comprehensive School in the Western Negev, bordering the Gaza Strip, I’ve felt a growing sense of welcome as I enter the room.

Teachers are smiling and pleased when I knock on the door during the ‘Good Morning’ pre-lesson, before the day’s curriculum begins.

Kids are happy. Some say “Yoga!” “Judih!” “Yay”. Some put away their cellphones, putting them down mid-video game (which is amazing in itself). Some chatter and need to be brought to attention.This is why it’s great that their Homeroom teacher is present.

Once silence is brought into the room, I begin with a hello and a brief reminder that we are in a process of working on our attention by focusing on our breathing. Then I offer them one of the ten reasons for bringing meditation into their morning.

Reason 1: For reducing stress

How does this work? By disconnecting from the past, what just happened to us, and disengaging from our possible future, what will be, we are taking a break. Nothing is demanded of us. We are simply taking the time to be in the present moment. We pay attention to our body, our breathing and nothing else.

If our thoughts fly off to another place, that’s fine. We simply notice and come back to our breathing.

We practice now so that if we feel stress at some time, we will know how to ‘disconnect’.

the Wonderful Waiter

the Wonderful Waiter

Then, I put on a clip – one that suits the class. Sometimes I ask: how many feel tired? how many feel bored? how many are nervous? or energetic? how many are hungry?

Then I select the clip best suited to the majority.

The clip comes on, welcoming them to Class Relax and then leading them through a meditation: breathing, listening, guided imagery or a standing concentration exercise.

There is music, there is context and at the end, there is a way back to reality, to a state of readiness for learning.

I’m noticing more and more that no matter how I, as the facilitator, enter the room, no matter how neutral or anti I may feel, all that melts into a more whole sensation, mind and body are united in an effort of effortlessness.

I feel great afterwards. The Teacher feels good. The students feel good.

We all begin our day in a more quiet, more focused manner.

by Zohar

by ZoharKi

Morning Reminder – why meditate?

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I like to start a day by opening a random page in The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Buddhism by Gary Gach.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism

Today’s quote:

Hear and Now:

“Simply practice meditation in order to live a better life, or even just to live a good life, whatever meaning that holds for you. Or, meditate as a means of learning how not to be afraid – of death, or all the insignificant concerns that paralyze your innate ability to live fully. Meditate to activate creativity. Meditate to recognize the value of the truly good things in life: friendship, honor, respect, compassion, and love.” – Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu

Often during the day I find myself lured to sit quietly and meditate to enter that timeless space of simplicity. I smile at the idea of shifting away from outside forces – to devote time to work with the inner forces. Meditation allows me to recognize them as they  fly into my mind and then put them aside to return to my focus. This is constant work, but ‘work’ on the essential growth of the, shall I call it my being?

A chance to deal with my own self-doubts,  memories of things that happened and the feelings that were created, all those snippets of past instagrams,   reminds me that this is how I live my life –  outer action while the inner is busy playing pingpong with thoughts unconnected to the present moment.

This is my work. And it’s a gift to allow myself to do it. That gift is meditation.

Why meditate? Because this being, at this moment, is what I make of it. Or what I allow myself to make of it. I can choose to be distracted by a thousand fleeting ideas, or I can try to recognize those ideas as they show.

Meditation is my chance to observe them as they infiltrate my focus and my opportunity to set them aside so as to let me continue.

Nothing new can happen if I’m dragging along my past. New mind can occur, however, when I shuck off the weight of what was, to allow a fresh direction to be heard!

Why meditate?

To give myself a chance to be new!

judih

Image of Judih by Doreen Peri!

10 Reasons to Implement Meditation in the Classroom

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Only 10 reasons? Well perhaps many more, but 10 for sure!
10 Reasons

Reason #1 Reduces stress in the Classroom

We know that stress has been called the #1 Enemy of learning. Do we know? Sure, we know, as it’s been cited again and again.

Meditation reduces the symptoms of stress. (Sited here.) How?  By creating an oasis of time and space, a chance to disconnect from everything outside of the immediate experience of noticing the breath.  During those few minutes when the entire classroom is involved in counting breaths, being aware of the body, there is a kind of group embrace. The effect is magnified as the community supports itself.

Coming out of the meditation, each student feels a harmony that makes the classroom experience easier.

And that is reason #1: Reducing stress in the classroom.

Meditation helps align our chakras

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Finding a beautiful diagram of the chakras, I came to this page:

http://www.sahajayogaspirituality.com/chakras_sahaja_yoga.html

“Inside every human being there is a
network of nerves and sensory organs
that interprets the outside physical world.
At the same time within us resides a
subtle system of channels and seven
chakras
 which look after our
physical, intellectual, emotional, and
spiritual being.

subtle_system_chart

…through regular meditation, we
automatically become very dynamic,
creative, confident and at the same time
very humble, loving and compassionate.”

This page offers a description of each Chakra along with diagrams, and how through meditation we stimulate kundalini energy to align the chakras.

I’m posting it here for reference.