Wouldn't it be amazing if there was Samadhi in Schools?
So, you've seen the use of a Sanskrit word and figured that Samadhi in Schools must be some "woo-woo" hippy deal? Cool your jets! No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater...
'Samadhi' is a Sanskrit word that has a number of definitions.
It comes from the root word 'sam-a-dha' which means to bring together or collect. So 'Samadhi' implies that we collect our thoughts and settle the mind to focus on one thing. Instead of following scattered trails of thought, jumping from one story to another, we can still the mind as if it were a tranquil pond.
'Samadhi' also means recognising the connections between each other and the environment and our world. And how our choices impact other people and things.
So it refers to being aware that what we say affects our students and colleagues, and that they have feelings too. It refers to cleaning up your classroom at the end of the year, knowing that the teacher who's moving in would like to find it that way. It's allowing someone else to use the photocopier at lunchtime when you've got a spare period next.
Wait, isn't that just being calm, kind, focused and aware of others?
Imagine you're waiting at a red light on your way home from school. The mind wanders from worrying about a student, then thinking about what to make for dinner, to something your friend told you once, to feeling annoyed about something that happened while you were on playground duty. You are mentally and emotionally tossed around in seconds and the lights haven't even changed yet!
Now consider a time when you've been doing something that you're really into - reading, playing music, dancing, trekking, whatever it is you get into fully. Or maybe a time when a lesson has gone perfectly, and you and your students have been totally into it. When you're in that state, your mind is usually focused single-pointedly. You aren't meandering down the lanes of thought. You are completely and utterly absorbed in the moment.
In this state, the mind is relaxed but concentrated. There's no anxiety or anger, just a relaxed sense of contentment. This is Samadhi.
With practice, we can enter into this state of calm and focus more easily, even if we're not doing our favourite activity.