So I saw this article on neural studies of Monks doing meditation and it’s effects on the brain:
I’m presently reading a book on some of this, it’s really quite amazing. There is a sizeable amount of scientific literature which shows that meditative skills and methods have a huge number of positive benefit to the way we think. With that in mind, I wonder how long it will take to get meditation programs into schools. We are all about training the mind but really we’re mostly just teaching facts and not creative ways to think or solve problems.
In present education systems, at least the ones in the west that I am familiar, there is a focus on how much you ‘know’ as opposed to teaching students how to learn it, use it and retain it. I honestly remember very little of my schooling before University, just like most people we retain relevant pieces here and there but the bulk of it has very little use, outside of a pub quiz. Of course it’s good to have a wide spread of subjects at school to help us find what we excel in or enjoy, but what we need is to teach our children some methods ‘of learning’ rather than making them simply ‘memorize facts’
To clarify, there are a number of teachable skills and methods that we can raise attention levels, memory retention and enhance cognition among people. Even a regular 30 minute exercise and 20 minutes of meditation before schooling, every day, could have dramatic results. Mnemonic techniques have also existed for centuries and while they are a way of ‘memorizing facts’ they are a method which would help in every subject, not just one. Conceptual framing, lucid dreaming and many, many more techniques exist, they work, we already have them, they just aren’t taught in schools.
We need to teach the next generation how to think, not in George Orwellian kind of factual dictatorship kind of way, but in a vibrant, dynamic, constructive way. From memory palaces in primary school to meditation and dialogues at college. Let’s try and create better people and better learners and work from there. Let’s try make a better student rather than a more comprehensive exam, in all honesty none of us have a clue what the world will be like in 20 years anyway, so what the exam is testing for is really to give you grades to get you into the next level. It’s measuring your capability at the time it was taken. Something which will never reflect your ability in the future, nor prepare you for it.
For those worried about religious aspects or indoctrination into a particular faith, like Buddhism for example. Don’t. While religions were the initial creators of these methods they are now firmly being understood and in the realm of science. Just like we don’t teach kids Islamic algebra, Christian science or even Hindu Yoga the religious underpinnings have been clipped from these subjects and we focus on the problem solving methodology or physical benefits they offer. In the future meditation will also be stripped of its religious elements and join the world alongside other subjects. Meditation is to the mind what the gym or an exercise regime is to the body.
So now that I’ve got that off my chest, any ideas how do we go about getting these methods and meditations into schools?
OK, aujourd’hui c’était un cauchemar ou puet-être une catastrophe. Il a commencé avec une erreur de planification. Pas mon erreur, mon client trompe, cependant, il était de mon devoir pour réparer les dégâts. Il a commencé avec le problème que nous n’avions pas de salle, parce qu’il n’etait pas reservé par la gestion. Mais bien que d’être d’une erreur d’accepter mon patron exigeait signatures et a créé une situation embarrassante pour moi et mes élèves; de plus il est créé une mauvaise image de notre école. Je suis tellement fatigué de la politique scolaire, il est temps de réinventer la roue.
Why prepare for any situation?
To be ready when life demands it is far preferable to arriving in a situation you could (or worse should) be capable of managing or dealing with but instead find yourself led by the events around you. Dealing with a roadside accident, running to reach the bus to make a deadline, planning ahead for difficult days, using consistent effort to achieve a goal as opposed to rushing the end, delivering live saving CPR to a stranger.
Furthermore, the community is designed to provide for and help the next generation, in this regard they must create worst-case scenarios or predictable disasters and either safeguard against them or have a response planned; From the ultimately predictable ‘global warming, lack of drinkable water, lack of sustainable energy sources, reliance on fossil fuels to the possible disasters of disease, flood, earthquakes it’s necessary to think of ways of how to deal with them or aid countries effectively and quickly when these things occur.
Being prepared starts with the individual being able to be fit, strong and healthy enough and well informed enough to act when it is required. The organisation can be thought of an act as a unit prepared unit constantly looking at its resources both physical and experience to prepare for any contingency.
Why are members trained in subjects like martial arts and meditation?
There was a long consideration in writing the entries about martial arts and meditation. Meditation has a solid amount of scientific evidence to show that it has numerous physical, emotional and cognitive benefits. While we can draw connections between practitioners of martial arts and other similar benefits it may simply be due to increased exercise, focus, discipline or even meditation done during the course of their studies. The correlation is less clear.
Either way in the spirit of preparedness for any situation it would be prudent to teach a soft system of martial arts [note: by soft I mean a martial art that utilises technique over brute force and yielding rather than opposing forces] like Aikido which can be more defensive in nature and also teaches practitioners how to fall without hurting themselves or restrain someone who is being violent.
Martial arts teaches discipline, allows for purposeful exercise, aids balance and builds self-confidence. If we take a holistic approach to the individual members of the community this is a vital facet of that approach.