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Teachers introduced to Mindfulness at WGS

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By Our Staff Reporter 
DEHRADUN, 10 Apr: A three-day retreat at the Welham Girls’ School ended, here, on Sunday evening, bringing together 150 teachers from schools around India.
Offered by Ahimsa Trust, the goal of the retreat was to introduce teachers to mindfulness practices so they could manage difficult emotions and stress in their lives and. therefore, in the lives of their students.
The programme included guided meditations, deep relaxation, talks and practices of mindful walking and eating led by nuns and monks and Dharma teachers trained in Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition of Mindfulness.
Teachers and students from Welham Girls’, Shiv Nadar School, Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Chennai, Shri Guru Ram Rai School (Patel Nagar) , Himjyoti, Kasiga, The Doon School, DPS – Nashik and Varanasi, Purkul Youth Development Society, Teach for India, Simple Education Foundation and UNICEF were present
Vibha Kapoor, Principal of Welham Girls, said that the retreat was a perfect antidote to the adverse impact of constant multitasking and was important to children’s well-being by enabling teachers to slow down and de-stress.
Dharmacharya Shantum Seth of Ahimsa Trust recounted that, in the late ‘90s, he was invited to Welham to assist with reducing stress due to exams of senior students. He said the slogan, “Happy teachers will change the world”, meant that to look after others, you need to look after yourself.
Brother Phap Khoi, a monk from Plum Village, France, said, “We need to recognise who we are. As busy adults we forget to love ourselves. If not, then how do we work with students?”
The participants enjoyed the joyous songs that were sung in English and Hindi, capturing the simple beauty of the breath and nature. The teachers and students were encouraged to start the day by embracing the twenty-four wonderful hours ahead of them with a smile and positive energy.
Sonia Bawa, yoga teacher at Welham, said, “This is the best retreat we have had at this school. I like that we heard we must be grateful that we are breathing, living, and remember that we are privileged.”
Other teachers said they got to learn how to channelise their student’s energy, and appreciated the focus on practice and the importance of being grateful for what they have. Teachers who had been part of previous retreats offered by Ahimsa Trust shared that they used the bell of mindfulness in their schools and classrooms, even with young children.