So today, we are talking about the importance of including meditation in Education. But do you exactly know what meditation is? Those who have never tried meditation and have just observed people trying to meditate, must have got an impression that meditation is an activity in which a person sits down on earth for some time with both the eyes closed trying not to speak or utter a word. Is it what you have understood by meditation? If it is so, you need to research more on meditation and understand it more deeply.
Let me help you develop an understanding of meditation. Theoretically, meditation has been defined as a practice of concentrating the mind on some particular object, activity or thought with a clear objective of getting closer to it or to achieve mental and emotional stability. Somehow, the meditation has been linked to the religion, but it has got to do nothing with that. It is just a technique which an individual uses to make his mind calm.
People also use the term mindfulness with meditation. Actually, mindfulness is a psychological process. While meditation is a ‘zoning out’ type of a thing, mindfulness is of ‘zoning in’ types. It helps you experience what is happening in the present moment. Mindfulness utilizes the practice of yoga, meditation and other techniques to help you live the present moment with full energy. To get the self-knowledge and wisdom, the Buddhist traditions make frequent use of the mindfulness.
Now, when you have understood what meditation is, it is the time to understand what role it can play in the field of education. How it helps students?
Mediation in education:
You know well how today’s college life is. Continuous classes, exams, mandatory parties, seminars, symposiums, debates, cultural fest and what not. Some students find this rhythm of college interesting and fun-filled, while for some others it is stressful. Mostly those who are not very good at studies or are introvert fins it difficult to match their rhythm with the campus life. But there is no other option for them. As a result, they feel anxiety, sleeplessness, and stress etc. This definitely affects them negatively. Same is with the teachers. They also feel the same while working. If a teacher is not mentally healthy, how can he be expected to help such students?
In such conditions, it is best to opt for some practices and activities that greatly relieves stress and anxiety. Now-a-day, some such practices are followed by the label of mindful meditation. Meditation is equally beneficial for both the students and the teachers. Meditation if incorporated properly and completely can improve the overall educational environment. This method is the easiest one to follow, as it requires no costly equipment, no regular classes, no membership card and no heavy fee for learning it. Simply, an inclination to learning and practicing this art can cause wonders.
How does mediation impact students?
Meditation helps a student to manage their daily life with confidence and a sense of life. A study carried out on the successful people shows that many of them meditate on a daily basis. If the practice starts from an early date, it helps shape the future for the better. For students, meditation helps increase the focus, memory, and immunity to various diseases. In addition, it also reduces the anxiety, stress, and fatigue. I think nobody wants more than that. The benefits of meditation for students will clarify all the impact.
Benefits of meditation for students:
The benefits of meditation for students are endless. Apart from helping them with great things like relieving stress, anxiety etc. it also has certain health benefits for students.
• Slow down the heart rate.
• Normalize the blood pressure.
• Oxygen is consumed more efficiently.
• Less sweating
• The mind works sharper with limited effect of the age.
• Immunity increases
• Less cortisol production by adrenal glands
• As mind starts to remain calm, creativity increases
• Eases and helps to leave the life-damaging habits
Now, let us focus on the major benefits of meditation for which it is highly praised in the academic circle. Guided meditation for students is much more helpful than a self-practiced meditation. Here, I am enlisting about 10 major benefits of mediation for students.
1. Relieving the academic stress:
You can say that improved grades is a side effect of meditation. Yes, it is so. As the person starts to meditate and have command over it, there is a slow reduction in the level of stress felt by them. Once, the stress is less, the student is able to concentrate on the studies with full vigor. As a result, the grades improve. Isn’t it the sweetest side-effect of the meditation?
2. Alter brain fibers to work more efficiently:
Some people observe that though they have a sharper mind but then also a lack of harmony or continuous disturbance always hinder their creativity and imagination. Though there is no solid scientific evidence that proves how meditation changes the fibers of the brain, those who always practice meditation always talk about how this practice has helped them to alter their brain fibers to adjust their behavior and emotions in their favor under all circumstances.
3. Helps to leave the life-damaging habits (drugs, alcohol etc.):
Students sometime fall in the bait of bad habits very early. Though they have a sense that all of this is wrong, they find themselves unable to free themselves from this tangle. However hard they try, they fail. Here, meditation can come to their aid. For this, the solution is Transcendental Meditation. This is a method of meditation that specifically focuses on reducing the antisocial habits and drug abuse problems. This method is used along with the scientific ways of drug prevention to produce better and quick results. Do not limit the effect of Transcendental meditation to just the drug abuse problem. You can use this technique to get a relief from any type of addiction, be it an addiction to food, medicine or it is of alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine etc.
