Heartfulness is a system of meditation (always offered without charge) that aims to induce a condition of permanent contentment within those who practise it regularly. This can be of immense benefit in school and in all areas of life.
Of course, it does not remove life’s difficulties, but it does provide the meditator with a tangible inner resource that can automatically support them in adverse situations.
What can Heartfulness offer to School Children?
Many of today’s children are facing sensory overload. From an early age, they are exposed to large amounts of entertainment and information such as TV, films, video games and other gadgetry. Children can also be exposed to live-coverage of natural disasters, wars and other negative media that may induce worry and stress so it is not surprising that anxiety-related disorders in children and teenagers are on the rise.
Children, especially the younger ones, are not able to identify feelings of stress and anxiety as easily as adults. They may not connect their stomach pains, headaches, restlessness or irritability as symptoms of anxiety.
Many of us are living lives that are evermore busy and stressed, the effects of this on the environment of our children cannot be underestimated. Along with their increased exposure to live coverage of natural (and non-natural) disasters and to graphic violence in film and on television, this can lead to feelings of anxiety and tension, which can often be manifested as restlessness, irritability and lack of focus, or even in physical ways, such as aches in the head or stomach.
Heartfulness helps children to find a much needed safe space within themselves to develop self-awareness and find calm. The following activities can be offered to children at school, according to their age:
A simple 5-10 minute guided relaxation which can help children to relax and re-focus for the learning which follows. Having experienced this, it is common for children to request this relaxation again. It is often more effective following some gentle physical exercise, such as stretches to help children to release some of their physical tension.
This is a longer (20-30 minutes) and deeper experience of relaxation, in which the children are talked through a calming sequence of visual imagery.
Ages 14-15 (but potentially much younger)
Heartfulness Meditation without Transmission:
Children under 16 are too young to be offered meditation with transmission, but they may wish to practise the technique without the element of transmission so that they are comfortable with it if they wish to begin later. If they have experienced and enjoyed the relaxation and guided vidualisation exercises, they may request to learn this technique, even at a much younger age.
Heartfulness Meditation with Transmission:
From the age of 16, children can practise the same meditation as adults, and can be introduced to it in the same way as teachers can (see below for more details).
What can Heartfulness offer to teachers, staff and parents?
We usually begin by giving an experience of Heartfulness meditation to the teachers and other staff in the school before offering it to the children. This is so that the staff can appreciate what is being offered to the children and hopefully see the value in it.
These programmes can range from a single ‘taster’ session to weekly workshops. After an introductory workshop, the participants will be able to practise Heartfulness with transmission by themselves, and they will be offered ongoing support at the school, if possible. Pupils and students aged 16+ may also join this workshop if they wish, and parents can also be invited if that is applicable.
As part of the workshop, teachers will get an experience of the guided relaxation that the children can be offered, and on request can also be taken through a guided visualisation.
These workshops can also take place at other educational institutions such as colleges and universities.
Please contact us to express your interest in discussing the possibility of receiving Heartfulness at your school or other educational organisation, and someone will be in touch to discuss this with you.