by Ben Chalwin
As I sit here working with deadlines, I find myself frequently keeping an eye on the time … clock watching … measuring my progress against the minutes and hours.
In contrast to this, Mark Williams describes Mindfulness as happening in horticultural time – an analogy that I often find myself using on trainings and when I visit schools to talk to school leaders. I talk about planting seeds and sowing the seeds of Mindfulness. When we plant a seed, we don’t generally sit by it with a stopwatch and question why it hasn’t started to grow in hours or days. We accept that it might take longer – indeed I’ve been surprised when plants have appeared years later (having been long forgotten about)! With plants, we expect it to take time. We give them time. I would encourage taking this perspective with our own practice and, perhaps even more so, when working with children and young people.
Seeds also need to be dispersed, to spread out.
I am deeply humbled by the number of international participants who join us in the UK on our train to teach courses each year. People come from all over the planet – with some making very long journeys. In September, I was privileged to be able to visit Hong Kong with another trainer to run a Train to Teach Paws b course at the invitation of the Canadian International School (CDNIS). This also had the benefit of saving 32 people from travelling to the UK and the air miles that this would entail.
We were met with a welcome and warmth wherever we visited. The generosity and kindness of people really stood out when we had our day of exploring. This was also the case with CDNIS who were fantastic hosts – thank you Shelly! There was so much enthusiasm from the participants for bringing mindfulness to young people in Hong Kong and China. It was a delight to learn and practice together.
I find it heart-warming to see this dispersal and to watch the seeds take root all over the planet. It is a privilege to be a part of this.