Class Relax

refocus, renew and get ready to learn

Observations: March edition

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March 14th (or ‘pi’ day)

happy pi day

happy pi day

Pi Day. A good day to think of  limitless potential

This week I felt ‘ripples’ from practising the Lovingkindness meditation.

In 4 sessions of Class Relax, I brought the meditation of Lovingkindness. Each time I felt a change in atmosphere from that in the previous week. Pupils knew what was going to happen and so it was all less bizarre.

We went over the process:

Wishing kindness for myself using the phrases: “May I be safe, be healthy, be happy and live in peace”.

Repeating the phrases with the help of the Class Relax clip, they are shown the words, and are eased along into transition to think of someone else (a child, an adult, an animal) who makes them smile. Pupils imagine this ‘other’ and wish them the phrases.

“May you be safe, be healthy, be happy, live in peace.”

The background music is gentle, the images are visual accompaniment, no more.

If there’s someone in their life who’s going through a rough time, then the next step is to visualize them and offer them the phrases.

This is our short practice. It went well, I felt enriched.

The final day of the week, Thursday, was my day to enter grade 7. This is the grade level in which I’d done introductory meditation workshops for Health Week. All the grade 7 pupils had participated, but, alas, I only have one morning per week for Grade 7 and I’m sticking to one class in order to observe and adapt Class Relax to their needs.

This particular morning, there was a knock on the door. Three pupils from another class: ‘Can we come in and do ‘yoga’?” (They call it yoga being that’s where they first learned relaxation techniques).

‘Ask your homeroom teacher’, said M, the teacher of the class I was in.

Knock, knock. ‘Now can we come in?’ they asked again.

M repeated: ‘ You need permission’.

With that they left. (Later on we met up, by chance, and we spoke about why I hadn’t been visiting their class )

Though they had left, there was such positive focus in the room, that things changed even more. I felt loving (to say the least). We did the meditation. We offered lovingkindness to ourselves and to others and then came back to reality, stretched our limbs and shook out our hands and legs, feet. We slapped our knees, clapped our hands and wished ourselves a ‘Wonderful day’.

I don’t believe in miracles, but I do know that the presence of a person inspires response from others. Here had been a presence of a classroom of pupils inspiring response!

Dare I dream? Yes!

Please try Class Relax. Go to the ‘Lovingkindness meditation‘ and try it on yourself, first and then with others.

March 7, 2015

I walk into a classroom, turn on the computer, wait for the projector to turn on. (A minute or two before I can embark on Class Relax, first thing in the morning)

Meanwhile, I look at the students, see who’s animated, who’s sunk in drowsiness, or glued to their phone.  Who’s looking at me, wondering what I’ve got up my sleeve.

Sometimes, the homeroom teacher is there cooperative and anticipating a short relaxation session. Sometimes, the homeroom teacher arrives sometime in the middle. Every time has its own flavour.

My intention is to bring lovingkindness into the classroom – to develop more attention to one another, to develop harmony and build relationships.  But all this starts with the self.

To walk into a class and suggest that we be kind to ourselves, is to open the door to surprises. Some can’t hear. Some don’t hear. Some begin to hear.

For teachers and students, to be forgiving, accepting of ourselves is to do the unthinkable. We generally don’t think about it. We simply take the blame or toss the blame on others. But what blame?  Why blame?

If we could only notice that we are bothered by something, that we are irritated and cranky, then that’s the beginning of a huge revolution!

Just notice. In the noticing, we are gaining some cognition and the possibility to step back for a second.  We gain a chance to change our automatic behaviour.

It’s hard but that’s what we’re trying to do.  It takes practice. You don’t even have to believe (but it helps to look at the statistics and realize that there are measurable results showing improved relationships and greater tolerance for ourselves and others)

Life blooms.  Let’s notice it!

Life blooms
Life blooms

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