Learning to live in the moment

March 16, 2011

A few boys twitch and are reluctant to close their eyes. It’s not easy to get those aged 10 to 12 to keep still, let alone stop their minds from racing.

But it doesn’t take long before the soothing words of meditation teacher Janet Etty-Leal have lulled this class of grade 5 and 6 students into a different mental space.

Lying in a circle, they are practising a form of meditation known as mindfulness that has become core curriculum at Yarraman Oaks Primary School. This school in Noble Park is one of a growing number that have embraced the technique to improve focus and stress management.

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Meditation: a new teaching aid for young children

February 2, 2011

Serene students at Mona Vale’s Sacred Heart Primary School have been enlightened by a new program that combines meditation with education.

Designed by two of the school’s teachers in line with the New South Wales syllabus, the program focuses on relaxation techniques for primary students and aims to improve focus in the classroom.

Program developer and primary teacher Susan Rudd said students were delighted by the new teaching approach.

‘‘They absolutely love it, I don’t think I have met any child that hasn’t enjoyed meditation and those that find it difficult initially, over a course of a few weeks, are gradually able to do it,’’ Ms Rudd said.

The program became a part of the … Read more »

Children need more meditation and less stimulation

January 11, 2011

A remote diocese in Australia is leading the way by allowing regular periods of silent meditation in the classroom

If you want your children to feel more relaxed and less stressed, give them silence, not iPods.

This unthinkable idea came to mind after listening to Ernie Christie and Dr Cathy Day, two educationists from Queensland, Australia. They were addressing an audience at Regent’s College, London, on the benefits of allowing children to experience regular periods of silent meditation in the classroom.

A pilot study in 2005, involving teaching meditation to five- to 17-year-olds, had shown that children are not only capable of meditation, they actually enjoy it. The benefits to children’s wellbeing were so obvious … Read more »

Meditation treament for taboo problem of self-harm

December 11, 2010

Meditation can forge lasting changes in the brain and, as an Australian experiment in the taboo area of self-harm shows, its positive effect can be life-transforming.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne conducted the ground-breaking experiment, scanning the brain of a young woman who had grappled with the problem of self-harm since her teens.

They saw positive changes in brain activity after she took part in a research-backed course in meditation and relaxation techniques.

Brisbane’s Alison Dower also meditated daily for eight weeks.

“The desire to self-harm is not particularly strong anymore due to all the work I’ve done,” Ms Dower, now aged 23, said on Wednesday.

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“I don’t

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Qantas loses fight with Falun Gong flight attendant

November 29, 2010

Qantas has been ordered to reinstate a flight attendant banned from international duties over her practise of Falun Gong.

Sheridan Genrich, from Sydney’s Lane Cove, was demoted to a short-haul attendant after she was threatened by authorities during a 2008 stopover in Beijing and deported because of her spiritual beliefs.

In making his ruling, Fair Work Australia Commissioner Frank Raffaelli said he was unimpressed with the way Qantas had carried out its investigation into Ms Genrich’s case.

“The implication of Qantas’s action is that there is a restriction on the practice of her spiritual beliefs in private, which is contrary to both Australian and international law,” Commissioner Raffaelli said in his judgement, which was obtained … Read more »

Tots learn the art of meditation

November 15, 2010

New meditation, relaxation and art workshops are being offered in Templestowe [Victoria, Australia] for Manningham’s stressed-out tots.

Class instructor Tracey Tucker said it was easy to forget that children could feel stress and anxiety in the same way as adults and these feelings could be relieved by relaxation and breathing techniques and by learning positive thinking methods.

Ms Tucker said the things that are important to children such as school, fights with friends, bullying, homework difficulties, family issues and growing up could be very stressful.

During the classes the kinder and primary school aged children learned about self-awareness, muscle relaxation, meditation and visualisations which could be used throughout their lives, she said.

Details: lifeunfolding.com.au

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Patients cut stress through meditation

November 15, 2010

Cancer patients are improving their quality of life and reducing stress through meditation sessions offered by The Northern Hospital [Victoria, Australia].

The sessions teach stillness meditation, which helps manage anxiety and stress to provide inner peace, clearer thinking and improved decision-making.

Northern Health chief executive Greg Pullen said the sessions help patients and families reduce stress by teaching relaxation techniques during challenging times.

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Sweet reasons to clear the head

August 26, 2010

Meditating using chocolate is a sweet way to experience bliss.

Kew East [Victoria, Australia] author Janet Etty-Leal has been using chocolate mindfulness meditation to help teach children awareness and relaxation techniques.

“They come to their senses, they feel it, smell it, taste the flavours and notice all the sensations,” Etty-Leal, 55, said.

Etty-Leal uses novel props, visual aids and games to help children master their minds.

“We don’t just sit or lie down, we do walking meditation, feeling fabrics under our feet,” she said.

“If you’re going to teach it in a dull and serious way, you’re not going to capture their hearts and imagination. When you make it fun and use things they’re not … Read more »

Pupils focus better after meditating in Maribyrnong, Victoria, Australia

August 16, 2010

Anthea Cannon: Every teacher’s quest for a calm and focused class may be more than a dream, with meditation scoring results with some of Maribyrnong’s junior students.

In the first study into the effects of Buddhist education, Victoria University PhD graduate Sue Smith found grade 3 to 6 students were happier, had improved concentration, coped with anxieties and felt greater kindness toward themselves and others.

Dr Smith said the study of 12 schools showed Buddhist-inspired meditation had an important place in education without being religious.

“Consistently the children were marking themselves in the positive category after…

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The business of meditation

March 14, 2010

Herald Sun: Meditation is now moving into the boardroom with studies showing that it improves concentration, workers are now being encouraged to tune in and chill out.

Once a week, a handful of Blake Dawson lawyers and support staff take the lift to a hushed conference room in Sydney’s George Street.

They are not meeting for a tough legal pitch.

They are there to do a voluntary lunchtime group meditation. They’re not alone.

Businesses such as NAB, Victoria Police, Diabetes Australia, Origin Energy and the CEO Institute have also run meditation sessions.

These are corporate heavies who are as far away from ohm-chanting, saffron-robed monks as you can get. What’s going on?

Growing calmRead more »