Meditation progress in the Intensive English Programme: Keeping it traditional, don’t reinvent the wheel
|IEP gr. 8 – 9 students practicing walking meditation.|
Our IEP students are working very hard on their meditation practices, they have all been making progress in walking and sitting meditations for more than three terms now, and recently they’ve started meditation journals using Google Docs. The act of journaling is another great way to practice English and tie it into meditation practices through the process of reflection. Students have increased their walking meditation times from ten minutes, to twelve and fifteen minutes, which is no small task. The average length of a student’s seated meditation session is between fifteen and twenty minutes. The journaling then gives students the opportunity to reflect back on their practice in an interactive way, observe their progress, and gain new insights. Students can observe difficult moments, happy moments, and when they observe these states of mind through their written words, it becomes easier to see the transient nature of mind. Many traditional schools of meditation incorporate this act of journaling as part of their discipline and reflective process.
Sometimes in class we discuss certain aspects of practice, but mostly we just practice. Mindfulness practice is like putting money in the bank, the more you practice, the more mindfulness you save up. Indeed theory is important, it serves as a type of road map for the practitioner, but in the IEP programme students are taught to practice in a disciplined manner, that theory is no substitute for practice, and to log their minutes.
In an increasing age of information we’ve all become overloaded with thoughts, the walking and sitting practices of meditation provide solutions: students are learning to concentrate, quieten their minds and lighten their stress loads. These are all tools necessary when developing a second language, healthy education and social life.
IEP students from grades four through nine practice a total of six periods per week, as always parents and members of the PREM community are welcome to join our practice sessions.