mantras for students

I get a lot of questions in my classroom.

Miss, is this right?

Miss, what page?

Miss, can you check this?

Miss, what do you think?

But the question in my class that has brought me the most refreshment as of late is…

Miss, can we meditate?

Several weeks ago, I faced the big, bad giant Senioritis as he trolled through my student population. Since then, I have been setting space aside on a weekly basis in my class–if not daily–to lead my students in meditation. Sometimes I guide them. Sometimes I use an app. But either way, it is a few minutes that consist of no instruction but great inspiration. I’m okay sacrificing the academic time for the social-emotional support. After all, there is no learning where there is no security, and as my seniors prepare to make the biggest transitions of their lives, anything I can do to foster security will reap benefits tenfold.

Just recently during one of these meditation sessions, I guided my students through setting mantras. These are “I am” statements that embody all they wish to be in their lives: I am light. I am successful. I am strong. I am able. I am loyal. I am a leader. I am happy. I am beautiful. I am love. Positive thoughts popcorned in my class, making it feel more like a Friday night carnival than a Senioritis-stricken classroom. Though I know this is nothing that will be tested on the AP Lit exam, I am confident and intentional that these positive centering thoughts can help them with all the other non-academic tests life throws their way. All their lives, they have been fed the message that they are not good enough: They are poor. They are minorities. They are undocumented. They are from the hood. They are insignificant. They are underestimated. They are unsatisfactory. They are violent.

But I believe, through this mantra activity, that I can give them a glimpse into the power of language. That the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we believe, are the stories that will come true. And so by stepping on the meditative dance floor with their breath, with their heartbeat, with their affirming mantras, they are creating a future that is full of self-confidence, positive energy, courage, and hope. They are rewriting their stories.

After they left class, I slowly strung and untangled and tangled and knotted their mantras into a prayer flag that now hangs along our windows. As the sun catches them in the morning, I feel honored to be a part of this new story they are writing.

the yogi’s creed

Breath is the worship of this blessed moment, in this blessed moment, in this present heartbeat where the Sacred and the Mundane dance together, until the boundaries between them blissfully blur–until all boundaries and dichotomies and binaries blur. It is life inspired, in the literal etymological sense–breath into; into breath.

Inhale. Exhale.

Breath is the surgeon’s scalpel, piercing into my deepest parts, dissevering what does not serve, even when the curtain of anesthesia is drawn over the mind’s eye. It is surgery for the soul, severing what is toxic and sewing new wholeness in its place.

Inhale. Exhale.

Breath is the three-time click of red ruby shoes, taking one home to the only place that has ever been both possessed and possessive. It is the familiar essence found in the scent of Mom’s cooking, the cuddle of a little girl with her Dad, the shared songs with sisters, the late-night games with friends in the neighborhood. Breath is always a one-way ticket home.

Inhale. Exhale.

Breath is the circus act of a young acrobat, tinkering both above death and the fear of death, balanced on a spider-web-thread. But breath is also the safety net below, always waiting for the embarrassed stumble. The place between flying and falling, it is the quintessential exercise in balance, the embodiment of faith.

Inhale. Exhale.

Breath is the simple gold wedding band, not just between two people, but among a collective people, a tribe of humans indistinguishable. A circular and glorious energy of force, it links me to you and you to him and him to her and us to them. It is the unity of humankind, tactile and eternal, dismantling the idea of “other.”

Inhale. Exhale.

Breath is the lock on a myriad of doors, colorful and unique, lining a hallway of infinite possibilities. But it is also the master’s key, whispering metal-codes to each door’s guardian, unlocking treasures upon treasures, hidden and now revealed, in breath.

Inhale. Exhale.

Breath is the gift a child has asked for the entire year, silver wrapping mouse-torn at the corner because of insatiable curiosity. It is the pretense of surprise, the ferocious tear of paper, the astounded gasp of a tricked child, the single tear of gratitude because the gift is not what was expected, but so much better. Always so much better.

Inhale. Exhale.

Breath is an ineffable scroll of metaphors, because breath is beyond language.

Inhale…

Exhale…

Posts I Like

Meditating Millennial

A Millennial's Journey Into Meditation and Mindfulness

Nomad Notions

Tales of Expat Living, Teaching, and Tramping in Taiwan and Beyond.

Sojourners' Journal

“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people." —Albert Einstein

Middle East by Midwest

Observations and Experiences of Bahrain

Ex(pat) and the City

The life of a twenty-something Canadian living & teaching in Korea.

International Schools Review

ISR Blogs are open to site members and visitors alike. Your Voice Counts.

Teaching - Traveling - Learning

The Life of An International Teacher

Love Live Life....Abroad!

Follow me as I live, work, and travel abroad.........

pedagogyofthereformed

Teaching in Brooklyn in Spite of Everything

Actively Dying

by Fall Ranger

DoYouYoga.com

Just another WordPress.com site

zen habits

writing into meaning.

Shambhala Blog

Books for enlightened living

Tiny Buddha

writing into meaning.

YogiApproved™

writing into meaning.

The Blissful Mind

Your guide to finding contentment in the everyday

Practicing Presence

An attempt at mindfulness in life, learning, and love

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

chanyado

Chanyado. Shade. Respite from the sun. A place under the tree to rest my head, and wiggle my toes out in the sun.

The Seeds 4 Life

Seeds of Inspiration, Wisdom, and Positivity

The Educationista

Life. Lessons. Inspiration.

Words Half Heard

writing into meaning.

infinite hope | the national equity project blog

Deliver on the promise of a quality education.

gadflyonthewallblog

"To sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."

Greatfull

A snapshot of my journey to living each day with gratitude and striving to be full of greatness

Imperfect Happiness

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. ~ Mary Oliver

tspelczech

"I'm too old to live my life in fear of dumb people." - Charlie Skinner, The Newsroom

Perfectly Pleased

I take little moments and write about them with great love.

Cultivate Clarity

creative writing and mindfulness-based coaching, workshops, and retreats

www.aholyexperience.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

Crawling Out of the Classroom

As I begin a year of transformation as a teacher, I am attempting to break down the four walls of my classroom to reach out to others and connect about the incredible world of education.

Trophy Kids

In Defense of the Generation

ADVENTURES ON THE YOGA MAT

writing into meaning.

Left Brain Buddha

the modern mindful life

Mom Voyage - Adventures of a Fulltime RV Mom

Just another WordPress.com site

AFFECTIVE LIVING

Teaching. Learning. Living.

Mostly True Stories of K. Renae P.

My Adventures in Teaching and Learning

synchroblog

diverse voices. monthly topics. good conversations.

Done with Religion

Written by Jim Gordon - Living with God Outside the Walls of Religion

candidkay

Taking the journey, bumps and all

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

Nonlinear Compilations

Parenting, teaching, writing, and learning to find beauty in the present

Education Thunk

Thoughts and musings on education as it is, was and will be.

talk from chalk

What I've learned while teaching