PROJECT “ SILENT SITTING”
The " SILENT SITTING " project was carried out in the Elementary School ‘Tito Acerbo’ of Loreto Aprutino (PE) with children from the first grade in sections A-B-C-D from October 2014 to March 2015.
Purpose of the project:
The purpose was to help children develop harmoniously aspects of their personalities: creativity, intuition, spirituality, manual dexterity and ability to be with others.
What does " Silent Sitting " mean?
" Silent Sitting” it is one of five techniques included in the program "Sathya Sai Education in Human Values".
"Silent Sitting" is the basic technique to calm the mind, to promote attention and concentration and to help the interiorization. "Silent Sitting" does not just mean keeping your mouth shut, it is an important practice to regulate the activity of the mind which constantly tends to jump from one thought to another.
"The main characteristic of the mind is its tendency to wander ..." "The mind loses energy with constant talk ... (Even talking to ourselves, mulling over the thoughts related to our concerns ...) “The mind is responsible for everything. " Sathya Sai
The mind consists of thoughts related to desires and emotions, while it is the intellect that guides the mind, controls it, and that draws directly from the source of inner energy, the Self.
The technique of "Silent Sitting " has positive effects on the entire body through a conscious breathing, good posture, a voluntary concentration, which can induce a meditative state. For the implementation of this project I was inspired by the "Educare" method and various reports dealing with scientific investigations conducted in various universities which have shown that a state of inner silence can bring the mind:
"... to a natural original state, in which mind and body are not in a relationship of duality, but of unity. …silence is the natural condition of the mind of stillness, emptiness and unity ... In this state sensitivity to external stimuli is reduced and is accentuated to internal stimuli.
It not only allows us to get in touch with ourselves but also with the reality that surrounds us. Moreover, it allows us to start a path of spiritual growth in which words, logic and rationality give way to a form of silent observation, non-judgmental and filters. "
The project aimed to help children access the silent space needed in order to think before you act or speak, to take the right decisions at the appropriate time and to listen to the inner voice.
Moreover, it intended to facilitate the development of greater self-confidence in their abilities, better coherence between thoughts, words and deeds, self-discipline, social skills, and to bring out the innate values.
The expected results would be:
- a better harmony in the classroom and at home;
- progress in learning achievement;
- greater ability to listen;
- skills in conflict management;
- more thoughtful attitude.
Their life will change in a positive way and influence all the other people around them. As a result, future society will be more aware, evolved, emancipated, modern and enlightened turning the world into a better place.
Methods of implementation
The project took place in the period from October to late March with meetings of one hour per week in each class.
Throughout the entire implementation period of the ‘Silent Sitting’ project, other educational techniques have also been integrated, useful to get to know ourselves, to relax, to develop creative aspects and group cooperation
Moments to get to know each other with questions: What's my name? What I like?
- Initial moments dedicated to breathing. The breathing exercises calm the mind because the mind follows the breathing. Our breathing changes when there are emotions such as fear or joy; it accelerates if we are anxious, it is mild when we are calm; we think how we breathe e.g. if we are angry or when we are focused on study or play. With the help of a round wall clock children do gentle concentration exercises to become strong, determined and careful.
- Motor activities: running on the spot
- "Sitting properly" with practical exercises
- Drawing on white sheets their emotions
- Observing reality through the five senses
- Creating prayers of thanksgiving to Mother Earth. Expressing the Human Value of Love
- Guided meditation exercises. The Human Value of Peace
- Corporeal representation of the vowels a, e, i, o, u.
- The five elements: mobility and creative activities
- The greeting of the morning: practical exercises of positivity. Human Value of Non-Violence
- Role play and drama
- Exercises of concentration and meditation
- Stretching exercises, breathing, concentration, relaxation
- The good intentions cards. The Human Value of the Right Action
- The impatience game. The human value of Peace and Non-Violence
- Group Song. Singing opens the heart and creates unity. And then it feels good when our breath, thanks to singing, is in harmony with the natural rhythm of life. That is why singing gives us health and energy. Music transforms everything with its touch, too.
- It is 'Carnival’: symbolism of masks. Educational goal: some habits in speaking, in acting are dangerous and can become our characteristic. Better to adopt good thoughts, good words and good deeds
- Realization of posters at the end of the route proposed by the project " Silent Sitting"
The project was greatly appreciated by children and teachers.
Bettina di Carlo