Since 2015 we have partnered with schools and institutions, both public and private. The purpose of these partnerships is to implement meditation/mindfulness as a practice in the classroom.
We want teachers to do at least 5 minutes of meditation / mindfulness each day with their students. Three steps are necessary for the implementation of the project in schools and institutions:
Our team goes to schools and gives training to all teachers who will start with the project. The basic principles of meditation for adults and for kids are taught by our team.
Initiation in Classroom
The first meditations, already in the classroom, are done by members of our team. We spend some time in each room explaining what meditation is and what its benefits are. We will perform several exercises and in the end we will talk and ask questions with all the children.
To make sure things are going well, we’ve created follow-up. Regularly we visit the school to make sure everything is going the right way.
The benefits of meditation - scientifically proven
PROMOTES PHYSICAL VIGOR | Strengthens the immune system | Increases longevity | Promotes body awareness |
HELP | Learning Difficulties | Depression and Depressive States | Anxiety | Burnout Hypertension | Substance dependence
Improves memory | Power the capacity of concentration and focus | Increases attention levels | Increases levels of intrinsic motivation | Promotes greater control of impulsivity | Makes reaction times faster
Improves emotional control | Raises levels of happiness | Promotes more satisfying interpersonal relationships | Power Empathy and Compassion | Facilitates emotional identification and differentiation | Reduces stress | Increases resilience in the face of frustration | Power the ability to delay gratification
BEHAVIOR IMPROVEMENT IN 6 WEEKS
In recent years, studies on meditation and mindfulness have grown exponentially, proving the benefits of these practices in a variety of contexts, including education.
To date, one of the largest studies on meditation and mindfulness with children has been held in Oakland in the United States, involving 937 children and 47 teachers from 3 public elementary schools. The study consisted of evaluating the implementation of a program that taught educators the techniques of meditation and mindfulness to apply in the classroom with the students.
The results of this investigation, after only 6 weeks, are really encouraging (see chart).
During this period (6 weeks), children in the “meditation” group practiced only 4 hours – a very short practice time. However, when comparing the results with the “no-meditation” group, there were significant improvements in “attention” and “attendance and participation in classroom activities.
Other longer and more consistent interventions, such as the Small Buddha Project intends to implement, could produce even more benefits.
• Goleman, D., & Senge, P. (2014). The triple focus: A new approach to education . Florence, MA: More Than Sound.• Greenberg, M. T., & Harris, A. R. (2012). Nurturing mindfulness in children and youth: Current state of research. Child Development Perspectives, 6 , 161–166.
• Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O’Brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., & Resnik, H. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American Psychologist, 58 , 466–474.
• Kuyken, W., Weare, K., Ukoumunne, O. C., Vicary, R., Motton, N., Burnett, R., Huppert, F. (2013). Effectiveness of the mindfulness in schools programme: Non-randomised controlled feasibility study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 203 , 126–131. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.126649.• Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York, NY: Hyperion.
• Black, D. S. & Fernando, R. (2014). Mindfulness training and classroom behavior among lower-income and ethnic minority elementary school children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(7), 1242–1246.