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22.09.2014

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Star of the school’s athletics team, Heena Tahiliani, was only eager to share the positive effects of morning meditation sessions. Abhinav Sharma, a proponent of meditation through Sahaja Yoga, has been pitching its effectiveness to schools across the UAE for months. After eight years of practicing yoga with his family, 14-year-old Abhay Anand’s daily routine includes meditation sessions per day. Sidharth Lalwani, new to the entire process, commented on the unexpected physical changes 15 minutes of meditation can bring. The science behind this form of meditation suggests that various core points in the body known as ‘chakras’ are activated by focusing on the present and avoiding mental distractions.
This style of meditative yoga has been adopted in more than 100 countries around the world, with studies conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, claiming that meditation effectively lowers levels of teen depression, aggression, and stress. Sharma and his team have held one-off meditation sessions at other institutions as well, including local girls’ school, Anisa Al Ansariya School, and sessions for the staff at Rashid Hospital. Meditation can be an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to improve quality of life and decrease health care costs. If you have little or no experience with meditation, "Our Online Meditation Course" will get you up and started quickly and easily. A new organization, cleverly named Bent on Learning, is attempting to provide free yoga classes that include meditation (quiet time) for school children in New York City.
I could hear the eyebrows arching and the skeptics guffawing in the distance, but really, with obesity rates as they are (approximately half of New York City public school children struggle with obesity) and academic performance on the decline in many sectors, why not opt to push a few desks aside and set up an impromptu yoga studio (43 percent of the schools in New York City don’t have any sort of gymnasium or gym teacher).
Check out this cool infographic, made by the people at Edutopia, illustrating the benefits meditation has brought to US schools.
That said, transcendental meditation is often extremely harmful due to the unnatural provocation of the biology involved (see reference).
Hindu schools don’t teach Christian meditation, so why should Catholic schools teach Hindu meditation. Father Carter is correct that Hindu meditation is the opposite, an aimless focus on nothing.
If Christian meditation is a discipline of a Christian thought, Hindu meditation is the discipline of thoughtlessness.


Good article, although the author has forgotten that the Catholic Bible also says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” and not to leave your brain unattended which seems to be the norm in schools nowadays. Furthermore, I believe that this so-called meditation will eventually lead to ‘Voice to Skull’ type technology being used to program people during sessions on a wider scale, at school or work. So, they are incompatible and teaching this in Catholic schools is corrupting the true nature of Prayer.
Currently two schools in the UAE have engaged the group for their extracurricular meditation training: Delhi Private School Sharjah and Millennium School Dubai. Meditation involves achieving a state of 'thoughtless awareness' in which the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is neutralized without reducing alertness and effectiveness. I am speaking about the semi-savage sport routinely played in public high schools, not about the 2004 film of the same name (I didn’t see the film, so had no opportunity to learn much from the film either). Think of it as an appropriate counteraction to all the aural din, stress, and distraction that comes hand in hand with being a school age child in New York City.
Both yoga and meditation have been proven to help increase focus, balance blood pressure, as well as improve brain function, all of which would be a boon for schools, not just in New York City, but everywhere. There are many aspects of education that are clearly in need of serious reform, and as such the discourse surrounding schools tends to focus on these issues; the nature of assessment, teaching methods, the curriculum, and so on. Thankfully, as knowledge of this is spreading, we’re gradually coming around to the idea that meditation can be a worthwhile exercise that doesn’t have to have anything to do with hippies, drugs, or even the broader ideas of religion and spirituality. Moreover, The Guardian featured ‘Mindfulness and the Art of Chocolate Eating’, a popular technique introduced to schools by an organization called ‘Mind Space’, on their top teaching resources list for 2013. There are wider systemic problems that need to be addressed irrespective of how many kids or teachers are meditating. Christian meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. What a slick move by the Canadian School Board to attempt to replace prayer with meditation. Each chakra is said to represent different parts of the body and mind, and addressing the way these points feel after the meditative sessions reportedly help practitioners better streamline their lives. She noted that some children are so disadvantaged that it affects their brain functioning to such a degree that they struggle to sit still and stay calm in school, never mind pass exams.


Perhaps most significantly, in the annual California Healthy Kids Survey, these middle school youngsters were the happiest in all of San Francisco. Mind Space’s ‘Meditation in Schools Program’ has been introducing meditation for teachers and students across the UK. The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditari, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study and to practice. Ratzinger concluded that Christian prayer and Oriental meditation are essential different because in the first case 'there is an Interlocutor' and the religious experience is one of 'the Other', whilst in the second it most the 'subjective personal religious experience of the self' that matters. With meditation, you feel calm while you’re doing it and stay energised throughout the day,” Heena’s classmate, Jesika Agarwala added.
Setting aside vague philosophical terms, Sharma added that the benefits of meditation on young impressionable minds have been recorded the world over. Unsurprisingly the school suffered greatly from disciplinary problems; fighting, shouting, vandalism, low attendance and so on, all of which contributed to its poor academic performance while creating an environment counterproductive to learning. De-stressing the school environment would make it a lot easier for teachers to do their jobs, and develop professionally.
Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (such as a bible passage) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God. On the California Achievement Test, twice as many pupils in Quiet Time schools became proficient in English, compared with similar schools without the program, and the gap in maths abilities was even greater. Studies in the United States have also demonstrated that training teachers in mindfulness meditation can reduce their levels of stress and increase organisation and compassion. Meditation can bring discipline into their lives by helping them learn how to channel their energy to the present. A few years back David Lynch made an excellent documentary about his project to introduce transcendental meditation into an elementary school in Iowa, the results of which were also pretty transformative.
I had no problem with the Christmas plays in my public school, because I merely thought of what I know as the 1 true G-d.



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