So, one of the things I do is teach mindfulness to college students. They come to my classroom officially for English class and what they get is a way of learning about words and writing and process that emphasizes moment-to-moment awareness, inter-being, wisdom and compassion.
As homework, the students are asked to meditate at home twice a day and write a brief daily journal in which they just note what their experience was like. We’re into the last week of the semester as of today and everyone has made terrific progress.
You know when you read something and you just have to share with everyone? Well, here’s a portion of what one student wrote about doing what we call a Befriending Meditation, in which students send loving-kindness to themselves and then to others around them in ever-widening circles of contact till they reach all beings sharing this planet-time with them:
Sat. April 18
While listening to the Befriending track, I’m sending love only to myself. I usually never give myself props for what I’ve achieved, so it’s a good time to start. I haven’t put as much effort into anything as I have this year alone. Honestly, I’m really proud of how far I have come. Reminiscing about this year feels good. I can actually think back and be happy with what I have done. There’s a small burst of excitement for this summer but at the same time I feel like it’s a reward. All throughout high school, I did the same things in school as I did in summer. Nothing. This year, I actually feel like I deserve the time off.
Sun. April 19
Thinking back to sending positivity, I’m going to focus on my parents today. They’ve been there for me my entire life. I can’t think of a single time they weren’t. The amount they do for me every day is incredible, and I feel like I don’t give enough back. I try to help when I can, but I’m not home much during the week. Hopefully, during the summer months, I can make up for the help they’ve given me. Also, they are both constantly working very hard. I really hope they are handling it well. We do talk about our days and stuff but as for handling stress, it doesn’t come up much in conversation. All my love today goes to them, without them I wouldn’t be where I am, or who I am today.
I feel so blessed to have students come to these kinds of realizations. I can’t help but hope that students such as these will take these lessons into the rest of their lives. That the seeds of compassion and love and awareness will grow into a beautiful garden in their hearts and minds and those will transform the world.