“If it makes you feel good, then what’s the problem?” the student asks. She adds, “It’s just — a — a natural experience.”
The high school student quoted above isn’t talking about sex, or even about drugs. She’s talking about meditation.
This morning, one of my favorite programs, CBS Sunday Morning, ran a segment called Getting Into Our Minds, which featured a high school in Fairfield, Iowa that promotes meditation.
Along with the basics and the classics, lower grades do a walking meditation. Higher grades sit for 15 minutes, twice a day. Each student has a personal mantra. The goal: to calm the mind. [See link for the full story.]
The segment went on to explain that calming the mind prepares it for activity, and increases the students’ productivity. And that brainpower isn’t the only thing meditation can improve. The National Institute of Health is currently funding research into the health effects of meditation – on chronic pain, eating disorders, blood pressure and immune disorders.
The story stated that over 20 million Americans have at least tried some form of meditation, from mindfulness meditation to the transcendental meditation taught at the Maharishi school in Fairfield, Iowa.
Even though I struggle with the difficulties of meditation myself, I do believe that regular practice improves quality of life. I was glad to have that reminder. Moreover, I was glad to see this mainstream program plant a little Bodhi tree in living rooms across the country.