On 18th September 2018, “Guru Gobind singh Indraprastha University” organized a workshop on “Wake up: A day of Mindfulness for Young Adults” by Ahimsa Trust for our practical on “Mindfulness in classroom”, on themes: Mindfulness through the day; in classrooms, stressful contexts & Individual breathing exercises and self awareness of body & mind for B. Ed and M. Ed students.
Ahimsa Trust is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization geared towards educational, social and cultural work, aimed at locating peace and harmony within oneself, one’s family and society. The workshop by them was very effective and soothing.
“Wake up: A day of Mindfulness for Young Adults” was a mindfulness practice for the age group of 18-35 years. This mindfulness practice was a workshop on teacher training and be a fourfold community home for those who want to live in the beauty & the magic of mind-full awareness. The workshop is to make teachers realize that they have to remain happy so that they can change the world. If teachers are happy from their soul and mind they can teach students happily as they are the future of our country. Mindfulness practice is a practice to overcome depression, take a pause from any distraction, stress, fear, breathe and smile, to live in the moment to observe each and every aspect of life and this all is considered better than medicine.
The workshop was held in the auditorium of the main campus. First of all there was saraswati vandana followed by the introduction of the people who delivered the workshop. There was Dr. Shantanu who told us about the ancient, wisdom culture of our India which we all have forgotten. He motivated us to teach mental practice along with physical practice as a new way of pedagogy which is deeply rooted in our own ancient culture but the only way we can do it if we practice it and we cannot teach without actually doing it to ourselves. There’s a quote with which he finished and that was “An unwritten curriculum is the presence of the teacher in the class” so if the teachers come in with awareness and smile, students will do the same. He told us about how to develop that with the art of suffering and happiness.
He then introduced his fellow nuns and monks who had came to aware us with their thoughts & experiences and told us more about these practices. They had a bell, which when they rang everyone just took a pause, breathe in and smile and i.e. the significance of bells in the school. Then Dr. Phaphlak “ the funniest one” told us many funny stories and told us how to be happy, how to love ourselves, how to take care of ourselves and our heart first. He told us that when we wake up in the morning we just have to smile and say ‘this is my day’ and ‘my brand new 24 hours’.
They gave us a sheet on which there were many happy songs. They told us about the whole schedule of the day; first of all there was walking meditation, which is to feel the earth with our each step, silently, and quietly. Before starting we all sand a song along with them “Gatha for Walking Mediation”. The other monk Brother Shunyata gave us information about walking meditation. Then there was eating meditation where we all seated together quietly and were eating our lunch, all were taking their lunch and feeling happy. We also did a prayer of thanking the farmer and god for giving us food. All were focusing on what they are eating and living the moment.
Figure 1 eating meditation
Then at last there was deep meditation in which we had to lay down and breathe in and out in order to feel the earth. Everytime we breathe in, we feel ourselves from our feet to our teeth, and when we breathe out, we just sank into the earth and feel its warmth. It was very relaxing and refreshing.
Then it came to an end with the question answer round. Students asked questions about how to have positive attitude, how to be calm, and answer to all that was just to take a pause, breathe in and smile.
The workshop was a huge success. Everyone came out of the auditorium with a big smile on their faces. All were very motivated as all got to learn something different from daily routine life, i.e. to see each other and give a big smile.