A power-point presentation by Dr Tara de Mel describing the benefits of mindfulness and the scientific basis.
Mindfulness for Primary School Teachers is a course currently conducted by the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL). It was introduced at the Ministry of Education in June 2019 to motivate primary school teachers to enroll in the course. This program was facilitated by Dr. Tara de Mel. Prof Lekamge, Head of the OUSL Department of Education, introduced the program to the participants. At the introductory session, Niluka Gunawardena and Dinusha Wickremesekera introduced the concept of mindfulness with the participants engaging in a brief mindfulness practice. After this program Dr. Tara De Mel with the Ministry of Education, with funding from the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Education and Atlas Axilla Co. (Pvt) Ltd facilitated the conducting of 8 programs on Mindfulness for Primary School Teachers from national schools, nearest school is the best school program, from the Western Province.
Mindfulness is a useful mental skill and training, that can be used by all sports-educators like Coaches, as well as by sports personnel irrespective of the type of sports practiced. Just as much as the sportsperson will include physical training in the field or the gym or the nets into a daily routine, mindfulness training should be included into the daily time table. The latter develops and regenerates brain cells and neurons, just like physical training develops muscles of the body and generates fitness.
Tilli is a social-emotional learning tool that helps 5-10-year-olds build three critical competencies: meta-cognition, empathy, and critical thinking. Young children who are equipped with specific tools that help build competencies and mind-sets, would be better able to lead a safer, healthier, and happier life. Tilli uses game-based techniques to help children build resilient mental models around topics like trust, empathy, consent, and boundaries. At the core of this learning journey is instilling a sense of intentionality and mindfulness at a very young age so that kids not only reflect on their own emotions and actions but also those of others. The practice of mindfulness, when introduced to children at any age will help them develop resilience, patience, kindness and empathetic behaviour towards peers and school associates. It is useful to introduce simple & interesting mindfulness practice techniques (eg, mindful listening, mindful sitting, mindful walking) in parallel, when introducing the valuable techniques built into Tilli.
These twelve modules were prepared for a ‘Certificate Course for Educators in Mindfulness’ at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo. Nuances of the practice of mindfulness and the all the more important benefits accrued through practicing it consistently are explained in simple easy to understand language underpinned by the research findings of the globally recognized neuroscientists and expert practitioners of mindfulness meditation. The aim of these modules is to compile and construct the essential knowledge and understanding on Mindfulness Practice in a summarized format so that they could provide a structured curriculum for learning this life long practice.
This article underscores the importance of enjoying a real rest so that the well being of our mind and body continues to improve. The ill effects of the power of restlessness and the proven track for overcoming it are briefly explained in the light of the research findings in neuroscience and the experience of well known experts in mindfulness meditation.
Commonly used practices where mindfulness can be incorporated into a daily schedule have been included. These simple techniques will allow the educator to practice mindfulness at home and with the family or friends, as well as to use in a classroom or in a school-based setting. These practices are easy to master, and are affordable so that even in socially disadvantaged schools these can be put to effective use.