Situated just off Hout Bay road, the school is a small, pretty and homely set of buildings very much in the style of the surrounding stables and small-holdings. We were immediately at home in the relaxed and comfortable environment, and were whisked away to meet Mr Landi to get the show on the road.
We had spent much time and effort trying to figure out how to relay the importance of mindfulness and meditative practices, and had deliberated on what to include in the relatively short amount of time. In just a few minutes, we needed to not only show why meditation and mindfulness are important, but also help the students take their first step towards this practice. We focused mainly on the practical side of things, and aimed to show just how a mindful approach might help in everyday life. The ISHB students took to the concept readily, and were willing to help me by providing examples of some of the difficulties their minds create for them in various situations. While the practice of mindfulness is exactly that - a practice - we hope that there were one or two ideas that struck a chord, something that each of the students could take with them. Ultimately, being mindful is simply increasing one's self-awareness and allowing for a greater sense of personal responsibility for the way that we perceive and respond to the world around us. I like to think that once we recognize that we are the real directors in our lives, its hard to go back to blaming everything and anything around us!
Ending off with a gentle guided meditation was great, and hopefully gave everyone an extra burst of energy and focus for the day. Interestingly, in the middle of one of our meditations, the school bell sounded yet not a single student fluttered an eyelid - a sign of budding uber-monks? Let's hope so ;)
We hope to be in further contact with the ISHB, and will keep you updated as we go. We can't wait to visit the beautiful, friendly school again!
Thanks again to Mr Landi and Mr Wood for this wonderful opportunity!
Dean & Tim