Is Meditation an Educational Tool?

Meditation can enhance the educational experience in much the same way that it promotes healing and relieves stress. In fact, stress reduction itself allows anyone, including students, to function more effectively.

Is Meditation an Educational Tool

Is Meditation an Educational Tool

The meditation benefits of positive life choices and mind-states such as feeling at peace, finding joy, love and well-being in the body and mind, all of which promote self-confidence, effectiveness and a personal sense of power. All qualities which are immensely valuable to students navigating into today’s culture and educational systems. ᅠ

Joe Wilner writes in, “Adventures in Positive Psychology,” and asks the question about meditation in schools, “Could it be a promising educational tool?” Here’s what he has to say… ᅠᅠ

Students today are more stressed, have more distractions, and often don’t have an effective outlet to cope with daily tension.

It’s all too easy for teenagers to turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, and the media as a way of escaping the pressure of being a young adult.

Meditation is a simple and effective practice to help reduce stress, and been shown to have many other positive psychological effects.

So, would it be valuable for school districts to integrate meditation programs in their schools?

There are many schools around the nation that have already done so, and it appears that meditation can provide a positive outlet for youth.

Here are a few ways meditation can have a positive impact.

Research has shown meditation improves academic performance and results in improvement in intelligence.

This may be in part due to enhancing attention and concentration, as well as providing a method to cope with stress and anxiety that can impact academic performance.

As well, certain types of mediation have been shown to alter brain activity to improve executive functions involved with attention, focus, planning, and alertness.

Particularly, Transcendental Meditation (TM) helps the brain function in a more orderly and coherent fashion leading to improved creativity, greater emotional maturity, and stress reduction.

The emotional and mental benefits of meditation not only improve academic performance but can lead to healthier interpersonal relationships. Mediation offers a way to train the mind toward optimal emotional states, such as compassion, loving-kindness, joy, and empathy.

With less stress and agitation schools will see a decline in aggressive behavior and a more positive school environment.

Overall, if these social and emotional improvements lead to greater school satisfaction for students this will have recurring benefits of its own.

Research has shown that the level of school-satisfaction is related to improved academic performance and decreases in behavior problems.

Meditation and mindfulness training programs are growing in several school districts around the nation, and students generally like participating in meditation.

However, many parents feel that mediation is connected to religion and view it as an ancient, mystical practice having no place in public schools. Proponents would claim that it is unrelated to religion and is simply a practice that offers physiological benefits, just the same as yoga or cardiovascular exercise.

Regardless of your view, if students are being pushed to work harder and expected to compete in the ever increasing globalized world we live in, it would helpful to provide them with a tool to manage enhance emotional and mental faculties.

In his conclusion Joe believes that, given the expectations placed on students today, that providing them with every available tool, not just to enhance their learning but to help them cope with the pressures of the educational system, isn’t simply a good idea, it’s becoming a survival tool.

And meditation is the tool that will teach them how to cultivate qualities and skills they need; to name a few, increased concentration and focus, how to be in the moment and free from expectations, developing a longer attention span, enhanced mental clarity and, frankly, all the other meditation benefits that come with a regular practice.

 

Regular practice is the key to being able to successfully benefit from this tool, and by teaching it in the schools a regular practice is more likely to occur. In a formal educational environment students can be exposed to other beneficial forms of meditation such as guided imagery. Personally, I do believe that meditation can be a promising educational tool. What do you think? Click here to visit the original source of this post

The meditation benefit that could change your mind

In Mindfulness meditation you start by focusing your attention on your breath, paying attention on purpose, in this present moment, around the qualities of acceptance (non-judgment) and compassion.

In the case of this particular article, the perspective is decidedly Jewish. In fact the author quotes Dr. Elliot Cohen, from Leeds Metropolitan University, who expressed his view on mindfulness this way, “although mindfulness has Buddhist origins, it is being used more and more in clinical settings.”ᅠ

Mindfulness is an integrative mind-body practice that uses elements of meditation, yoga and breathing techniques to help change the way you think and feel about your experiences, especially stressful ones. Research shows practising can boost
Jewish Chronicle

Mindfulness is the quality of being in harmony with the present moment. Mindfulness is not a religion, thought the practice is found in all religious traditions. However mindfulness is most closely associated with Buddhism, because the teachings of the Buddha are very clear and comprehensive on the subject of mindfulness meditation.

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Can Depression Be Treated with Meditation?

There’s a big caveat when talking about depression and meditation. Yes, I believe that meditation can be a powerful and useful tool that can be successfully used to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. However, in cases of clinical depression, meditation should be used as a complementary tool and under professional supervision.

Basically there are two approaches to treatment, psychiatric and psychological; in the psychiatry the focus is primarily on medication to treat chemical imbalances, while in psychology the modality preferred now is cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s in psychotherapy that meditation is most often used as a tool during treatment.

The way I work with my clients is with imagery and meditation or simple breathing exercises. In eastern parts of the world, the symptoms of depression are more physical than psychological. A person may not be able to express themselves verbally because

For those who are not suffering from clinical depression, but who are suffering from the kind of depression that life inevitably presents us with, meditation can help us by creating the space to hold and express our emotions.

The benefit of meditation is, by becoming aware we can let go of, and stop recycling, the negative emotions at are associated with mild depression.

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Reversing Memory Loss a Meditation Benefit

One of the most scientifically proven ways to elicit the relaxation response is with meditation; and eliciting the relaxation response may be one of the most powerful ways to delay the onset of memory loss or even Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to the fact that when we are stressed we produce more of a, brain cell killing, hormone called cortisol.

The benefit of meditation is the anti-stress response that it creates reverses the effects of stress and as a result a lower production of cortisol.ᅠ

For the past decade or so, the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), of which I’m president, has been researching a simple, 12-minute meditation technique called Kirtan Kriya (KK). KK comes from the Kundalini Yoga tradition as taught

The various approaches to meditation all seem to have a positive effect on stress, while improving overall health and well-being. The benefits of stress reduction are basically the same for mantra based meditation practices, such as Transcendental Meditation or Primordial Sound Meditation, as well as mindfulness meditation, whether in the traditional Buddhist form or the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program, taught by John Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. and others.

To this point the studies have not be done regarding the long term effects of meditation on memory loss, but we can say the meditation has been proven to be of benefit in creating a healthy life style.

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