“If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” –Dalai Lama
Science has shown meditation can help children’s brains and behaviors. Teaching and allowing children to meditate is a long way from the classic method of hoping they will spontaneously evaluate their own behavior by receiving punishment. When they are taught to focus on their breath and the present moment it can have much more value than punishment in the long run.
Research on meditation and its effects on the developing brain is starting to take off. There are a lot of benefits according to these studies that show kids using meditation and mindfulness can achieve. Increased attention, better attendance, better grades, and decrease or elimination of trauma, and much more are just some of these benefits.
Meditation Allows Us To Discover Through Experience
If meditation were a part of the regular school day, children would be able to connect to their consciousness that permeates all around them. It will allow them to discover through experience, who they really are. In today’s world, we continuously run from ourselves and the truth. Being occupied with school work and social events doesn’t allow us to find out who we truly are at our core.
Most of what we learn are how to fit in and conform with our peers by putting on a mask in front of others. We learn early on how to be slaves to our egos and the thought of taking off our masks can’t even be considered. We start to become too numb to living creatures and the world in general and continue to run from what is really our core being.
What If We Never Started To Run From Ourselves?
What if we never began to run from ourselves when we were younger? What would we be like if while we were young; we learned how to be at peace with ourselves? If while you were in school, you were taught to unearth your own passions through meditation and find your creative potential, you would not be running from yourself today.
Realizing your real potential early on would have taught you to find the meaning of your life. You would not still be trying to change yourself and would instead be less stressed, have less or no worries, and be much healthier. If you had learned to develop stronger bonds with all living things, you would now have less of a need to compete with your peers.
Give Children The Gift Of Mindfulness
Children need the gift of mindfulness be given to them through teaching them how to meditate while in school and allowing them the time to perform meditation. Clinical studies show meditation increases the brain’s cortical thickness and protects them from diseases. It has also been shown to increase their concentration and focus significantly. One study compared gray matter in the brain of Zen meditators against those who are non-meditators and found the matter did not reduce through aging in the Zen meditators.
Future generations of our children could gain from a regular practice of meditation. If we are to expect our children to learn how to live peacefully, they must first be taught how to be at peace with themselves. It has been proven kids can benefit their overall mental health by reducing their anxiety symptoms and feel happier and more relaxed through after-school yoga and meditation programs.
Self-Awareness And Self-Regulation
Mindfulness is connected to self-awareness and extends naturally to self-regulation. If a child learns to be more aware of their thought process and reactions to situations in their present moment, they will be able to be more in charge of their emotions and behaviors. Kids who are just beginning to manage their internal feelings can reap enormous benefits when given instructions on how to go through this process. Mediation teaches children to connect with themselves, tells them when they are not empathic to others, when they aren’t kind to their communities or others, and it’s usually because they are not connected to themselves.
Builds Skills Of Attention, Self-Awareness, And Self-Management
Kids who practice meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are able to develop skills of attention, self-management, self-awareness, and are able to make more responsible decisions. Studies are showing these kids are displaying more happiness and are more resilient. They have a solid sense of who they are, and are more connected to and respectful of the world around them and others.
It is hoped more schools will join the movement to introduce mediation into their curriculum. Until your child’s school does come on board and recognize the benefits it will provide your child; you can enter it at home. See how it makes a difference for both you and your child.