I may not be the expert to speak on this. And neither will I say I have carried out an extensive research to support the question on whether you agree or not, that constant practices of meditation can enhance student performance. For, my analogy is based on personal and practical understanding of meditation.
Meditation as defined by the Peace Revolution (PR) networks “is one’s ability to find or attain inner peace”. In order words, a mind(s) that is at peace, joyful and satisfied.
This assumption (fact) has gone on to prove that a person who attains the state of complete stillness of the mind (inner peace) is most likely to spread lovely kindness (peace energy) to the community (society/world), where (s)he belongs. This concept is mathematically described as Peace In (PI) + Peace Out (PO) = Sustainable World Peace (SWP).
And in order to lead to a state of consciousness that brings serenity, clarity and blis inside and to the people around you, 3 major processes occur. In this scenario, the Meditation Society of American (MSA) sweetly categorizes it as; The Normal, the Concentrating (meditating mind) and the Contemplating mind respectively.
1. 1. Normal Mind
TheNormal mind state of every person is full with thoughts, worries and ideas, negativities, positivity and excitement depending on the mood of that individual within the stated circumstance. It therefore means student are no exemption of these normal mind experience. For instance, a student sitting on her/his desk in a lecture hall, preparing for an exam and / or reading is likely to have all these wandering thoughts popping through her mind.
|The Normal Mind of any person (eg a student)|
As illustrated in the diagram above, is a classical “normal" state of mind. For instance, an imagination of a dog you once had and loved may eventually make you to reminisce about your pet dog. Emotionally, you start feeling all warm and cuddly; physically, and very relaxed. While you are still mesmerized with the pumping thoughts about your pet, another swift thought might flash through though still regarding your dog but this time it brings you fear that the dog is attacking somebody and then you start thinking paranoid thoughts, getting fearful and uptight physically, so on the process of countless and wandering thoughts. This example of a dog (illustrated by MSA) is used to explain how a mind of a student can likely functions when (s)he is studying.
2. Concentrating Mind
The second illustration (by MSA) demonstrates Concentration. This is the first step in Meditation and is the start of gaining control over the mind and thereby life. The procedure is deceptively simple and seems like it would be very easy to do, but there are few tasks more difficult to master. The idea is to pick an object/subject to place your attention on and then to focus exclusively on it without diversion.
|The concerntrating Mind|
An example of this would be if you decided to focus on love. To start, you would relax your body, sit in a comfortable position, calm your emotions and begin, in your mind, repeating the word "love" over and over. The problem is that your mind has been your master your whole life and won't easily relinquish its position. To trick you back into obedient slavery, your mind will divert your attention, often by giving you a tantalizingly interesting distraction. It usually goes something like this: You're sitting there repeating love, love, love when your mind suddenly adds "I love candy. They sell the candy I love at the 7-11 up the road. I can pick a bus going there and get that candy. I know it will be delicious when I bite into it ..." and so there you are --- instead of concentrating on love, you're eating an imaginary candy bar at a 7-11. At this stage, what you are supposed to do is to witness (observe) your being distracted and return to concentrating on the object of your meditation. Concentration is well worth persevering in and ultimately liberating, spectacular and a blessing.
Relating this to a classical student experience during her/his usual day devoted to study. As (s) he reads/studies, a sentence in her note might induce her/him to visualize a certain object / incidence in her/his mind that will arouse imaginary feelings. You understand that at this stage unlike stage 1 where (s) he may spent over 2 hours and has been unable to fully read through a single page or even understands what she has read because of the unwanted thought that intruded during her/his readings. However, this case is different because, though her imagination is searching far but it is slightly related to her studies. Meanwhile, the first (normal), nothing is defined.
Now, let’s go to stage three. I do hope you are enjoying the linkage on how constant meditation practice can enhance student performance. Please do feel free to post your suggestion. This is an open discussion. I will also like you to know that most of the examples illustrated are borrowed from MSA. I am using them so as to enable your understanding on what meditation stands for, and through which you can appreciate this ideology of mine which believes that meditation can enhance student performance.
2. 1 Meditating mind
The third illustration depicts Meditation. Here we have unbroken attention. The classic description of the difference between Concentration and Meditation is given in the example of pouring oil from a bottle into a bowl. At first the oil drips out a drop at a time. This is concentration. Then the oil comes out in a steady stream. This unbroken pouring out is Meditation. If you really examine the process closer, you would notice that when the oil was coming out drop by drop, each drop caused a splash and the droplets of the splashing can be considered analogous to the distractions that interrupt our concentration. Once the stream starts becoming steady it flows effortlessly. Similarly, when Concentration flows into Meditation, the attention paid to the object of Meditation becomes deeper and deeper effortlessly and spontaneously, true knowledge about the object presents itself.
At this particular stage 3, the student is overpassed stage 2, and is now slowly getting focus and more focused with her/his notes/ readings. Here, the student is filled with all amusement and pleasure of the information in the note. Also, (s) he begins to relates or analyze and engage in the arguments in the note.
3. Contemplating mind
At this point, the unity of the object of your meditation and your mind, as illustrated in the fourth illustration, occurs. This is the state of Contemplation and is the ultimate state of consciousness. Where we usually are only conscious of our body and ego and consider ourselves apart from the rest of the universe, with the experience of Contemplation we become conscious of the cosmos and know ourselves to be a part of it and realize our unity with all of it. This is Realization, Cosmic Consciousness. It is our birthright and destiny to know this exquisite state first hand and enjoy the Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss that is our eternal true nature. Thus the justification in expending whatever energy is necessary to learn to meditate and to begin to make Meditation an important part of our lives.
|Contemplation. At this stage, the mind is at still|
Following all the processes correctly and being able to reach contemplation, a student who manages to experience 50-70% of this definitely going to be able to spent lesser hours reading and with actual understanding. A student with meditating ability can apply her/his principles of meditation in studies and that I am sure the results will definitely be awesome.
I am not, however, saying that student can’t perform better if they don’t practice meditation. What I am trying to do is to seek for better ways to improve student performance, especially those with attentive / concentration problem during read. In which I recommend that meditation be the panacea.
I am sure you enjoyed the reading. Please, kindly leave a word or more to tell us what you think about this analysis.