The Reasons Why We Should Bring Meditation into Schools
It’s fun to imagine what the world would look like if all of us were taught meditation as children. In places where this has been practiced a certain level of peace certainly prevails. We would all be better for this – and if schools can’t do it, maybe we as parents need to.
“If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” –Dalai Lama
By Will Stanton
Imagine if meditation was a regular part of school life for children. Just think how different the world would be. If every child was able to connect to the ocean of consciousness that permeates all that is, the desire to do wrong by others would dissolve. Meditation allows us to discover through experience the truth of who we really are….
…I believe it is crucial for us to give children this gift of mindfulness. It is my hope that one day the practice of meditation will become as commonplace as cleaning one’s teeth. Many clinical studies have proven that meditation increases the brain’s cortical thickness, protects the body from disease, and significantly improves focus and concentration.
Another study by Pagnoni & Cekic compared gray matter in the brains of Zen meditators and non-meditators over a long period of time. Though gray matter ordinarily reduces with age, the gray matter of the Zen meditators did not reduce at all.
In the report, Pagnoni & Cekic stated:
The finding of a reduced rate of decline with age of both global and regional gray matter volume in meditators may in fact indicate the involvement of multiple mechanisms of neuroprotection.
Lazar & Kerr et al. reached a similar conclusion in a study on the impact of meditation on cortical thickness of the brain.
Regular practice of meditation is associated with increased thickness in a subset of cortical regions related to somatosensory, auditory, visual and interoceptive processing. Further, regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.
Goyal & Singh et al. studied 3515 participants in mindfulness meditation programs and found evidence of decreased anxiety, decreased depression and decreased pain.
Just imagine how much future generations of children would gain from this regular practice. The benefits are truly extraordinary, as I can attest to from my own experience. We need to do everything we can to bring meditation into schools. If we’re going to learn to live peacefully with one another, we must first discover that peace within ourselves…