MINDFULNESS IN CHILDREN THROUGH THEATRE MEDITATION

We all know what theatre is.

We know what Meditation is. Even if don’t know how to go about it we know what the word means.

While we meditate we tend to achieve a state of mindfulness. This in simple words means being fully present in the moment. It means being completely aware of all five senses and what they are experiencing in that moment.

Now imagine how difficult it is to be mindful for our children in this heavily distracted world, when adults are unable to do it. Also imagine the quality and productivity of our children will grow leaps and bounds if they learn to practice it.

As per research schools that teach meditation to children, in the process raise their collective vibrations and have recorded marked improvement in each and every sphere of education. Mindfulness is a. form of meditation that can be practiced by keeping aside few minutes everyday. It requires sitting and concentrating on our breath. If the mind wanders which it would, be patient to bring it back in present and stay calm.

Isn’t it sounding a little too demanding for our impatient bundles of energies. Well I have discovered a way it could be fun and simple.

Theatre Meditation*

This is the term I have derived out of my own personal experience. I have been involved in theatre as a child. In fact I went upto writing a script and directing it for my college for a university festival. Little did I know then that every minute spent in acting was moulding and rewiring my brain. Long after I finished my psychotherapy that I picked this as one of my research topics.

Studies show that arts are imperative in boosting performance in all areas of life. No matter where technology leads us holding on to the vital benefits of creative and fine arts leads to a better structured brain. Theatre, has such brilliant impact on students specially the ones who are little lost trying to find a place in this world, its almost dramatic.

Theatre, like meditation ignites imagination. Like Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, and ah it is so true. We want our children to read books, only to increase imagination. Every invention, every discovery has stemmed out of imagination at one point of time. It is a proven fact that live theatre leaves much more impact on students not only in comparison to reading but even watching a visual.

It increases focus and builds memory over period of time. Another skill that is strived by meditating for hours. Theatre goes on to generate empathy and compassion. Dalai Lama, is known to say, “Love and Compassion are necessitites and not luxuries. Without it the human race cannot survive.”  While acting children learn to pout themselves into other character’s shoes. Hence there brain is wired to be able to feel all ends of emotions even when they re not directly connected to the situation. Theatre children are more independent, flexible, rooted and patient. They have to rehearse again and again till they achieve there best. Hence they learn perseverance. They are trained to modulate their pitch, tone and volume hence bringing in honesty and intensity in speech.

They are naturally wired to be better listeners. Theatre like Meditation requires attention and complete awareness to cues, lines, and dialogue. In order to deliver your line, you have to listen to other character. It helps them stay ahead in the game.

As a case I would like to talk about, Parlan McGaw who led Meditation for Actors in New York City. He was acting since he was a child. He was introduced to meditation in 1988 only to figure out how much they go hand in hand. Together with his teacher Howard he started retreats for actors. “In the morning,” McGaw says, “I taught meditation. In the afternoon Michael taught acting. He was my student in the morning and I was his student in the afternoon.” Meditation enhanced acting and acting enhanced meditation increasing joy within their brain.

Above all theatre gives life long friendships and a rocking sense of humour. Theatre Meditation trains us to enjoy all of this to the best.buddhaplay2010-7.jpg

 

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