Learning to Meditate at Padua Academy

Learning to Meditate at Padua Academy

Previously DCL has done several mindfulness trainings with Padua Academy and we have achieved some amazing results. We’ve seen a teacher begin to start each class with a 3-minute guided meditation. We’ve also had teachers report using mindfulness to increase their compassion and understanding, making them better teachers.

Today we’re excited to share a guest post from Isabella Elliott, a student at Padua, who is sharing how mindfulness has impacted her and how she hopes to spread it through her school:

 

My name is Isabella Elliott, and I’m a high school junior at Padua Academy. In Mr. Shelton’s Honors Physics class, we’ve started each class with 3 minutes of meditation since the beginning of the year. I want to tell you about my journey and how this small change has benefitted me and my classmates. When Mr. Shelton first introduced meditation to our class, I was open to the idea because I had tried apps for meditation, however, I never could seem to stick to a schedule. After only a few classes of meditation, I began to look forward to class every day. Not only to learn physics but also to get the feeling of relief and calmness that meditation brought. That’s when I realized how meaningful meditation truly is.

After a few months of meditating in class, I noticed it got easier and easier to settle down and focus. I was able to put my restless thoughts at ease and focus on myself as a whole. After each session, in addition to feeling mentally relieved, my body was physically calmer and I felt more focused for class. I noticed that meditation was helping other students too. Everyone was able to settle down, and give their undivided attention to learning. Due to how stressful a high school environment can be, I believe it is very beneficial for students to have meditation, even if it is just 3 minutes a day.

I was not surprised that meditation greatly benefits one’s mental health. I tend to overthink a lot about my day and the future, however, with daily meditation I have come to realize that my daily stresses are much smaller than I think. After participating in one 10 minute session of meditation after school, I noticed that the feelings of frustration and worry that dwelled in my mind all day had vanished. It truly felt like I had come out of a trance when the session ended. My mind felt free as if it were a blank slate that I could build upon with only positive thoughts. I believe that people in our society struggle with creating these positive thoughts and finding peace with themselves and one another. If more people meditated, I believe our society would be more open-minded and people would be able to live more freely.

To help more students and teachers experience the benefits of meditation, Emily Gallo and I are partnering with Mr. Shelton to have a monthly 10-minute after-school meditation for anyone who wants to try it. In our first session, we had about 20 people! We’re planning to put up posters to spread the word about our December session with the student body and faculty in hopes of having an even better turn out. We’re excited to see what happens next on this journey!

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