Meditate in the Elements

We are in our fifth year of implementing meditation and mindfulness practices into the IEP curriculum.

Today we were fortunate enough to practice meditation outdoors at a local Thai forest monastery and learn about Thai culture.

The students were taught that meditation can be practiced in four main positions: sitting, standing, lying down and walking.

Though these images may appear peaceful, it was a very challenging experience for students; mosquitos and ants became the main object of concentration as we did our best to sit still and focus on our breathing.

Earlier in the week the older IEP students worked with meditating in the lying position, resting both hands on their belly. This was done to teach new students how to find the ‘rising and falling’ of their breath. Once we had established the breath at the navel region, we finished the session with a seated meditation; students then found it was easier to focus on the natural ‘rising and falling’ of the abdomen, having first practiced in the lying position. This can be a useful technique before introducing new students into seated meditation practices, which are often more challenging.

It continues to be an honour and pleasure to teach meditation in the IEP, indeed contemplative practices help young learners to calm down; focus; improve concentration and reduce stress levels. I look forward to meditating with all of IEP students in semester two.

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