Cultivating mindfullness education at the Doon School
Earlier in the autumn term 2014,The Doon School hosted a Mindfulness Event. The Ahimsa Trust, that has coordinated activities for the Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh, organized a workshop titled ‘Cultivating Mindfulness Education’ for teachers hosted by The Doon School from 2nd – 5th October 2014. There were nine monastic teachers from the US and Europe to train participants.
This event was attended by nearly one hundred and fifty teachers. Half of the teachers at this retreat were from government schools and colleges, most of them only Hindi speaking. They also gave an evening presentation to about a hundred boys from The Doon School.
The first day was for orientation and basic introduction. The second day’s programme included: was for caring for oneself, the third day’s topics featured devotion to caring for others and fourth day for community building. The end of each day was followed by a very simple home assignment which helped the participants to practice what they were taught.
The Mindfulness workshop introduced teachers and students to tools that could calm the mind, including applied ethics that helped one to handle stress and anxiety. Mindfulness was also discussed with regard to helping in effective communication with others. When one becomes angry, one brings one’s attention back to your breathing and become aware of the anger.
The workshop was a big success with each of the participants ready to take on this world with
Some of those that attended have given us their views:
‘This was a well organised retreat and beneficial to all age groups. It will be helpful to bring happiness among people, to bring peace in the world. At present it is the need of the hour to practice among the new generation to have respect for each and everyone’ Ms Raj Rani Sharma, Govt Teacher, Uttarakhand.
‘Thank you for the inspirational retreat. I loved the Qigong exercises. I also enjoyed the talks-contemplative. I understand the importance of cultivation mindfulness in one self as the foundation and roots for inculcating it in others. The Doon school is an amazing venue for a retreat. Thank you again for the experience’ Anjali Sharma, a teacher at Woodstock, Mussorie
‘My experience so far has been very joyful with lots of awakening moments. I have realised that the power of being happy and contended can be accomplished by making minor changes in our attitude and being mindful in the present moment. Thank you for providing this tool of happiness. Being a teacher, I want to transmit this positive energy to the people and my students to facilitate learning better and it is rightly said Happy teachers will change the world’ Ms Hima Arora, a teacher from Shiv Nadar School, Noida.