TOWARDS COMPASSION BASED TEACHING  
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English
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Profile

Languages understood:

English

With which level of education are you involved?

High school.

What discipline do you teach (mainly)?

Other: applied buddhism.

Does your school, college or faculty teach for a specific discipline or is the education more general?

Other: applied buddhism.

Are you yourself working with pupils/students or are you otherwise involved in education, (e.g. educational policy)?

(mainly) teaching pupils/students.

What kind of organisational relation do you have with your educational work?

(mainly) unpaid / volunteer work.

How many years is it since you first started your efforts to integrate mindfulness into your educational work?

5

On average, what age are the pupils/students with who you are working?

16 - 18 years.

Can you describe briefly what you are doing with your pupils/students to integrate mindfulness in your educational work?

I am a monastic resident of Plum Village, Upper Hamlet. I often work with teens during the the summer retreat. I am also engaged in the Wake up program for young people, helping to organize and support retreats for young people. At the moment a group of us is engaged in making a film to show aspects of mindful living for young people. I also spent time working at the EIAB, we had some courses for young people there.
Usually the topic is practicing and mindfulness itself not some secondary subject, so we are quite fortunate. However we are always trying to transmit practices that can be applied in any situation of daily life. Essential practices we have found to be:

  • Listening to the bell: finding reminders to stop and relax.
  • Eating/snack meditation:eating together in silence and with appreciation.
  • Guided total relaxation or other forms of guided meditation:these could be extremely beneficial to be practiced by a class before an exam say, or for a few minutes at the beginning of class.
  • supported sharing: loving speech and deep listening sharing feelings and experiences
  • mindful games and play, mindful body movement and expression: usually coordinated with breathing exercises (stretching, tai chi, acting, role playing).

I am interested in compiling a large collection of mindfulness tools, games, activities that can be used in many different contexts. Are you doing that?

What is it that would be most helpful to you to (further) improve your work with integrating mindfulness in your educational work, besides deepening your own practice?

Learning more from others, mentoring and sharing. Being able to witness mindfulness in the classroom in different contexts. Having written materials to learn from: experiential accounts, descriptions of activities.

Have you noticed or heard of any changes in the behaviour of your pupils/students?

Yes

What is the nature of the changes you have noticed in the behaviour of your pupils/students?

Usually we can see that young people begin to open up and to relax. This is our experience in plum village and in schools we have visited. We see that in young people who continue to return to plum village that the characteristic of being able to express themselves and to be happy with themselves usually grows: confidence, openness. We do not know about long term effects for our school project at EIAB since it is quite new.

What is the base of the mindfulness practise you are using in your educational work?

Buddhist based