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Last month marked what Fr. Laurence called “an important milestone” in Meditatio’s Education outreach. Our first online seminar, “A Gift for Our Times” was offered to community members teaching meditation to children and young people. The response was overwhelming with 181 registrants. This speaks of the great need and desire to bring this gift to children and young people, especially during this time of crisis.

One of the hopes for the seminar was to collectively encourage and re-energize the sharing of this gift by having Fr. Laurence speak to the significance of meditation for this young generation in light of our current global crisis, and with Anne Graham, a meditator and professor at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, speaking about the current research pointing to the benefits of meditation with C&YP.

Fr. Laurence identified that a spiritual crisis of disconnect from our own essential spiritual identity was at the root of our modern crisis. Mental health and finding meaning are major concerns for children and young people.  “This disconnect brought about by the forces in our culture is the reason why meditation is important to teach to children.” He also spoke of the immeasurable gifts of meditation.

Anne presented her current research findings on meditation with children and young people in schools. Her research emerged from the international gathering at Ashburnham outside of London in 2016.  Benefits include improved attention, cognitive function and mindfulness along with reductions in depression, stress and anxiety.

The full report by Anne Graham is available to read online here https://doi.org/10.25918/3.

A summary leaflet us available here https://doi.org/10.25918/REPORT.5

Summaries are also available in Spanish and Portuguese here Spanish: https://doi.org/10.25918/report.39

Summary in Portuguese: https://doi.org/10.25918/report.38

Watch this video, shown at the seminar, which contains the voices of children from all over the world reflecting on their experience of meditation.

We learned much from our first online seminar and appreciated everyone’s patience when we ran into technical difficulties. We look forward to offering more opportunities to gather online based on the positive feedback received from a survey conducted after the seminar.

Below are some of the comments received.

“The seminar ignited the desire to deepen meditation practice.”

“foi emocionante estar em um encontro com pessoas de diversas partes do mundo unidas para um bem maior, acreditando que é possível voltarmos diferentes. Que uma educação voltada para o ser é possível e que as escolas contemplem a nossa dimensão espiritual, assim como todas as dimensões. Eu saio inspirada e com energia para pensar e planejar introduzir a meditação em meu ambiente de trabalho..” (Portuguese)

Excelente iniciativa. Se possível continuar com a ideia de produção de subsídios para apoiar meditação com crianças e jovens. (Spanish)

I want to thank Fr. Laurence, Anne, those who volunteered to be group facilitators, and the planning team of Enrique Lavin, Gabriel Parrodi, Leo Corrêa, Briji Waterfield and Kate Coombs. A special thank you to those who participated in the seminar and those bringing the gift of meditation to children and young people. 

Paul Tratnyek

Meditatio International Coordinator for Education

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