Compassion’s effect on the mind

A few months ago, I read about a study involving brain scan images of monks who practiced meditation on compassion, where the results showed increased higher-order cognitive skills. While looking for that article, I found another article published just this last month, describing similar results found when using fMRI scanning technology. In this article, the study being described involved a group people without any previous meditation training, half of which trained in meditation on compassion, and half refrained from meditation.
I must also say that I have greatly enjoyed playing the singing bowl with the classes. I can’t describe the feeling I get when the class (and parents ūüôā ) are concentrating on the sounds, and it has quickly become one of my favorite parts of the day. I want to share this with our students, and I would love if any parents wanted to join their child in playing the bowl before class.
Read an excerpt below and link to the original article.
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Student Art Show

On June 6 & 7 Balanced Life Skills will host a student art show. Do you have some art that you would like to contribute? Watch the video below and see what this event is all about.
Student Art Show

Belt Test -May

Title: Belt Test -May
Location: Balanced Life Skills
Description: 5/6 year olds 10 AM
7/8 year olds 11:30 AM
9-12 year olds 1 PM
Start Time: 10:00 AM
Date: 2008-05-17


Young students:

“I want to help you feel better.”

Older students, teens, adults:

Compassion is the desire to ease the pain and suffering of others.

May Announcements

Word of the Month is Compassion

April 30, May 1 Stripe testing / Journals due

May 3 Where Does the Rain Go? Rain Barrel Event @ Merrill Center 2 PM This will be a wonderful benefit to our awareness and to help the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Decorated rain barrels will be available in a silent auction and the debut of a video of our students learning about stormwater management at home.
May 14, 15 Stripe testing / Journals due Please be sure to bring your journal to class these days
May 17 Belt Testing
May 26 BLS Closed Memorial Day
June 6, 7 Student Art Show
June 10 BLS Closed Instructors will be out of town

Gratitude in the bad times

It is not hard to be thankful when we are in the good times.  When everything is going our way and we are happy, everyone is getting along and times are feeling the best, we can be thankful for many things very easily.  It is when we are not happy, when we are feeling sad, frustrated, disappointed, angry or even envious that being able to see the things we have to be thankful about requires more work.
For me this comes back to how we talk to ourselves, and listening to the words and feelings of others that may bring us back to our ‘attitude of gratitude’.¬† Yesterday was not my best day of being a teacher.¬† I had been disappointed in a few students at the begining of the day and somehow I allowed this to affect my teaching style the rest of the day.
Has that ever happened to you?  Your disappointed by something or someone and you feel like you need to fix everything right now in this very day or moment.  What I should have done is as soon as I could see and feel this disappointment, is step back and look at what I have to be thankful for and meditate on that for a few minutes.  Had I done that I am sure I would have spent the rest of the day in a better frame of mind, and maybe even taught a better class.
I have said this before but I will repeat this again, for my own benefit.  You never accomplish your goals or be your best when you are trying or acting out of fear or anger.  It is only when you act out and respond to challenges and situations from a place of love and gratitude that you are able to reach your goals. I will continue to work on this and if you have ever had similar experience I would like to hear about them.  Sometimes it helps to know that we are not the only one that has an experience like the one I described.