Today Mindshift posted a nice piece on a study being done on the effects of meditation and teaching/classroom outcomes. I am glad to see it. People often think meditation as woowoo, or too close to religion to be discussed without infringing on democratic freedoms, or it’s too personal. While you may not find me sitting on my desk in zen position teaching my students how to meditate, if I don’t have a space of centered calm as I stand before a classroom of children then nothing else in my day or in my teaching is going to go well, guarnateed.
Through the process of Waldorf training, I encountered many ideas about human spiritual development that at first seemed strange. We often joked that going to Waldorf training was like going to Hogwarts. Fortunately, Waldorf teachers are not required to become anthroposophists, but we do encounter the underlying philosophy of anthroposophy which forms a foundational understanding for the main features of Waldorf Education and we are asked to be open-minded towards it. Some teachers deeply take up the study of anthroposophy if it suits them, others strictly apply the knowledge to their teaching practice.
In my early teens my aunt taught me TM, or Transcendental Meditation, and I practiced that with her as my mentor well into into my 20’s and early 30’s. I took up walking meditation for a time and then found a breath/heartrate approach called HRM, or Heart Rhythm Meditation which I have been practicing since 2010. It has been transformative for me personally as well as for my teaching.
Garrison Institute looks a little like Hogwarts. The retreat center is housed in a former monastery amid tranquil green hills overlooking the Hudson River, 60 miles north and a world away from New York City. Inside the airy chapel on a recent summer afternoon, about 35 educators from the U.S. and at least five foreign…