Recently in Higher RMPS we have been looking at the Buddhist practice of Meditation. Meditation is often a difficult concept for pupils to understand as, understandably, very few have encountered it before and any knowledge and understanding they do have is usually of meditation for relaxation purposes (which is quite different from Buddhist Meditation).
Pupils have been exploring the differences between Samatha (stilling) meditation and Vipassana (insight) meditation. As an introduction we looked at various calming images and thankas before trying a period of focussed meditation, concentrating on our breathing. As a stimulus I showed a meditation video downloaded from YouTube. As expected, several pupils found it all too much, but the majority of the class said, although it was hard, they could see the benefits of meditation as a regular practice.
For Vipassana meditation we discussed how hard it is to ‘strip away’ layers of reality (or the illusion of reality). This is a hard concept for pupils to understand and the best way I could think of to demonstrate it was by showing the Robbie Williams Rock DJ music video – surprisingly it worked well and pupils seem to now understand the differences between these two different forms of Buddhist meditation.