“It is my hope that we can help children develop a broader understanding of the world around them as well as their internal world and how the two are so closely related.” Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
To help the students develop a broader understanding of the world around them as well as their internal world and how the two are so closely related, a day-long ‘‘Nature-Mindful Walk’’ program was organized by Lho Mon Education (LME) and Chokyi Gyatso Institute (CGI) in collaboration with Garpawoong Middle Secondary School, Dewathang on 20th of March, 2016. The program was participated by more than 70 students, monks, lopons and teachers.
The program was organized to provide opportunity for students to experience and learn from their immediate natural environment and to take this experience to another level by integrating mindfulness practices. It was also to promote positive attitudes, sustainable mindful actions and to recognize the nature as learning laboratory in achieving greater goals of environmental conservation.
The students were assigned with different activities in smaller groups such as bird watching, exploring the ecosystem of plants, trees and flowers to make them enjoy the variety and creativity found in the natural world and moreover to cultivate curiosity and acute observation skills.
The sitting mindfulness practice, walking meditation and still-live drawing were other group tasks assigned to connect the external experience with internal world and to develop sense of positive attitudes, broaden their outlooks toward nature and bring in behavioural changes in dealing with the nature.
The karma yoga practice was integrated in the program to inculcate and maintain a sense of responsibility and dignity in performing any kind of work from manual labour involvement to paper and pen work. It was stressed that when working, motivation is so important and if one approaches an offering of service with basic good intention, then one accumulates merit.
The collaboration of students and integration of mindfulness in nature exploration program was first of its kind and we hope to organize such a program from time to time to provide platform for students to broaden understanding of the world around them as well as their internal world and how the two are so closely related.