All first-year students at all Amrita campuses receive training in the Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique (IAM) at the start of every academic year.
A simple combination of traditional yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation exercises, IAM requires only about 20 minutes of daily practice.
When practiced with dedication on a regular basis, the technique not only helps improve mental clarity and power of concentration but also one’s health and general outlook in life.
In order to help Amrita students make the technique a part of their daily lives, refresher classes are conducted at several campuses; these refresher classes will continue this semester.
A team of instructors, many of them also faculty members, leads these refresher classes.
“The students are inspired when they see that their faculty members also practice meditation; after all, as Amma says, spirituality is the practical science of life,” shared Ms. Chinamayi R., Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Amrita School of Engineering, who leads refresher classes for her students.
Most refresher classes take about 45 minutes to complete; the students learn the meditation, however, in a 4-hour session at the start of the academic year.
“We also include some games and quizzes, presentations and videos to make the classes lively,” shared Br. Mukesh, who taught the 4-hour introductory classes this past year at Amritapuri, Bengaluru and Coimbatore campuses.
Br. Mukesh first came to Amma’s ashram many years ago determined to learn meditation, and teach it to the children in the village school he was working in, at the time, in the Himalayas.
“The intention was to go back as soon as possible to the village school. However, inspired by Amma, I stayed on in the ashram. This past year, with Amma’s blessings, I helped teach IAM to over 3000 students of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.”
He shared his perspectives on teaching meditation to institution students.
“One of the main challenges in conducting a class for a large number of students is that one has to introduce a subtle topic such as meditation to a group of very energetic young people.”
“They do have a lot of questions, and it is really good to see their enthusiasm. However much we may discuss the principles, there is nothing like actually experiencing meditation. Whatever doubts the students have, begin to all dissipate as they start doing the practice.”
“We do our best to give attention to every single student. Group vibration is an important aspect of these classes.”
“Many students report that with regular practice, physical and psychological changes take place. We are working towards making meditation a regular part of the curriculum and the students’ daily routine.”
“All the problems we see around us are the problems caused by an uncontrolled mind. This has to be addressed urgently now. Everything that is really important to us in our lives – peace, happiness, joy, love, creativity – comes from beyond the mind, and that is the dimension that we tap into during meditation.”
January 9, 2012