4. Meditation for study concentration:
The major work of the meditation is the correct channelization of the inherent energy that a person has. It helps the person to gather all the energy to live in the present moment. So if in the present moment your priority is concentrating on the studies, the meditation can guide your energies to do the same. The meditation and the pranayama techniques if mixed together increase the concentration power of the student. There are some pranayama positions which help to increase the concentration. Practice them together with the meditation to get the maximum benefits from them.
5. Students confidence level gets a boost:
If you think deeply about the possible reasons of less confidence in a person, there come many reasons, and the answer to it vary from individual to individual. So the reasons are many, but all the reasons can find a common solution in meditation. Those who practiced meditation or long have shared their experience. They say that they have seen their confidence level increases gradually after mastering the meditation technique. If any student feels that he/she is too small in age to start practicing meditation, he/she is wrong. There is no fixed age for starting meditation. Meditation can be practiced at any age. Sahaj Samadhi Meditation has been found to be very effective for increasing the confidence level.
6. Dug out the Hidden Talent:
We all have some kind of exceptional talent. But in absence of any particular technique or way to find it, we fail to realize it throughout our life. Do you know that meditation has the power to make us realize our hidden powers? It is said that we have a whole universe inside us. The meditation is a way to take out whatever we need from inside us. The regular practice polishes our creative side. Once the creative side gets a boost, you may eventually be able to point out and observe the hidden talent you possess.
7. Helps to overcome the fear of exams:
The greatest fear that a student faces in his life is the fear of exams. To overcome this fear, meditation can help a lot. Actually, the philosophy of meditation is based on making people aware that the life is larger and above the petty issues like results, completion, exams etc. When you have larger than life image in front of you when you always have death in mind, will you fear these small things like exams, insult etc.? Meditation helps to develop a true sense of life and the ability to lead your life in the right direction. So when one has a true sense of life, how can he/she fear exams?
8. Helps to live the life happily:
If you are fearless, it doesn’t mean that you are happy as well. Actually, people assume that a fearless person can be happy as he has nothing to worry about. But this is not true. A fearless person can create menace also. A fearless person can do misdeeds based on his fearless nature. This is also destructing. Actually, the meditation makes a person fearless and then channelizes his energy in the right direction to make the life easy and happy. Here lies the difference between the motivational classes and meditation classes. It helps a person realize how important it is to be happy to live a life.
9. Endless health benefits:
We have discussed the health benefits a person receives while he practices meditation techniques. Lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases is a major health benefit of meditation. Actually, it is the anxiety, stress, hypertension, and depression which are sometimes the major reasons for the fluctuating blood pressure. Studies have shown that meditation has a tremendous positive impact on improving the overall health condition of an individual.
10. More stable emotional well-being and better sleep:
Most of the times the sleep of the students get disturbed when they are emotionally unstable. Stress, anxiety, excessive thoughts, fear of exam, stage fear etc. are some of the causes for which students are unable to take a sound sleep. Through meditation, one achieves emotional stability. When one is emotionally stable, the chances of sleepless night reduces to a greater extent. This is a proved fact that if your heart and mind are calm and are without disturbing thoughts you sleep very easily. Taking a good sleep is essential for any student if he/she wants to perform all the school tasks efficiently. Meditation helps here.
What are some best meditation techniques for students to increase their concentration level?
All types of meditation improve the concentration in one way or the other. However, for the beginners guided meditation is best, but if someone wants to start on own, here I am providing some information about different types of meditation techniques, which may help you in long run.
1. Transcendental Meditation:
This meditation is based on minute focus. This type of meditation is frequently included in the school timetable. Teachers who know this type of meditation and its importance include this type of meditation in the timetable of students twice a day. Once in the morning and then in the lunchtime. The time after the lunch hits the students’ senses very hard. They feel excessively sleepy after that. If you include this type of meditation just after the lunch, it helps to get rid of the yawning and disinterest. One just has to sit in the lotus pose and close the eyes and focus on a particular thing or idea. A student can even recite some ‘shloks’ (chants) for about 20 minutes.
2. Moving Meditation:
While transcendental meditation needs one to sit in the lotus position and close the eyes, moving meditation requires one to indulge in such a physical activity which takes her/him in a trance-like state. Chess, mountaineering, Kung-Fu, Martial arts like activities can be performed in this type of meditation. Have you observed one thing? All of these activities require an intense focus on something. When you focus on one thing, you are sure to liberate your body from unwanted thoughts and processes at least for some time. This type of meditation is the most preferred meditation technique used by the students and teachers alike in the school to relieve their stress and boredom
There are many other forms of meditation also. Some of them motivate you to focus on the sensations of your body, while some other motivates to focus on the thought process. I am again and again emphasizing on the point that if you are a student and a beginner take a guided meditation so that you remain on the right track in observation of some insightful person. We wish you All the Best for your endeavors.