Mitra Upakram - Anapana Meditation for 25 million School Children in Maharashtra, India
|Students from a school in Pune city practicing Anapana meditation|
With Anapana meditation, we experience how the natural breath is connected to state of the mind. For instance, when angry the breath becomes hard and irregular; when calm, the breath is subtle, regular and soft. With regular Anapana practice, feedback and research studies show children increase their self-awareness. They understand how to respond better to various situations. The children gain mastery over the wandering, wild mind.
|Anapana: the breath becomes the child's best friend in need|
As Anapana is preliminary to learning Vipassana meditation, children can participate in the residential 10-day Vipassana courses when they reach 18 years. As with Vipassana, Anapana is taught free without any charges or fee.
After an initial training of 70 minutes, the school children practice Anapana daily for 10 minutes before classes start. They repeat the practice for 10 minutes before leaving for home. Many schools in India and worldwide have included Anapana as part of the daily curriculum.
Leading schools such as Don Bosco, Egmore (Chennai) have moral science classes to start the day. Anapana is moral science in actual practice. It gives the child strength of mind and wisdom to make wholesome choices in life. Just as PT classes (Physical Training) are common in schools, so too MT (Mind Training) of Anapana is essential for children, in schools for this and future generations.
With regular Anapana practice, even after a few weeks, research studies (*) have found that school children achieve better concentration, enhanced memory, self confidence, productivity, efficiency. They are able to focus better on work at hand. As the mind becomes purer, more free from negativity, they experience very positive feelings like compassion. Relationships improve with school mates, teachers, parents, as well as many other benefits (see children sharing their Anapana experiences).
Sayagyi U Goenka: The essence of leading a good, truly happy life is that you do not look for excuses to commit unwholesome actions. Now, you may have found a reason to apparently justify your wrong actions. You wrongly think 'We too must adopt dishonest methods to succeed in this world because everybody around is doing so, and progressing at a very fast pace. And, if we not do the same, we will lag behind '.