“Pay attention!” – I heard this thousands of times at school. Did anyone actually teach me how to pay attention? No. I did my best with whatever my understanding was.
Mindfulness seems to be the buzzword these days. And rightly so. It is about paying attention to what is. However, without ‘heartfulness’ it is incomplete. Not just ‘attention’ but ‘kind attention’. The softening of the heart is important.
The purpose of teaching mindfulness in schools is not mainly to achieve better focus and concentration in lessons but learning to recognise and express ones feelings and be respectful and considerate of other’s feelings. It is about using all our senses with intention and noticing the subtleties of our surroundings and ourselves. I learnt a new word and technique today – FOFBOC – Feet on Floor, Bum on Chair – a technique to anchor the ‘monkey mind’.
In school we were taught to get us to a point where we could make a living but we were not taught how to live. Now, children as young as 5 are being taught mindfulness and I think it is a life enhancing skill which will have a definite role in prevention and early recognition of mental ill health.
Sitting still for a few minutes is an activity and a precious one.
Mindfulness is being alive and knowing it.
Mindfulness in schools Project: https://mindfulnessinschools.org/