Sunday, 15 March 2015
Meditation for teens
Teaching Millennials the Power of Plugging Into Mindfulness
by Aran Levasseur
"In our wired world it’s easy to extol the virtues of the web, mobile devices and social media. These time-bending technologies have generated previously unimaginable ways of searching, creating and sharing information instantaneously. Yet as our hours and days are filled with more and more time-saving devices, many of us seem to have less and less time. What is being lost in the process? As Gandhi reminds us, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
As a high school teacher I’ve noticed that most of the Millennial generation seems to have one reference point: hyper-speed. They were born in and conditioned by an always-on world, where instant gratification and quick fixes are baseline expectations. Patience is deemed old-fashioned — which is why they may have come of age as the most stressed generation.
A raft of research has clearly highlighted how essential downtime and mindfulness are, and how they’re increasingly becoming so in our always-on world. As I wrote about in a previous article for MediaShift, moments of not-doing are critical for connecting and synthesizing new information, ideas and experiences. Moreover, mindfulness training has been proven to treat stress, depression and addiction. The challenge is in finding ways to introduce these countervailing practices that don’t elicit boredom and impressions of frivolousness.
This semester I have been teaching an elective on Zen Buddhism to seniors, which has provided an ideal opportunity for experimenting with ways of introducing mindfulness..." more