If all that we can control in life are our reactions to life…then meditation might just be the answer to reacting more favorably to any given situation.  It is a brain strengthening tool to center us and to help us manage our reactions better and thus live more grounded, happier lives.

Studies have proven that facilitating a meditation practice in schools increases productivity, grades, and graduation rates while reducing bullying.  David Lynch has been a driving force in implementing meditation into our schools.

Watch this amazing video: Violence in School Ends thanks to The David Lynch Foundation:

On meditation David Lynch professes… It takes you to an ocean of pure consciousness, pure knowingness. But it’s familiar; it’s you. And, right away, a sense of happiness emerges – not a goofball happiness, but a thick beauty.

I have never missed a meditation in 36 years. I meditate once in the morning and again in the afternoon, for about 20 minutes each time. Then I go about the business of my day. And I find that the joy of doing increases. Intuition increases. The pleasure of life grows. And negativity recedes.

I want to emphasize that meditation is not a selfish thing. Even though you’re diving in and experiencing the Self, you’re not closing yourself off from the world. You’re strengthening yourself so you can be more effective when you go back out into the world.

So compassion, appreciation for others, and the capacity to help others are enhanced when you meditate. You start diving down and experiencing this ocean of pure love, pure peace — you could say pure compassion. You experience that, and know it by being it. Then you go out into the world, and you can really do something for people.

David Lynch, 64, is a filmmaker, painter, photographer, sculptor, musician, woodworker, and founder and chairman of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. He is notable for the TV series, Twin Peaks and for many films including Wild at Heart and Mulholland Drive.

5 SIMPLE MEDITATIONS TO DO WITH YOUR CLASS OR FAMILY

FOUR BY FOUR

Speaking calmly just instruct the students to close their eyes, place their feet flat on the floor (or they can sit on floor), with hands in their lap, and back straight but with shoulders relaxed. You can repeat the following words for a few minutes. When they are stressed they can practice this technique anywhere.

SAY: Breathe in to the count of four: one – two – three –four, hold your breath here for four: one – two –three –four, exhale slowly for four: one, two, three, four, and hold it in in a relaxed manner for four: one – two – three – four.

MINDFULNESS

Also known as Vipassana or insight meditation, mindfulness practice entails focusing bare awareness on the object of meditation – be it the breath, physical sensations, outside sounds or all of the above.

1. Assume a comfortable but alert upright position.

2. Gently bring your attention to the breath, and note each inhalation and exhalation – without trying to change anything or breathe in any specific way.

3. When you notice your mind wandering (as it most certainly will, over and over!) gently bring you attention back to the breath and start again.

According to the teachings of the Buddha, applied mindfulness meditation – along with strong concentration and appropriate moral conduct – leads to enlightenment, or liberation from suffering. As an added bonus, mindfulness meditation has been found to lower stress and fight mental health issues.

MANTRA

Mantra meditation is similar to mindfulness meditation, with the addition of a repetition of a simple word or phrase.

1. Pick your mantra – it could be a simple word like “relax,” “serene” or “peace,” or something more spiritual like “ohm” or “so-hum” (ancient Sanskrit words meaning “nothingness” and “I am that”).

2. Assume a comfortable but alert upright position, and spend 30 seconds just sitting with your eyes closed before starting your mantra.

3. As effortlessly and silently as possible, begin repeating your mantra to yourself (not aloud), over and over. There’s no need to try to change or stop your thoughts in anyway – just keep whispering the word silently to yourself.

The repetition of a mantra quiets the breath and as a result the mind, according to Deepak Chopra bringing the meditator into the field of “pure consciousness.” From a beginner’s perspective, using a mantra can help focus and sharpen a mind prone to wandering during meditation.

BUILD COMPASSION

The method is simple: sit down in a quiet, comfortable spot, either on the floor or in a chair. Take a few slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling calmly and smoothly. Then, begin repeating the following formula to yourself:

May I be happy.

May I be free from fear.

May I be free from sorrow.

May I be free from suffering.

Repeat this three times. Then, repeat the same, replacing the ‘I’ with the name of someone you love or who is dear to you. Next, use the name of someone you feel is an enemy, or someone you are having difficulty with, then someone who has the same feelings of enmity towards you. Lastly, extend the meditation towards all beings, and the whole world.

The words should be repeated with gentle concentration and genuine feeling; we should feel that the person we are meditating on is there with us. This will contribute to our transformation. We are not repeating empty phrases, but stating a heartfelt prayer, and forming an intention.

WALKING MEDITATION

Begin walking as slowly as you can while still feeling natural, keeping your attention within the body. When the attention drifts to outside sights or thoughts (and it will!) gently bring it back to the movement in the lower half of your body – the soles of your feet on the ground, the bending and extending of the knee and the curl of your toes.

The simple exercise of stepping from foot to foot naturally creates a meditative state, calming the mind and cultivating sharper awareness. Walking meditation can be a fantastic stepping stone to bringing mindful attention to every part of the day – from walking to work to cooking or doing the dishes.

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