Mindfulness is the talking point all over the world in the last few years. It’s benefits to all age groups have been thoroughly researched all over the world since the last 30 years. What started as a stress Clinic by Jon Korbat Zin has become a revolution in today’s fast moving world. The results in children have taken the world by surprise specially, remarkable increase in focus and concentration. Indian students are still not exposed to these skills as there is no formal course in the curriculum. Mindful Gurukul is the first organization in India with a definite program to teach school going children this much needed skill.
“Rahul behave yourself. Is this the way you talk to your friends” or “You are not concentrating on your studies, that is the reason you get less marks”.These are the most common discussion in most of the households in metropolitan cities. Today the most talked about topic in India is Digitalisation and Globalization. India is talking about 4g network and high speed internet. Internet was first accessible only on the computer, then on laptop and going further, now on tablet. Today is the world where we are talking about high end smart phones with powerful processors.
So a lot information is continuously fed in our mind from the print as well as social media.This information is also available to young children who are at their developmental stage. In a study conducted in US, it has shown that kids playing games on phone have developed stronger analytical skills but the socioemotional learning suffers a great deal. This is why we see more aggressive behavior by most of the kids.
Also since they are addictive,the distraction from most of the learning activities is a common problem in most of the school going kids. Morality and religion have a strong foundation in India and is the only way parents can tackle these issues. The high exposure to the media can at times make it difficult for today’s generation to understand this. Most of the parents and teachers will agree the conventional disciplining in the form of reward and punishment doesn’t have the desired results with most of the kids nowadays.
The basic neuroscience behind this has been extensively researched and it is found the prefrontal lobe in the brain in human child actually starts functioning by the age of 18-20 years. This prefrontal lobe is the one responsible for regulation of our thoughts. So in school going children the emotional impulses like anger, ADHD and impulsive behaviour are unchecked, hence at times children do not listen to the elders. Humans are the only mammals who have to depend on the guidance of the elders for such a long time.So there is a need to intervene and impart skills to the kids.
Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening now. Another way to describe it is to consciously bring our attention to the present moment . it can be practiced anywhere unlike meditation where you need a particular place and posture. It can also be described as “a skill beyond meditation” . It is secular and does not interfere with anyone’s religious beliefs. Also basic morality for human kind like gratitude, compassion and empathy are taught to children.
There has been extensive research done on its effect on young minds and is still going on. The results beyond doubt has showed marked improvement in focus, concentration and emotional stability in all age groups. In adolescent there is a marked improvement in their self esteem and decision taking abilities.
Kids are less insecure and are more aware of their emotions. Mindfulness gives them the freedom of choice to refuse and accept the situation which is best suited to them.
There is no formal structure in Indian school curriculum at present to deal with these issues and empower our younger generation to deal with the future in a more controlled manner. Mindful Gurukul the brainchild of Dr. Chirag Jain and Darshana Jain has made the initiative to empower the children from all socioeconomic conditions and give them a happier tomorrow.