Meditation is profoundly beneficial for people of all ages, and that certainly includes young children. Just ask the principal at one Montessori School in Mexico. She has arranged the students to learn a specific type of meditation, and the principles behind it, in their weekly “peace class.”
There is a highly valued class for students at Guasave Montessori School in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, and Principal Miriam Nava Cervantes says—“They just love it!”
For three years, each age group of students—3 to 11 years (kindergarten to elementary)—have been learning how to practice Falun Dafa, a meditation discipline for mind and body, once a week.
Every Friday when Falun Dafa practitioners arrive to volunteer at the school’s “peace class,” the children excitedly exclaim, “Falun Dafa is here!”
Principal Cervantes, whose idea it was to introduce Falun Dafa into the school’s “peace class” curriculum, is most satisfied with how it’s all going.
“I have noticed that the student’s behavior has improved since we practice Falun Dafa,” she wrote in an email to an NTD reporter.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, has ancient historical roots, and was only introduced to the public in 1992.
The practice has five, slow-moving, gentle exercises, including a sitting meditation.
Images of the kids meditating, looking serene and absolutely adorable, were shared by the school on Facebook with the caption, “In our institution we work every day for our children to live in peace.”
In addition to the exercise component, the practice has teachings, which are based on the universal principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.”
In order to deepen the children’s understanding of the principles, Falun Dafa practitioners devise creative and highly meaningful classroom activities.
In one class, the students learned about “virtue” and “karma.”
So, when a person does a good deed, like helping somebody out, one will accumulate “virtue,” which will bring about blessings.
Doing bad deeds, however, will accumulate karma, and bring on hardship. In addition to extra karma, when a person swears at another, he or she will lose virtue.
Interestingly, when the students were split up into groups for role play, none of them even dared to pretend to swear, for fear of losing their virtue.
In another class, negative character traits such as “jealousy” and “showing off,” among others, were written onto small pebbles and dropped into a bottle of water.
After the cap was screwed on tight, the bottle was dropped into a tub of water, and sank straight to the bottom. As the pebbles were gradually removed, the children observed the bottle rising higher. After all the pebbles were removed, the bottle floated to the surface of the water.
Through this little exercise, the students learned the importance of keeping their minds pure of negative thoughts and emotions, which would otherwise weigh them down. That way, they too can rise up like the light and empty bottle!
As a result of this class, Principal Cervantes says the “children are more conscious of the needs of others and often try to solve problems without fighting.”
“I think that Maria Montessori was right when she said: ‘Plant good ideas inside children, even if they don’t understand them. Years will make them realize the meaning in their minds and ideas will blossom in their hearts.’
“I think that we are planting good things, and Falun Dafa is one of them.”
Speaking to Radio SOH, Cervantes said in Spanish: “The Falun Dafa class is what children like the most, the practice of Falun Dafa in the Montessori School helps children to know each other, to be more tolerant, to think about the needs of others, to respect all forms of life, to resolve conflicts and to seek peace.
“I thank you infinitely for sharing your wisdom with us; Falun Dafa benefits everyone.”
Watch the video below:
Photos courtesy of Guasave Montessori School and Minghui.